Roundup #227

#227 – November 13, 2020

By Justin Long

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Don’t Miss

Beyond’s next online Disciplemaking Nugget Training, 11/18: will focus on how to multiply churches toward movements. Come join with us as one of our field leaders facilitates the conversation. Some have asked for recordings. We don’t provide recordings–first, because of security reasons; and second, unique to nuggets, nearly all of the conversation is in small breakout groups as people read Scripture and discuss how to apply it in their own lives. It’s less a presentation and more a community discovering Scriptural truth together. This is a truly unique series of events; I’m proud of the people who work hard on it, and I hope you’ll join. Link

New Events

Northern Africa

Egypt: Tourists disappear, Bedouins revive ancient farming roots.  CSM

Following peace deal, talks on Libya’s political future begin.  UN
… breakthrough peace agreement between 5 senior commanders in Geneva last month …
… peace seems to be holding, for now …

Morocco launches military operation in Western Sahara.  AP
… to clear a key road blockaded by weeks by supporters of Polisario Front …

East Africa

Ethiopia, war
Military seizes airport as fighting rages in Tigray.  Al Jazeera
Ethiopia bombs Tigray arms depots, thousands flee.  Yahoo News
Sudan braces for 200k fleeing Ethiopia fighting.  Hurriyet
… Over 11,000 flee to Sudan as Tigray Region conflict continues.  Dabanga
Experts React: understanding the conflict in Tigray.  AllAfrica
Ethiopian police seeking lists of ethnic Tigrayans.  Al Jazeera
… fears over ethnic undertones of the conflict …
… police chief orders ID of ethnic Tigrayans from NGOs …
… Amnesty reports a massacre in Tigray …
Ethiopia withdraws 1000s of troops from neighboring Somali.  Bloomberg
… redeployed to help offensive in Tigray Region …
… raising concerns of a security vacuum in Somalia …

Civilians reel as violence spins out of control in Mozambique.  Al Jazeera
… in Cabo Delgado, NE coast, on border with Tanzania …
… conflict with ISIL …
With village beheadings, Islamic state intensifies attacks.  NYT

Somalia: Locusts swarm into Mogadishu’s pastureland.  Independent

Violence continues in South Sudan despite peace deal.  AllAfrica
… mainly fueled by revenge attacks, cattle raids, land grabbing …

Western Asia

Armenia v Azerbaijan, war
And that’s a wrap on the war: Armenia surrenders.  Eurasianet
… Russian peacekeepers on their way to the region …
Ceasefire greeted by anger, disbelief in Armenia.  Middle East Eye

Iraq, in Photos: intimate glimpse of Arbaeen religious holiday.  NYT

200 Iraqi Christian families return to Nineveh.  MEMO

Iraq shuts down last ‘safe haven’ camps for vulnerable families.  Yahoo News
… 1.3 million still displaced inside Iraq …
… rapid camp closures could leave 100k in limbo …

The Widow’s Camp: Syrian women craft their safe space.  SyriaDirect

First COGIC Bishop to Israel meets opposition from counter-Missionaries.  CT
… interesting look at anti-missionary forces in Israel …

Eastern Asia

HK pro-democracy lawmakers resign.  BBC
… after Beijing forced removal of four of their colleagues …
… leaves only pro-Beijing lawmakers …
HK resigning over Beijing resolution.  SCMP
… “Beijing has completely abandoned the Basic Law” …

Suicide spike in Japan shows mental health toll of Covid-19.  Bloomberg
… suicides up 15% in August, even more among women, school-aged children …

N Korea cracks down on local markets, overseas defectors.  Diplomat
… as Covid-19 continues to hamstring economy, NKoreans grow increasingly desperate
… government moves to keep everything under tight control

South Asia

Food crisis deepens in Afghanistan: 42% facing acute hunger.  ReliefWeb

Overall civilian casualties in Afghanistan down, but ….  Link
… civ casualties caused by Taliban up …

String of attacks have Kabul residents pointing a finger at the government.  NYT

India’s Magh Mela: one of the world’s largest religious pilgrimages is moving ahead as planned.  NatGeo
… usually draws 10 million Hindus …

The cold requirements of Pfizer’s vaccine brings little cheer to India.  Link
… India’s crippling heat, erratic electricity and limited cold storage makes Pfizer vaccine a challenge
… will apply in other countries in similar environments

Iran struggles to cope with raging coronavirus pandemic.  RFE
… “caught second wind and returned with great ferocity” …
… “death toll in recent weeks has skyrocketed” …
… “40k officially dead, real number likely 2x as high” …
… “called for 2-week nationwide shutdown, severe restrictions on intercity travel” …
… “Tehran = half the deaths” ….
… 700k cases = ~1% infected. 80k deaths = ~10% CFR rate.

