#191—14 February 2020
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New Events

#Coronavirus

First there was a sustained downward trend in reported new coronavirus infections - Link
… early days, “too early to celebrate” - Link

Then Chinese authorities changed the way infections are counted - Asia Times
… I think this is a change for the more accurate, but it suggests China has been undercounting
… (though not necessarily with malicious intent or desire to deceive)
… Total infection count surged to 60,000+; total deaths to 1,368; recovered to 5,896
… So, more data, but remember all data is in flux.

Four charts that help explain how the coronavirus spread - Sixth Tone

Some churches have been a nexus for the Coronavirus - Asia Times

Jon Hirst has some good thoughts about Service to Others in a Virus Outbreak - Generous Mind

Public anger in China over the coronavirus is mounting - will it matter? China File
… I think not. But I’m a cynic.

People know Hubei is in lockdown. So is Zhejiang - Link
… 4 big cities essentially put their populations under house arrest ...

Africa is not prepared for the Coronavirus - Link
… est. 1 million Chinese live in Africa, much transit between China & Africa
… ‘who recently returned from China, showed up with coughs, not placed in isolation…'

Coronavirus will of course impact the global economy. Some examples:
… Canada Goose - CNN
… Chinese car factories idled, impact global growth - Link
… Chinese tourism down, impacting nations - Link
… The world’s largest mobile trade show, Mobile World Congress, cancelled - Link

#Africa

A new Moroccan military drive may inflame tensions with Algeria - Stratfor

Egypt’s population hits 100 million - NYT
… politics around creating a new governorate (province) in the Sinai - Al-Monitor
… more on the Nile & Ethiopia’s dam & potential conflict, huge national issue - NYT

Libya, still more weapons: no end in sight - WPost
… and, ‘re-contaminated’ by landmines after months of fighting - UN

Ensuring child rights protections in Central African Republic - UN

A new generation of voracious dust locusts about to hatch - IRIN
… biblical-level plague, 20X larger than the wave that recently swept through
… now following the worst-in-decades drought that hit Somalia, Kenya last year
… Somalia’s “no-go zones” frustrate anti-locust efforts - Link

Fast facts about Nigeria - Pew
… mainly about immigrants & US travel ban, but a helpful quick glance at the current snapshot
… Nigeria is 7th most populous today, will likely be 3rd most by 2100
... I haven't done the math, but are the majority of Muslims in Africa in Nigeria?

#Asia

USA and Afghan Taliban provisionally going ahead with peace deal - NYT
… but the provisos are unlikely to be reached, IMHO

3 million in rebel Syria seek shelter - Telegraph
... in area size of Somerset as Idlib turns into open air refugee camp

Hospitals in Yemen attacked, disrupting healthcare for thousands - UN
… “biggest humanitarian emergency nears breaking point” - BBC
… I’m not even sure what that means. Yemen has been broken for years. Decades, even.

A spasm of ethnic violence in Kazakhstan - Eurasianet

20% of marriages in Iran are child marriages - Iran Wire
… defined as involving at least one person under the age of 18

India: New Delhi voted with Modi’s popularity on the line - AP
… and Modi’s party suffered a setback - NYT
… Kejriwal’s AAP stuns BJP with huge win - Al Jazeera
… “Political newbies takes nations capital” - Asia Times

China’s schools pledge to do away with religion - Bitter Winter
… children urged to report religious relatives ...

Polygamous marriage in modern Malaysia - BBC

North Korea deepens its isolation amid virus threat - WSJ
… has cut off trade with China, which will damage its economy …
… if Coronavirus got into N Korea, health system might be able to cope ...

New Data

Infographic: global remittance flows - Link

Sharing the burden of the global refugee crisis - Brookings
… 71 million forcibly displaced (25.9m refugees, 41.3m IDP)
… half are children under 18
… 57% came from three countries: Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan
… Developed countries host 16%, developing countries 84%
… more stats!

Barna releases new State of the Church 2020 report for USA data - Link
… asking pastors, priests to rank some of the issues facing the church today …

About “nones” in the USA:
’Nothing in Particulars’ may be the most Gospel-ready - Ed Stetzer
… ‘atheists’ and ‘agnostics’ unlikely to change, but ’nothings’ are very different
And, incredibly important: “The decline of religion [growth of nones] may be slowing” - Link
… We *may* be close to the ceiling/floor on secularization?

Longer reads

As an experiment, I’ve launched a weekly newsletter called “Things I’ve Learned This Week.” It’s shorter, but it will go deeper into 10 specific things (incl some of those below) with implications for missions, the unreached, and church planting. Get it here.

The never-ending need of multiplying leaders - Ed Stetzer
… movements multiply everything …

Wars are not won by military genius or decisive battles - Aeon
… attrition & ability to endure is a far stronger force …

The virtues and downsides of online dating - Pew
… 30% of US adults have used a dating site or app
… 12% married or in committed relationship with someone they met through one

Time management is more than life hacks: 3 essential skills - HBR

Futuristics/Technology

WhatsApp hits 2 billion users - CNN

Surging Internet use from North Korea as it turns to cybercrime to prop up government - NYT
… wouldn’t be surprised if church, mission groups are eventually targeted

Free CBInsights report on AI trends in 2020 - Link

How AI is being used to track the coronavirus outbreak - Wired

Reuters uses AI to prototype first ever automated video reports - Forbes
… AI matches photography to a data feed for a sports game, auto-generates a script for any match report, which can then be presented by a live person …

“Every 60 seconds” — in China. A twist on the common infographic. Link

A group of companies has spent $16 billion on developing self-driving cars - Link
... little to show for it so far ...

Apple sells more watches per year than the entire Swiss watch industry - Link

3D printing replacement limbs, prosthetics for war-wounded - IRIN

Dubai has largest 3D printed building, wants to make 25% of its buildings 3D printed by 2030 - Link

US federal agencies purchasing access to commercial databases mapping the movements of millions in America for immigration enforcement (and if they can do it, so can others) - WSJ

The Digital Dictators: How technology strengthens autocracy - Foreign Affairs

The Last Five

#190 - Feb 7
#189 - Jan 24
#188 - Jan 10
#187 - Dec 20
#186 - Dec 13