Roundup 157

New events

North Africa

Algeria: protests continue, demand further reforms – Link
… 80 police injured, 200 protestors arrested in Friday protests – Link
… another top official resigns – Link
… why the army abandoned Bouteflika – Link
… Army chief says “time running out” to find a solution – Link

Sudan: protests continue, demand the whole corrupt system go – Link

Libya: death toll exceeds 200 in fighting – Link
… nearly 1,000 wounded

West/Middle/South Africa

‘Fake news’ felling ethno-religious crisis in Nigeria – Link
… and yet the religious component of the conflict should not be under-played, either
… In Niger, rising temperatures mean barren fields, potential for terrorism – Link

East Africa

Baptism: the point of no return: a story from Somalia – Link

West Asia

Iraq’s tribal traditions rob women, girls of rights – Link
… force many to marry against their will, domestic abuse
… Iran’s latest economic woes hit residents in their stomachs – Link
… another in a long line of articles about the severe economic turmoil in Iran. Lots of analysts keep thinking Iran’s government will fall because of this, but it hasn’t yet. Christianity grows in Syrian town once besieged by Islamic State – Link

How Uzbeks learned to love (and live on) the Telegram messenger app – Link

In Tajikistan, Christians are government targets – Link

Syria: “Unlike any other camp”: a look into al-Hol, holding center for thousands of IS families – Link

South-central Asia

Kuchis in Afghanistan: the nation’s most vulnerable women – Link
… “In the hidden world of Kuchi nomads, women are denied education, raped, and exchanged for water.” “Hungry all day long”: Millions of Afghans face food insecurity – Link

Pakistan watchdog decries forced conversions, curbs on media – Link
… incidents of forced conversions and marriages of girls from minority Hindu community India: what it takes to pull off a gargantuan election – Link
… Misinformation is endangering the election – Link

The ‘angriest’ state in India (Maharashtra) is plagued by suicides and drought – Link

East Asia

North Korea tests a new ‘tactical guided weapon’ – Link

Southeast Asia

Indonesia election:… incumbent President Widodo declares victory – Link
… “shows nation taking a conservative turn” – Link
… “faith politics on the rise as Indonesia takes a hard line path” – Link

Laos: US citizens arrested for “disseminating religion without government approval” – Link… expelled, deported – Link

Vietnam’s Hmong Christians continue to be persecuted for their faith – Link


First big survey of births reveals millions of missing women – Link
… 23 million missing female births since 1970


Ethnos360 worker killed in Paraguay – Link

The spirit houses of Bangkok keep watch over frenetic city – Link

Future, Tech

“One month, 500,000 face scans: how China is using A.I. to profile a minority” – Link
… yet another in the veritable torrent of articles about China vs the Uighurs “The messy truth about social credit” – Link
… “foreign media has painted a dystopian portrait of China’s social credit system. The reality is both less coherent and more complex.” This is a fairly long read that seems a little more ‘positive’ than other China watchers might have. I think this is more a “the future is here, it’s just not evenly distributed” sort of thing; and these sorts of systems can easily be corrupted. US facial recognition will cover 97% of departing airport passengers within 4 years – Link

NYT: “We built an unbelievable yet completely legal facial recognition-powered tracking system for less than $100, using a service available to anyone with an internet connection and a credit card.” Link
… “nowhere near China, where the government has installed approximately one surveillance camera for every seven citizens” China kills 9 messaging apps for peddling pornography – Link

Facebook has created an insanely detailed map of where everyone in Africa lives – Link

TikTok banned in India – Link
… for allegedly encouraging pornography and possibly child abuse.
… or maybe for fear China-based app interfering in elections – Link
… Taiwan is banning Chinese tech giant streaming video citing national security and propaganda concerns ahead of the elections next year – Link


“The world cannot be understood without numbers. But the world cannot be understood with numbers alone.” ~Hans Rosling

“Experts share something in common with conspiracy theorists: they see patterns where other people just see random data. The difference, of course, is that experts are correct. But I bet part of the attraction of conspiracy theories is that they make you feel like an expert.” ~Paul Graham “The smallest action always surpasses the greatest intention.” John Maxwell

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