… a long read on the roots of the protests
… and, Can Tunisia’s economy be saved?
North Africa / Warring States
… 10s of thousands to return to Tawergha meant to go home last week; blocked
300 child soldiers freed in South Sudan: 2nd largest release since the war started
… Over 19,000 children recruited as fighters (all sides total)
… 2,000 released over past few years; over 10% under age of 13
… recount trauma of abduction after mass release (Reuters)
… abductions rising sharply.
… addictions to subsidies that make Egyptians poorer
‘Let us not wait for the government’: Nigerian leads cleanup in world’s most polluted city
… if you want a short-term trip… !!
… since January 1, more than 80 killed in clashes between herdsmen, farmers
Ethiopia / Horn / East Africa
… non-GMO, fast-growing, high-yield helps S Sudanese refugees
… TV stations shuttered, opposition under arrest after rival’s “inauguration”
… ‘progress… new constitution… merely papered over deep ethnic rivalries…’
… compensation being offered for camel losses, and then …
… profit-maximizing camel-owners chivvy the whole herd onto the track …
Child brides in Uganda: the reality. Video (HuffPost)
… ‘I was 14 and he was 22’
How Djibouti became China’s Gateway to Africa (Spiegel, long read)
… ‘true feeling of ambition here… searching for a better life…’
Middle Africa / Lakes
Foreign Affairs: Congo’s slide into chaos: how a state fails.
… in 10 weeks engineers will turn off water to a million homes.
… ‘the army is on standby’
Central Asia / Caucasus
… ‘some of the best weapons… simple as a good job… regular talk with the imam’
… so what is the role of microenterprise and the ekklesia?
… converts 2,000 mosques into public facilities: ensure greater control over religion
Saudi / Israel / Lebanon / Syria / Gulf
… 80 killed in govt air and artillery strikes on suburbs of Damascus, Idlib
… ‘It’s a kill box. There’s nowhere left to hide…’: 110+ civilians dead
… ‘one of the bloodiest weeks… drastically escalates…’
… in Manbij, armed conflict between American & Turkish forces is possible
… one by Houthis in the north, and a second by southern secessionists
… ‘protests have exposed fault lines between leaders’
… Hijab protests expose Iran’s core divide: long read
… I’m not convinced this is a nation-cracking sort of thing, but its an interesting trend
… ‘fears he would be killed for converting to Christianity’
… Patrick Johnstone to me: ‘amazing #s of Iranians, Afghanis being baptized in Europe’
… More: ’80% of all baptisms in our area are expatriates, mostly Iranians, Afghanis.’
Afghanistan / Pakistan / Pashto
Pakistan: Long-suffering Pashtuns find their voice
… protest movement by 5,000, esp. youth, against Pakistani abuse
… after 16 years, stopped asking what victory looks like
… ‘Afghanistan’s future only partly salvageable’
… what will these scenarios mean for Christianity in the region …
… a Muslim vs Hindu question over ownership of the land where a mosque now stands
… and now has consequences for the global hummus market
Nepal / Bhutan / Tibet
15 Days of Prayer for the Tibetan Buddhist world, Feb 16-Mar 1
… to coincide with Tibetan New Year. Prayer guide available; hit reply
… regional airports and connectivity.
Maldives / Sri Lanka
… President vs. Supreme Court, others.
… ‘travel companies continue to send tourists… happy to turn a blind eye…’
Bengali / Bangladesh
… ‘charge is politically motivated’ … ‘violence in major cities’
… more babies needed, not fewer: 2-child policy may be too restrictive
Uighur Muslims, under pressure at home and abroad (Sinica Podcast)
… What can be learned about living out one’s faith when one is being watched all the time?
