Roundup 2017-07-07

New events

North Africa

Algeria: ‘reviving the land of the living dead’ (Economist)
… ‘oil & octogenarians: vast potential but a mummified ruling elite’
… ‘Algeria: Quiet, too quiet
… Many expect another, and larger, Arab Spring in Algeria…
Egypt: extends state of emergency after rise in terror attacks on Christians
… ‘What is it like to live under President Sisi?’ (Al Jazeera)
… ‘scores of activists arrested, more prisons built, ongoing economic turmoil’
Libya: East Libyan forces close in on last Benghazi holdout
… end of 3-year campaign for control of Libya’s second city
… ‘They are not treated like humans’: abuse of migrants becoming systematic (WP)
Morocco: Security forces begin withdrawing from restive Rif cities
… ‘have been rocked by weeks of social unrest’
… Climate change threatens life of ‘rain nomads’
… decreasing rain, increasing heat extremes, severe drought for past 30 years
… UN to resolve Western Sahara dispute
… how many times has that been said?
Tunisia: Authorities using accusation of insulting police to intimidate citizens
… who dare to complain about police behavior 

West Africa

More than 7 million children displaced in West, Central Africa every year
Nigeria: Biafra at 50: Nigeria’s civil war explained

East Africa/Horn

Eritrea: What is behind the tension between Eritrea and Djibouti?
… Qatari peacekeepers were withdrawn.
Ethiopia: Drought shoves the ordinary–even marriage–just out of reach
S Sudan: Barefoot and alone, children flee brutal S. Sudan war
… USAT: Every male child is a soldier in devastating civil war
… Amnesty: ongoing atrocities turn breadbasket into killing field
… Guardian: people ‘burned to death in homes’ by government militias
… AlJ: Wau: Fear and displacement one year on
… ‘it is not a war against rebels, it is a war of looking who is from that tribe and they kill you’
… Vice: Inside the Front Lines: Sudan: The unwinnable war
… BP: Sudan called ‘disaster for religious liberty’

Central Asia

Kazakhstan: The crossroads of the new Silk Road.
… the world’s biggest landlocked country is open for business but only half-ready 

West Asia/Gulf

Iraq: Mosul’s capture sees ISIL vanquished, but at a terrible cost
… 80% of West Mosul completely destroyed, 4k bodies still remain unrecovered
… NYT: Civilians emerge from Mosul’s rubbles starving, injured, traumatized
… As Mosul battle nears end, Iraqi Christians wary of return
… ISIS left an entire generation of children suffering from ‘waking nightmares’
… Economist: IS nears its end, but hopes of a fresh dawn are fading
Syria: Details emerge of ISIS’ mass abduction of Christians in Syria
Turkey: March for ‘justice’ gains momentum, alarms government
… Govt detains 12 human rights activists in raid

South Asia

Iran: Four Christians receive 10-year sentences for missionary activities
India: What’s behind the India-China border standoff?
… Tensions high in Himalayas as China demands India withdrawal
… access to cooking fuel, electricity depends on one’s caste

East Asia

China: Two-thirds of Chinese Christians attend a house church
… How well off is China’s middle class?
… Hallmark trip to China sees legal distribution of Bibles
… Bibles readily available in most cities and urban areas; rural places, less so. -Ed.
… China plans to audit, ban online content if it’s not socialist enough
North Korea:
has been working on an ICBM for years.
… missile could reach Alaska, but not Los Angeles.
US confirms North Korea fired Intercontinental Ballistic Missile.
Missile appears to have 6,700 km range
US options are few and risky.
Surgical strike could spin into worst kind of fighting.
Mission and workers in the region would obviously be severely damaged.
This is a good moment to ponder one’s emergency plans.
Any ‘spin out of control’ would likely have very little warning. 

Southeast Asia

Indonesia: Son of Pres. Widodo to be questioned for blasphemy
… after posting a video on YouTube
Myanmar: One girl’s plight epitomizes Rohingya struggle
… ‘4… but barely the size of a 1-year-old’ 

New Data

Which EU country has the largest population living outside the country?
Are evangelicals donating too directly to missions? (CT)
… when helping hurts the professional helpers.
USA: prime-time viewing by ages 2-34 dropped 34% in past 5 years
USA: Immigration projected to drive growth in US working-age population
… through 2035. Which means forming a part of donor base too. 

Longer reads

USA: Ghost towns and small towns: church planting in a boom and bust world
USA: dispelling the myth that 80% of churches are declining

Lifehacking, Tactics, Skills, Rules

4 most common relationship problems, and how to fix them

Pioneer Mission Startups, Strategy

8 reasons most churches never break the 200-attendance mark
… these are also marks of unscalable movements, networks, organizations
Growth is getting hard from intensive competition, consolidation, saturation

UPG Profiles, Travelogues, Stories

Thousands of Jews make an annual pilgrimage to Tunisia
Mosul 2017: ‘No one would buy my photos, so here they are for free’
21 striking photos of how the world gets around
Pilgrimage to Ethiopia’s 12th-century iconic churches


US laptop ban lifted for Emirates, Turkish airlines
All Volvo cars starting from 2019 will be hybrid or battery only
Apple: exploring face scanning technology for iPhone
Amazon: getting too big?
… 52% of all books, 43% of online commerce, 45% of cloud computing
Flippy: a burger-flipping robot poised to transform fast food
… if it can be automated, it will.
Fake news: you ain’t seen nothing yet
… generating convincing audio and video of fake events
China Internet giant limits amount of time minors can play Honor of Kings
… daily gaming limits to curb addiction among minors 


“The price of originality is criticism. The value of originality is priceless.” ~Vala Afshar 

“If you want an easier life, work on solving harder problems.” ~Vala Afshar

“You cannot discover new lands unless you leave shore for a very long time.” ~Andre Gide

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