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Afghanistan all-girls team arrives in US to participate in robotics competition

Twice rejected for U.S. visas, an all-girls robotics team from Afghanistan arrived in Washington early Saturday after an extraordinary, last-minute intervention by President Donald Trump. The six-girl team and their chaperone completed their journey just after midnight from their hometown of Herat, Afghanistan, to enter their ball-sorting robot in the three-day high school competition starting Sunday in the U.S. capital. AP

Twice rejected for US visas, an all-girls robotics team from Afghanistan arrived in Washington early Saturday after a last-minute intervention by president Donald Trump. The six-girl team and their chaperone completed their journey just after midnight from their hometown of Herat, Afghanistan, to enter their ball-sorting robot in the three-day high school competition starting Sunday in the US capital. AP

In the short time since their visa dilemma drew global attention, the girls' case has become a flashpoint in the debate about Trump's efforts to tighten entrance to the US, including from many majority-Muslim countries. Afghanistan isn't included in Trump's temporary travel ban, but critics have said the ban is emblematic of a broader effort to put a chill on Muslims entering the US. AP

In the short time since their visa dilemma drew global attention, the girls' case has become a flashpoint in the debate about Trump's efforts to tighten entrance to the US, including from many majority-Muslim countries. Afghanistan isn't included in Trump's temporary travel ban, but critics have said the ban is emblematic of a broader effort to put a chill on Muslims entering the US. AP

The US won't say why the girls were rejected for visas, citing confidentiality. But it appears the girls were rebuffed due to concerns they would not return to Afghanistan. It's a fate that has beset many Afghans seeking entry to the US in recent years as continuing violence and economic challenges lead many to seek asylum in America. AP

The US won't say why the girls were rejected for visas, citing confidentiality. But it appears the girls were rebuffed due to concerns they would not return to Afghanistan. It's a fate that has beset many Afghans seeking entry to the US in recent years as continuing violence and economic challenges lead many to seek asylum in America. AP

Competing against entrants from more than 150 countries, the girls will present a robot they devised that can recognise blue and orange and sort balls into correct locations. They'll also be feted at a hastily arranged reception at the Embassy of Afghanistan attended by supporters who had petitioned the US to let them in. Reuters

Competing against entrants from more than 150 countries, the girls will present a robot they devised that can recognise blue and orange and sort balls into correct locations. They'll also be feted at a hastily arranged reception at the Embassy of Afghanistan attended by supporters who had petitioned the US to let them in. In this picture, the Belgian team take part in the opening ceremony. Reuters

FIRST Robotics Competition is an international high school robotics competition. Each year, teams of high school students and mentors work during a six-week period to build game-playing robots that weigh up to 120 pounds (54 kg). Robots complete tasks such as scoring balls into goals, flying discs into goals, inner tubes onto racks, hanging on bars, and balancing robots on balance beams. AP

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition is an international high school robotics competition. Each year, teams of high school students and mentors work during a six-week period to build game-playing robots that weigh up to 120 pounds (54 kg). Robots complete tasks such as scoring balls into goals, flying discs into goals, inner tubes onto racks, hanging on bars, and balancing robots on balance beams. AP


Published Date: Jul 17, 2017 15:46 PM | Updated Date: Jul 17, 2017 15:46 PM

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