#220 – September 18, 2020
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Reminder re Covid-19: I include a lot of this mainly as it pertains to travel barriers, bubbles, and access options. The pandemic has been having a significant impact on mission deployment as well as the work of many DMMs around the world.
North Africa/Egypt-Sudan (266M)
Covid-19 lockdown lifted in Sudan. AllAfrica
Staple food prices in Sudan have risen by 50%. Guardian
Sudan’s declaration on separation of state & religion last week?
Now: Sudan govt hesitates after declaration – Middle East Eye
… reveals divisions between government, military
East Africa/Horn (520M)
Ethiopia is bringing 2,000 migrants home from Saudi Arabia. AllAfrica
… “amid growing international concern over conditions in migrant detention camps.”
Eritrea releases 20+ Christian prisoners. BBC
… had been jailed for years for their faith
At least 120 killed in Ethiopian ethnic clashes this month. Bloomberg
… in Benishangul-Gumuz region (est. 62% Christian) …
Kenya: Covid-related school closures have led to rise in FGM. Al Jazeera
… “school holidays normally a bit short for the girls to recover”
… “men only marry circumcised girls”
West Africa/Nigeria-Sahel (457M)
Nigeria: just another data point – violence in Kaduna continues. Link
Cameroon: no end in sight to the internal unrest in NW. Africa Report
West Asia/Saudi-Iran (303M)
Abu Dhabi requires visitors to wear a wristband during 2-week quarantine. AL-Monitor
… presumably tracks movements to enforce quarantine.
… (Jordan requires the same thing.)
… all arrivals tested for Covid-19.
… All arrivals/transits must provide negative certificate to fly/arrive.
… Dubai remains open for tourists, but arrivals must test negative.
“Boiling again”: Lebanon’s old Christian rivalries rear up amid crisis. Reuters
Turkey’s Interior Minister: all security cameras (incl. traffic cams) will be connected to a new agency under the Presidency. Link
… The purpose, he said, is the prevention of events or incidents that may “disturb public order”.
Yemen: famine threat returns amid upsurge in fighting. UN
Bahrain, Dubai, Israel make peace, normalize relations. CT
… Israel, Bahrain have long cooperated under the radar, esp. on surveillance. Middle East Eye
Israel will go into full Covid lockdown on 9/18. AL-Monitor
… in 2nd wave, Arab community hard hit …
Saudi Arabia will resume some international flights 9/15. AL-Monitor
Dubai’s Emirates airline rebuilding, to reach 15 destinations in Africa by October. AL-Monitor
South-central Asia (2.1B)
India: over 5m infected, outbreak still soaring. ABCNews
… added more than 1 million cases in September alone
… expected to become the worst-hit country within weeks
India needs to create 90 million new jobs McKinsey
… 60 million new non-farm workers will enter the workforce based on current demographics.
India: Rise in Covid leads to rise in child marriage, child labor. BBC
Pakistan: Rebel attacks increased in the Pashtun border region. Al Jazeera
Uzbekistan to lift ban on international flights October 1. RFE
East Asia (1.6B)
China’s anti-poverty drive is about transforming people’s thoughts. Economist, $
China: US State department lowers travel warnings, but… USA Today
… warns of arbitrary detention and exit bans …
… full text of the travel advisory: Link
China building massive surveillance database of foreigners. Link
… in this case, tens of thousands of Australians …
… reality is, if you’re working on China, there’s probably a file on you. So…?
Continued trend of repressing non-Han Chinese minorities: School for children in Tibetan areas of China started under harsh new restrictions, with children in one county ordered into Chinese boarding schools, and the language of classroom instruction in another switched from Tibetan to Mandarin. RFA
Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific airline attempts ‘survival’ by grounding 2/3 of its fleet. SCMP
South Korea: Seoul seeks $4m in damages from church over new Covid-19 outbreak. Jakarta Post
Southeast Asia (700M)
Malaysia won’t rush to reopen its borders as Covid-19 has not slowed. StraitsTimes
… abruptly suspends Malaysia My Second Home program. SCMP
Myanmar’s second wave of Covid-19 takes toll on under-60 population. RFA
Covid restrictions return to Jakarta. Al Jazeera
… “We have buried so many people… we are tired.”
Europe/North America (1,125M)
Greece to build permanent migrant camp. Link
.. to replace destroyed Moria camp.
USA: Small business failures loom as federal aid dries up. NYT
“dying by the thousands…and no one is tracking the carnage.” WPost
… nearly half of all American workers are in businesses with under-500 employees …
… how many entrepreneurs/small business folks are on your donor rolls? or in churches? …
USA: 10 key findings about the religious lives of teens and their parents. Pew
… Finding 2 – about half of teens have the same religious beliefs as parents, but half don’t, and of those, about 1/3 say their parents don’t know about the differences.
USA op/ed: likely that life in the first half of 2021 will look much like life does now. Link
… 9/18: 30.2m cases, 946k deaths
… 9/11: 28.1m cases, 909k deaths
… 9/4: 26.0m cases, 862k deaths
… 8/28: 24.2m cases, 826k deaths
… 8/21: 22.4m cases, 788k deaths
Trackers: Johns Hopkins , NYT , CovidTracking.com
Covid-19 and climate change expose the dangers of unstable supply chains. McKinsey
… “Manufacturers have built intricate production networks to deliver efficiency but have left little margin for error. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed how fragile lengthy, complex supply chains can be—and how much society has riding on their continued smooth functioning.”
“New wave of famine could sweep the globe” warns UN. Link
… Notable: DRC, Nigeria, Yemen, South Sudan
Southern Africa: Mozambique’s jihadists and the ‘curse’ of gas and rubies. BBC
Futuristics & Technology
Iranian hackers can now beat encrypted apps (like Telegram), researchers say. NYT
Seen: “The Commerce Department announced Friday morning that it would ban U.S. business transactions with China-owned social apps WeChat and TikTok on Sunday.” I am uncertain as to what impact this will have in the USA as of yet. Suggestions for analysis would be welcomed!
Covid Vaccine Development
Low tech, high speed: inside China’s race to a vaccine. Link
… 3 experimental vaccines approved for “emergency use”
… China inoculates thousands before trials completed. Reuters
1 in 7 Russian Covid-19 vaccine volunteers report side effects Link
Covid Vaccine Supplies
Russia to supply 100 million doses to India. Link
Bill Gates: Covid-19 vaccine roll out in India likely next year. Link
… “India is a leading vaccine producer; we need cooperation from India on manufacturing”
S Kor plans budget of ~US$200m to buy vaccines. Link
Satellite ministries cross boundaries. CT, $
… that’s their promise and their peril. GOD TV in Israel, among other things.
Forbes: 74% of US coal plants now more expensive than renewables. Link
… 86% will be by 2025 …
“The Essential Eight” strategies to mitigate cyber security incidents. Link
New paper: “Dissent does not die in darkness” Link
… examines network shutdowns and collectie action in African countries …
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