Conference Update
We are aware of tropical storm Ian and the potential it might become a hurricane and affect weather in Orlando. Current information leads us to believe that our event will proceed as planned. Please plan to join us as scheduled. With each day, new information is available.

Our next update will be posted here at 6 PM, Sunday evening.

Read the Weekly Roundup: February 17

By Justin D. Long, ed.

Perspective, Insight, Context, Analysis

New events

Earthquakes: 6.7 Philippines
Famine: looms in [Yemen, S Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia] as aid system struggles to cope

North Africa

Egypt’s Nightmare: Longread on Sisi’s dangerous war on the Muslim Brotherhood.
… What happened to Egypt’s Muslim brotherhood? Internal disagreements…
… Egypt’s NGO law aims to ‘erase civil society’: crackdown on human rights groups
… Two Coptic Christians killed in Egypt’s Sinai by militants
Libya: Still in the mire as another anniversary passes
… ‘we got rid of one dictator to see 10,000 others take his place’
Morocco: return to the African Union = more powerful position vs. Western Sahara
… Western Sahara still a tug-of-war between Morocco, Algeria, South Africa.
Sudan & S Sudan still quarrelling over oil-rich Abyei province.
South Sudan: more on fighting in Wau Shiluk, Kajo Keji: ‘devastating’, 50k displaced.
Tunisia: facing a crisis with many soldiers heading home from ISIS/Syria wars.
… Last week: Last week’s Economist piece. High unemployment = young targeted by radicals

West Africa

Gambia: Cancels withdrawal from International Criminal Court.
Mali: 20 killed in inter-ethnic clashes (Bambara v Fulani) in central Mali.
… lawyers denounce arbitrary arrests.
Mauritania: trial postponed for blogger accused of apostasyHRW analysis.
Nigeria: Oil discovered in Borno state, Boko Haram heartland.
… not necessarily a good thing.

East Africa/Horn:

Ethiopia v Kenya: dams, plantations a threat to Kenyans
Eritrea: For refugees, 50 years of injustice. 750,000 Eritrean refugees, 500k in Sudan.
Ethiopia: foreign investment slumps after attacks on foreign-owned businesses.
… govt state of emergency. 600 demonstrators killed by security forces.
… how long can Ethiopia’s state of emergency keep the lid on anger?
Somalia: Presidential change unlikely to improve situation for Christian minority.
… but has inspired optimism for Somalia’s future.
Somalia, Sudan: ICRC assisting 240,000 affected by drought, famine.

Central Asia

Kazakhstan: editor arrested, ‘one of the last media outlets’ openly critical of government
Kyrgyzstan: The Kyrgyz Baptists: a case study in religious persecution in Central Asia.
Turkmenistan: President wins re-election with 98% of the vote, unsurprisingly.

West Asia/Gulf

Afghanistan: losing the ‘stalemate’: ‘there is little room for optimism’
… ‘Taliban controls most of Jowzjan’ (where Red Cross employees killed last week)
… ‘Senior ISIS leader arrested in Jalalabad [Nangarhar]’
Iraq: battles still raging in eastern Mosul: not quite as liberated as some imply
… but 30,000 have returned.
… massive car bomb in Baghdad kills 39, 3rd attack in 3 days
Jordan: Bishop says the Christian influence in Jordan is still strong.
… through Catholic schools, hospitals and charities.
Lebanon: 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon make up 25% of total population.
… all refugees together make up an estimate third of the total population.
Saudi Arabia: streaming services surge in Gulf.
… Saudi has highest YouTube consumption in the world.
… and, partnership to invest $1.3 billion in 100 international schools in Saudi Arabia.
… and, the changing face of Saudi women (National Geographic).
Yemen: humanitarian situation deteriorates, 2 years in 2 minutes video.
… Iran called for a truce in Yemen, according to FT (Paywall).

South Asia:

India: the election no one can afford to lose: analysis of its importance.
… BJP looks to ride on an invisible alliance of backward castes.
… Bloomberg Video: What India’s key election means for Modi.
Pakistan: Christians attacked as land dispute escalates. IS attacking Sufis.

