Roundup 2017-03-24

New events

Top of fold

Laptop ban: Laptops, tablets banned on some flights to US originating from Middle East
… the ban is a ‘confusing mess’; here is an explainer from The Verge

North Africa

Egypt: former President Hosni Mubarak freed after six years in detention … ‘
Forget ISIS, Egypt’s population boom is its biggest threat.’ Up to 93 million.
… if current rates hold, will reach 150 million by 2050.
… and, divorce and atheism: how Egypt’s religious institutions are trying to curb atheism.
… and, What next for Sinai’s displaced Coptic Christians?
Libya: Army war crimesCountry a powderkeg as ISIS regroups.
Morocco: ‘Big 5 Construct North Africa’ event to support construction industry.
… network of 300,000 suppliers & construction products buyers, 120 countries. BAM?

West Africa

Guinea-Bissau: Inside China’s almost-totally-legal $400m fishery in Africa
… ‘few things so clearly represent China’s influence in the region’
Mali: UN Peacekeepers: Dead, injured in ethnic clashesSecurity in Mali ‘worrying.’
Niger: Report: Measuring illicit arms flows
… Niger is ‘primarily a transit route for weapons circulating in the region.’
Nigeria: The terrestrial challenges to Nigeria’s ambitious space program
… spent more than US$2.6 billion on humanitarian crisis related to Boko Haram
… inside a hospital fighting to reduce the maternal death rate in Nigeria: medical missions

East Africa/Horn:

ReliefWeb: Famine threatens East Africa: 23 million people without enough to eat.
… ‘Time short to avert starvation in Yemen and Somalia’: 3 to 4 months
… In Somalia, al-Shabab militants distributing food in bid to win public support
… UK Guardian Podcast: why and what can be done
Eritrea: Why Eritreans opt for risky exodus to Ethiopia
… ‘psychological warfare, fear, torture, killing by the regime’s security apparatus’
Ethiopia: As trash avalanche toll rises in Ethiopia, survivors ask why
… ‘the disaster is at odds with the image … [projected of] a rapidly developing country’
… ‘Ethiopia wants more investments from India than China
Somalia: Kenya to reopen the border.
S Sudan: ‘Uganda at ‘breaking point’ as South Sudan refugees pour in

Central Asia

New revelations highlight Central Asia’s financial offshoring & money laundering machine
Uzbekistan: Campaigner against forced labor in cotton fields arrested
… ‘beaten, sent to psychiatric hospital in Tashkent’

West Asia/Gulf

China reaches out to West Asia: ‘in the middle of a complex diplomatic dance’
Bahrain: ‘Regime targets families of dissidents in fresh reprisals
Iraq: ‘Christianity doomed in Iraq, says “vicar of Baghdad”’
… ReliefWeb: thousands of wounded and sick coming from western Mosul
Saudi Arabia: ‘Why did King Salman come to Indonesia?’
… ‘despite ostentatious display of wealth, Saudi Arabia is going through a recession’
… ‘nothing to do with Islam, an attempt to look for partners & investors in Asia-Pacific’
… Saudi Arabia’s oil supremacy falters: deep production cuts
Syria: Russia deals major blow to Turkey’s Syria policy re: Kurds
… fierce fighting in Syria as talks restart in Genevasurprising clashes in Hama, Damascus
… unlikely to reverse 18 months of steady gains by government
Turkey: Latest rhetoric: ‘Europeans will not walk safely on the streets w/current attitude
Yemen: Allegations that Iran stepping up support for Houthis.
… timeline of two years of war in Yemen.
… In-depth: how war is changing Yemen’s largest Islamist coalition.
… Seeking accountability in Yemen: why the truth is so hard to get.

