July 3, 2020
… now: over 10.7 (+1.0) million cases, 517k deaths
… 6/26: over 9.4 (+1.1) million cases, 483k deaths
… 6/19: over 8.3 (+0.8) million cases, 450k deaths
… 6/12: over 7.5 (+0.9m) million cases, 421k deaths
… 6/5: over 6.6 (+0.8m) million cases, 391k deaths
Trackers: Johns Hopkins, NYT, CovidTracking.com
Syrian refugees in Egypt hopeful as virus restrictions eased
… Syrians will be able to go back to work.
… Registered 130k refugees, est. 250,000 actually.
Kenya’s balcony churches: finding new ways to worship in lockdown.
Ethiopia in the midst of severe ethnic unrest catalyzed by the murder of activist and singer Hachalu Hundessa.
… more than 80 killed, troops deployed, 2nd day of unrest
… ‘armed gangs roaming capital, targeting rival ethnic groups’
Iraq: rising virus cases, oxygen shortages stoke outrage, fears of chaos
… ‘true number of cases many times higher than reported figures’ …
Syria faces mass starvation or mass exodus without more aid.
… a million Syrians are food insecure, some starving & dying …
… also, last week: Lebanon: Over 90k Syrian refugees struggling to find food.
Israel orders US-based Christian TV channel off the air
… ‘hid its missionary agenda when it applied for a license’ …
Turkey: Erdogan wants to turn the Hagia Sophia back into a mosque.
… ‘Don’t let Erdogan erase Turkey’s Christian past.’
Afghanistan: ‘You have no right to complain’ (HRW Report)
… Education, social restrictions and justice in Taliban-held Afghanistan …
… we should not think that the Taliban have suddenly changed …
And: Afghans paid $1.6 billion in bribes annually
… down from $2.88 billion in 2016, but higher than the government’s annual revenue
India: June sets Covid-19 records.
Delhi opens makeshift 10,000-bed hospital amid surge.
… at the Radha Soami religious center, using ingenious looking cardboard beds.
After turning their backs during lockdown, cities now want migrant workers back.
Kashmir’s Dark Year.
… months-long security crackdown, and now Covid-19.
Nepali families face hunger, skip meals as pandemic hits remittances.
Surge in cases causes Central Asian nations to reverse re-openings.
Kazakhstan plans to reimpose lockdown amid virus surge.
… 4-week, nationwide lockdown …
Pakistani capital to get its first Hindu temple complex
… ‘part of government outreach to minority Hindu community’ …
The big news: Beijing passed new sweeping National Security Law
… gives China sweeping powers over Hong Kong
… ‘Harsh penalties, vaguely defined crimes’
… RFA (no paywall): ‘China unveils sweeping definitions’
… 100s of arrests under the new law have already been made …
The law’s ‘long-arm’ jurisdiction ‘extraordinary and chilling‘
… Article 38: ‘offences by non-permanent residents of HK outside the city’
… ‘If… ever said anything that might offend China, stay out of Hong Kong’
US senators try to give Hong Kong residents priority as refugees …
… Taiwan scrambles to get ready for an influx of refugees from HK …
… UK makes citizenship offer to HK residents …
China threatens to restrict visas for Americans who try its patience re HK
… ‘strikes back at U.S. move to restrict visas for Party officials’ …
… and says US messing with China on HK could put trade deal at risk
… also threatens UK with ‘corresponding measures’ over its support for HK
International flights to China are resuming.
… Lufthansa, United, Delta.
The Communist Party of China has 92 million members.
… WCE 2020 estimated Christianity at 106m.
… But then, Chinese-folk religionists are 438m, and Buddhists are 237m. So…
Chatter about Kim Jong-Un’s health, but I didn’t see it widely distributed.
Thailand health ministry prepares for the worst once state of emergency lifted.
Thai-Hong Kong Travel Bubble discussed.
USA: American Airlines drops 20+ international routes
… planning for fewer global travelers in 2021 …
An interesting overview of 3,000 years of Chinese history, focused on its ideas about global governance.
In photos: the locust swarms of 2020: East Africa, Yemen, Pakistan, India.
African countries have lost billions in the past three months due to Covid-19:
… 20 million jobs in the formal/informal sectors
… 20 to 30% of fiscal revenue, forcing governments to resort to borrowing
… tourism/oil sectors represent 25% of Africa’s top 5 economies, all see losses
… what impact on the stability of these nations in the medium-term?
From a viral immunologist: here’s what antibody tests for Covid-19 tell us.
5 Pandemic lessons from Eurasia’s evangelical churches.
… #4, churches w/o comfortable, well-equipped buildings are more flexible and creative in mission outreach …
Economist: Covid-19 here to stay: work out how to live with it.
… 4.5% of those infected require hospitalization (Lancet)
… ‘be at least January 2021’ before a vaccine is available
… shielding the most vulnerable difficult if large numbers infected
Where to look, when to talk: how to get the most out of virtual meetings.
#ML: Smart Fill coming to Google Sheets
… similar to Smart Compose in Gmail and Google Docs …
‘Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.’ ~Alexander Graham Bell