Roundup 2018-01-12

Roundup 2018-01-12

New events

North-West Africa



Tunisia: More than 600 arrested, dozens hurt in fresh unrest

… clashes in several parts of country, angry over austerity measures

… army deployed, demonstrations continue despite crackdown threat

… NYT: “You can’t survive anymore”: Tunisia protests rising prices and taxes

… Foreign Affairs: Tunisia, a success story? Troubles still rattling…

North Africa / Warring States

Sudan: Student killed, opposition leader detained as bread protests grip country

… protests over rising bread prices, a staple food for many


“Water War” escalates between Egypt and Sudan.

World Watch Report shows Egypt climbing ranks of persecutors

… ‘face unprecedented persecution, report says’

… (not unprecedented ever, but perhaps in recent years, in Egypt)

Western Africa / Lake Chad

Rival army factions clash in Ivory Coast’s second city.

Gunmen kill 13 in restive southern Casamance region of Senegal.


Gunmen kill 14 churchgoers after services in Nigeria

… coordinated attack on Christians at two locations

Buhari blames communal violence on population growth

… the ‘clamor for land’: set to become world’s third most populous nation

Nigerian migrants welcomed home from Libya.

… jobs are another story.

Domestic abuse:‘we were brought up to think suffering this violence is ok’

… patchy data, but probably close to a third of women suffer violence

Four West African nations launch joint operation against Boko Haram

… in Borno.

Ethiopia / Horn / East Africa

Somaliland peacefully elects and swears in another president.

Middle Africa / Lakes

30,000 displaced by fighting in CAR, north of Paoua.

… close to border with Chad.

Southern Africa

Why South Africa is laying out the welcome mat for Muslim visitors

global spending by Muslim tourists expected to exceed $200 billion pa by 2020

Central Asia / Caucasus

US hits Pakistan, Iran, 3 Central Asian nations for religious freedom violations

… Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan ‘countries of particular concern’

NatGeo: On the ancient Silk Road, a walk shadowed by a mystery.

Saudi / Israel / Lebanon / Syria / Gulf

Eastern Ghouta, Syria: the man-made disaster in eastern Damascus

govt advancing into Idlib, last remaining rebel stronghold.

Women over 25 can now visit Saudi Arabia without a chaperone.

… new tourist visa rules to boost tourism sector, religious tourism

Riyadh tourism events attracted over 200,000 visitors in 2017


Intends to extend post-coup state of emergency by another 3 months.

Turks up in arms over religious green light for 9-year-old brides.

… huge public outrage forces top Islamic authority to step back from endorsement


1/6 Launches waves of arrests as regime bids to quell protests.

… more than 1,000 arrested.

OpEd: ‘Iran is not near a precipice, but vast changes are afoot

… good long read on some of the drivers of the protests

OpEd: What the Iran protests are not

… ‘until/unless urban middle class and poor join in common cause…’

… Me: and unless the Revolutionary Guards aid or at least sit it out

How millions of Iranians are evading the Internet censors.

Afghanistan / Pakistan / Pashto

How the heroin trade explains the US-UK failure in Afghanistan.

… ‘the world’s first narco-state’ (maybe not first, but certainly a big one)

Northern India

India lower house approves bill banning instant divorce.

… months after Supreme Court ruled Muslim practice unconstitutional.

Nepal / Bhutan / Tibet

Southern India / Maldives / Sri Lanka

Gujurat: Bed, breakfast and a fat bank balance

… some developing a business via Airbnb that rivals traditional farming for income #BAM

India extends hand to Apple, others by easing rules on foreign firms

… relaxing rules governing foreign investment in industries

Bengali / Bangladesh

Aid groups estimate 48,000 births in Rohingya camps this year.


New online 2018 Prayer Calendar from China Source.

Chinese authorities demolish well known evangelical megachurch

… Golden Lampstand Church in Linfen, Shanxi, a congregation of over 50,000.

More international students going to China.

Africa is changing China as much as vice versa

… ‘new form of globalization: Africans in China… truly globally connected businesses’

A visa-free zone welcomes your wallet, but maybe not your beard

… just about anyone can cross from Kazakhstan to Xinjiang

The People’s Republic of the Disappeared

… documents the experiences of Chinese activists 

… placed into ‘residential surveillance at a designated location’

China work permits: are you an A, B, or C Tier talent?

China unveils new visa program to attract ‘high end’ foreigners

… Encourage the top, regulate the middle, discourage the bottom

… “Most already employed in China with a work permit have no reason to worry”

Inside China’s vast new experiment in social ranking

… cover story at Wired magazine.


Long before video, Japanese fought suicide in the “sea of trees”

… Aokigahara Forest has a bleak reputation as one of Japan’s top suicide destinations

… persistent suicide problem: Japan has one of the highest rates of developed countries


North to send Olympians to South.

… KGS NightWatch analysis says the deal was done before Kim ever publicly proposed it.

