Read the Weekly Roundup: March 31

By Justin D. Long, ed.

Perspective, Insight, Context, Analysis

New events

North Africa

Chad: Hybrid War wreaking havoc in West Africa: a deep look at Chad’s strategic situation
Egypt: likely to raise monthly food subsidies 29%: living costs soared since November
… Will Christians be allowed to enroll in Al-Azhar University?
Libya: Struggle for control of Libya’s oil threatens to deepen conflicts
Morocco: What’s behind China’s love affair with Morocco

West Africa

UN: Over 1 million people are stateless in West Africa.
Prof. Ousmane Kane’s new book ‘illuminates the roots, influence of Islam in West Africa
Benin: Nigeria’s recession deals a blow to Benin’s smuggling hub
… import tariffs in Nigeria resulted in Nigerians shopping in Benin for high-tariff goods
Burkina Faso: ReliefWeb: Insecurity in northern Burkina Faso, report
Gambia: The nation’s missing sons and daughters
… ‘by % of population, more Gambians have headed to Europe than any other nation’
… and, ‘Straddling Two Worlds: highly skilled migrants from Senegambia and Switzerland
Mali: ‘…remains beset by banditry, unrest and Islamist attacks’ especially in the north
… ‘what do Malians in the north hope for?’
Niger: Fleeing Boko Haram, thousands cling to a road to nowhere (NYT Longread)
… ‘more than 130,000 people amassed along this desert highway outside Diffa’
Nigeria: 6 states you must never visit in Nigeria, according to UK government
… basically, northeast section. Also, plenty of “yellow” “advise against non-essential travel”
Senegal: Sex for the Soil: Senegal’s gold rush fuels human trafficking from Nigeria
… women trafficked rising as gold rush fuels demand for sex workers from miners
… Gambia-Senegal Population Movement, ReliefWeb emergency action plan
… 45,000 reportedly crossed into Senegal after presidential election unrest in Gambia

East Africa/Horn:

ReliefWeb/World Vision Hunger Response Situation Report, March 2017
Drought and War height threaten of not just 1 famine, but 4
Djibouti: ‘Wealthier nations can learn from how tiny Djibouti welcomes refugees
Eritrea: Eritrean refugees in Missoula, MT, USA
Ethiopia: Extends state of emergency by four months
… but, interesting: earned US$1.6 billion from tourism during last six months
Somalia: Once again, drought has thousands on the move
… IRIN: 2 famines in 6 years? ‘Famines only occur if political decision-makers allow them’
S Sudan: 12-photo essay: the perilous road to safety for S Sudan refugees
… Over 60,000 South Sudan refugees arrived in Sudan in Q1 2017

Central Asia

Water Wars: will they derail China’s Silk Road?
Russia is one of the main destinations for migrants in the world.
… vast majority looking for employment opportunities, many from former USSR states
… Central Asia at forefront; if looking to work w/Central Asians, go to Moscow?
Kyrgyzstan: Police suggest expelling foreigners without courts
… ostensibly to deal with illegal migration, but recently expelled Russian journalist
… and, 50% of female Kyrgyzstanis at age 60 are widows
Tajikistan: IAEA team helping nuclear remediation preparations
… and, Poisonous legacy: Soviet-era uranium mining, waste remain a public risk.

West Asia/Gulf

Iraq: ‘future stability will depend on how it manages its various militias
Palestine: Drug cultivation, trafficking on the rise.
Oman: ‘produces half a million Tweets a day,’ mostly by mobile phone.
Qatar: Migrant workers still blocked from leaving Qatar despite labor reforms
… forcing workers to seek employer consent to change jobs, leave country = exploitation
Saudi Arabia: US issues travel warning for tourists visiting Saudi Arabia
… fighting in Yemen has spilled over into Saudi Arabia
… 100s of foreign workers who overstayed their visas queue to leave during 3-day amnesty
… in poll, Saudi Arabia listed among 10 worst places for expats to live.
… (Worse: Greece, Nigeria)
… Relaxing restrictions? Live concerts, shows now being permitted.
… (Family-friendly shows preferred.)
Syria: More than 5 million have fled the country.
Yemen: Child marriage soars as famine looms.

