The following stories are brought to you the fine folks on the News4 assignment desk.
WIZARDS OWNER ABE POLLIN DEAD AT 85
The man who brought the NBA and the NHL to the nation's capital in the '70s has died.
"With Abe Pollin's passing, the NBA family has lost its most revered member, whose stewardship of the Wizards franchise, together with his wife Irene, has been a study in unparalleled dedication to the city of Washington," NBA Commissioner David Stern said. "During his illness he fought with a determination and valor that will remain an inspiration to all. We extend our deepest sympathies to Irene and his two sons, to whom he was so very devoted, and to the entire Pollin family." (NBC Washington)
WHITE HOUSE SET FOR A BIG NIGHT
It was hours before the first state dinner of the Obama era, but first lady Michelle Obama already had her glitter on as she previewed the table settings and menu to be served under a white tent on the South Lawn of the White House Tuesday night for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and 319 other guests.
Dressed in a creamy sweater set adorned with silver and crystal beads, her waist cinched by a silvery belt and her hair in a sleek chignon, Mrs. Obama shone almost as much as the gold-rimmed White House china displayed on two tables for dozens of press cameras in the State Dining Room. (USA Today)
NEW MAP SUGGESTS MARS WAS WET AND HUMID
A new detailed map of Mars shows what was likely a vast ocean in the north and valleys around the equator, suggesting that the planet once had a humid, rainy climate, according to research published Monday.
The computer-generated map, based on topographic data from NASA satellites, also shows that the network of valleys on the red planet is at least twice as extensive as previously estimated.
"The relatively high values over extended regions indicate the valleys originated by means of precipitation-fed runoff erosion -- the same process that is responsible for formation of the bulk of valleys on our planet," said Wei Luo, geography professor at Northern Illinois University who co-authored the report. (Breitbart.com)
WASH POST TO SHUTTER NY, LA, AND CHICAGO BUREAUS
The Washington Post is closing its bureaus in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles at the end of this year, according to a memo obtained by POLITICO.
Executive editor Marcus Brauchli informed staff that "the reporters in those bureaus are being offered new roles here in Washington." However, three news aides are being let go.
"At a time of limited resources and increased competitive pressure," Brauchli wrote, "it's necessary to concentrate our journalistic firepower on our central mission of covering Washington and the news, trends and ideas that shape both the region and the country’s politics, policies and government." (Politico)