Roundup 2017-11-10

New events

North Africa

African herders have been pushed into destitution and crime (Economist)
… the size of herds… involvement of bigwigs… proliferation of weapons… out of hand
Chad: Sell [their bodies] or starve?Grim choices for Chad’s “Ghost girls”(Reuters)
… Chad-origin girls, returnees from Central African Republic…
Egypt:President Sisi says he will not seek a third term in office

West Africa

Nigeria:Heavy casualties after gun battle in the northeast
Suicide bombers in fresh strikes near Maiduguri
CFR’s Security Tracker has maps of violence

East Africa/Horn

Ethiopia:Ethnic violence displaces hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians
… ‘Tit-for-tat violence in Oromoia, Somali regions began in September…’
Somalia:Islamic State’s footprint spreading in northern Somalia.
AMISOM launches attack against Al-Shabab.
Congo:A new rebellion

Central Asia

Tajikistan: BBC: Tajikistan after the 1917 revolution, in photos.

West Asia/Gulf

Iraq:Yazidis in Iraq: ‘The Genocide is ongoing’

Saudi Arabia, Lebanon
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait order citizens to leave Lebanon, not clear why though.
Brookings Analysis:Hariri’s resignation and why the Middle East is on edge, again
Lebanon believes Hariri held in Saudi Arabia, wants foreign pressure to see him returned
Active hostilities possible but so far I judge unlikely. Smacks of Qatar-style isolation.
It is almost certainly another part of the ongoing Saudi v Iran rivalry in the region.

Saudi Arabia, purges:
Mass purge upends a longstanding system
… ‘without formal charges or any legal process… presented as a crackdown on corruption’
Arrests more than 200 princes and high officials in five days (over 500 in all)
… top princes, officials, military officers, businessmen, frozen 1,700 bank accounts.
… some families holding talks w/banks, asset managers to evacuate their wealth
Arrests incl billionaire Alwaleed bin Tadal, one of world’s richest, w/Western holdings
… ‘consolidate Prince’s control of … internal security and military institutions…’
… Report:Senior Saudi figures tortured, beaten in purge
Analysis: Foreign Affairs: A purge in Riyadh.
… WSJ:Anticorruption drives are always popular and a good way to get rid of rivals.
… Another view:the Saudi purge is not what it appears to be
… ‘In Dubai, crackdown ended when convicted elites were quietly released …’
… ‘after they had returned looted state assets’
… Middle East Eye: The night of long knives in Saudi Arabia
… ‘With Mutaib sinking into oblivion, bin Salman turned his attention to those with $’
… ‘lest financial empires become handy in future power struggles…’
… Al-Monitor: High stakes as Saudi crown prince tries to remove opponents
… ‘the most volatile period in Saudi history in over a half century’
Previously, NYT: Saudi prince, asserting power, brings clerics to heel
… ‘if these changes could take hold… a historic reordering of the Saudi state…’
Syria: The liberation of Abu Kamal on 8 November marks the end of fighting against IS
… last strong point held by Islamic State fighters in Syria
Turkey:Trade, politics, religion draw Turkey to Subsaharan Africa
… ‘3 dozen embassies, billions of $ in trade, quietly built strong ties over past decade…’
Erdogan’s mayor purge leaves almost half of Turkey without elected officials
Yemen:Saudi blockade ‘catastrophic’ for aid.
Without aid access, the world will see the largest famine in decades.
As Yemen crumbles, one town is an island of relative calm

South Asia

Afghanistan:Casualties in religious attacks rise steeply[mostly Sunni v Shi’a]
Is it Dari or Farsi? A long-simmering language dispute
Iran: Revolutionary Guardhas arrested at least 30 dual nationals.
MPs want to change law so people can only vote for candidates from their own religion.
… the move would make it nearly impossible for minority candidates to get elected.
India:Health emergency declared as pollution soars in New Delhi.
Breathing the air is the equivalent of smoking 45 cigarettes a day.
4,000 schools closed for a week.
… National Geographic:In photos, what it’s like to live in the world’s most polluted city.
Maldives:Tourist arrivals grow by 6%. They’d like to see more.
Sri Lanka:Christianity in Sri Lanka: how we can learn from and support the church there

