Roundup #193

New Events


The live tracker is here
… slight leveling off in deaths in mainland China cases, slight rise in other places. 
… Coronavirus does not yet meet the definition of a pandemic – Axios

Experimental treatment being tested – Reuters  

Economist: The Virus is Coming – Link 
… 25 to 70% of any infected population will catch the disease 
… 80% mild, 15% need treatment in hospital, 5% will require intensive care 
… “10X as lethal as flu, the death toll worldwide could be in the millilons” 
… BUT: flu mortality is 0.1%. 10X is 1%. 
… For any 1,000 population with an infection in their midst, up to 700 get it, 7 die. 
… “If you’re over 80, you are at extreme risk from the disease; under 50, you are not.”  

Typical analysis: “Don’t panic. Doctors/virologists I’m speaking to say 98% of people will be fine, even if they get Covid-19. They expect it will go around the world, but that most people who get it will be a little sick, then recover. The danger is to vulnerable people. Hospitals/old age homes.” ~Richard Engel  

That said, there’s a lot of confusion, and governments are starting to do a lot to block the spread of the virus. This will disrupt trade and travel and heighten fear and uncertainty.

Inside China

Lockdowns: Millions of people are trapped indoors – FP

National Peoples Congress postponed, first time in decades – Guardian

Religious groups in China step into the Coronavirus crisis – NYT 
… “not all their efforts have been well received” …  

Outside China, lots of governments panicking: 
… the difficult part is when the disease spreads, can’t be monitored, and there isn’t the health infrastructure to help people recover. 
… lots of conspiracy theories making the rounds, too …

The Dow Jones dropped 1,200 points as fear batters stock market – Techcrunch

The spread of COVID-19 outside China, charted – Statista 
… Case number spikes: S Korea, Italy, Iran  
… ‘deeply concerning’ says WHO, ‘no time for complacency’ says UN
… New first cases: AlgeriaPakistanAfghanistanEgyptNigeria

Fast-spreading coronavirus pushes Iran toward lockdown – Al-Monitor 
… Iran says 12 dead, rejects higher death toll – AP 
… accuses other countries of ‘scaremongering’ Iran toward lockdown – Al-Monitor 
… How Qom (religious center) became Iran’s coronavirus epicenter – IranWire 
… deputy health minister has contracted coronavirus – IranWire 
… Friday prayers cancelled, Chinese banned from entering country – Reuters 
… ‘Recipe for a massive viral outbreak’: a regional crossroads is a worldwide threat – NYT 
… Countries around Iran are closing their borders – Eurasianet

Coronavirus poised for ‘outsized impact’ on S Korea – Diplomat 
… tries not restricting movement of people, opposite approach of China – NYT 
… launches ‘drive-thru’ coronavirus testing facilities … Reuters

Saudi Arabia closes holiest sites to foreigners – AP 
… ‘unprecedented move, … not even taken during 1918 flu epidemic…’ 
… suspended pilgrimages, first in living memory

Pakistan shuts schools, suspends Iran flights – Reuters

Iraq bans public gatherings, travel to nine countries – Reuters

Japan closes schools for a month – NYT

Which African countries are most vulnerable – New Humanitarian 
… and why have they been spared so far from the coronavirus? DW

North Africa / Warring States

Saudi Arabia steps up support for Hifter in Libya – Al-Monitor

Egypt / Sudan

After 6 years of war, will peace finally come to South Sudan? Al Jazeera 
… lingering concerns, dampened expectations …

Western Africa / Lake Chad

‘Significant rise’ of insecurity in Niger Delta, report – CFR 
… 416 incidents, 1,000+ deaths in 2019, 2x 2018.

