Roundup #194

New Events


The live tracker is here
… 96k cases, 3k deaths, 53k recovered, mortality = 3% (3k/96k) 
… Countries with CDC travel warnings – Link

How contagious is coronavirus? Infographic explores this – Popular Science

Everything you need to know about Coronavirus vaccines – Wired 
… “impossible to have a vaccine ready by November 2020” 
… “at least a year and a half to have a vaccine we can use”

Airlines closing flights – Reuters

300 million children out of school due to virus – Reuters

People who enter Thailand either coming from or transiting through six places will have to self-quarantine and be checked daily – Bangkok Post 
… South Korea, China, Macao, Hong Kong, Italy and Iran

When religion & churches are vectors for pandemics 
… religion playing a role in spreading coronavirus in Korea – Quartz 
… evangelical service in France led to new outbreak – Reuters

… Virus spreading fast outside China, aiports increase screening – Reuters 
… Tensions rise in Wuhan as lockdown enters second month – RFA 
… Italy’s elderly suffer heavy toll as coronavirus spreads – NYT 
… Iran’s Coronavirus response: pride, paranoia, secrecy, chaos – NYT 
… in nearly all Iranian provinces: president – Reuters 
… 300,000 teams will do door-to-door virus screening in Iran – Reuters 
… Iranian government officials say Iranian coronavirus figures “not real” – Al Arabiya

Fears in new hot spots… 
… spike in India infections, fears cases are not being detected – Reuters 
… Saudi Arabia extends pilgrimage suspension to its own citizens – Reuters 
… Thai quarantine flip-flop throws holidays into doubt, uncertainty – Bangkok Post 
… South Africa president says virus will tourism, economy – Reuters
… N Korea swagger may conceal brewing disaster – Diplomat 
… France bans large indoor gatherings – BBC 
… In graying Japan, many are vulnerable but few are tested – NYT

China continuing to suggest COVID19 originated from outside China – Link

Hopeful signs… 
… Why the death rate from Coronavirus is plunging in China – NPR 
… China thinks it won’t have any new infections outside Hubei after March – SCMP

North-West Africa

Algerians have been protesting for a year – shows little signs of disbanding – Brookings

North Africa / Warring States

Drones, deniability and disinformation: warfare in Libya – War on the Rocks 
… “and the new international disorder”

Western Africa / Lake Chad / Sahel


Violence continues in Mali despite negotiation efforts – ReliefWeb

How an execution style massacre unfolded in Cameroon – New Humanitarian 
… alleged use of ethnic militia by government adds a dangerous new dimension …

Gunmen from surrounding areas kill 50 in Kaduna, north Nigeria – Reuters


Nigeria’s government agrees: Islamist terrorists target Christians – CT

Nigeria: inside the infamous “floating slum” of Makoko – BBC 
… water full of household rubbish and human waste … 
… 196 million people in Nigeria, 95m in extreme poverty, 50% of urbanites in slums …

Ethiopia / Horn / East Africa

Fighting erupts between Somali national army, regional forces – Reuters 
… between Somali government and Jubbaland state leader

Blood, Sand, Gold: victor’s city rises from the ashes of Sudan’s civil war – Guardian 
… the town of Zurrug being built in Darfur …

Saudi / Israel / Lebanon / Syria / Gulf

Yemen’s war is escalating again – Brookings 
… after five months of de-escalation, resumed missile attacks, air strikes …

“There’s nothing left”: satellite images show razed villages in Idlib, Syria – NPR

“All our dreams are gone”: desperation deepens for Syrians – Reuters

West Asia / Turkey

Briefing: a manufactured refugee crisis at the Greek-Turkish border – New Humanitarian

Thousands of migrants attempt to cross into Europe from Turkey – photos – Atlantic 
… Greece pushes back migrants after Turkish border ‘onslaught’ – Reuters 
… This time the gate is closed – NPR 
… video shows Greek mobs attacking migrant boats, aid workers – Vice

Turkey says it will send special forces police to help refugees enter Europe, prevent Greece from pushing them back from their border – Vice

Afghanistan / Pakistan / Pashto

Afghanistan: between hope and hopelessness – Diplomat 
… durable peace, or new war… which is it?

