#OddlyEnough 9: Missing Pumpkins And More This Week!

Image used for representation only


This week, read up on intriguing news stories like blessing scams in New York’s Chinatown, the mysterious deaths of several Ugandan women, the pumpkin thieves caught orange-handed in Missouri, the new research regarding artificial intelligence and the sentence of two white farmers who brutally attacked a black man in South Africa.

Blessing Scams – Elderly Immigrants Tricked Out Of Their Savings In New York

Wang Jing, an elderly Chinese immigrant was told that a certain Dr Xu would work miracles for her. She had to bring out her jewellery and savings and Dr Xu’s granddaughter would say a few prayers. During the prayer, while Wang’s eyes were shut, her money disappeared. In New York, there are around ten such reported cases every year. Interestingly, the NYPD has worked with police in Hong Kong and China to understand such crimes as criminals take advantage of loneliness felt by immigrants.

You can read this story on The New Yorker.

Politics Or Witch Hunt? – Death Of Several Ugandan Women Sparks Outrage

According to the Ugandan police, there have been 23 murders of women in different parts of the country. Noah Musiba reported his wife missing after she did not return home from work. Her body was found six days later by friends and relatives who started searching. Activists and families of the women are observant of the police’s ignorant attitude towards these murders. They believe that the timing of the murders coincides with the country’s repressing political situation.

You can read this story on Al Jazeera.

Caught Orange-Handed – Three Teens Held For Stealing 48 Pumpkins

In Maryland Heights, a city in Missouri, it was reported that pumpkins were vanishing for weeks. The police tracked and found the three teenagers who had stacked their SUV with pumpkins. The police described the car being “top-to-bottom orange”. They also clicked a picture of the squash, posted it on Facebook, and asked residents to check whether any of their pumpkins were a part of this line-up.

You can read this story on Associated Press.

Apartheid Ended, Racism Didn’t – Two White South Africans Jailed For Forcing A Black Man Into Coffin

Two farmers – Theo Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen, were sentenced to jail, for 14 years and 11 years respectively, for forcing Victor Mlotshwa into a coffin after he was caught trespassing on their farms. The evidence against the farmers includes a 20-second video that went viral on social media last year in South Africa. The video shows a scared Mlotshwa being forced into a coffin as one man pushes him and the other threatens to put petrol and a snake inside.

You can read this story on Reuters.

AI On The Rise – Research Shows That AI Can Fool Captcha

Vicarious, an AI firm funded by Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, recently published research in a journal which shows that artificial intelligence can outsmart website security check systems like Captcha. The Captcha test, developed in the 1990’s, challenges people to prove that they are humans and not robots. Now, researchers have developed an algorithm which helps AI function like the human brain and recognise visual clues.

You can read this story on BBC News.


Vijayta Lalwani

Vijayta Lalwani

The young lady from Lagos has always been keen on a career in journalism. Pune365 was hence the right stop. We agree. vijayta@pune365.com
Vijayta Lalwani