Roundup 166

New events

Abbreviated somewhat because I’m off on vacation the 4th and 5th.

Hong Kong: the protests turned violent. After a week of massive protests in which the protestors were largely calm but there was marked instances of police brutality, on the anniversary of the handover the protestors broke into the parliament building and vandalized it. The police later retook it. Was it a “false flag” operation or the protestors simply tired of Beijing’s “outlast” strategy? I’ve heard both theories, and there’s no clear conclusion. I wonder how long Beijing’s strategy will last. I wonder about the impact on the church, given the ties between Christianity and the protests.

Uighurs: VICE news released a new 1-hour undercover report on the Uighur situation in China. “VICE News’ Isobel Yeung posed as a tourist to gain unprecedented access to China’s western Xinjiang region, which has been nearly unreachable by journalists.” I’ve not watched this yet, but I’ve got it starred, and seen lots of good comments about it online. Link

Also, China border guards are putting secret surveillance apps on tourist phones as they enter Xinjiang from Kyrgyzstan. Guardian and NYT

Libya risks becoming a proxy war between Turkey and the UAE – Link

Sudan: bouncing back from the crackdown, protesters surge through the streets. The protests in Sudan are notable, but I doubt they will unseat the military’s control. Scores were wounded, seven dead.

Ethiopia: the recent coup attempt highlights the potential for a violent, Yugoslavia-style ethnic split. I don’t know that it’s highly probable, but ethnic tensions are high in the country. Link

Indonesia arrested the suspected head of Jemaah Islamiah, responsible for the 2002 Bali bombings. Link

Pakistan says it will give Afghanistan 24-hour access to the Torkham crossing. Link

New Data

Rural areas bear the burden of Japan’s aging, shrinking population. Link

Ituri province, DR Congo is the second largest hunger crisis in the world, after Yemen, says the UN. Link

1.4 million refugees need resettlement in 2020. Link

15 Days of Prayer for the Buddhist World prayer guide. Link

Fascinating infographic about water access, I just ran across (from last year) – Link

Longer reads

David Garrison on why more Muslims are turning to Jesus. Link

“Is the world’s next missions movement in Ethiopia?” asks CT. Cites among others my good friend Samuel K. Massive church growth and movement happening in East Africa right now; this makes good reading while only starting to scratch the surface. Link

Intriguing Tim Keller piece: early Christianity wasn’t persecuted so much for worshipping Jesus, but because they failed to show due respect to everyone else’s gods. (Several have noted that Christians often face the same situation today.) Link

Why Chennai has run out of water: not necessarily for lack of waterLink

James Clear: “To make big gains, avoid making tiny losses.” Uses an illustration from Japan, kaizen, lean manufacturing, etc. “Japanese companies improved by subtracting the things that didn’t work, not by creating a bigger, better, or more expansive product.” This has some obvious applications to why DMM works. Link

Sikh drivers are transforming US trucking. Take a ride along the Punjabi American highway. Link

40,000 Indian police/soldiers deployed to guard highway for Hindu ascetics on pilgrimage in Kashmir. Link

They escaped ISIS, but then got sucked into Baghdad’s sex trafficking underworld. I’ve seen reports of this before, and stories of people being freed from this – Link

How chickens are improving Afghan lives – video – Link


This Tacoma store won’t let anyone inside unless they’re approved by the facial recognition system. Some questions about how good it is, and about discrimination issues. It’s the first “keep people out” system I’ve seen in the USA. Link

Virginia passed laws that made ‘revenge porn’ cover deepfakes – particularly appropriate after the “DeepNude” software that was released and then pulled back. Link

A really fascinating piece on Amazon’s “in-sourcing” of its parcel transportation needs: “entered transportation to survive, and is now disrupting the transportation industry by disintermediating its previous transportation providers.” Link

Another piece on how Internet shutdowns benefit dictators. Link

US troops testing a tiny, pocket-sized recon drone in the field. Link

Chinese scientists making advances in AI-powered crowd counting. Link

On again, off again – more Internet cut offs.
… Ethiopia back on after 10 days off – Link
… Myanmar off, possibly hiding human rights abuses – Link

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