East Asia:

China: Proposes new commission to tighten Internet laws.
… confirms expelling 32 S Korea missionaries, maybe amid missile defense tension
… Hunan: Christianity theme park in Mao Zedong’s home province sparks outrage.
… Asia’s looming labor shortage: the need, difficulties of migrant flows intra-Asia.
… plans to relocate 3.4 million poor to more developed communities to stamp out poverty.
… Foreign Affairs: China’s Great Awakening: How the PRC got religion.
… a lonely valentine’s day for millions of men: 33.59m more men than women
Japan: Bankruptcy looms for Toshiba, $6.3 billion loss on US nuclear business
… employs 200,000, could have significant impact on Japanese economy.
Mongolia: tens of thousands of nomadic herders face hunger, loss of livelihoods
… temperatures plummet, heavy snow blankets country for 2nd winter
N Korea: Kim Jong-nam, the hunted heir to a dictator who met death in exile.
… there are scenarios of other countries behind the assassination, to send a messagej
… China reportedly deploys 1,000 troops to N Korean border as ‘in case’.
… this is an unconfirmed report, and other analysts conjecture it might be fabricated.
… The serious threat of North Korea: launch of medium-range ballistic missile.
… launch reinforced US-Korea-Japan intentions on THAAD defense, which China opposes.

Southeast Asia

Indonesia: facing blasphemy charges, Indonesian politician ‘happy history chose me’
… Christian governor of Jakarta in a ‘bare knuckles political contest’
… Time: Racial and religious harmony in capital are about to face a major test
… HRW: Indonesia’s religious minorities under threat.
… FP: Indonesia’s moderate Islam is slowly crumbling.
… Gubernatorial race entered second round
Laos: Chinese marriage proposals become prostitution nightmares for some
Myanmar: ends its 4-month counterinsurgency operation in Rakhine, vs. Rohingya.
… backgrounder on the Rohingya Migrant Crisis.

New Data

New report: Southeast Asia 2017 digital landscape
Foreign military bases in Africa
New viruses emerging in your backyard: new diseases mapped, globally
500 years of Protestantism: a new infographic from CSGC
Global bomb blasts: India worst (406 in 2016), Iraq 2nd (221), Pakistan 161, Afgh 132.
Anthology of African Christianity: where faith is growing the fastest
… 160 essays, 30 regional/denominational surveys, 50 national surveys

Longer reads

Pure virality is a myth: the science behind why things really get popular.
… To spread idea: a touch of familiarity, a distribution network, and ‘the soft kiss of luck.’
… Leads to the incredible Hit Makers: the science of popularity in an age of distraction.
… a must-read for CPM/DMM thinkers. How movements spread.
Anatomy of an Exodus: how Europe’s refugee and migrant crisis unfolded.
Import of language, place, religion: what makes one truly a national or stranger is tricky

Lifehacking, Tactics, Skills, Rules

How to nail an email introduction to a busy person.
Managing your email with the ‘Yesterbox’ technique.

Pioneer Mission Startups, Strategy

Generational change and succession in VC firms: a conversation.
… many VC firms don’t care about generational change; “shut lights off” when done.

UPG Profiles, Travelogues, Stories

Yemen: “We die either from bombing or the hunger.”
Indonesia: city wants to build a giant statue of the scary ghost it’s named after.
Indian trains: a traveller’s survival guide.
Shanghai ranks no. 4 of world’s top 30 cities. Also with notable Christian presence.
‘The Death Road’: a young Syrian mother’s journey smuggled from Sudan to Egypt
Yunnan: Discovering the spiritual side of southwestern China
How to experience Tibet without the permit
China’s ‘Taobao villages’ have found a lifeline making trinkets for the Internet


Code-Dependent: Pros and Cons of the Algorithm Age (Pew)
#AI: The AI threat isn’t Skynet, it’s the end of the middle class.
… AI isn’t a threat… yet. Four reasons why it won’t be, and why we have plenty of time.
… Amazon launches new AWS AI blog.
#Drones: DARPA’s new flight system grabs heavy-duty drones from the sky at full speed.
… real-time drone video beamed into Apache helicopter cockpits.
#Media: The battle for consumers’ attention
… Disney blockbusters vs. Youtube channel of Ryan. Only so many eyeballs.
#Refugees: Watch IKEA’s flat-pack refugee shelter unfold: 4 hours in 2 minutes.
#Security: a16z: Software secures the video
… excellent 20 minute video overview of cyberattacks & security
… #Crime: Ransomware attacks on the rise: locking files, charging you to get them back
… State-sponsored hackers targeting journalists: could target NGO workers too
#Surveillance: India’s proposed mass surveillance programme blow to internet freedom.
… China is collecting the fingerprints of foreigners entering the country.
#Mapping: Startup launches 100 satellites so it can photograph the world every day.
#Water: The CloudFisher net turns fog into drinking water in Morocco: for 800 people/day
How soap, chairs and clothing could stop mosquito bites and diseases


Do not let what you cannot do get in the way of what you can. ~John Wooden
Never let anyone regret that they spent time with you. ~John Teo

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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