Roundup #206

New Events

Covid-19 Dashboard


… now: over 6.6 (+0.8m) million cases, 391k deaths 
… 5/29: over 5.8 million cases, 360k deaths 
… 5/15: over 3.7 million cases, 260k deaths 
… 5/7: over 3.1 million cases, 227k deaths 
Trackers: Johns HopkinsNYTCovidTracking.com

North Africa / Egypt / Sudan (266m)

Tunisians emerge from lockdowns into mosques and cafes
… “we missed the smell of coffee a lot” …

E. Africa / Ethiopia / Somalia (520m)

I’m looking for additional good sources of regular information on East Africa.

W. Africa / Nigeria / Sahel (457m)

Nigeria plans to reopen schools, worship centers despite spike
… not fully, just “relaxing coronavirus curbs on places of worship

Persecution of Christians continues in northeast Nigeria
… over 750 deaths, combined Boko Haram, Fulani militants

Senegal: A church for the Wolof
… h/T Mission Catalyst, with more in this issue

South & Middle Africa (275m)

DR Congo: Five dead in new Ebola outbreak.

W. Asia / Saudi / Turkey / Iran / Iraq (303m)

Lockdown eases, Iran’s mosques to resume daily prayers
… a rapid rise in cases stoked fears of a second wave

Jordan’s mosques re-opened for socially distanced prayers.

Saudi reopens mosques with strict regulations for worshippers
… face masks, personal mats, avoid handshakes, 2 meters apart … 
… over 90,000 mosques reopen …

Turkey: Istanbul death toll hints at hidden wider Covid-19 calamity
… 2,000+ additional deaths over average death rate …

Turkey to re-open border crossings with Iraq, Iran.

Yemen aid falls short, threatening food and health programs
… hidden migrants risk conflict, virus in fight for survival …

South-central Asia (2.1b)

#India 
India reopens temples, malls, but no sprinkling holy water
No way back: Indian workers shun city jobs after lockdown
… “What is the point of returning? My employer abandoned me” 
… “rather stay with my family even if earn half of what I earned there” 
Mass exodus in cities = surge in rural property disputes
Urban Covid-19 outbreaking morphing into a rural health crisis
Relative queue in Delhi to cremate coronavirus dead
… 190,000 cases, 5,000 deaths … 
States rush to identify high-risk zones to remain in lockdown
… 1,111 zones in Uttar Pradesh, 285 in Kolkata, etc …

#Pakistan 
After lifting lockdown, Covid-19 cases surge
… to “learn to live with the virus to avoid pushing 10s of millions into destitution” 
… (no easy choices, especially in places with poor infrastructure. -Ed.)

East Asia (1.6b)

#China 
China, US ban each other’s commercial passenger flights
… Delta, United will be effectively unable to fly to China, too 
Hong Kong airport will re-open to transit in June
ChinaSource: 3 Questions on China’s Indigenous Missions Movement
… the next issue of their ChinaSource Quarterlyfocused on this …

#HongKong 
Veterans of HK 2003 protests fear new law
… “it is much worse” … 
“Facing the darkest hour”: protest movement in crisis
… debating how/when to fight, whether it’s even possible … 
… protesters deleting social media accounts … 
… parents scouring Internet for information on emigration … 
… protests being canceled in the face of police blockades … 
New law could be enacted by month’s end
FP: China’s HK clampdown won’t spare foreigners
UK: Boris Johnson pledges to admit 3m from HK to UK
… “opens the door to a significant influx of people fleeing HK” 
Throngs line up to apply for British National (Overseas) passport
Despite risks, thousands defy police ban, gather for Tiananmen anniversary.

#Korea 
S Korea closes schools after big Covid-19 spike.

Southeast Asia (700m)

Indonesia: Jakarta tentatively eases Covid-19 restrictions
… mosques host Friday prayers for first time in two months …

Singapore rushes to build housing for 60k migrants
… to reduce density in dormitories …

Europe / North America (1,125m)

Covid: USA has laid off/furloughed 20% of its workers
… will undoubtedly affect giving, if not reversed …

USA: Telugu is the fastest growing foreign language.

USA: SBC saw 2% drop last year, largest in 100 years.
… down to 14.5m, but worship attendance steady at 5.2m.

A continent re-opens: exploring Europe’s opening
… EU to lift internal border controls in June.

New Data

ThePointsGuy.com has a country-by-country guide to travel reopening.

Covid-19 rips into Middle East, Africa, L America, S Asia
… ‘new surge in densely populated low-and-middle-income countries’

New Learnings

What will it take to re-open the world to travel?Bubbles and Trust
… “World slowly starts traveling again” but nowhere fully open yet 
… FP: “Welcome to a World of Bubbles” …

New Technology

Contact tracing surveillance mandated by companies, not by govts.

Zoom won’t offer end-to-end encryption on free accounts
… it’s an effort to weed out bad actors, most of whom use fake identities … 
 this Tweet thread knowledgeably explores the complexities of the issue …

Zoom paid accounts skyrocketing as remote work takes over
… usage peaked in April at 300 million daily participants …

Facebook is providing a tool to let you bulk-delete old posts.

America is awash in cameras
… a double-edged sword for protesters and police.

Managing URLs: Every bookmark manager ever made
… my system centers around Pinboard.in, which replaced delicious.

Signal now features built-in face blurring for photos.

Facebook starts labeling “state-controlled media” pages
… “wholly or partially under the editorial control of…”

How to secure your phone before attending a protest
… is also an excellent guide to securing your phone, in general.