Roundup 259

Northern Africa (266m)

20k fighters from Russia, Syria, Chad still in Libya. Africa Report

New report from Relieweb tells, among other thins, how domestic violence and forced marriage risen in Sudan. Link

East Africa (520m)

Ethiopia alleged aid agencies are smuggling weapons; agencies concerned about potential for attacks on them. Link

Tigray war spills over into Afar province. BBC

Op/Ed: why nerves are jangling on the border between Ethiopia and Sudan. Economist

Christ for all Nations crusade in Tanzania: 500k decisions. GNA

West + Middle Africa (600m)

The first Bible translation in Nigerian Pidgin English, widely used by 200 million across the region. US News

Western Asia (303m)

Amid fears of Delta variant, Eid al-Abha celebrations begin. WPost

As hajj 2021 winds down, Saudi Arabia begins ramping up big tourism plans. Al Jazeera

Tens of thousands of Afghan refugees are thought to be fleeing the country, many into Turkey. People smugglers there have seen a 10X rise in business in recent weeks. Telegraph

Syria has become a narco state. Economist

Longread: walking through Beirut’s emotions. Link

South + Central Asia (2b)

Half of Afghanistan’s districts are under Taliban control, complete takeover possible says US General. NYT

Bangladesh temporarily lifts restrictions to celebrate Eid al-Adha. Tens of millions will be out shopping and traveling during 8-day pause. Link

The people in the Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan aren’t afraid of the Taliban. Eurasianet

A quarter of Iranians believe they will never be vaccinated against Covid-19. Iran Wire

India’s true pandemic death toll likely over 3 million. NYT

New laws in India are seeking to ban all interfaith marriages. NYT

Kazakhstan pledged improvements in religious freedom. CT

Not completely out: Russia offers US use of Central Asia bases to continue gathering Afghan intel. Reuters

Eastern Asia (1.6b)

China scraps fines, limits on family size—have as many children as you want. CNBC

Why do Chinese come to faith: an infographic. ChinaSource

Returnees: a key way that Christians around the world can contribute to Gospel growth in China. ChinaSource

Henan province sees worst flooding in 1,000 years. Forbes
… a year’s worth of rain in a day. Accuweather
… millions affected as floods move north, more cities hit. WPost

Room for 10,000: inside China’s largest detention center. AP

China able to lock up 1 million Muslims at the same time: a wide scale picture of the scale of prison camps. Buzzfeed

Lots of saber rattling over Taiwan. What’s the possibility, by the end of this year? Or in 2022? Link

Interesting: US-China trade booms, as if virus and tariffs never happened. Bloomberg

Yet many companies and individuals worry about visiting China due to the fear of the possibility of detention—the detainment of Canadians Kovrig & Spavor, in response for the arrest of a Huawei executive in Vancouver, is on the minds of people. CNN

China also sending covert teams abroad to being back people accused (justifiably or not) of financial crimes. ProPublica

Southeast Asia (700m)

“Everyone is dying: Myanmar on the brink of decimation.” Highlights how the government is facing a major health catastrophe and chooses not to intervene or allow anyone else to help. Asia Times

In new Covid epicenter, Indonesians help each other as trust in gov’t falters. SCMP
… the peak is still to come. CNN
… record number of doctor deaths in July. Reuters

Restrictions return to Singapore. SCMP

Death rates soar in Southeast Asia. AP

Thailand, Vietnam suspend many domestic flights as COVID cases surge. Link

N America / W Europe / Pacific

Gang violence in Haiti thwart aid delivery. New Humanitarian

New Data

Covid global case data

… 7/23: 192.6m (+4.1m) cases, 4.13m deaths
… 7/16: 188.5m (+2.8m) cases, 4.06m deaths
… 7/09: 185.7m (+3.0m) cases, 4.01m deaths
… 7/02: 182.7m (+2.6m) cases, 3.96m deaths
… 6/25: 180.1m (+2.6m) cases, 3.90m deaths
… 6/18: 177.5m (+2.6m) cases, 3.84m deaths
Trackers: Johns HopkinsNYT *

CDC puts UK on Level 4 warning (avoid travel) as cases surge. Link
UK will require COVID vaccine passports to enter crowded venues. Link
… so is France, as of now. Link

Other new data

Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses (1970-2019): of the ten disasters with the most fatalities, droughts top the list, having caused 650k deaths. Report linked here.

New Longreads

Reading: Noise, by Daniel Kahneman et al. Explores noise (not bias) in decision-making.
Fifty inventions that shaped the modern economy. Quick snapshots & implications of tech.

In the queue

Friends: Understanding the power of our most important relationships. By Dunbar.
Never saw it coming: why we are blind to worst case scenarios.
Wanting: why we copy our desires for others, and the implications

Tech & Futures

China’s new flying submarine drone could change the way sea battles are fought. SCMP

US-China data fight is only getting started: China turning data a la ByteDance/TikTok into a weapon. FP

China unveils new waterless nuclear reactor, can be built in deserts etc. (what is Xinjiang, again?) Link

New documentary about Anthony Bourdain also interesting for development of AI voice that “allowed Bourdain to speak things he had only previously committed to print.” (Descrip has a similar tech for editing podcasts.) GQ

From Macy’s to Albertson’s, facial recognition is already everywhere: most customers are unaware of pervasive use. Recode

Huge story: Pegasus: private Israeli spyware used to hack cellphones of journalists and activists around the world. WPost

… Pegasus: what the latest hacks tell us. MIT Tech Review
… iPhones can be hacked even if you don’t click the link. CNBC
… This (not easy to use) tool tells you if your phone has been hacked. TechCrunch

Google’s proposed Wordcraft story editor uses AI to help you write. LinkDemo video.

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