Roundup 264

New Events

Northern Africa (266m)

Pres. Saied indefinitely extends suspension of parliament. Link
— for now, the population seem generally to be on his side.

East Africa (520m)

Fatigue, flooding and donor fatigue: unpacking South Sudan’s food crisis. Link
— worst since independence: seasonal flooding + economic downturn + fighting
— 7.2m enduring severe hunger, out of a total population of 12 million

Rwandan forces drive Islamists out of Cabo Delgado. DW
— but when will the Rwandans leave?

US, EU warn of influx of Eritrean troops in Ethiopia’s Tigray. Link
— “large numbers have re-entered Ethiopia, after withdrawing in June”
“My blood is boiling”: war fever surges in Ethiopia as civil war spreads. NYT
— gov’t drive to enlist civilians forces ethnic groups to take sides
Ethiopian HRC alleges 150 killed in attack by Oromo Liberation Army. WPost
How Ethiopia’s conflict has affected farming in Tigray. Link

West + Middle Africa (600m)


Death toll from Burkina Faso attack rises to 80. Reuters
— just part of the constant drumbeat of violence in the Sahel
Islamic state, GSIM, al-Qaeda: the jihadist gold rush in Burkina Faso. Link
— for past 5 years, terrorist groups taking over gold mining where govt is absent
“Safe to assume” Boko Haram leader is dead. VOA
— but: Boko Haram fighters attack military post in southern Niger. Al Jazeera
Desperate Nigerians sell homes and land to free kidnapped children. Link
— the “industry of kidnapping” continues

Western Asia (303m)

Covid-19 deaths surge in Iran amid vaccine delays and 40% hesitancy. Link

Through four wars, toll mounts on a Gaza neighborhood. AP
More than 70% of Lebanon’s population faces critical water shortages. Al Jazeera
— July report warned most water pumping would cease in 4 to 6 weeks: no power
Lebanon in pictures: life without gas and electricity. DW

Aid groups: millions in Syria, Iraq losing access to water, power, food. AP
— rising temperatures, record low water levels, due to lack of rainfall, drought
— over 12 million in both countries affected, incl 5m in Syria dependent on Euphrates

South + Central Asia (2b)

Afghanistan:

The difficulties of the evacuation:

Kabul airport bomb attacks cause numerous casualties. More attacks likely. BBC
— at least 60 dead, including US military personnel
Desperate Afghan Christians turned away at airport, aid groups say. CNA
US struggles to count its citizens in Afghanistan as Biden weighs withdrawal delay. WSJ
— counting is difficult. 

International relations questions for the Taliban, and others:

Taliban asked Turkey for support to run Kabul airport. Reuters
— but insist that Turkish troops withdraw by 8/31
— Turkey bolsters special ops division at border to block Afghan migrants. Link
Nepal looks to foreign powers to evacuate its citizens from Afghanistan. Link
China, the Taliban and the threats from the illegal drug trade. SCMP
— taxes on opium a big source of $ for Taliban // has pledged to stamp out heroin trade
Afghanistan is An “Early Test Case” for a China-Led World. Atlantic
— response to Afgh. will tell us something about China’s global ambitions? 
US begins military drawdown at Kabul to meet 8/31 deadline. Link
— what will happen when the US troops are no longer present?

Refugees:

AirBNB offers free temporary housing to 20,000 Afghan refugees. Link 
As vulnerable Afghans flee Kabul, US faith groups prepare to aid them. Link

Glimpses of Taliban rule:

Talks held between Taliban and resistance fighters in Panjshir Valley. Link
— Taliban near Panjshir, retake 3 northern Afghan districts. Reuters
“Women should stay home for now and that Afghans must not leave the country.” WPost
Op/Ed: the changing landscape for women under Taliban rule. Link
— life & restrictions will depend on the power struggle among their factions?
How will the Taliban rule? Governing is more difficult than conquering. FA

Journalists:

Afghan journalists begin uncertain chapter under Taliban rule. Link
Journalists: danger on the streets, and how to cover Afghanistan now? WPost

Personal stories:

5 days, 4 nights in Kabul. Link
— ordinary lives amidst the extraordinary collapse of the capital.
The treacherous journey into Kabul airport to escape T-controlled Afghanistan. Link
I watched Kabul fall to the Taliban. SCMP

Bangladesh:

Story collection: The Rohingya: a humanitarian emergency decades in the making. Link
Four years on, Rohingya stuck in Bangladesh camps yearn for home. Link
Bangladesh Islamists emboldened by Taliban win in Afghanistan. DW

