The Taliban banned barbershops in a southern Afghanistan province from shaving or trimming beards, claiming their edict is in line with Shariah, or Islamic law.
The order in Helmand province was issued by the provincial Taliban government’s vice and virtue department to barbers in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital.
During their previous rule of Afghanistan, the Taliban adhered to a harsh interpretation of Islam. The world has been watching to see whether they will re-create their strict governance of the late 1990s.
The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) has developed the country’s first-ever non-GM (genetically modified) herbicide-tolerant rice varieties that can be directly seeded and significantly save water and labour compared to conventional transplanting.
The varieties — Pusa Basmati 1979 and Pusa Basmati 1985 — contain a mutated acetolactate synthase (ALS) gene making it possible for farmers to spray Imazethapyr.
This dispenses with the need to prepare nurseries where paddy seeds are first raised into young plants, before being uprooted and replanted 25-35 days later in the main field.
Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari will be the first person to travel in the all-weather escape tunnel of Z-Morh main tunnel, connecting Srinagar and Sonmarg.
The 6.5-km escape tunnel is ready to be partially opened for controlled traffic around November, giving tourist destination Sonmarg connectivity to Srinagar, as also maintaining supplies through the winter for the first time.
Sonmarg is covered in snow in the winter months, forcing local residents to shift to Srinagar side. All commercial activity comes to a halt during winter, and due to avalanches, connectivity on Srinagar-Leh highway gets blocked.