Child soldier recruits double in one year in Middle East/North Africa
… ‘almost 1 in 5 children across the region need immediate humanitarian assistance’
In persecution of Ahmadis, evidence of growing religious intolerance in Algeria
… ‘deeper struggle in heartlands… to accommodate/secure religious liberties…’
Italy sees a major drop in migrant crossings from Libya, but at what cost?
… those sent back face torture and rape in detention centers.
Tunisia overturns ban on Muslim women marrying non-Muslims
… before, non-Muslim would have had to convert and submit proof of conversion.
Nigeria: Eat, pray, live: the Lagos megachurches building their very own cities.
… Use of brute force to stem Biafra agitation stoking fears of conflict again.
… Over 100 ‘Chibok girls’ reunited with families.
Bahrain: The Bahrain Declaration for Religious Tolerance
… ‘every individual has the freedom to practice their religion, provided that…’
Iraq: For the long-suffering Kurds, independence beckons.
… but the bigger powers that be say they’re never gonna get it.
… Shattered by war, Sunni Arabs despair over future in Iraq.
Saudi Arabia: Filmmakers build audiences without cinemas.
… detained at least 16 people, centralizing power, possibly smoothing transition of King. j
Syria: Who’s who in Syria’s Civil War.
Afghanistan: Red Cross physiotherapist shot dead in north.
Iran: Decades after alcohol ban, Iran admits it has a problem.
… officials estimate 10% of the country use alcohol.
Pakistan: Doctors without Borders has been asked to leave the tribal areas.
… where it has operated for 14 years.
… Pakistan says their permit to work in the area expired in 2015.
‘A disaster in the making’: Pakistan’s population has more than doubled in 20 years.
… just held a national census for first time since 1998: 207.7 million, 5th biggest.
Two villages emerge from poverty–and pollution–with online sales.
… In Jiangxi, selling vegetables using online platforms.
After toiling in rural China, protege of Xi Jinping joins Party’s top tiers.
… Running Guizhou is one of the fast track for advancement of rising stars.
… This man might one day be China’s next leader.
China’s new religion regulations will take effect in February.
… new regulations are sweeping in scope, but whether enforced is questionable.
… to ‘fend off foreign influences’: Global Times
… to ‘block extremism’: Reuters
… underground churches head for cover as crackdown closes in: SCMP.
… to avoid becoming targets, many meeting in smaller groups in person and online.
Living in China takes 3 1/2 years off your life.
… Air quality: a very real price to be paid, and it isn’t always persecution.
Japan is no place for single mothers: divorce rate rises, poverty rate climbs.
N Korea: National Geographic: see the secretive capital from above.
Cambodia: Cambodia’s crumbling democracy.
… as democracy is dismantled, will Cambodians return to the streets?
… Angry with the US, Cambodia’s leader wants Peace Corp expelled
Myanmar: UN says number of Rohingya who have fled is now over 370,000.
… UN: Myanmar crisis a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.
… how years of strife grew into a crisis: NYT, Lex Rieffel.
International Energy Outlook 2017 (PDF, 143pp): no peak oil soon.
USA: White Christians shift from majority to minority in population.
… factors for mobilization, perceptions, politics, more.
… Asian Americans: a diverse and growing population
… Indian immigrants in the United States
In their own words: why armed fighters attack aid workers.
God vs. Gang? For ex-gangers in El Salvador, rehab happens at church.
Cancer: more treatable than ever.
… I’ve heard lots of reports of missionaries who succumbed to cancer…
Lifehacking, Tactics, Skills, Rules
How to trigger product usage that sticks: the Hook habit-forming Model.
5 common mental errors that sway you from good decisions.
… survivorship bias, loss aversion, availability heuristic, anchoring, confirmation.
Equifax hackers stole 200,000 credit card accounts in one fell swoop
… guessing a good many missionary types will need to get new credit/debit cards
… Lifehacker on what to do if you were affected by the hack
#Auto: We need to stop pretending that the autonomous car is imminent
… China looks at ending sales of gasoline cars. (#BAM, #Tentmaking).
… Global auto giants are wanting to play in China’s market, despite risks.
Facebook is testing a group video chat app and in Messenger
… this might be useful both for change coaching and discovery Bible study groups.
FB Also allows you to temporarily ‘snooze’ people instead of blocking or unfollowing.
… for a day, a week, a month.
#Surveillance: Across China, facial scanners on guard at Beijing’s university dorms.
#Censorship: China’s ever-tighter web controls jolt companies, scientists,
… but don’t expect the VPN crackdown to end any time soon.