Roundup 194

March 6, 2020

New Events


The live tracker is here. … 96k cases, 3k deaths, 53k recovered, mortality = 3% (3k/96k) … Countries with CDC travel warnings - Link

How contagious is coronavirus? Infographic explores this - Popular Science

Everything you need to know about Coronavirus vaccines - Wired … “impossible to have a vaccine ready by November 2020” … “at least a year and a half to have a vaccine we can use”

Airlines closing flights - Reuters

300 million children out of school due to virus - Reuters

People who enter Thailand either coming from or transiting through six places will have to self-quarantine and be checked daily - Bangkok Post … South Korea, China, Macao, Hong Kong, Italy and Iran

When religion & churches are vectors for pandemics … religion playing a role in spreading coronavirus in Korea - Quartz … evangelical service in France led to new outbreak - Reuters

Concentrations… … Virus spreading fast outside China, aiports increase screening - Reuters … Tensions rise in Wuhan as lockdown enters second month - RFA … Italy’s elderly suffer heavy toll as coronavirus spreads - NYT … Iran’s Coronavirus response: pride, paranoia, secrecy, chaos - NYT … in nearly all Iranian provinces: president - Reuters … 300,000 teams will do door-to-door virus screening in Iran - Reuters … Iranian government officials say Iranian coronavirus figures “not real” - Al Arabiya

Fears in new hot spots… … spike in India infections, fears cases are not being detected - Reuters … Saudi Arabia extends pilgrimage suspension to its own citizens - Reuters … Thai quarantine flip-flop throws holidays into doubt, uncertainty - Bangkok Post … South Africa president says virus will tourism, economy - Reuters … N Korea swagger may conceal brewing disaster - Diplomat … France bans large indoor gatherings - BBC … In graying Japan, many are vulnerable but few are tested - NYT

China continuing to suggest COVID19 originated from outside China - Link

Hopeful signs… … Why the death rate from Coronavirus is plunging in China - NPR … China thinks it won’t have any new infections outside Hubei after March - SCMP

North-West Africa

Algerians have been protesting for a year - shows little signs of disbanding - Brookings

North Africa / Warring States

Drones, deniability and disinformation: warfare in Libya - War on the Rocks … “and the new international disorder”

Western Africa / Lake Chad / Sahel


Violence continues in Mali despite negotiation efforts - ReliefWeb

How an execution style massacre unfolded in Cameroon - New Humanitarian … alleged use of ethnic militia by government adds a dangerous new dimension …

Gunmen from surrounding areas kill 50 in Kaduna, north Nigeria - Reuters


Nigeria’s government agrees: Islamist terrorists target Christians - CT

Nigeria: inside the infamous “floating slum” of Makoko - BBC … water full of household rubbish and human waste … … 196 million people in Nigeria, 95m in extreme poverty, 50% of urbanites in slums …

Ethiopia / Horn / East Africa

Fighting erupts between Somali national army, regional forces - Reuters … between Somali government and Jubbaland state leader

Blood, Sand, Gold: victor’s city rises from the ashes of Sudan’s civil war - Guardian … the town of Zurrug being built in Darfur …

Saudi / Israel / Lebanon / Syria / Gulf

Yemen’s war is escalating again - Brookings … after five months of de-escalation, resumed missile attacks, air strikes …

“There’s nothing left”: satellite images show razed villages in Idlib, Syria - NPR

“All our dreams are gone”: desperation deepens for Syrians - Reuters

West Asia / Turkey

Briefing: a manufactured refugee crisis at the Greek-Turkish border - New Humanitarian

Thousands of migrants attempt to cross into Europe from Turkey - photos - Atlantic … Greece pushes back migrants after Turkish border ‘onslaught' - Reuters … This time the gate is closed - NPR … video shows Greek mobs attacking migrant boats, aid workers - Vice

Turkey says it will send special forces police to help refugees enter Europe, prevent Greece from pushing them back from their border - Vice

Afghanistan / Pakistan / Pashto

Afghanistan: between hope and hopelessness - Diplomat … durable peace, or new war… which is it?