India’s mixed Covid signals:

Airline fuel demand surges in India with tourism rebound. Link
— domestic flights this month are at 75% of pre-virus levels
Deli schools and colleges to begin reopening in phases beginning 9/1. Link
India reports 46,164 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours. Link
— surge in Covid cases after harvest festival. Al Jazeera
Kerala logs over 30k cases for 2nd day, 58% of those in entire country. Link
— % is probably off, catching more while the others aren’t catching all they should

Eastern Asia (1.6b)

The population exodus that will change Hong Kong forever. Link
China wants families to have three children, but many women aren’t convinced. Link
Three-child policy formally passed into law. BBC
Thousands evacuated from China-Myanmar border to stop Covid-19 spread. Link
— no man’s land, barbed wire between border area.

Japan further expands virus emergency as cases surge. AP

Southeast Asia (700m)

Indonesia’s data can’t keep up. Link
— Delta wave spread to outlying regions, official data may not reflect scale of tragedy.
Indonesia easing restrictions gradually as cases fall. NYT
— loosening in Jakarta, reopenings in Java & Bali. Cases down about 78%.

Myanmar Coup:

Fighting intensifying as troops deployed to ethnic-controlled territories. Link
Anatomy of a Crackdown: how military terrorized its people with weapons of war. Link
Coup, Covid take toll on young people’s mental health in Myanmar. Al JazeeraDW
— a humanitarian emergency is under way in Myanmar. Link
How the coup fueled rise in illegal drugs trade. FT

Thailand reaches 1 million Covid-19 cases, plans vaccine boosters. Link

The West

Cleanup begins of Haiti town’s earthquake-crumbled homes. AP

US granted Chinese student visas at pre-pandemic levels in June. SupChina

Sydney, Australia hospitals erect tents amidst Covid surge. Link

New Data

Covid global case data data

At current pace, 300m cases by Jan. 28.

… 8/27: 214.8m (+4.6m) cases, 4.47m deaths
… 8/20: 210.2m (+4.6m) cases, 4.40m deaths
… 8/13: 205.6m (+5.1m) cases, 4.33m (2%) deaths
… 8/06: 200.5m (+4.4m) cases, 4.26m deaths
… 7/30: 196.1m (+3.5m) cases, 4.18m deaths
Trackers: Johns HopkinsNYT *

Regional & global analyses

Why the Delta variant spreads more rapidly than other Covid-19 strains. Link
— key mutations + extremely high level of infectiousness in pre-symptomatic stage
The math of why we should not worry about the data coming out of Israel. Link
— the vaccines are very effective against severe cases.

New Longreads

Longer Articles

The world’s last Samaritans, straddling the Israeli-Palestinian divide. NYT

Book Notes

Reading: Scarcity: why having too little means so much
Focused on how scarcity (money, time, etc.) can help us focus, but can also sap our cognitive capacities. Implications for the poor. Lots of great takeaways for personal application, as well as for organizations.

To examine and possibly pre-order: The Cold Start Problem: how to start and scale network effects, how to go from ‘zero’ to ‘exponential growth.’

See my notes on The Talent Code, focused on how to coach.

Tech & Futures

Turkey reveals its new advanced laser weapon system. Link

Turkey’s top appeals court rules retweeting ‘insulting post’ constitutes a crime. Link

Swiping left on magnetic stripes. Link

India deploys facial recognition surveilling millions of commuters. Link
— network of 500 cameras tracking daily commuters in 30 stations in Gujarat, Maharashtra

How China’s ultra-loyal web army silences critics. Link

Beyond 2050

A scenario of what humanitarian aid might look like in 2051. Link

Quotable

“To push the boundaries, you need to know where the edges are.” ~Mark Boulton

“Our most dangerous areas of ignorance are in the shadows of what we know best. We stop learning everywhere we think we’ve achieved expertise.” ~Dan Bouchelle

“How completely satisfying to turn from our limitations to a God who has none.” ~A.W. Tozer

“We get angry when we feel like God owes us a better life than we have.” ~Tim Keller

“Unfortunately, when it comes to mission, we Westerners like to be central to the solution, not peripheral. We like to be in the limelight.” ~Craig Greenfield

“Christians who can no longer listen to one another will soon no longer be listening to God either.” ~Bonhoeffer

“Faith is taking the first step when you don’t see the whole staircase.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.

“Nothing of real eternal value is in jeopardy while Jehovah is on the throne.” ~Charles Spurgeon

“One of the ways we think too highly of ourselves is by thinking too little of others.” ~C. M. Clark