Taliban ramp up attacks on Afghans – NYT 
… 76 attacks across 24 provinces in the past week …

Taliban rules out talking with Afghan government until prisoners freed – Reuters

Afghan conflict: US conducts first air strike on Taliban since deal – BBC


As India counts dead, brutality of Hindu-Muslim riot emerges – AP 
… death toll reached 46 – Diplomat 
… A mob out for blood – AP

Delhi’s displaced scrape a living after deadly riots – Reuters 
… 2,000 displaced by Hindu-Muslim riots 
… many now in Mustafabad camp

Muslims accuse police of targeted killings – FP 
… Experts say police complicity could breed impunity for Hindu mobs across India – FP

“Why India’s Muslims are in grave danger”: could be start of larger pogrom – FP 
… Q&A – The real objective of mob violence against Muslims in India – New Yorker

Iran asks India to stop attacks on Muslims after deadly riots – Reuters 
… Bangladeshi Muslims march in Dhaka to protest India violence – AP

Bengali / Bangladesh

Greater progress needed to ensure safe return of Rohingya – UN


China’s education ministry announces “classes have stopped but learning has not” – CSM 
… but online lessons keep failing the Party’s pervasive internet censorship tests

How many Christians in China, part 2 – China Source

Why China’s “Sea Turtles” face inner struggles after returning to home shores – RadiiChina 
… Many Chinese graduates of overseas colleges experience more than just “reverse culture shock” upon returning home – their worldview is shaken up


North Korea test fires two short-range projectiles – Reuters

Southeast Asia

How Malaysia’s government collapsed in two years – BBC 
… after 2 years, the new govt is out, old ruling party back in power …

Surge in fighting in Rakhine state, Myanmar – HRWRFA

Notable Europe / Americas

USA: The steep decline in church attendance among women – Barna 
… a Ryan Burge piece, and I’ve come to really respect him …

Want some good news about the future of faith? Look to Gen Z – Desert News 
… despite rising disaffiliation rates in other generations, no growth in disaffiliated among GenZ 
… “leveling off of rates of disaffiliation”

But: ‘The possible decline of the nones isn’t a boost for evangelicals’ – CT

New Data

More than half the 41 million displaced are women and girls – ReliefWeb 
… new report looks at the implications …

5 charts that bust some myths about migration – WEF

Longer reads

New 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World prayer guides out for 2020 – Link

Four things to study if you want to multiply – Link 
… a great collection of questions to ask in order to better understand a culture …

Witnessing the hell that a migrant can face – Asia Times 
… The ‘Eastern Route’ across the Gulf of Aden, through Yemen, to Saudi is the ‘busiest maritime migration path on Earth’ … 
… “At Obock, Djibouti, 2,000 migrants gather each day along the waters of the Gulf of Aden; they look for boats to get them to Yemen” …

The world’s refugee system is broken – Atlantic

Southern Baptists have only 13 African-American career missionaries. What will it take to mobilize more? CT


China adopts new rules for tighter Internet censorship – SupChina 
… legal justification to widely censor content, punish creators … 
… but so far most VPN apps are still working – Asia Times 
… an analysis: ‘no bad news, just happiness and positivity’ – China Law Blog

China tracking people’s phones as they return to work – RFA 
… anyone visiting certain areas asked to scan a QR code with their phone 
… fill in details about travel history, body temperature 
… combined with nationwide facial recognition & surveillance 
… ‘the moment he arrived in Nanchang, got a phone call from local police department’

The best VPNs, another roundup – Wired 
… ExpressVPN comes out on top, $6.67/mo …

New #AI chip can perform image recognition tasks in seconds – MIT

#AI is the fastest expanding discipline in China’s universities – SCMP 
… 180 universities approved to offer it as a major, up from 35 in 2018 …

Twitter is testing out disappearing tweets – Wired 
… following example of Facebook, Snap … new feature called “fleets” …

Google Assistant can now read webpages in aloud in 42 languages – Verge

Military funded bio-sensor could be the future of pandemic detection – DefenseOne 
… on track for FDA approval by early 2021 …

Youtube has nearly halved the number of conspiracy theory videos it recommends – MIT 
… “but the total is creeping back up again” 
… “recommendations responsible for almost 75% of the 1 billion+ hours spent watching videos”

‘Peak oil’ around 2041, Gulf economies prepare – Asia Times 
… used to mean ‘when we run out of oil’, now ‘when demand declines due to alternate energy’


“The biggest threat to Christianity is cultural Christianity – a version of Christianity that sprinkles Jesus on our own agenda.” ~Eugene Cho

“No person, not even the best one can give your soul all it needs.” ~Tim Keller

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