South Asia

Afghanistan: The anxious watch on the border: a survey of violence along the line
… Taliban retakes strategic district of Sangin, Helmand, in costly year-long offensive.
… Connects Kandahar with Helmand. ‘Most dangerous district [perhaps] in the world.’
… CFR: A stalemate may be the best the West can hope for.
Bangladesh: One of the most spectacular robberies of modern times still being investigated
Iran: Spiritual Ardor and Military Might: the story of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards
… review of a new book, Vanguard of the Imam, about the important force in Iran.
Pakistan: A mile-wide hole in the Thar desert could revolutionize Pakistan’s economy
… China & Pakistan are mining coal.
… and, Half a cheer for democracy in Pakistan: on bringing democracy to FATA

East Asia

China: Kicks out Korean missionaries in ‘unprecedented’ numbers.
… and, China’s answer to its ageing crisis: a university for 70 somethings.
… and, Frontier Services Group planning to build operations bases in Xinjiang
… led by former Blackwater founder Erik Prince (brother of Education Sec Betsy Devos)

Southeast Asia

Laos: Patrols on Laos-Vietnam border stepped up due to drug trafficking spike
Myanmar: More than 100,000 Myanmar Christians are living as refugees in Malaysia
… after fleeing from their homes in Myanmar because of rising religious persecution.

New Data

Perceptions and Priorities of Christian Leaders in China: 1,200 surveyed, 432 interviewed.
… and, the whole issue of ChinaSource Quarterly.
Access to drinking water around the world, in five infographics

Longer reads

CT: The rise and struggle of South Korean missionaries.
… how they approach mission 10 years after a devastating hostage crisis.
GFM: 3 myths about migrants to America, 3 keys to effective outreach.
The Conversation: Aid workers get a bad rap but too often they’re thrown in the deep end.
Alienation 101: Chinese students in America.
… 328,000, making up 1/3rd of intl students in USA.
… many in the Midwest, like the University of Iowa.
… but the Chinese, disproportionately large in these places, tend to be a ‘separate world.’

Lifehacking, Tactics, Skills, Rules

What one company learned from self-publishing Hypergrowth: give away for free, no forms
6 ways to take photos better: Stop taking Pictures. Start taking Photos.
6 ways to write emails that don’t make people silently resent you.
… avoid imperatives, emphasize benefits, provide context/progress, more…

Pioneer Mission Startups, Strategy

Mobile as an example of the innovation S-Curve: from creation to deployment
… lots of things, including movements, follow same curve, so worth exploring
… slowing innovation indicates strength and maturity not weakness

UPG Profiles, Travelogues, Stories

Ethiopia: ‘What I’ve learned as a doctor in Ethiopia.’
Uzbekistan: The bicycle diaries: Douglas Whitehead in the Fergana Valley.
Mongolia: reindeer herders defend their way of life.
China: Printing the Ancient Way keeps Buddhist Texts alive in Tibet.
… and, ‘No beards, no veils’: Uighur life in Xinjiang.
… and, 30 years in the life of one Chinese square, in pictures.
Karachi, Pakistan: driving an ambulance in one of the world’s most dangerous cities.


Apple says recent Wikileaks dump details old, fixed iPhone/Mac exploits.
You may want to reset your iCloud password:
… potential hack could lead to remote compromise.
Instagram launches 2-factor authentication and content blurring.
There has been ‘a recent massive spike in sophisticated and successful phishing attacks
… causing some to accelerate implementation of 2-factor authentication everywhere.
Chinese search engine giant Baidu has more than 1,300 people working on AI.
USA: DHS, DoT, FBI, plus eight major banks to share information in new cybersecurity center
… ‘FSARC’ a ‘collective pipeline of intelligence… [deepening] analysis… across operations’
China outpaces India in internet access, smartphone ownership
… 71% of Chinese say they use the Internet at least occasionally, or own a smartphone.
Middle East: Wireless network data traffic will be 484% higher in 2021. Report.
Kazakhstan’s love-hate relationship with social media: using it to take rebellion
Google planning faster updates for all Android phones in 2017
… no security updates for phones is the biggest exposure to hacks
#Banking: Wells Fargo introduces cardless ATMs across USA (using phones)
… other banks have plans to follow suit
How sensors, robotics and artificial intelligence will transform agriculture
Fabric is an app simplifying life insurance
CyberWar: How China is preparing.


“No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good.” ~C.S. Lewis

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