Roundup 160

New Events

North Africa

Unveiling Algeria’s dark side: The fall of the butcher of Algiers. Brookings

The Arab Spring is not returning to Algeria and Morocco. National Interest
… “the uprising… is not a path to regional revolution.”

Book Haram’s resurgence in Chad. Reliefweb

443 killed since offensive began in Libya last month. USA Today.

West Africa

Sahel crisis (Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso) reaching unprecedented levels. UN
… repeated, sophisticated attacks, food shortages linked to last year’s severe drought
… over 150,000 flee their homes in Burkina Faso. IRC
… Mali gets new government after protests. News24

A lousy election in Benin – EconomistBBC
… 3/4 of the electorate boycotted the poll
… unrest reflects a broader, worrying trend in West Africa. African Arguments

Mauritania’s road to defeat slavery is long and bumpy. Globe Post

Youths in Senegal supposed to be studying Islam, many begging on the streets. LA Times

East Africa/Horn

Eritrea still faces numerous hurdles. BBC
… 20% of Eritreans live outside Eritrea: a strategic opportunity.

How Amharic unites and divides Ethiopia. African Argument

Somalia: Millions hungry due to drought, 3rd driest rainy season since 1981. Arab News

Sudan military chief says Shari’a law must be the source of legislation. BBC

DR Congo 10-month Ebola outbreak has claimed 1,000 lives. UN

Central Asia

Video: The lethal Soviet legacy in Kazakhstan. Radio Free Europe
… the legacy of nuclear testing.

West Asia/Gulf

… Freed by ISIS, Yazidi mothers face wrenching choice: Abandon Kids or never go home. NPR
… Video: Iraq’s Islamic seminaries revive since Saddam Hussein’s death. Al Jazeera

Video: A life displaced: Palestinian refugees overcrowd Lebanon’s camps. Al Jazeera
… it’s been more than 70 years

Oman: Up to a 3 month jail sentence for eating or drinking during Ramadan. Khaleej Times

Syria: 140,000 flee violence and strikes in Idlib. FT

Turkey: Erdogan defends decision to re-run Istanbul election. BBCNYT

Yemen’s war rages on outside port area. Reuters
… Civilians struggle to buy food to break fast at night. Al Jazeera

South Asia

Afghanistan: Peace talks could fail before they really begin. TOLO

Bangladesh: re-imaginging what a mosque might be. NYT
… don’t get excited. About architecture, but it’s an interesting look inside the country.

Also: IS bride “would face death penalty” if she came to Bangladesh. BBC
… hard to see where people like her can go.

Iran: Christians are the most prominent target of religious repression. WTimes
… Intelligence minister: “Christianity spreading in ‘parts’ of Iran.” Iran Wire
… Bleak: nationwide unemployment at 12.5%. Iran Wire

The powerful group shaping the rise of Hindu nationalism in India. NPR
… and, Christian pastor in India acquitted of anti-conversion charges. CNA

Pakistan: Asia Bibi finally leaves Pakistan a free woman. CBNNYTGuardian
… Bride market trafficks 100s of Pakistani Christian women to China. APReuters
… Pakistan declares war on Pashtun nationalism. Diplomat

East Asia

China: Xi praises a student protest from a century ago. NYT

Why a student protest held a century ago still matters in China. NYT
… marked an upsurge in nationalism

The story of Amity Printing Company and Chinese Bible Printing. China Source
… “80 million copies of the Bible have been printed for the church in China”

New evidence of China’s mission to raze the mosques of Xinjiang. Guardian
… In Xinjiang, even bread is being ‘Siniczed’. Bitter Winter

Longread: “China Uber-rates its citizens
… a harmless nudge? Or sinister surveillance society?” Telegraph

“The US-China Cold War starts now: what you must do to prepare”. China Law Blog
… “Make no mistake about it, President Trump is doing whatever he can to convince American companies — really any company from anywhere in the world that sells its products to the United States — to stop doing business with China.”
… “China wants to pay Canada back
… China does this by telling businesses not to buy canola oil from Canada
… just like that, they don’t…”

On the other hand, there’s a lot of VC money flowing between the US and China. CNBC

N Korean families facing deep hunger crisis. UN
… after worst harvest in 10 years, food assessment shows

Southeast Asia

Brunei backs away from the death penalty. WPost
… “has a de facto moratorium on the death penalty under common law”

Indonesia: Javanese Muslims hold a Nyadran ritual to welcome Ramadan. RNS
… “bringing food offerings to their families’ burial sites”

Malaysia: A year after Mahathir’s surprise election, here’s how they’re doing. CNBC
… approval rate fallen to 39%, but administration “generally good” for Malaysia

Thailand: Elections signal military’s continued grip on power – NYT
… election analysis showed a country bitterly divided and headed for instability – LA Times


52 million: number in Near East, North Africa suffering chronic undernourishment. UN


What is Ramadan, and why should Christians care? IMB

A Sociologist of Religion on Protestants, Porn and the “Purity Industrial Complex”. New Yorker
… while I don’t agree with everything prescriptive thing he says, the analysis is fascinating, and the final two paragraphs are chilling. Porn affects agencies too.

Persecution of Christians “coming close to genocide” in Middle East. Guardian
… “according to a report commissioned by the British foreign secretary”

“The lies we tell.” Actually, the conclusions we jump to. Farnam Street

Terrorist attacks on houses of worship: a vicious cycle goes global. Stratfor
… looking at calls for retribution and copycat phenomenon …

James Currier: “The psychology of startup growth.”
… great stuff in here for recruiters and for DMMers and for marketers, to name a few.

Future, Tech

What you can and can’t learn from a language app. NYT
… useful for basic conversational phrases in places you’re traveling, discusses levels of fluency. “By definition, these limitations would rule out reaching even level B2.”

How Chinese spies got the NSA’s hacking tools, and used them for attacks. NYT
… “to attack American allies and private companies in Europe and Asia”

China’s New Way of tracking you. Abacus News
… New report from HRW says security screeners pick up MAC addresses, IMEI numbers from phones, could potentially be used to track people

USA immigration cops just spent a record $1 million on the world’s most advanced iPhone hacking tech. Forbes

Google unveiling several new privacy options. Fortune
… including auto-delete of data they hold after 3 months …

Read & Listen More

“To the ends of the earth.” Malcolm Hunter, an expert in monadic peoples, shares stories from a lifetime of working in some of the world’s most remote, colorful, and neglected communities. On AmazonWatch Malcolm share about work in southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya.

“Decoding difficult conversations: an interview with negotiation expert, Sheila Heen.” I haven’t listened to this yet, but the notes from the podcast were fascinating and I’ve got this in my queue. Farnam Street.


One of the hardest things in missiology is avoiding the temptation to see one’s own experience of mission as normative. ~@WEC_Rethinking

If we can move past our outrage that the world is broken, deceived, and invents ways of doing evil, we’ll be in a better position to love our neighbors and proclaim the good news. ~Caleb Crider

It’s to our shame that so often our litmus test for whether someone is a follower of Jesus or not is more strict and exacting than Jesus’ own. ~Luke Baublet

Complexity is your enemy. Any fool can make something complicated. It is hard to keep things simple. ~Richard Branson

It is a waste of time to try to sell answers to a person who only wants to buy echoes. ~Brad Bressent

The gospel does not grow by media. The gospel grows by relationship. ~Bob Roberts Jr.

I do not at all understand the mystery of grace. only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us. ~Ann Malott

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