Taliban ramp up attacks on Afghans - NYT … 76 attacks across 24 provinces in the past week …

Taliban rules out talking with Afghan government until prisoners freed - Reuters

Afghan conflict: US conducts first air strike on Taliban since deal - BBC


As India counts dead, brutality of Hindu-Muslim riot emerges - AP … death toll reached 46 - Diplomat … A mob out for blood - AP

Delhi’s displaced scrape a living after deadly riots - Reuters … 2,000 displaced by Hindu-Muslim riots … many now in Mustafabad camp

Muslims accuse police of targeted killings - FP … Experts say police complicity could breed impunity for Hindu mobs across India - FP

“Why India’s Muslims are in grave danger”: could be start of larger pogrom - FP … Q&A - The real objective of mob violence against Muslims in India - New Yorker

Iran asks India to stop attacks on Muslims after deadly riots - Reuters … Bangladeshi Muslims march in Dhaka to protest India violence - AP

Bengali / Bangladesh

Greater progress needed to ensure safe return of Rohingya - UN


China’s education ministry announces “classes have stopped but learning has not” - CSM … but online lessons keep failing the Party’s pervasive internet censorship tests

How many Christians in China, part 2 - China Source

Why China’s “Sea Turtles” face inner struggles after returning to home shores - RadiiChina … Many Chinese graduates of overseas colleges experience more than just “reverse culture shock” upon returning home – their worldview is shaken up


North Korea test fires two short-range projectiles - Reuters

Southeast Asia

How Malaysia’s government collapsed in two years - BBC … after 2 years, the new govt is out, old ruling party back in power …

Surge in fighting in Rakhine state, Myanmar - HRW, RFA

Notable Europe / Americas

USA: The steep decline in church attendance among women - Barna … a Ryan Burge piece, and I’ve come to really respect him …

Want some good news about the future of faith? Look to Gen Z - Desert News … despite rising disaffiliation rates in other generations, no growth in disaffiliated among GenZ … “leveling off of rates of disaffiliation”

But: ‘The possible decline of the nones isn’t a boost for evangelicals' - CT

New Data

More than half the 41 million displaced are women and girls - ReliefWeb … new report looks at the implications …

5 charts that bust some myths about migration - WEF

Longer reads

New 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World prayer guides out for 2020 - Link

Four things to study if you want to multiply - Link … a great collection of questions to ask in order to better understand a culture …

Witnessing the hell that a migrant can face - Asia Times … The 'Eastern Route' across the Gulf of Aden, through Yemen, to Saudi is the 'busiest maritime migration path on Earth' … … “At Obock, Djibouti, 2,000 migrants gather each day along the waters of the Gulf of Aden; they look for boats to get them to Yemen” …

The world’s refugee system is broken - Atlantic

Southern Baptists have only 13 African-American career missionaries. What will it take to mobilize more? CT


China adopts new rules for tighter Internet censorship - SupChina … legal justification to widely censor content, punish creators … … but so far most VPN apps are still working - Asia Times … an analysis: ‘no bad news, just happiness and positivity' - China Law Blog

China tracking people’s phones as they return to work - RFA … anyone visiting certain areas asked to scan a QR code with their phone … fill in details about travel history, body temperature … combined with nationwide facial recognition & surveillance … ‘the moment he arrived in Nanchang, got a phone call from local police department'

The best VPNs, another roundup - Wired … ExpressVPN comes out on top, $6.67/mo …

New #AI chip can perform image recognition tasks in seconds - MIT

#AI is the fastest expanding discipline in China’s universities - SCMP … 180 universities approved to offer it as a major, up from 35 in 2018 …

Twitter is testing out disappearing tweets - Wired … following example of Facebook, Snap … new feature called “fleets” …

Google Assistant can now read webpages in aloud in 42 languages - Verge

Military funded bio-sensor could be the future of pandemic detection - DefenseOne … on track for FDA approval by early 2021 …

Youtube has nearly halved the number of conspiracy theory videos it recommends - MIT … “but the total is creeping back up again” … “recommendations responsible for almost 75% of the 1 billion+ hours spent watching videos”

‘Peak oil' around 2041, Gulf economies prepare - Asia Times … used to mean ‘when we run out of oil', now ‘when demand declines due to alternate energy'


“The biggest threat to Christianity is cultural Christianity - a version of Christianity that sprinkles Jesus on our own agenda.” ~Eugene Cho

“No person, not even the best one can give your soul all it needs.” ~Tim Keller

The Last Five