Read the Weekly Roundup: May 12

By Justin D. Long, ed.

Perspective, Insight, Context, Analysis

New events

North Africa

BBC2’s new 2-part travel program is an in-depth look at North Africa.
Libya: No political deal reached yet.
… ICC mulls investigation into Libya’s abuse of refugees: sold in slave markets

West Africa

Ditching African print cloth (Dutch wax prints) for Chinese ‘real-fakes’
Niger: Growing needs of those displaced by Boko Haram conflict.
… for more than 3 years, conflict has taken a heavy toll around Lake Chad …
… As droughts worsen, phones and radios lead way to water for Niger’s herders
Nigeria: 82 of the girls captured by Boko Haram have been released.
… negotiating for more Chibok releases.

East Africa/Horn:

Report: the impact of social media on peace in the Horn.
Report: Sex for Fish: women’s reluctant trade on Kenya’s Lake Victoria shore
… fortunately, microenterprise programs beginning to change this
Ethiopia: Anguish and unrest in Amhara over Ethiopian state of emergency.
… Photocollage: The Amhara people pine for the Ethiopia of old.
… Drought highlights the plight of Ethiopia’s internally displaced.
Somalia: Government wants arms embargo lifted to fight al-Shabab.
… In pictures: a life or death search for water in drought-parched Somalia.
S Sudan: China’s success in Africa depends on peace in South Sudan.
… key oil reserves, end-point of major projects planned in Kenya.

Central Asia

Kazakhstan: set for economic recovery, but what next?
… sustaining reform momentum, confronting corruption is vital.
… Kazakhstan cracks down on religious freedom.
… Now Kazakh Christians can prove their faith isn’t foreign:
… Archaeologists discover Christianity existed along Silk Road before Russians arrived.
Tajikistan: Fighting along the Afghan border: how concerned should Central Asia be?
Turkmenistan: ‘Erasing images of the dead in southwestern Turkmenistan

West Asia/Gulf

Saudi Arabia: Pres. Trump to visit.
… backgrounder/survey of history of US Presidential visits, foreign policy issues.
Syria: Russia, Turkey, Iran agree on de-escalation zones for Syria.
… ‘remains a great deal of skepticism over whether such a deal can be implemented’
… ‘relative calm reported in Syria safe zones after deal comes into force
Turkey: US approves plan to arm Syrian Kurds against IS.
… Erdogan called on the US to immediately reverse this decision.
… can Syrian refugees be a boon to Turkey’s economy?
… skyrocketing welfare spending is a major instrument to lure and control voters.

South Asia

Afghanistan: US poised to expand effort against Taliban.
… Take note: security situation in Afghanistan likely to get worse.
… Voices from Kunduz: fearing the worst as the Taliban close in again
India: Map of the Maoist Rebellion
… ‘violence declining in recent years, but in 2016 it spiked’
Nepal: 1 in 2 Nepalis use the Internet. (almost all using smartphones).
Sri Lanka: “Planting churches and ‘saving souls’
… a post on Lankaweb that is anti-proselytization, gives a sense of some perspectives

East Asia

China: to further tighten Internet controls.
… on campuses far from China, still under Beijing’s watchful eye.
… and, how international students are changing US colleges: infographic
… Backgrounder on the important Belt and Road initiative.
… Can China and the Catholic Church kiss and make up?
… if money can’t buy happiness, many Chinese now seek spiritual meaning (PRI)
… tourism industry ordered to monitor, report on visitors to Xinjiang.
… video: Beijing revamps hutong rules, demolishes buildings
… ‘another way to target migrant workers’
N Korea: government says it foiled an assassination plot, but story has no credibility.
… Four US citizens have been detained in North Korea. always potential hostages.
… US and South Korea+China may be at odds over how to deal with North Korea.
… Any cooling in China-North Koreas ties could benefit Russia.
… Backstory: How Reuters reports from North Korea (how information gets out)
… Despite arrests, Americans continue to visit North Korea
Also: The rise of Cafe Churches in South Korea
… corruption scandals driving young Christians away from megachurches & conservativism

Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is taking over as the region’s economic growth leader
Indonesia: Jakarta governor sentenced to 2 years in jail for blasphemy.
… harsher than expected ruling critics fear will embolden hardline Islamist forces…
Malaysia: Christians being kidnapped/murdered.
Thailand: ‘A vacation with a purpose: fighting trafficking in Thailand
… ‘Building a vision of heaven for Thailand’s God: the funeral pyre for the king