South-eastern Asia

Indonesia to begin mass vaccination using Chinese vaccine late this year.  Straits Times

Typhoon Rolly impacted 250,000+ in Philippines.  UN

The monarchy is god: a Thai royalist in a divided kingdom.  Reuters
… looks at changing norms in Thailand with respect to the monarchy …
… re deference: “The new generation and youth, they’re not into it”

Europe/LatinAm/N Am

Hurricane Eta thrashes Central American countries.  ReliefWeb
… 3.3m affected, 115k evacuated …

Barna American Worldview Inventory 2020.  PDF
… “American Christians redefining their faith: creating new worldview loosely tied to Biblical teaching”
Pair with this op/ed: US Evangelicals aren’t what they used to be.  NYT
… a historical survey of the interfacing between Evangelicals and politics …
… loss of evangelistic focus …

USA: Biden pledges to raise refugee ceiling to 125,000. Link


Covid case data
… 11/13: 53.0m cases, 1.29m deaths (2.4% CFR)
… 11/6: 49.1m cases, 1.24m deaths (2% CFR)
… 10/29: 44.8m cases, 1.17m deaths
… 10/23: 41m cases, 1.1m deaths
… 10/16: 40m cases, 1m deaths
Trackers: Johns

Covid-19, travel
Singapore-HK travel bubble to start 11/22.  Straits Times
China bans visitors from 8 more countries.  SCMP
… India, France, Russia, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Italy, Nigeria, Ukraine, Britain, Belgium, Philippines …

Pew, 2018 data: govt restrictions on religion reach highest level globally in a decade.  Pew


A recipe to build, measure, learn.  Medium
… great short little read that includes a recipe for building “user stories” …

The vulnerable can wait: vaccinate the super-spreaders first.  Wired
This is a fascinating long read into the role of super spreaders in a pandemic. There are numerous takeaways in this piece for DMMs. In movements, apostolic agents (either cross-cultural or indigenous) have the same role as super-spreaders: many people in a DMM are “asymptomatic” (e.g. they show few or no outward signs of being a believer) and are not infectious (they don’t spread the Gospel). But a few are infectious, public, and well-connected. These super spreaders move it from household to household, and regardless of other things, people who have something within a household tend to spread it to those they are around ~24/7/365. (This also shows how movements can be stopped: neutralize the 16% most highly connected.)

How to stop restaurants from driving Covid infections.  Nature
… another interesting piece: mobile data used to confirm physical locations (because people congregate there) can be hotspots. Pondering implications for DMM. Some practitioners look at “edge” places where people from different groups congregate/mix, and Gospel transfer can occur.


Google launches Google One VPN.  Link
… $9.99/mo encrypts all online activity for Androids …
… Mac/Windows apps coming soon …
… (probably wouldn’t work in China, though…) …

Google Photos is shutting down unlimited storage of photos.  Link
… unfortunate. This is what I’ve been using for my own photo storage …

New tools for managing photo storage in WhatsApp.  Wired
… I dislike how WhatsApp used to save all incoming photos into my phone’s camera roll. This can turn that off.

Pfizer’s vaccine
Completed early trials.  NYT
… “no serious safety concerns so far” …
… “seeking US emergency use authorization” …
… “50 million doses this year (=25m people), 1.3b doses in 2021” …
NYT Explainer: 11 things you need to know.  NYT

China clamping down [further] on its Internet giants.  BBC
… “increase unease in Beijing with the growing influence of digital platforms” …

China’s Big Brother is everywhere? not quite yet….  SCMP
… spent billions building camera surveillance networks, but not an all-seeing system …
… tech not linked nationwide – but may just be a matter of time …

Covid is accelerating change in McDonalds.  Wired
… measurement, big data, “McDonalds knows you and when you are within shouting distance of a restaurant.” The technology changes and adoptions at McDonalds will impact other restaurants and industries.


“I see little reason to delay giving when so much good can be achieved through supporting worthwhile causes. Besides, it’s a lot more fun to give while you live than give while you’re dead.” ~billionaire Charles Feeney

“Busyness is an illness of spirit.” ~Eugene Petersen.

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