East Asia

China:International students in China—an opportunity?
… ‘Of the top 15 countries sending students to China, 8 are ‘unreached’…’
… and,Confucius Institutes across Africa are nurturing generations of pro-China Mandarin speakers
Three tips for becoming a better China watcher
… great tips, even better for thedirectory of China sources.
We don’t know ‘nuthin’: reminder that it’s difficult to ‘know’
Is it possible to learn Chinese in 3 months or a year? Not in three months:
… Somewhere between 1 and 4 years, depending on level of fluency required.
In China’s ‘democracy village’ in Guangdong, no one wants to talk anymore
… surveillance, informants everywhere, some languishing in jail
N Korea:US Pentagon says ground invasion only way to destroy nuclear arsenal
… ‘could result in hundreds of thousands or even millions of deaths in first few days’
Slowly, carefully, North Korea is going online.
South Korea:350,000 married men live apart from wives and children.
… more than tripled since 2000.

Southeast Asia

Indonesia:Want 4 wives? There’s an app for that.
… a look at polygamy and issues surrounding it in Indonesia and elsewhere.
Court bans religious discrimination by government.

New Data

College professors aren’t killing religion [in the USA]
Orthodox Christianity in the 21st Century (Pew)
… using CSGC data.

Longer reads

November-December 2017 issue of Mission Frontiers: Movements make all the difference in thew world
Christianity Today:Countries that criminalize conversion and evangelism.

Lifehacking, Tactics, Skills, Rules

Habit fields: things store our memories and our behaviors.
… every object has a ‘habit field’: being around it compels us to act in certain ways.
26 time management hacks I wish I’d known at 20
… Etienne Garbugli has a fantastically valuable Slideshare set.

Pioneer Mission Startups, Strategy

Four secrets for turning insight into execution
… after the innovation meetings, these keys help with followup and implementation.
… and,Getting to the critical few behaviors that can drive cultural change

UPG Profiles, Travelogues, Stories

Albania:In the land of vendettas that go on forever
… ‘in the rural, often unreachable villages of the Accursed Mountains…’
Australia:how a Sydney ‘war zone’ became a center of Vietnamese resolve.
Maldives:The rope makers of Kulhudhuffushi

Futuristics/Technology

Facebook offers a solution to stop ‘revenge porn’(ABC.net.au, SFW)
… upload the images in question to Messenger, which will create a hash and stop any other sharing
… pilot project. questions of security of Facebook’s system, of course.
… most interesting is the stats: 1 in 5 Australian women aged 18-45 are victims of such abuse
How Facebook figures out everyone you’ve ever met.
… part of the key is the contact information to help ‘find friends’
… when someone else has you in their contacts, and upload to Facebook, you become more known to FB
China spreads propaganda to US on Facebook(a platform it bans at home)
… ‘no evidence it meddled in the election,’ ‘no divisive advertisements’
… ‘articles stressing China’s stability, prosperity vs chaos, violence in rest of the world’
… ‘unlikely to sway average American… reach other people… channels dedicated to Africa…’
Chinese face recognition company said to raise $460 million
… probably won’t have the same stringent privacy controls Apple has.
… ReadWrite: What are the impacts of facial recognition on society?
More Americans are turning to multiple social media sites for news
… Pew: 25% get news from 2 or more social media sites, up from 18% in 2016.
China has built the world’s largest radio dish to search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
… ‘What happens if China makes First Contact’?
What the car did—and what it might do.
… New York Magazine issue focused on self-driving cars.
… Haven’t read this through yet but looking forward to it.

Quotable

“Money is like gas during a road trip. You don’t want to run out of gas on your trip, but you’re not doing a tour of gas stations.” ~Tim O’Reilly

“’Fake news’ will be impossible to ultimately prevent. Even Facebook’s vision of communities won’t help. It is community that is the problem to begin with. In the end, the news coming from the ‘other community’ is all fake because, by definition, it is not substantiated if we are unwilling to accept that it is.” ~Gary Moreau

“If you’re seeking Jesus primarily to escape Hell you don’t understand the gospel.” ~John Piper

“Just heard a story of a group of 80yr olds who intentionally moved into the same nursing home to plant a church and live life on mission. That’s how you finish strong.” ~Josh Martin

“To BE the church, you’re gonna have to stop doin’ so much church stuff.” ~Bob Roberts Jr.

“What seems to be an impossible situation can be a showcase for God’s possibilities.” ~Todd Adkins

“He that can have patience can have what he will.” ~Ben Franklin, apparently quoted by China President Xi at dinner.

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