Good morning, City Desk readers!  Remember those lovely events and people we tried to forget about in the past few years, among them press secretaries, judicial nominations, and transit accidents?  They’re all back to rear their ugly heads this morning, so let’s commence with the news rundown.

  • Yesterday afternoon, City Desk posted the latest WaPo article about the Metro crash, which basically announced that circuits on four of the five lines have failed to detect the presence of trains.  The 6 pm newscasts featured commentary from a variety of concerned commuters and so to quell their concerns, Metro GM John Catoe and Councilman Jim Graham held a press conference announcing that the Post got the story wrong.  The system is safe, says Catoe, and the article is a gross misstatement of facts.  Watch WUSA’s interview with Catoe – he could be a dreidel with the way he’s spinning this new information.

Swine flu, social networks, and the Secret Service after the jump.  Plus, a new alternative to saving the Nats!

  • Swine flu isn’t going anywhere soon.  Yet another group of local students from the District and Maryland are quarantined in Beijing after testing positive for H1N1.  Although it sucks that their trip is on hiatus, at least they have access to their Facebook accounts.
  • Speaking of social networks, Facebook and Twitter are now too accessible to the general public, so Congress had to make its own. 3121, named after the extension of the Capitol Hill switchboard, will premiere in September and hopes to make communication among staffers more efficient.  Really, it’s just a more localized version of any other site, so that you can stalk the hottie in Rep. Whatever’s office and make awkward eye contact with your new “friends.”
  • President Obama granted Dick Cheney’s request for a six-month extension of his Secret Service protection.  Apparently he has been concerned with his security and privacy in recent years, and plans on asking for another extension when this one expires.  Because when the federal government is hemorrhaging money, cashing in on a former Vice President’s security detail is really an investment in the future.
  • And finally, the Nationals might seem like a better team if they had better media coverage.  And who better to help them with their image than Ari Fleisher of Ari Fleisher Sports Communications!  Yep, Bush 2’s first press secretary has launched a business to train athletes and teams on how to deal with the media.  He’s currently busy promoting the Olympics but maybe he can help our fledgling batters in the future.