Roundup 177

New Events

North-West Africa

“An Islamist delimma after rise of populists in Tunisia” – Link

Egypt / Sudan

Egypt is using apps to target, track its citizens – Link
… “We discovered a list of victims that included handpicked political and social activists, high-profile journalists and members of nonprofit organizations in Egypt…”

“Is a new revolution in the making in Egypt?” Link
… protests for 2nd week in a row
… 100s arrested in nationwide crackdown – Link

Sudan is “at the start of a long road to recovery,” says UN chief – Link
… but, residents say “little has changed” since Bashir – Link

Ethiopia / Horn / East Africa

AU is discussing troop withdrawal from Somalia – Link
… “But major security lapses and poor governance still plague Somalia even as its elections draw close.”

Africa’s largest hydroelectric dam on the world’s biggest waterway: Ethiopia on the Nile – Link
… Ethiopia needs power for economy.
… but countries downstream are nervous: like Egypt, who gets 90% of freshwater from the Nile.
… Egypt wants more water than Ethiopia is willing to supply.

Middle Africa / Lakes

“Gems, warlords and mercenaries: Russia’s playbook in Central African Republic” – Link
… “But as it sows political chaos, this time it is also seeking diamonds.”

Southern Africa

Zimbabwe shuts down using mobile money for cash transactions – Link
… attempting to battle fraud

Tense elections in Mozambique – Link
… insurgent violence & growing Russian involvement

Central Asia / Caucasus

RFE, Facebook, Youtube blocked in Tajikistan – Link

Domestic violence widespread in Tajikistan; abuse is not a crime – Link
… at least 1 in 5 women are affected by domestic abuse
… but real scale is unknown because most women don’t report

Saudi / Israel / Lebanon / Syria / Gulf

A year past Kashoggi’s murder, “MBS offers scarce stability” – Link
… “offers investors neither stability nor rule of law. “

Saudi women breaking free from the black abaya – Link
… “More ditch the traditional, body-covering abaya for creative but still conservative alternatives.”

Saudi Arabia to offer tourist visas for the first time – Link

West Asia / Turkey

US officials worry about Turkish foray into Syria, conflict with Kurds – Link


Iranian officials say Riyadh has been reaching out to mediators to convey readiness for talks with Iran – Link
… Not too clear that Saudis agree they are reaching out

Iraq extends curfew as protest death toll rises to 22 – Link

Iraq’s PM calls for talks as thousands of protesters defy curfew – Link

Afghanistan / Pakistan / Pashto

Afghanistan Election:
Turned to biometrics to prevent fraud – Link
“A victory for democracy and a loss for peace” – Link
… no matter the outcome, probably a setback in talks with Taliban
“A tense wait after a day of attacks” – Link
… expect results in 3 weeks
“Low turn out amid Taliban threats” – Link
… may have been as low as 20%
“Relative calm, but turnout low” – Link
… IEC says election was healthy, fair in comparison to previous ones
“Is the election credible?” – Al Jazeera, 25:00 video – Link
“Voting over, now real challenges begin” – Link
… a dispute over the results could lead to a crisis
“It’s brother against brother” – Link
… How one family’s story illustrates the meaninglessness of Saturday’s election in the face of an endless civil war
“What the Taliban are telling themselves about war and peace” – Link

Rapes and killings of children haunt a corner of Pakistan – Link


Ahead of polls, Congress faces revolt in Maharashtra, Haryana – Link

“In Kashmir, growing anger and misery” – Link

Moves in Kashmir raise tensions with China – Link

Bengali / Bangladesh

“Missionaries spread the faith in Bangladesh” – Link


Deceived and sold: how China treats N Korean female defectors – Link

Photos: Communist China’s turbulent journey to its 70th birthday – Link

ChinaSource has a look at China’s growth & the journey of the church – Link

Stratfor: HK protests keep escalating – Link

Hong Kong wants to try to ban face masks – Link

China quietly doubles troop levels in HK – Link

“They don’t understand Hong Kong”: a looming clash of ideologies – Link has an explainer for China’s reeducation camps – Link

Assessing China’s growing footprint in North Africa – Link

Japan / Koreas / Mongolia

North Korea tested a sub-launched medium-range ballistic missile – Link
… North Korea confirms it fired it – Link
… and says it succeeded – Link
… pushing the envelope prior to talks – Link
… this will not make any kinds of talks very easy.

Southeast Asia

“Nowhere to go, nowhere to hide” – the horror of Indonesia’s haze – Link

Thailand’s baht is surging, causing problems for expats – Link

The man with a plan to make Indonesia more Islamic – Link

Notable Europe / Americas

The Buryat, engaged – Link

What happens the day after a no-deal Brexit? An interesting story-style scenario – Link

Europe’s biggest refugee camp overflows as migration surges again – Link

Strict laws cut alcohol intake 40% in Russia, raise life expectancy – Link

USA: For a lot of American teens, religion is a regular part of the public school day – Link
… 33% see 2 to 5 religious expressions per day in school
… 26% pray “sometimes or often” before lunch
… 31% of boys and 46% of girls “sometimes or often” talk to their friends about religion
… 13% “often/sometimes” see students being teased/bullied because of their faith
… (also: 10% of Protestant evangelicals are home schooled)

New Data

“The world has enough food to feed everyone, it’s just not equally distributed” – Link

Quartz guide to water issues – Link

9 charts that put China’s transformation in perspective – Link

USA & Canada have lost 25% of their birds over the past 50 years – Link

Longer reads

Anderson, C. What is a rabbit church, anyhow? 5 marks – Link

Stetzer, Ed. The necessity of creating a culture of multiplication – Link

Wu, Jackson. 4 key factors influencing cultural adjustment and retention of Chinese missionaries – Link

Soerens, Matthew. “Don’t underestimate the impact of lowering the US refugee ceiling.” Link

Malley, Robert. “Why the Middle East is more combustible than ever” – Link

A young couple’s gamble: following a pair of refugees risking everything to reach the West – Link


The Kitty Hawk project now has an all-electric plane with a range of 100 miles, very quiet – Link

Hong Kong takes symbolic stand against China’s high-tech controls – Link

Singapore ‘fake news’ law comes into effect – Link
… “now illegal to spread “false statements of fact” under circumstances in which that information is deemed “prejudicial” to Singapore’s security, public safety, “public tranquility,” or to the “friendly relations of Singapore with other countries,” among numerous other topics.”

Huawei attempting to make networking tech without US parts – Link

USA: Facial recognition technology in public housing prompts backlash – Link

SpaceX is taking another major step toward a crewed, potentially interplanetary rocket – Link

A hydrogen-powered super yacht is the first application of hydrogen power tech I’ve seen in a long time – Link

After a few iterations, a floating device to clean up plastic from the ocean is working – Link

TikTok is the latest window into China’s police state – Link

NYT study: The Internet is overrun with images of child sexual abuse – Link
… this is one of the “other sides” of the encryption argument: it does enable an explosion of child pornography. This article is not an easy read, but most people aren’t aware of the scope of the problem..

Translating New York’s hidden stories (“hidden languages” = “hidden peoples”) – Link

Encrypted DNS will make some things safer from surveillance, but also has crime implications (see the previous link) – Link

Google taking other “pro-privacy steps” – Incognito mode on Google Maps, auto delete histories, etc. – Link

WhatsApp messaging limits do work (somewhat) to stop spread of misinformation – Link

Police in Guangxi, China order local residents to report for DNA sampling – Link

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