Roundup 228

New Events

East Africa

Somalia: the need for greed. SomTribune 
… a fascinating article whose analysis I am insufficiently knowledgeable to affirm or deny. But it makes some logical sense. I’m not sure it’s either positive/negative for Kingdom efforts, but it should give some insights into the complexities and difficulties emerging Somalia faces. 

More than 1,000 killed in the past six months in S Sudan. Al Jazeera 
… communal conflicts … 

Sudan will decide the outcome? FP 
… This is a well written explainer with graphics for the conflict …
… TPLF, dominated Ethiopian politics for decades …
… since displaced & sidelined as Abiy consolidated power,
… and made peace with TPLF enemy Eritrea …
… TPLF has not gone quietly …
… quite a bit in here about farming, ethnic conflicts, and the Blue Nile 
Another explainer, this one a 5 minute video from the Guardian, very good. Guardian 
Another perspective: Tigray’s war is about economic power. FP 
Explosions rock major cities amid growing fears of wider civil war. Independent 
… Conflict widens as missiles are fired at airports. NYT 
… Rockets target Eritrea’s capital. Al Arabiya 
Red Cross: ‘Immense suffering, risks spiraling.’ ICRC 
… Aid groups plead for access to refugees. Boston Globe 
… Hunger looms as conflict rages. DailyNewsEgypt 
4,000 fleeing Ethiopia fighting to refugee camps in Sudan, daily. National News 
… Refugee camps ‘lack basic necessities’. Dabanga 
Ethiopia cracks down on the Internet in Tigray. WPost 
… telecomm blackout … but lots of new Twitter accounts sharing data … 
… Ethiopia shuts down telephone, Internet services in Tigray.

Northern Africa

Libya’s political talks stall. AllAfrica 

Tunisia, Libya to begin travel bubble 11/15. MEMO 

Sudan’s partially answered prayers. CT
 … an interview with Abp Ezekiel Kondo on religious freedom and more 
… Russia to build a naval base in Sudan. MiddleEastEye 
… I guess they didn’t want to let the Chinese have all the fun …

Western Africa

Nigeria: Igbo synagogues burned, bulldozed amid civil unrest. Fast Forward 
… many Igbo believe themselves descended from a lost tribe of Israel …
… have taken on certain Jewish practices 
… Nigeria’s police brutality crisis: what’s happening now. NYT

Eastern Asia

China urges new era of mass migration–back to countryside. WSJ 
… Antipoverty push: Xi wants to repopulate rural towns with entrepreneurs and consumers 

N Korea orders tightening of anti-virus measures. Reuters 

Kim Jong Un faces a bleak N Korean economy. Link

South-Central Asia

Afghanistan braces for worst as US troop withdrawal accelerates. WSJ 
… Taliban gloat, government loses grip amid wave of violence 
… Second wave of Covid hits Afghanistan, public places shut. Link 

Iran will impose severe restrictions across the country. Link 
… in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus …
… limiting inter-city travel, banning private vehicles at night, more… 

300 killed, thousands injured during anti-government protests in Iran last month. Independent 
… reports Amnesty International … 

Pakistan grants Gilgit-Baltistan provisional provincial status. Diplomat
… residents will now become Pakistani citizens …
… India rejects the move … 

Coronavirus adds to reasons to leave Tajikistan. Eurasianet
… the terminal state of the economy remains “paramount” …

South-eastern Asia

Indonesia’s tourism industry suffers S$9.5b losses due to Covid-19. Straits Times 

Myanmar military still using children for fighting. Reliefweb

10,000 pro-democracy protesters march on Thai police HQ. Guardian 
… Thailand’s protests shatter taboos but produce little change. Straits Times

Western Asia

Lebanon enters 2-week lockdown as virus cases surge. Link 
… curfews, business closures, hospitals run out of space … 

Iraq, Saudi Arabia reopen land border after 30 years. MiddleEastEye

Saudi Arabia ramps up surveillance at holiest sites. CodaStory 
… “new government app threatens Mecca’s undocumented residents” … 

Northwestern Syria in photos: Life in the time of Covid. SyriaDirect 

Syria faces worsening bread crisis as regime rations supplies. MEMO 

Turkey introduces partial curfew, shuts schools. Daily Sabah 
… schools closed for remainder of semester …
… nationwide weekend curfew from 8pm to 10am …

UAE approves golden visa: 10-year residency for certain professions. Link

North/Central America/Europe

US megachurches outgrowing their sanctuaries. CT 
… perforce, they are moving to multisite. 70% are multisite, another 10% considering it.
… 90% consider small groups “central to… Christian nurture & spiritual formation” 

Rising Covid cases, deaths among US clinicians. JAMA
… in many places, including USA, losses amongst doctors will make it harder to treat Covid … 

The US will re-open to refugees. Is the US church ready? CT 

USA: hospitals in half the states facing a massive staffing shortage. Stat 
… “People are going to die” … the bleak article makes the point that it’s not about beds – it’s about doctors & nurses to care for the people in the beds. Covid has a CFR of ~2% in optimal conditions. Even with hospitals overloaded, many cases will not be bad – but for those that are, without ICU beds & doctors who care for the sickest of the sick, the death rate will surge amongst those who need ICU care, and overall as a result. This same pattern can be found in other places, especially in the poorer parts of the unreached world. 

USA: State by State guide to coronavirus restrictions. Forbes

Iota is the strongest hurricane to ever hit Nicaragua. AP 
… (at least on record) …


Covid case data 
… 11/20: 57.0m cases, 1.3m deaths (2.2%) 
… 11/13: 53.0m cases, 1.29m deaths (2.4% CFR)
… 11/6: 49.1m cases, 1.24m deaths (2% CFR)
… 10/29: 44.8m cases, 1.17m deaths
… 10/23: 41m cases, 1.1m deaths
Trackers: Johns

IEA cuts forecast on oil demand for 2021. CNBC 

New UNHabitat World Cities Report 2020. Link 

Refugee resettlement numbers fall to lowest in two decades. UN


What first-time founders learned the hard way. FirstRound 

An interesting read with lessons that could be applicable to mission teams and strategies. Lots of strategies with regard to finding candidates whose values match yours, the best use of advisors, leadership hiring, etc. How I read. Link 
… interesting idea for reading clusters of 5 books around a particular topic. 
… Difficult part is identifying the five books, of course. … 
… would be interested in recommendations on 5 key books for: China, India, Indonesia, E Africa, Pakistan, Nigeria 

Everything you need to know about the Coronavirus. Wired 
… a really helpful long-read survey of Wired coverage of the virus: background, symptoms, masks, testing & treatment, epidemiology & tracking, etc. 

Sometimes we don’t even eat: conflict+covid pushing millions to the brink. ReliefWeb 

UN dips into emergency fund as first famines of the pandemic loom. NYT 

Losing elders to Covid-19 endangers indigenous languages. NatGeo


The end of the pandemic is now in sight. Atlantic
… two vaccines look like they will work, and more should follow …
… medium length read on the tech behind the vaccines … 

Performance Art on how to evade China’s big brother. Sixth Tone
… dodging Beijing’s surveillance cameras takes almost superhuman ingenuity and determination… 

South Africa: cold requirements for storing Covid vaccines will be challenging. Link 

In Cashless China, Criminals are punished with payment app ban. Sixth Tone 
… rather than jail time or hefty fines, China’s justice system is employing massive inconvenience. I’m sure someone will think of Revelation, but this really has nothing to do with loyalty or worship. Yet.

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