Escalating Burkina Faso violence brings wider Sahel displacement into focus – UN 
… 150,000 have fled in the last three weeks …


Information minister alleges Islamists targeting Christians to provoke religious war – Reuters

Ethiopia / Horn / East Africa

Locusts in the Horn of Africa have reached the fertile Rift Valley – Reuters 
… Kenya out of pesticides, Ethiopia needs more planes, Somalia/Yemen aren’t safe

Central Asia / Caucasus

Measuring Central Asia’s shadow economies – Eurasianet 
… ‘massive bazaar economy is both a driver of economic growth and a hindrance’

West Asia / Turkey

Air strike in Idlib kills 33 Turkish soldiers – Reuters 
… raising fears of escalation between Turkey, Russia – NYT 
… Turkey will no longer stop Syrian migrant flow into Europe – Daily Sabah

Afghanistan / Pakistan / Pashto

There’s been more than 100,000 civilians killed in Afghanistan over last decade – AP

US military officially stopped offensive operations against the Taliban in Afghanistan – Axios

Life in Kashmir: no email, WhatsApp, Internet – BuzzFeed


Deadly clashes between Hindus and Muslims in Delhi – Guardian 
… ‘worst religious violence for decades’ 
… ‘Muslims flee their homes after attacks by Hindu mobs’ 
… riots continue to spread across northeast Delhi 
… Death toll reaches 32 – Reuters 
… after 3 days of riots, an uneasy calm descends – Foreign Policy 
… the roots of the violence: a fiery speech & an ultimatum – NYT 
… Behind the clash, fear and uncertainty for 2 million in limbo – New Humanitarian 
… A Delhi neighborhood divided by a highway, now by hatred – Reuters  


How to cheat at Xi Jinping thought – Foreign Policy 
… A new mandatory app is eating up worker time, so they find ways around it  

Poor migrant workers are feeling the brunt of coronavirus lockdowns – NYT 
… ‘rural itinerants blocked from cities, kicked out of apartments, rejected…’  

Southeast Asia

Cambodia bans online gambling operations, mainly run by Chinese – Asia Times 
… over 400,000 Chinese nationals leave Sihanoukville … 
… Housing prices drop 33% …  

The “inside story” behind Malaysia’s political meltdown – Asia Times 
… maybe?  

Singapore has almost wiped out its mother tongues – Economist 
… “elderly speakers of Cantonese, Hakka, Hokkien sometimes cannot talk to their own grandchildren”  

New Data

Global life expectancy has more than doubled over the past century – Economist  

Longer reads

Very short: Why your startup’s org chart is limiting your growth – Tomas Tunguz 
… middle managers are important for scaling … 
… small group leaders and coaches are important for movements scaling …

Joann Pitmann: How many Christians in China? (Part 1) – ChinaSource

Zeynep Tufekci: “How the coronavirus revealed authoritarianism’s fatal flaw.” Atlantic


Xi Jinping using teleconferencing to address 170k cadres around the country – SCMP 
… “to make sure his words reached the provinces directly” 
… “lower-level officials used to interpreting Beijing’s edicts their own way” 
… more command & control, or a Chinese version of “Team of Teams” video calls?

What happens when the Internet vanishes – BBC 
… last year, services deliberately shut down 200 times in 33 separate countries … 
… all workers among unreached need to be prepared for such things … 
… Majority of shutdowns in India 
… longest shutdown, 15 month in Chad

“We are not prepared for the end of Moore’s Law” – MIT Tech Review

The recording music industry grew from $7 billion (stagnant around that from 2011 to 2015) to $9.8 billion by 2018, considered a ‘relatively safe and solid performing stock,’ powered by music streaming – Variety

First use of Deepfakes in an Indian election campaign – Vice 
… is this a deepfake… or just widespread linguistic translation?

Russia launches facial recognition + widespread surveillance with 200,000 cameras covering Moscow’s 12.5 million inhabitants – Reuters

Amazon expands cashierless Go model into full-blown grocery story – Verge

“Robots aren’t taking over jobs, they are becoming bosses” – Verge 
… first, they came to help us work better; then, they took over managing us … 
… interesting piece about how AI is directing work, effectively managing employees … 
… also, similar piece in Wired …

New languages added to Google Translate, including Uighur – Link

Firefox will turn on DNS over over HTTPS by default – Verge 
… keeps people from seeing which websites you are visiting … 
… but also defeats attempts to block malicious / other websites … 
… Initial skim of the article shows OpenDNS is not one of the DNS choices, unfortunately …

Facebook, Google, Twitter rebel against Pakistan censorship rules – NYT 
… in a rare action, jointly threaten to leave Pakistan …


“Grace is not opposed to effort; it is opposed to earning.” ~Dallas Willard

“Self-sufficiency, while a hallmark of American culture, is dangerous to a life of faith.” ~Shane Bennett

Leave a Comment