The Daily Populous

Saturday February 1st, 2020 evening edition

image for Pablo Escobar's hippos have become an invasive species in Colombia

In the early 1980s, infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar created a family zoo full of exotic animals in Colombia, including rhinos, giraffes, zebras and hippos.

When Escobar's empire crashed in the '90s, the animals were relocated to zoos -- except for the four hippos, now considered an invasive species whose waste is wreaking havoc on the Colombian aquatic ecosystem, according to a new study published in the journal Ecology.

Escobar's four hippos have since multiplied to 80 hippos.

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego and the Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia spent two years studying the water quality and microbiomes of lakes with hippo populations, and comparing them to those without.

This can lead to problematic algae blooms similar to red tides, which cause illness in humans and animals, according to the study.

Hippos are difficult to catch and dangerous to confront, the researchers noted in a press release.

This study suggests that there is some urgency to deciding what to do about them. »

Andrew Yang warns against ‘slaughterbots’ and urges global ban on autonomous weaponry

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Ahead of the Democratic presidential primaries that begin Monday with the Iowa caucus, presidential candidate Andrew Yang called for a global ban on the use of autonomous weaponry.

Yang has been the most vocal candidate in the 2020 race about AI and how it will change people’s lives.

A Brookings Institute fellow recently predicted that the world leader in AI by 2030 will be the dominant global power until 2100. »

Lindsey Graham Is Quietly Preparing a Mess of a Bill Trying to Destroy End-to-End Encryption

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Those sections implement requirements that platforms alert authorities and preserve evidence when they discover CSAM, providing them with legal protection if they do.

So there are a lot of end-to-end encryption messaging providers that frankly don’t care all that much about Section 230...

Eric Goldman, a professor at Santa Clara University School of Law, called the Graham bill a “confusing mess” that strains to link perceived issues surrounding end-to-end encryption with criticism of Section 230. »

North Korean government officials escape across the border 'with key documents' in group defection

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Eight North Korean government officials have escaped over the border into China, including a typist who handled important documents for the ruling party and a number of communications experts.

A Radio Free Asia report claims that a further seven officials from Pyongyang were caught by state security officers in a village close to the border before they could defect.

It appears that the officials took advantage of the New Year holiday period to leave Pyongyang in groups of three or four and head north towards the border. »