Roundup 2017-04-14

New events

Risk of mass starvation in four countries: Nigeria, Somalia, S Sudan, Yemen

North Africa

Algeria: beats the drums of proxy war in SaharaUN wants to broker talks.
Chad: the border between Chad and Darfur has been open on-again, off-again.
… tensions between Chadian policemen and Sudanese militants.
… and, alarming surge in no. of children used in Boko Haram attacks around Lake Chad
Egypt: Horrific Palm Sunday Bombings at two Egyptian churches, killed 45, injured 100
… ‘Attacks show ISIS’ new plan: divide Egypt by killing Christians
… S Egyptian churches cancel/cut back Easter celebrations out of respect for those killed
… 3 Muslim female police officers died attempting to stop the suicide bombers
… government declares three-month state of emergency after bombings
… what the emergency powers mean: Al Jazeera explainer
… More than 30 suspects already arrestedSome killed planning additional attacks.
Libya: African migrants sold in Libya ‘slave markets’, IOM says
… ‘victims said… detained by people smugglers, militias… taken to town squares… sold’
… ‘Libya is a mess, and will get worse if the outside powers don’t cooperate
… and as the odds of that are slim, … -ed.
Morocco: Sub-Saharans shun Europe to put down roots in Morocco
… ‘once a stepping stone to the European dream, has now become the destination of choice’
Tunisia: Proposed drug law spurs debate.
… econ. stagnation, 30% youth unemployment, rising drug use, rising prison population

West Africa

Also note: Central African Republic violence worst in years
Photoessay: West African children rescued from slavery
Nigeria: How Boko Haram spreads hunger beyond Nigeria’s borders
… also details attacks on Christians, killings of pastors. 

East Africa/Horn

Eritrea: ‘Concerns over plans for Eritrean conference in Netherlands
… ‘Some 20,000 Eritreans live in the Netherlands… 2nd largest group of asylum seekers…’
Somalia: UAE expands influence in Somalia, Eritrea by building ports, military bases
… gets 80% of revenue from Mogadishu ports run by Turks, ranking 1st for influence
S Sudan: ‘fleeing to Uganda: Africa’s biggest exodus since 1994 Rwandan genocide
… 832,000 refugees since fighting erupted in July; 3 million displaced; 5.5m food insecure
… cholera stalks ‘refugee islands’ in swamplands of South Sudan
… ‘Sliding into Catastrophe’: famine could spread
… Increasing number also fleeing north to Sudan
… Trafficking schemes increasing in triangle of Sudan, Egypt, Chad
… British official: South Sudan violence is tribal genocide

Central Asia

Inside the Uranium underworld: dark secrets, dirty bombs: the Central Asian nexus
Kazakhstan: Will switch to Latin Alphabet by 2025: will affect Bible printing, translation?
Kyrgyzstan: Kidnapped into marriage: a young woman abducted roughly every 40 minutes
Tajikistan: ‘steps up use of traditional over Islamic clothing
… ‘fear of religion as a competing system of morality and legitimacy to the state’

West Asia/Gulf

Azerbaijan: Conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh may heat up over the next 12 months
Iraq: Land Grabs in Iraq: the competition over ISIS-freed territory
… America and Iran are jostling for influence over Iraq
… ISIS now in control of just 7% of the country, down from 40%
… Christian churches unite to rebuild northern Iraq after IS destruction
… maybe Christianity in Iraq is not quite so ‘dead’ after all.
Saudi Arabia: Philippines says Saudi Arabia still needs its workers.
… The kingdom is in the midst of severe economic pain, many workers sent home unpaid
… Kingdom is the second largest employer of Filipinos (760,000)…
… widely expected: ‘demand for such workers would fall’ due to policies, dropping oil prices
… For Filipino Catholics in Saudi Arabia, church is ‘in the heart’: keeping devotions private
… ‘Entertainment City’ to be built south of Riyadh: sports, culture, safari, Six Flags
… part of the ‘family friendly’ entertainment push; give young men something to do?
Syria: A doctor in Syria: ‘180 chemical attacks in Syria and counting…’
Turkey: The Referendum: Turkey is sliding into dictatorship
… The legacy of an attempted coup: “New Turkey”
… more religious, anti-Western, unpredictable
… Turkey’s referendum: a democratic quest: provides a test of the overall direction
… Turkish Referendum: all you need to know: an explainer in The Guardian.

