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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