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Trump administration denies visas to all-girl Afghan robotics team — but gladly accepts their robot

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Six Afghan girls who are members of an all-female robotics team were denied a one-week travel visa to participate in an international robotics competition in Washington D.C., Forbes reports.

The Team Afghanistan teenagers hoped to visit the United States to escort their ball-sorting robot, which was set to participate in the inaugural FIRST Global Challenge, an “Olympics-style” international robots competition that encourages “high school students with different backgrounds, languages, religions, and customs” to get involved in STEM.

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Instead, the robot—which the girls assembled despite having their raw materials ‘held up in customs for months … amid fears over ISIS’ use of robots in the battlefield”—will be coming to the United States without the teens who created it.

As Forbes reports, the six young women “risked a 500 mile trek cross-country” from Herat to Kabul to try and secure their visas. The State Department declined to comment on the denial.

Roya Mahboob, Afghanistan’s first female tech CEO, told Forbes the girls “were crying all the day” after they received notice they would not be present to watch their robot compete among other young tech wizards.

“It’s a very important message for our people” Mahboob said. “Robotics is very, very new in Afghanistan.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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El Paso hospital forced to call out Trump’s lie that surgeons left the operating room to see him

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President Donald Trump bragged that he got an overwhelming welcome from Ohio and Texas when he went to visit survivors of the mass shootings before his latest vacation. Now, however, El Paso's University Medical Center is being forced to dispute the president's account of events.

"Not only did they meet with me, they were pouring out of the room. The doctors were coming out of the operating rooms. There were hundreds and hundreds of people all over the floor. You couldn’t even walk on it. So, you know, there’s a lot to happen," Trump told reporters on the White House lawn Wednesday.

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Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Fox News ripped to shreds by media analyst for running state-news network briefing for Trump

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Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple unleashed hellfire on former press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Fox News for hiring her to deliver the White House spin for the president on their air.

Fox News, which has only modest actual news reporting outside of its opinion arm, but that's no reason to hire a liar to the network, he explained.

He cited the greatest hits from the Huckabee-Sanders show that happened less and less frequently from the White House podium. He included everything from the time she doctored a video of CNN's Jim Acosta to accuse him of assaulting a White House intern to her accusation of "fake news" to every question she didn't like.

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Brutal new recession indicator: Manufacturing sector contracts for the first time in a decade

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Warning signs keep piling up that the American economy is slowing down, if not headed for an outright recession.

CNBC reports that IHS Markit's U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers index this month contracted for the first time since September 2009.

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