South Asia

Iran: The next Supreme Leader: not likely to be kinder and gentler
… ‘the government is evidently treating Khamenei’s succession with urgency’
India: Hinduism vs Hindutva: the search for an ideology in times of cow politics.
… Hindutva = a nationalistic veneer of Hinduism. This explores its expression and impact.
Nepal: Global Nepal Fest 2017 to be held in Washington DC, Baltimore to promote Nepal
Sri Lanka: The Journey Home: Sri Lanka’s displaced try to rebuild their lives

East Asia

China: Ian Johnson on Religion in China, Past and Future.
… In a billion population, there are 1,000 1-in-a-million opportunities all the time. Note:
… The high price of online stardom in China: 100s of millions getting into live streaming.
… many turning to plastic surgery to make themselves more attractive, boost following.
… Big in China: murder villages and scam towns: crime has become a cottage industry.
… The rural backwater set to become China’s second capital
… Why China’s modern barefoot doctors are walking away: village doctors under pressure
Japan: Population projected to plummet from 127 million to 88 million by 2065
… then down to 51 million by 2155 …
N Korea: With all the saber rattling, is conflict imminent? ‘Still improbable.’
… Analysts think nuclear test likely on 15 April, Kim Il-sung’s birthday.
… ‘Major concern: nuclear test followed by US strike on N Korean nuclear facilities.’
… Unconfirmed reports that China may have moved troops to the N Korean border.
… If true, likely a precautionary move only, in case things spiral out of control.
… China supports action to restrain North Korea but does not support US unilateral attack.
… Japan: if US plans to attack N Korea, we want advance notice
… S Korea: seeks to assure citizens US won’t strike North pre-emptively
… ‘not without Korean consent’
… North threatens nuclear strike on USA if provoked
… What a war with North Korea would look like: nasty, brutish, short

Southeast Asia

Cambodia: Book Review: Music of the Ghosts
… ‘a poignant return to the killing fields of Cambodia’
Indonesia: The world’s first Islamic punk movement.
… and, blasphemy trial of Jakarta’s Christian governor adjourned until after the election.
Myanmar: From Burmese to American: profiles in assimilation.
… mostly Christian Chin.
Singapore: Quietly shutting the door on Indian techies and other foreign workers.
Thailand: A King’s Coup? The new king insisting on changes to the draft constitution.
… less power for the military, more for the monarchy: op-ed looks at the shifting winds.
Vietnam: How weather, chance and war brought 20,000 persecuted Vietnamese to NC.

New Data

WHO: 2 billion people drinking contaminated water
Washington Post infographic: Starving to death.
… more than enough food, but wars in 4 countries have 20 million on the brink of famine
From 2016: Watch as the world’s cities appear one-by-one over 6,000 years

Longer reads

DR Congo demonstrates the difficulty of measuring martyrdom.
… researchers disagree on what to do with 4 million who died from 2000-2010.
Expert discusses the antibiotic resistance threat
… ‘rarity to encounter isolates for no effective treatments… but could in next decade’

Lifehacking, Tactics, Skills, Rules

Trust starts at 100% and goes down: trust killers.
Pay for quality content because of value. Create quality content with the same disposition.’
… or, “why I subscribed to the New York Times.” 

Pioneer Mission Startups, Strategy

Strategy+Business on how to build a strong pipeline of future leaders: 2 approaches.
… and, 5 strategic choices of every business/org. I think these apply to mission too.

UPG Profiles, Travelogues, Stories

The hidden tourism gems of Sudan
In Thailand, blood sacrifice is out, Strawberry Fanta is in. ‘These ghosts prefer snacks.’
Meet the underground puppeteer of Yangon.


#AI: The future is more likely nibbles: ‘does things we weren’t crazy about doing anyway’
#Autodrive: Detroit beating Silicon Valley when it comes to building automated cars.
… Cars that watch youj, that is.
#FakeNews: Google’s adding fact-checking to all searches worldwide
#Music: 62% [of Americans] use music-streaming services; just 13% pay
… but those 13% are 50% of industry sales.
#Social Media: 94% of Internet Users (worldwide) have at least one social media account.
… see the 9-page report on latest trends in social networking, surveyed 50,000 worldwide
… Facebook Messenger hits 1.2 billion monthly users
China Internet Statistics, 2017: 731 million Internet users, 53.2% penetration
#Surveillance: Google on malware that turns Android phones into powerful espionage tools


“It is a dark stain on the world that wars are fought, yet it would be darker still if evil were never resisted.” A. Heinze

“You can’t hate a people and reach a people at the same time.” ~Ed Stetzer

‪”The essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting Himself for man.” ~John Stott

“I believe in bumbling around long enough to not give up at things. Eventually success comes your way. Because you tried to fail in every possible way, the only way that’s left is the one successful way, and always, for entrepreneurs, seems to come last. It’s so obvious when it comes.” ~Vinod Khosla

“My strategy has always been: be wrong as fast as we can… We’re gonna screw up, let’s just admit that. But let’s do it as fast as we can so we can get to the answer… I won’t get it right the first time, but I will get it wrong really soon, really quickly.” ~Andrew Stanton, Pixar director

“Just failing is not the key; the key is to be systematically learning from our failures.” ~Peter Sims

“If you  look at 4-year-olds, they are constantly asking questions and wondering how things work. But by the time they are 6, they stop asking questions because they quickly learn that teachers value the right answers more than provocative questions.” ~Prof. Hal Gregersen

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