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No Cigar: Disappointment and dashed hopes reign...

Compiled by BETTIJANE LEVINE

No Cigar: Disappointment and dashed hopes reign once more at Washington’s National Zoo. Ling-Ling the giant panda is not pregnant after all. For weeks the furry female with a troubled reproductive history had given signs that she was “with cub.” Ling-Ling, almost 22, had mated in March with Hsing Hsing, the zoo’s male. Chemical tests were positive. She seemed to be building a nest. The panda house was closed to give her privacy, and round-the-clock TV monitoring began. Then, her hormone levels changed, and the watch ended as quickly as it began.

Hairless Wonder: Balding women can buy hope in a bottle now that Upjohn Co. will offer its hair-loss treatment to them as well as to men. The pharmaceutical firm announced this week that Rogaine has become the country’s first FDA-approved prescription product for female baldness, which it estimates affects millions of Americans.

Punt and Duck: Novelist Tom Clancy may soon be working his military plots on a pro football field, his attorney said Tuesday. The author of “The Hunt for Red October” and other bestsellers is considering applying for ownership of an NFL expansion team in Baltimore, according to lawyer David Cohen. Clancy, 44, is a Baltimore native and a former insurance agent; his most recent work, “The Sum of All Fears,” is about nuclear terrorism.

Heist by Limo: Police say a Beverly Hills man allegedly used a rented, chauffeured limousine as his get-away car in a series of holdups, including a stamp-shop heist in Tarzana. Ian Seth Goldstein, 23, was arrested by Beverly Hills police on Roxbury Drive as he left a white stretch limo he had rented in the name of Carlos Gambino. The chauffeur called the cops when he became suspicious about his passenger’s behavior, and the many stops he was asked to make. “When you live in Beverly Hills, what else do you do robberies with?” asked L. A. police Det. Bud Mehringer of the West Valley division. “He says he doesn’t have a car.”

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