South Asia

Most expensive cities: Dhaka, Colombo, Kathmandu.
Bangladesh: Wheat blast fungal virus could be ‘catastrophic’ for South Asia
Iran: US Congress cautiously taking on Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
India: Pragmatic water diplomacy need of the hour in South Asia
… Ladycops: 100s  of women’s police stations set up: fight domestic abuse, sexual violence.
… Muslim women in India ask top court to ban instant divorce.
… announces plans to seal its borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Maldives: As the Maldives gains tourists, it’s losing its beaches
… Turkish company to build largest mosque in Maldives: 6,000 worshipper capacity
Pakistan: Prosecutor allegedly blackmailing Christians to convert to Islam
… to avoid conviction in the killing of two Muslims in mass violence two years ago

East Asia

China: Beneath the surface of Xi Jinping’s rise: the sense of impending crisis
… Jing-Jin-Ji: the planned megacity to house 130 million people, the size of New England
… The rise of a liberal, social media-savvy generation is changing Chinese society
… leadership becoming repressive, but society is becoming increasingly liberal
… Chinese bothered by ‘festival fatigue’
N Korea: likely wants the West to know it’s planning another nuclear test.
… North Korea’s newspapers, and how they differ. Short answer: not much.

Southeast Asia

Malaysia: Why Chinese by the thousands are moving to Malaysia
Singapore: Why is Singapore the most expensive city in the world to live in?
… main item is the cost of owning a car. Without that, life is more manageable.

New Data & Resources

2017 30 Days of Prayer for Muslims guide available for pre-order
Heat waves in large cities likely to increase: 3,200 died in Pakistan/India in 2015 from heat
Check out the world birth & death simulator: great graphic
From huts to highrises: Africa’s changing landscape. IMB.

Longer reads

Kingsley, Patrick. “The Jihadi who turned to Jesus.” NYT.
UNOCHA. 5 essentials for the first 72 hours of disaster response.
Binkley, Collin. ‘Iranians, engines of US university research, wait in limbo.’
Mobilizing Middle East/North Africa diaspora for economic integration, entrepreneurship
… est. 20 million MENA citizens live abroad, or 5% of the population of the region.
Two Possible Worlds: Doom Loops vs. Delight Loops: How beliefs shape us. 2-minute vid.
Guilt-Innocence cultures (West) are W.E.I.R.D.

Lifehacking, Tactics, Skills, Rules

3 great practices for navigating complexity: actually, these are great tools for reflection.
How retreats can transform your team.
4 basic problems cause all the cognitive biases that screw up our judgment.
… too much info, not enough meaning, not enough time/resources, not enough memory

Pioneer Mission Startups, Strategy

Six things every mentor should do: some basic ground rules.

UPG Profiles, Travelogues, Stories

Newly uncovered pictures depict life across North Africa 125 years ago.
West Africa: My night on board a Chinese fishing vessel-.
7 places to visit in Djibouti
Why Oman might just be the greatest holiday destination you hadn’t thought of


#Commerce: If Amazon gets much more successful, regulation may loom.
#Drones: China will open a drone factory in Saudi Arabia.
#Encryption: why breaking it is a bad idea that could never work anyway
#Mobile: How Mobile is changing you. 109-slide PPT. (h/t Dave Hackett)
#Payments: China’s mobile payment transactions almost doubled in 2016
… and, Facebook clones GoFundMe with ‘personal fundraiser’ feature.
#Robots: Economist graphic on the growth of industrial robots.
… Evidence that robots are winning the race for American jobs
… and causing small decreases in wages, too.
#Security: There’s actually a massive speed increase by forcing https: on websites
… I set my website ( to force https, encrypting every page. It’s faster.
US Congress voted to allow ISPs to sell web browsing history.
… everyone started talking about VPNs as a result. Lots of good learning about VPNs.
… How do I know if my VPN is trustworthy?
#Space: China’s ‘secret plan to crush SpaceX and the US space program
#Surveillance: WeChat posts implicated in Taiwan activist’s detention.
… and, Chongqing police to punish those skirting China’s Great Firewall
… but, the Great Firewall gives rise to a robust industry of information smugglers


We give ourselves the benefit of the doubt all the time. We need to extend the same kindness to others. ~J. D. Greear

The best innovators I know are obsessed by evidence. Their intuition gets stronger with increasing evidence. ~Tim Brown

No one who says “I’m as good as you” believes it. They would not say it if they did. ~C. S. Lewis

The church changes the world not by making converts, but by making disciples. ~John Wesley

We shall have no better conditions in the future if we are satisfied with all those which we have at present. ~Thomas Edison

Justin Long, a missionary researcher serving with Beyond (a Missio Nexus member) provides the Weekly Roundup. Sign up to get it every week or visit his daily blog: Member organizations can provide content to the Missio Nexus website. See how by clicking here.

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