Wandering Eye: The continuing legal troubles for Sip & Bite, the end of the world draws closer, and more

The arrest of Sip & Bite Restaurant owner Anthony Vasiliades for buying two kilograms of cocaine for $50,000 from a confidential U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration source in an Alexandria, Virginia, parking lot, as first reported by the Baltimore Brew, has reverberated around Baltimore. The charge will likely complicate Vasiliades' other legal problem: an ongoing lawsuit over his allegedly illegal wage-paying practices at Sip & Bite. Vasiliades' alleged co-conspirator, Minas Politis, also a restaurateur, owns Opa Express, a Greek and Mediterranean carry-out in Balitmore's Northeast Market. The joint celebrated its one-year anniversary in December, and to mark the occasion, it reposted on its Facebook page a photograph of mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake in front of its market stall, smiling as she poses holding one of its dishes, with Politis and his wife Sophia looking on proudly behind her. The mayor originally posted the photo on her page in December 2013, to announce the Northeast Market's grand re-opening. This being Baltimore, you never know who's going to end up accused of kilo-quantity drug conspiracies. (Van Smith)

 

A few weeks back, Jalopnik published the video that CNN founder Ted Turner put in the cable station's archives shortly after CNN was born in 1980. Featuring a U.S. military band playing 'Nearer My God to Thee,' it is filed under the title "Turner Doomsday Video" in the CNN archives with the notation "HFR till end of the world confirmed." Michael Ballaban, the Jalopnik scribe, has a lot of fun with this. "Hold for release. CNN, once ever so thorough in its fact-checking, knew that the last employee alive couldn't be trusted to make a call as consequential as one from the Book of Revelation. The end of the world must be confirmed." HAR! But wait just a minute. Those over 40 might remember that NORAD, way back in the '60s, developed its early warning system to detect incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles. By the early 1980s it was common knowledge that, if or when the Ruskies launched their shit, we in the USA would have about 20 minutes notice—in which to savor our personal triumphs and regret our life's errors, perhaps with a brass-band accompaniment. Those born since then have mostly never known this sense of potential impending doom. Who knows why? The other day the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved their "Doomsday Clock" to 11:57. The last time we were, in their judgment, so close to the end was in 1984. (Edward Ericson Jr.)

 

After almost 50 years of Cold War antics where the U.S. and Russia tried to jam each other's transmissons, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed routing our 911 calls through a Russian satellite system. The Washington Times reports that the FCC wants to send the calls through the Russian Federation's GLONASS system for accuracy reasons. Many in Congress are concerned—and rightly so—with our former enemies having the ability to possibly disrupt the country's 911 systems. It seems that the national wireless companies, according to the Times, helped craft the proposal. Not only is our own government spying on us with NSA, now we have to worry about the Russians having access to our personal medical and crime emergency calls. Put this in the "What Were They Thinking?" file. (J.M. Giordano)

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