Current Events / Trendlines / Articles
East Africa sees rising threat from al-Shabaab
Afghanistan: Taliban takes Dahana-i-Ghori, Baghlan, 100mi north of Kabul
… forces struggle to hold against the Taliban in the South
China: why it’s cities must maintain ties with the countryside
… ‘the divide between rural and urban is [less about location, more about lifestyle]’
China: the e-learning revolution, bringing major changes in the educational system
China: reforming its agricultural industry in the biggest change since the Great Leap Forward
Egypt: scheduled to vote on a law to ease historic restrictions on church construction
France: Burqini bans: statement of secularism, or declaration of intolerance?
… ‘smacks of political posturing… not as if the Cannes is crawling with burqinis…’
… ‘unlikely to be enforced against Saudi and other Gulf princesses…’
Iraq: troops advance on ISIL-held Mosul
Libya: government takes central Sirte district from ISIL, advance on last area held by group
Nigeria: freeing children from Boko Haram, then locking them up
North Korea: claims it has restarted production of plutonium.
Pakistan-India: official exchanges over the Kashmir dispute have soured.
… observers believe the dispute is trending toward war, as it has 3 times before.
Pakistan: why the Islamic State hasn’t taken root in Afghanistan or Pakistan
Russia: first attempted use of anti-proselytization law
South Sudan: some 16,000 child soldiers recruited since 12/13, likely to grow
… rampaging S Sudan troops raped foreigners, killed local
… “South Sudan: the stillborn state”: “not so much a failed state as one born dead”
… Regime escalates airstrikes against Kurds in northeast
… Russia proposes Aleppo 48-hour truce to allow humanitarian aid
… Russia flying bombers from Iran to strike ISIS in support of Assad
… ‘Fighting in Aleppo is one of the most devastating urban conflicts in modern times’
… All the military entities … see Aleppo as a ‘political endgame’
… Aleppo ‘the last major city where rebels control significant territory’
… new report from Amnesty International says 18,000 died in Syria’s prisons
Thailand: more attacks in southwest provinces.
Turkey: Over 40,000 have been detained since 15 July, half formally arrested.
… 18 Aug saw the first raids against businesses; over 120,000 have been ‘punished’ in all.
… government starts to release 38,000 former prisoners to make space for new ones
USA: White Christian America is dying?
Central Asia: persecution, regulation, harassment depresses church growth:
Kazakhstan: sharing faith “without state registration is illegal and punishable”
Tajikistan: tightens control over content of state-run and privately-owned broadcasters.
Uzbekistan: “raids, prison, fines for home religious meetings”
Kyrgyzstan: despite its problems, it may be Central Asia’s most stable state.
Studies / Charts / Graphs / Reports / Statistics / Resources
Lord, Kristin. ‘Here come the young’ to some of the most fragile and unstable countries.
WEF. The world produces enough food, so why do some go hungry?
Pew Research study on religious affiliation of refugees, immigrants entering USA
“In pursuit of the African dream”: not everyone is headed to Europe.
Foreign Policy 3-part deep look at ISIS:
… part 1: present at the Creation
… part 2: how the Islamic State seized a chemical weapons stockpile
… part 3: the Greatest Divorce in the Jihadi world (AQ vs ISIS)
Long Reads / Mission Industry News / Missional Thinking
Doyle, G. Wright. Builders of the Chinese Church. Biographies of 9 pioneers.
Schindler, Dietrich. “Evangelism in post-Christian Western Europe: six insights.”
… #1: “Migration is God’s gift to the church.”
Lifehacking / Tactics / Individual Skills
Majoo, Farhad. “A charming alternative universe of you, your friends and no news.”
… open Instagram and Snapchat, and you’re in a world without outside events.
UPG Profiles, Travelogues, Stories, Photocollages
China: 7 things to do in Guilin, ‘the real, wild heart of China’
Nepal: “Namaste, Nepal”: a collection of photos from a journalist on departure
Cars: How Tesla’s self-driving autopilot actually works.
… Ford will have a fleet of fully autonomous cars in five years.
… Uber plants to launch its first fleet of self-driving cars this month in Pittsburgh
Drones: How off-the-shelf drones are changing war in Syria and Lebanon
Censorship: Only ~5% of Chinese Internet users circumvent the firewall
Robots: China’s factories count on Robots as workforce shrinks
… demand for 150,000 robots projected for 2018
“People who are right most of the time are people who change their minds often.” ~Jeff Bezos, speaking to the power of Bayesian styles of thinking.
“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” ~Winston Churchill
“Wisdom is the God-given ability to see life with rare objectivity and to handle life with stability.” ~Charles Swindoll
“Wisdom is knowing what to do next, skill is knowing how to do it, and virtue is doing it.” – David Starr Jordan
“When a man has put a limit on what he will do, he has put a limit on what he can do.” ~ Charles Schwab
“It’s too soon to celebrate and it’s too soon to quit.” ~Greg Livingstone