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Taliban Allegedly Kill Woman for Not Wearing Burqa Despite Pledging to Respect Women’s Rights

The group has said that women’s rights would be ensured, albeit within the framework of Sharia law.

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Fighters with the Taliban have allegedly shot and killed a woman for not wearing a burqa, despite offering assurances that they will govern the country in a manner that ensures the rights of women.

Following the stunning seizure of power by the Islamist group and rapid collapse of the government of President Ashraf Ghani this past weekend, the militants have promised that women would be able to fulfill roles in government ministries and media, while continuing their studies in universities.

In a Tuesday news conference in Kabul, the group’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that women’s rights would be ensured, albeit within the framework of their interpretation of Islamic or Sharia laws.

However, on that same day reports emerged that a woman had been killed for not wearng Burqa – the one-piece veil that covers both the body and the face of women.  

Fox News published a photo of a woman in Takhar province lying in a pool of blood while surrounded by her loved ones after the fighters allegedly killed her.

The photo has not yet been independently verified.

Taliban officials have pledged that while women will be expected to wear hijab (headscarves), the burqa will not be a requirement.

Prior to the U.S. invasion that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the Taliban ruled through a strict “Islamic Emirate” based on a conservative variant of theocratic traditionalism heavily influenced by local traditions. Women and girls were prevented from leaving their homes without a male chaperone, and they were also unable to work or pursue an education.

On Wednesday, images also emerged of the Taliban violently subduing a protest and beating back civilians, including women, who were hoisting the red, black and green flag of the ousted national government of Afghanistan, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The new outbreak of defiance and repression underscores the distrust and deep skepticism of Afghans toward the Taliban, which could harden the Islamist group’s rule as it consolidates its grip over the war-torn country.

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Awesome New Infrared Goggles Could Help Blind People ‘See’ Surroundings

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People who are blind or deal with low vision face a unique number of challenges in their daily lives, ranging from accessing published material to holding a job or living on one’s own.

However, emerging infrared technology under research could help the blind and visually impaired navigate the world around them using a pair of innovative goggles.

In new research recently published and yet to be peer-reviewed, Manuel Zahn and Armaghan Ahmad Khan at Germany’s Technical University of Munich explored how their 3D camera and haptic feedback armband can assist people with low vision.

“Even in the present era, visually impaired people face a constant challenge of navigation,” the pair wrote. “The most common tool available to them is the cane. Although the cane allows good detection of objects in the user’s immediate vicinity, it lacks the ability to detect obstacles further away.”

The two students’ design deploys two infrared cameras placed in a 3D-printed goggles prototype to get a stereoscopic view that is transformed by a small computer into a map of the user’s surroundings. The infrared gear also works in the dark. The armband then uses 25 actuators arranged in a grid that vibrates when users come close to objects while also assisting them in their orientation. As users walk near obstacles, the vibration intensity of the actuators increases.

In tests, subjects enjoyed roughly 98 percent accuracy while getting through obstacle pathways, with all five participants completing the course in their first run. After two additional runs, the volunteers were able to navigate the obstacles more rapidly.

Zahn and Khan frequently cited Microsoft’s Kinect motion detection system for the Xbox in their study, but the pair are confident that their own setup will be far smaller, cheaper and less conspicuous than the gaming device.

The new headset could offer an interesting opportunity for blind and partially sighted people to clear the myriad obstacles they face when performing regular tasks or navigating the world around them.

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Toddler Goes On $2000 Furniture-Shopping Spree On Mom’s Phone

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A New Jersey mom learned that keeping your browser open may not be the best idea as children, and even infants, become increasingly tech savvy.

Madhu Kumar was browsing Walmart’s furniture selection on their website and had added some items to her shopping cart but never checked out. She was shocked and confused when she started to receive a steady stream of packages from the big-box retailer.

Madhu immediately turned to her husband and two older children to find out who ordered the packages.

“I need one or two, why would we need four?” Madhu asked.

As it turned out, her toddler Ayaansh Kumar – who, at 22 months old, was barely learning to count – had gone on a $2,000 shopping spree while playing on his mother’s phone.

“It is really hard to believe that he has done this, but that’s what happened,” Ayaansh’s dad, Pramod Kumar, told NBC New York.

Among the packages were some that could barely be squeezed through the family’s front door at their home in Monmouth Junction.

Purchases included accent chairs, flower stands and a range of other household items that arrived throughout the week.

“He’s so little, he’s so cute, we were laughing that he ordered all this stuff,” his mom remarked.

From birth, young Ayaansh had observantly watched his family members engage in a range of activities from home – including shopping, attending classes, and going to school. And as it the case for many kids of his generation, he knows the basics of operating a smartphone.

The parents are still waiting for all of the boxes to arrive so that they can return them to their local Walmart. The retailer has already told the Kumars that they are eligible for a refund, but the parents plan to save at least a few items to remind them of their son’s first e-commerce adventure.

“Moving forward, we will put tough passcodes or face recognition so when he picks up the phone he finds it in locked condition,” his father said.

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