Roundup #241

Issue No. 241 – 19 March 2021

By Justin Long

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New Events

East Africa

Sudan requests help to media dam conflict with Ethiopia.  VOA
… but Ethiopia rejects outside mediation ….  PBS

Behind the violence in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique.  NewHumanitarian
… ‘situation escalating, government losing control’… horrific reports of violence

South Sudanese ‘one step away from famine’.  UN

US will not resume assistance to Ethiopia for most security programs.  Reuters
‘People are starving’: new exodus from Tigray area.  AP
… 16,000 displaced already in camps in Shire, thousands more arriving …
Ethiopian general tells diplomats of ‘dirty war’ in Tigray.  AFP
In the midst of Tigray war, Amhara seize disputed territory.  Bloomberg

Middle Africa

Central African Republic braces for tense elections amid surge in rebel violence.  Reuters

Western Africa

Burkina Faso: Women turn to digging sand and gravel for construction to make a living.  TRF
… tree losses, desertification mean farming no longer pays …

31 soldiers killed in one of deadliest assaults on N Mali military base this year.  France24
… Mali plunged into conflict in 2012, thousands have died, 100s of thousands displaced …

Passenger convoy attacked, 58 killed in SW Niger.  Reuters
… yet another data point in the ongoing violence in the Sahel …

‘I woke up, he was gone’: Senegal suffers as young men risk all to reach Europe.  Guardian
… tourism plummets, fishing nets go empty, more attempt treacherous journey to the Canaries …

Eastern Asia

China’s worst sandstorm in a decade.  AP
… some wild photos. Flights cancelled …

China’s ‘Sharp Eyes’ program aims to surveil 100% of public space.  Link
… but intentions don’t automatically equate to capacity, at least not yet …

China will let people in–if they have taken a Chinese Covid-19 vaccine.  WSJ
… easing restrictions on those inoculated, but only China vaccines qualify …

Some of China’s biggest tech companies testing tools to bypass Apple’s new privacy rules.  FT ($)
… track iPhone users without their consent … 
… serving targeted ads today, …

Signal appears to have been blocked in China.  AP

How Chinese Christians are using WeChat for ministry impact.  ChinaSource

How China wants to keep controlling the Internet.  SCMP
… internet regulation poised for a complete overhaul, fortifying Beijing’s iron grip… 
… extending control on domestic tech companies beyond China’s border …

North Korea: Kim Jong Un’s sister sends warning to Biden administration.  CNBC

What Covid? Taiwan thrives in a bubble of normality.  NYT

South Asia

China’s water use threatens Central Asia’s largest remaining lake.  Eurasianet
… The Aral Sea is a tragic tale. Now, the Balkhash in eastern Kazakhstan is endangered …

Uzbek traders say China cutting off access, suspects its because they are Muslims.  Eurasianet

India’s interfaith couple on edge after new law.  BBC
… ‘controversial new anti-conversion law criminalizes interfaith love’ …

World Air Quality Report 2020: 22 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities are in India.
… Delhi ‘most polluted capital city globally’ …

Silk Slaves: India’s bonded laborers forced to work to pay off debts.  CNN

India’s new Internet rules are a step toward ‘digital authoritarianism’.  TIME

Concerns rise over Sri Lanka’s move to ban burqas.  AP
… government also said it would close more than 1,000 madrassas …

South-eastern Asia

3/13: At least 39 reported killed as Chinese factories burn.  Reuters
Deadliest weekend yet as casualties mount, hospitals fill with dead and wounded.  Myanmar-now
Days of killings and defiance in Myanmar, with neither side relenting.  NYT
… ‘at least 51 fatally shot over the weekend’ …
Civilian vice-president urges resistance to military junta.  Reuters
Battle tactics used in crackdowns on protests.  BBC
Junta, caught off guard by protests, unleashes brutal terror.  Guardian
Mass funerals held as coup death toll revised up to 149.  Guardian
Yangon becomes a ‘battle zone’ as junta enforces martial law.  Guardian
… effectively placing 2 million people under complete military control … 
… many residents, esp. migrant workers, fleeing region, returning to home states …
Martial law is a death knell to fair trials for protesters.  HRW
Facebook blocked in Myanmar.  Guardian

Papua New Guinea: medical workers brace for chaos as virus grips PNG.  Sydney Morning
… ‘fears there could be riots’

Western Asia

Poverty, fear, securitization reign over Baghdad’s once-thriving downtown.  Al Jazeera

Yazidi women forced into sex slavery by ISIS are reunited with their children.  NYT
… a hugely complex story with plenty of opportunities for culture shock … 
… ‘if they wanted to return to their families in Iraq, they would have to leave the children behind’ 
… now, some are risking everything to be reunited with their children

Syria has been at war for 10 years
‘The politics of memory’: this week, the war in Syria is 10 years old.  Link
Ten years of war have broken Syria into pieces.  Economist ($)
… escalating food prices. Fees & bribes at check points for food being brought in 
… Gov’t threatens to strip citizenship from anyone who fails to renew identity card after 10 years 
… ‘most are too fearful to do that’
Lots of articles around the war in Syria as it turns 10 years old. 
Syria: a decade of flight: millions forced to flee their homes.  NewHumanitarian
… 13 million displaced, most remain in limbo 
… 6.6m registered as refugees are in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan; the remaining inside Syria
Syria’s decade of conflict takes massive toll on women and girls.  UN


… 3/19: 
… 3/12: 118.7m cases, 2.63m deaths
… 3/5: 115.7m cases, 2.57m deaths
… 2/26: 113m cases
… 2/19: 109.5m cases
Trackers: Johns HopkinsNYTCovidTracking


Is Christianity shrinking or shifting? Lausanne
… new global analysis piece coming out of World Christian Encyclopedia, 3rd edition …

Barna and Pew change how they do surveys, which could lead to changing results.  CT
… fascinating piece: people overstate their Bible reading if they think people on the other end of the call will think more highly of them if they engage with Scriptures more. So Barna & Pew have switched to doing online surveys w/o a person in the mix. Lots of implications for when we compare these surveys to earlier surveys – are they still apples & apples, or are they now apples & oranges?

Across Africa, hijab in schools divides Christians and Muslims.  RNS
… controversy over whether Muslims who attend private Christian schools can wear the hijab …

The last living man of the Juma people in Brazil died from Covid-19.  NYT
… tragically, for a variety of reasons, all over the world, languages and peoples are going extinct …

Interesting new book: The Burning Shores: Inside the Battle for the New Libya.  Amazon


The AI-enabled cameras surveilling towns across America.  Vice

NASA is worried about sea pirates seizing a space telescope.  Atlantic
… while it travels by ship to a launch site in South America …

Chip shortages are real, and starting to impact companies offering new phones.  Bloomberg
… and GM is idling three plants in America due to the auto chip shortage.

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