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Beijing Calling: The District government has seen the future, and it is run by the Chinese. First a deputy mayor headed to Shanghai to open a D.C. office there; now Mayor Vince Gray announces he’ll lead a mission to visit our future rulers in June. As an economic development prospect, it’s not a bad idea; as a statehood strategy, it’s genius. After all, China has shown about the same commitment to democratic values that the U.S. does when it comes to D.C.’s voting rights. +1

Wanted: A former D.C. schoolteacher is the new Osama bin Laden, at least as far as the FBI’s most wanted criminals list is concerned. Eric Justin Toth, who also goes by the name David Bussone, was added to the list today, after bin Laden’s death opened up a vacancy. Toth has been sought by authorities for almost four years, ever since a fellow teacher at Beauvoir, the National Cathedral School’s elementary branch, allegedly discovered child pornography on a school-owned camera Toth had. He’s already tried faking his own death, so how he’ll escape the FBI this time remains to be seen. -2

Smile, You’re On Candid Camera: Conservative YouTube maven James O’Keefe has, apparently, noticed that we have our very own local government here in the District, and he’s decided to make it the next victim of his undercover hidden camera “investigations” into alleged corruption. (O’Keefe first gained notoriety for a report, on the late Andrew Breitbart‘s site, that wound up closing down community organizing group ACORN.) Ahead of last week’s election, O’Keefe’s confederate tried to vote as Attorney General Eric Holder, in an attempt to make some convoluted point about why you should have to show identification at the polls—never mind that having identification is not a requirement in order to be allowed to vote. Elections officials say they’re more annoyed with O’Keefe than the poll workers who dealt with the situation. -2

Shaw’s Tavern Redux: At last, our long municipal nightmare is over. No, not the federal corruption investigations, the saga of the Shaw’s Tavern liquor license. The tavern’s new owners have managed to do what the previous regime couldn’t—get a liquor license before opening—and they’ll be up and running soon. Presumably all the outraged libertarian types who protested the earlier shutdown will be there to support the new place when it starts slinging drinks, which may mean the rest of us want to avoid it for a few days. +1

Yesterday’s Needle rating: 51 Today’s score: -2 Today’s Needle rating: 49