The Daily Populous

Friday July 7th, 2023 night edition

image for U.S. Is Destroying the Last of Its Once-Vast Chemical Weapons Arsenal

In went artillery shells filled with deadly mustard agent that the Army had been storing for more than 70 years.

The bright yellow robots pierced, drained and washed each shell, then baked it at 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Out came inert and harmless scrap metal, falling off a conveyor belt into an ordinary brown dumpster with a resounding clank.

“That’s the sound of a chemical weapon dying,” said Kingston Reif, who spent years pushing for disarmament outside government and is now the deputy assistant secretary of defense for threat reduction and arms control.

The destruction of the stockpile has taken decades, and the Army says the work is just about finished.

The depot near Pueblo destroyed its last weapon in June; the remaining handful at another depot in Kentucky will be destroyed in the next few days.

And when they are gone, all of the world’s publicly declared chemical weapons will have been eliminated. »

Boy, 7, shot and killed during Florida jet ski dispute; grandfather wounded while shielding child

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A 7-year-old boy was killed and his grandfather was injured by a stray bullet when gunfire erupted during a Fourth of July dispute in Florida, officials said.

The boy was killed by a gunshot wound to the head on Tuesday night, Tampa Police Deputy Chief Calvin Johnson said during a news conference.

Just days before the shooting, a new law went into effect in Florida allowing people to carry guns without a concealed weapons permit. »

France passes bill to allow police remotely activate phone camera, microphone, spy on people

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A bill that would allow police in France to spy on suspects by remotely activating cameras, microphone including GPS of their phones has been passed.

Although, the spying provision, which is part of a wider “justice reform bill”, has been attacked by the left and rights defenders as an authoritarian snoopers’ charter.

But lawmakers agreed to the bill late Wednesday as Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti insisted the bill would affect only “dozens of cases a year.”. »

An ancient language with nearly a million undeciphered texts just got a translator that does the job in seconds: A.I.

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There are so few people who can read the extinct language that nearly a million Akkadian texts still haven’t been translated to date—but now an A.I. tool can decode them within seconds.

The number of existing cuneiform texts is overwhelming compared to the small number of linguists who are able to translate Akkadian.

But recently, A.I. programs like the cuneiform translator have been able to get at the “fuzzier” areas of language. »

China dismisses criticism of top diplomat’s comments appearing to push for race-based alliance

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BEIJING (AP) — China on Wednesday dismissed criticism of racially tinged comments by its top diplomat, who said Westerners are incapable of distinguishing among Chinese, Koreans and Japanese.

“One needs to know where one’s roots are,” Wang said at a trilateral forum in the northern Chinese city of Qingdao on Monday.

In his speech and in later comments, Wang papered over historical and current differences among the three countries. »