How WeChat came to rule China: 902 million daily users
… the multipurpose messaging app is becoming the nation’s ID system
… ‘subsidized by government… officials censor, monitor users…’
… ‘historic breakthrough in relations’
… Deal alarms many Catholics in China (W Post)
… Cross demolition campaign, surveillance cameras monitoring activities
… while the last few years have seen improvements, recent attacks underscore fragility
… repeated election delays are the product of a fierce, ongoing power struggle
… children make up 60% of the population at refugee camps
… often targeted for trafficking and rape
… another video: China rail project to connect Laos to Asia
… will run from Yunnan to Laos to Thailand. More connections = more gospel chances.
Notable Europe / Americas
USA: Millennials maybe not so bad off: 1 in 6 have $100,000 socked away
‘The Camp is run by bad people’: an asylum seeker’s life in Sicily
New global data
Africa’s Cities: Opening Doors to the World. World Bank: PDF.
Foresight Africa 2018 chapter extract: Urban Africa: “avoiding the perfect storm”
… 40% of subsaharan Africa pop in an urban context: to double over next 25 years
… and, by then, a plurality of the world’s Christians will live there
… using satellite imagery, etc. to measure urban expansion across East Asia
Longer reads & Resources
… hunger at crisis levels in 8 countries: Yemen, S Sudan, Syria worst
… (obviously not too high for the powers that be, or the conflict would stop.)
… conflicts between nations exceedingly rare and improbable
… but intrastate/civil wars are numerous and have proven to be long-lasting
… this rise in internal violence is affecting/will affect missions
… Single African Air Transport Market initiative by the African Union
… enhanced connectivity, cheaper air flight tickets
… will cheaper flights lead to more cross-pollination of gospel workers etc?
… ‘a learning journey about Honor, Shame and the Gospel’
… curriculum divided into three 6-week units
Lifehacking, Tactics, Skills, Rules
… art of selectivity, the power of association, habitual generosity
… links to a book coming out the end of February
… I use Google Flights a lot to hunt for travel possibilities when planning
… can predict airline delays before the airlines do, using historical data & ML
… but I have found it still best to check my traditional carrier(s) before booking
Startups, Strategy, Books
… I’m deep into this book by Richard Thaler (who wrote “Nudge”), on the development of the science of “behavioral economics.” It’s an easily accessible read that delves into the history of the science of such thinkers as Kahneman (“Thinking, Fast and Slow”) and others. Helpful when considering the “irrational behavior” of people—why people do the things they do—especially in the context of mobilization and advocacy.
Books I’m sampling and am interested in
The Storytelling Edge: how to transform your business, stop screaming into the void, and make people love you
UPG Profiles, Travelogues, Stories
… migrant workers from Bihar carry heavy loads of vegetables, keep Kolay market working
… Eritrean refugees’ stories still go unheard.
… Over 400,000 Eritreans (10% of population) have fled their home country over decade
… photographer documents grim living conditions in Hong Kong: 6’x2.5’, $250/mo
… economic shifts and xenophobia causes an exodus of African migrants to China
… NatGeo: “Is privacy becoming just a memory?”
Chinese Internet report (in Mandarin)
… 772 million users, 753 million mobile Internet users
… growth apparently unsuppressed by censorship
… they don’t discard the booster rockets, they land them to reuse them.
Max Roser: “The majority of the world population is offline; in 2015, only 44% used the Internet. The history of the Internet is still at a very early stage.”
“The only person who finishes their to-do list every day is God.” @MattSmethurst
“Sometimes the best decisions are the most costly ones.” ~Daniel Im
“The measure of love is to love without measure.” ~St. Augustine
“We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is the pain of discipline weighs ounces while the pain of regret weighs tons.” ~Jim Rohn
“If you want to recognize a mature person, look for someone who is helping someone else.” ~E. Stanley Jones
“If you can’t decide what to give your time and attention to, others will.” ~Kent Ingle
“I don’t envy those who have never known any pain, physical or spiritual because I strongly suspect that the capacity for pain and the capacity for joy are equal. Only those who have suffered are able to rejoice.” ~Madeline L’Engle