New Data

China-Africa Trade, 1992-2015, country-by-country.
Mexico was the second deadliest country in 2016, despite others getting the report.
… drug wars claimed 23,000 lives during 2016, second to Syria’s 50,000 dead.
Ukraine surpasses Afghanistan in landmine casualites: 101 killed during 2016.
The world’s largest cities throughout history, mapped.
Pew: Religious belief and national belonging in Central and Eastern Europe
… ‘religion has reasserted itself as an important part of identity…’

Longer reads

4 minute video from ABWE: the Great Commission is humanly impossible.
… ‘God rarely calls his servants to do reasonable things’
33 minute video: Pioneering Movements in the Czech Republic
… Steve Addison talks to Nathan Beck
Berkeley author George Lakoff says, ‘Don’t undestimate Trump’
… the framework of this is political, but value goes far beyond that.
… this is about worldview, ideas activating neural circuits and getting stronger.
… how communication needs to be aimed at subconcious worldviews
… how to understand worldview ‘frames’, understand how narrative impacts us, etc.
How Houston has become the most diverse place in America.
… read for a look at where America is headed (?) and why cross-cultural ministry required
Peace in Colombia has led to a cocaine boom in the United States.
3 mothers in Pittsburgh start making and selling hijabs for Barbies.
Cuba’s new luxury hotels look to waves of US tourists
… probably not the short-term trips, but indicator that Cuba is gearing up for more visitors

Lifehacking, Tactics, Skills, Rules

Don’t call it networking: three important, measurable keys
… 1) identify stakeholders, 2) interact meaningfully, 3) add value without expecting something

Pioneer Mission Startups, Strategy

A look at how the Local News Business Model is changing.
… other business models – like those in missions – are changing too. Are there parallels?
Coke’s new CEO James Quincey to Staff: Make Mistakes
… ‘If we’re not experimenting more… making mistakes… we’re not trying hard enough.’

UPG Profiles, Travelogues, Stories

Chinese traders changed South Africa–but now they’re leaving
… relentlessly bad economy, rising tide of xenophobia, competition from new malls
… and, The best days of selling cheap Chinese goods in Africa are over
35 photos: Scenes from Xinjiang.
Explore Sudan’s forgotten pyramids.
Creepy Soviet Space Shuttles sitting in a Kazakhstan desert.
A day in Kyrgyzstan: off the beaten path, natural beauty and rich culture worth a visit.


China’s Internet Statistics for 2017: 731 million as of December 2016.
Growth in technology can disrupt mission service agencies
… reflecting on the closure of GMI
On Google Maps, where the border is depends on who’s looking at them
… and rivers, roads disappear too, based on disputed zones.
Interesting Kickstarter: the Field Study Handbook
… ‘collection of 50 essential templates … for running international field research’
#Agriculture: US farmers, who once fed the world, are overtaken by new powers.
… Apple-picking robot prepares to compete for farm jobs: who will lose out?
#AI: From warehouse to your house in 13 minutes: how AI will reshape retail
… and, realistic AI is making it easy to generate/manipulate video/audio
… letting anyone be impersonated with amazing accuracy.
… every single machine learning course on the Internet, ranked by reviews
#Autodrive: How self-driving cars could end Uber. #Disruption.
… Uber teases Uber Freight.
… South Korea builds the world’s largest test bed for self-driving cars.
… Norway’s self-driving electric ship will replace thousands of truck trips
#Books: Why the Google Books operation failed.
#Crime: mobile network hackers used 2FA SMS codes to drain bank accounts
… using SMS for 2-factor authentication is not secure. (Use the apps.)
#Drones: AeroVironment unveils palm-sized surveillance drone.
#Free: Half of all Americans pay for news. 26% who use for free willing to pay.
… no.1 reason: coverage of a specific topic.
#Social: Facebook to launch TV-like shows in June.
… and cracks down on fake accounts, downgrades fake news spreaders in news feed
#VR: North Korea VR, an extraordinary glimpse of the world’s most oppressive country


“Africa has been evangelized but the African mind has not been captured for Christ. ” ~Tokunboh Adeyemo

We don’t become more spiritual by becoming less human. ~Eugene Peterson

“I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life.” ~Nepalese mountainer Tenzing Norgay

There are no closed doors to the gospel – provided that, once you get inside, you don’t care if you ever come out. ~Brother Andrew

“Discernment is a discriminating choice between two or more good options.” ~Gordon T. Smith

“Pursue something so important that even if you fail, the world is still better off with you having tried.” ~Tim O’Reilly

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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