Inquiry on crimes against humanity in North Korean political prisons.

… this is a fairly graphic report on conditions in the prisons.

Should you worry about a nuclear war with North Korea? Not really.

… pre-emptive wars rarely happen, NKor/SKor/USA good at avoiding miscalculation

Southeast Asia

Malaysia: Mahathir Mohamad, 92, will run in election as head of opposition alliance

… after putting aside decade-old feud with Anwar Ibrahim.

… The Diplomat: Malaysia’s long history of election rigging.

Lao Christians detained for “breaking rules” on Christmas celebrations.

… ‘regulations designed to restrict Christian practice in the Phin district’

Notable Europe / Americas

5 Mexican states get highest US ‘do not travel’ warning

… on same level as Syria, Yemen and Somalia

… Tamaulipas, Sinaloa, Colima, Michoacan, Guerrero: hot spots of drug cartel activity

Pew: New estimates show US Muslim population continues to grow

… from 2.35m in 2007 to 3.45m in 2017.

… less numerous now than Jews, but growing faster, become 2nd largest pop by 2040

Pew: Meditation is common across many religious groups in the U.S.

… 40% of Americans say they meditate (some form, not necessarily Buddhist)

How California’s megachurches changed Christian culture.

… In the US, certainly. Wonder about the world?

New global data

Internal communications market report

… ‘every stat you could want on mobile, TV, broadband, radio, post, etc.’

UK youth spend a third of leisure time on devices

Patients undergoing surgery in Africa are twice as likely to die following the surgery

… as elsewhere in the world.

UNICEF: The most dangerous places for children in 2017.

Piracy, armed robbery against ships falls to a two-decade low.

World Bank: Beyond Scarcity: Water Security in the Middle East & North Africa

… downloadable report, print book, infographic, statistics

WEF: The world’s most visited cities

… most of these are solid majority non-Christian.

Longer reads & Resources

Frontiers is offering a livestream intro to Islam and the Qu’ran.

… 4x on Wednesday, January 17. 

Video: Africa’s key security challenges in 2018 (BBC).

Bill Gates: despite the headlines, the world is getting better.

Lifehacking, Tactics, Skills, Rules

Great short little video on proactive dashboards, and how to set them up.

… ok, yes, I know, there’s a little bit of language, but this is still a great video.

… yes, it’s a business thing. But there’s a ton of application in the mission world.

Fantastic Longread: Here’s what makes mentorship work

… First Round studied 100 mentor-mentee matches.

… Four keys to keep mentorships from going sideways

… Questions mentors/mentees should ask about the relationship at the start

… Ground rules for meetings

… “10 Commandments”

Pioneer Mission Startups, Strategy

The Amazon machine

… or, why Jeff Bezos is worth more than Bill Gates

… the infinite scalability of common systems and platforms and 2-pizza teams.

UPG Profiles, Travelogues, Stories

More than 3,000 Yazidis still missing after collapse of IS self-styled caliphate

Ethiopia: Pilgrimage to 12th-century iconic churches.

Snow in the Sahara.

Saudi’s national camel festival.

Livestreaming country life is turning some Chinese farmers into celebrities

Photos: A new silk road: investing billions in pathways to Europe, Central Asia, Middle East


‘The basic grossness of humans’

… content moderators review the dark side of the Internet, and don’t escape unscathed.

Processor flaw exposes 20 years of devices to new attack

… but the attack must be run locally. If you don’t trust something, don’t put it on your machine.

… make sure your machines are patched.

50 million Google images can give a clue as to how people in places vote.

… able to accurately predict income, race, education and voting patterns at Zip+Precinct level

Uber’s secret tool for locking equipment in foreign offices to shield from police raids

… routinely used ‘Ripley’ to thwart police raids in foreign countries

Gene Editing 2.0 (the bigger badder Crispr) is coming soon.

Boston University gears up to research Ebola

Former refugee is shaking up the $441 billion remittances industry.

Made in China: new and potentially lifesaving drugs

China to build $2 billion AI research park in Beijing

How a decade of the iPhone changed global kidnapping

Military robots getting smaller, more capable: soon will travel in swarms


“Talent hits a target that no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.” ~Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher

“Leading change is the most important skill any leader will ever master. If you can’t lead change well, your organization will eventually die.” ~Troy Jones

“To those who prefer to preach a Christian life that is free from pain I can only say, ‘Please check the biblical record.’” ~David Pope

“Whatever anyone’s done to me, or to anyone else, I stand just as guilty. People have lied to me, but I’ve lied too. People have been unfaithful to me, but I’ve been unfaithful too. People have hurt me, and I’ve hurt them. I get angry toward murderers, and then here comes Jesus, telling me if I’ve ever hated someone – and I have – I am the murderer’s moral equal. No one likes to hear this. We want to think people are worse than us. It’s one of our favorite pastimes.” ~Brant Hansen

“Jesus measured maturity by a person’s obedience, not knowledge.” ~Steve Moore

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