Roundup 210

July 3, 2020

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 Hopkins, NYT,

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 the midst of 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 madeThe 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 KongUS 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 residentsChina 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.

#ML: 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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