Roundup 210

New Events

Covid-19 Dashboard

… now: over 10.7 (+1.0) million cases, 517k deaths
… 6/26: over 9.4 (+1.1) million cases, 483k deaths
… 6/19: over 8.3 (+0.8) million cases, 450k deaths
… 6/12: over 7.5 (+0.9m) million cases, 421k deaths
… 6/5: over 6.6 (+0.8m) million cases, 391k deaths
Trackers: Johns

N. Africa/Egypt-Sudan (266m)

Syrian refugees in Egypt hopeful as virus restrictions eased
… Syrians will be able to go back to work.
… Registered 130k refugees, est. 250,000 actually.

E. Africa/Horn (520m)

Kenya’s balcony churches: finding new ways to worship in lockdown.

Ethiopia in severe ethnic unrest catalyzed by the murder of activist and singer Hachalu Hundessa.
… more than 80 killed, troops deployed, 2nd day of unrest
… ‘armed gangs roaming capital, targeting rival ethnic groups

W. Africa/Nigeria-Sahel (457m)

Nigeria: Coronavirus is battering Africa’s middle class.
… a third of Nigeria’s workforce may be unemployed at end of year …

More than 30k refugees fled NW Nigeria in last two months …
… Christians in Nigeria flee violence and fear Covid-19 …
… Fighting in the Sahel has driven 1.7 million from their homes.

W. Asia / Saudi-Iran (303m)

Iraq: rising virus cases, oxygen shortages stoke outrage, fears of chaos
… ‘true number of cases many times higher than reported figures’ …

Syria faces mass starvation or mass exodus without more aid.
… a million Syrians are food insecure, some starving & dying …
… also, last week: Lebanon: Over 90k Syrian refugees struggling to find food.

Israel orders US-based Christian TV channel off the air
… ‘hid its missionary agenda when it applied for a license’ …

Turkey: Erdogan wants to turn the Hagia Sophia back into a mosque.
… ‘Don’t let Erdogan erase Turkey’s Christian past.’

South-central Asia (2.1b)

Afghanistan: ‘You have no right to complain’ (HRW Report)
… Education, social restrictions and justice in Taliban-held Afghanistan …
… we should not think that the Taliban have suddenly changed …

And: Afghans paid $1.6 billion in bribes annually
… down from $2.88 billion in 2016, but higher than the government’s annual revenue

India: June sets Covid-19 records.

Delhi opens makeshift 10,000-bed hospital amid surge.
… at the Radha Soami religious center, using ingenious looking cardboard beds.

After turning their backs during lockdown, cities now want migrant workers back.

Kashmir’s Dark Year.
… months-long security crackdown, and now Covid-19.

Nepali families face hunger, skip meals as pandemic hits remittances.

Surge in cases causes Central Asian nations to reverse re-openings.

Kazakhstan plans to reimpose lockdown amid virus surge.
… 4-week, nationwide lockdown …

Pakistani capital to get its first Hindu temple complex
… ‘part of government outreach to minority Hindu community’ …

East Asia (1.6b)

The big news: Beijing passed new sweeping National Security Law
… gives China sweeping powers over Hong Kong
… ‘Harsh penalties, vaguely defined crimes
… RFA (no paywall): ‘China unveils sweeping definitions
… 100s of arrests under the new law have already been made …
The law’s ‘long-arm’ jurisdiction ‘extraordinary and chilling
… Article 38: ‘offences by non-permanent residents of HK outside the city’
… ‘If… ever said anything that might offend China, stay out of Hong Kong
US senators try to give Hong Kong residents priority as refugees …
… Taiwan scrambles to get ready for an influx of refugees from HK …
… UK makes citizenship offer to HK residents …
China threatens to restrict visas for Americans who try its patience re HK
… ‘strikes back at U.S. move to restrict visas for Party officials’ …
… and says US messing with China on HK could put trade deal at risk
… also threatens UK with ‘corresponding measures‘ over its support for HK

China cuts Uighur births with IUDs, abortion, sterilization.
… The Party wants a Han baby boom that isn’t coming.

International flights to China are resuming.
… Lufthansa, United, Delta.

The Communist Party of China has 92 million members.
… WCE 2020 estimated Christianity at 106m.
… But then, Chinese-folk religionists are 438m, and Buddhists are 237m. So…

Chatter about Kim Jong-Un’s health, but I didn’t see it widely distributed.

Southeast Asia (700m)

Thailand health ministry prepares for the worst once state of emergency lifted.

Thai-Hong Kong Travel Bubble discussed.

Europe/North America (1,125m)

USA: American Airlines drops 20+ international routes
… planning for fewer global travelers in 2021 …

New Data

An interesting overview of 3,000 years of Chinese history, focused on its ideas about global governance.

In photos: the locust swarms of 2020: East Africa, Yemen, Pakistan, India.

African countries have lost billions in the past three months due to Covid-19:
… 20 million jobs in the formal/informal sectors
… 20 to 30% of fiscal revenue, forcing governments to resort to borrowing
… tourism/oil sectors represent 25% of Africa’s top 5 economies, all see losses
… what impact on the stability of these nations in the medium-term?

New Longreads

From a viral immunologist: here’s what antibody tests for Covid-19 tell us.

5 Pandemic lessons from Eurasia’s evangelical churches.
… #4, churches w/o comfortable, well-equipped buildings are more flexible and creative in mission outreach …

Economist: Covid-19 here to stay: work out how to live with it.
… 4.5% of those infected require hospitalization (Lancet)
… ‘be at least January 2021’ before a vaccine is available
… shielding the most vulnerable difficult if large numbers infected


Where to look, when to talk: how to get the most out of virtual meetings.

Machine Leearning: Smart Fill coming to Google Sheets
… similar to Smart Compose in Gmail and Google Docs …

India bans TikTok and 59 other China-authored apps.
… Foreign Policy looks at why.
… thousands of Indian TikTok stars need to diversify
… ‘We’re devastated, my wives cried‘ …


‘Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.’ ~Alexander Graham Bell

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