Algeria: ‘Tales of Algeria’s impending implosion are, frankly, ridiculous.’
… the military is still firmly in charge.
China: The Parachute Generation
… sending kids to US high schools to help them get into American universities.
… and, How has the end of its one-child policy affected China? Birth rates up, but enough?
India: considering easing foreign investment limits
… Apple to start iPhone production in India by end of April
… a string of events indicating India was closing its doors; these are contrary data points
… and, Uttar Pradesh goes to the polls and could impact the Modi government
… Punjab is going to the polls, too: high youth unemployment, corruption, drug addiction.
Iran: US-Iran relationship back on tenuous footing, to no one’s surprise.
… New sanctions likely. But despite saber rattling, cancelling nuke deal unlikely.
Japan: how to solve its huge sex problem, according to a political scientist
… despite click-baity title, actually about demographics, culture of work, needed changes
… and, Japan’s foreign workforce tops 1 million for the first time
Libya: Report: conditions in refugee camps worse than in concentration camps.
… executions, torture, rapes, bribery, banishment to the desert
… Italy vows to help Libya seal borders, curb flow of migrants to Europe
… EU leaders agree on plan to reduce flow of migrants, human rights groups concerned.
… Related: Niger’s migrant smuggling hub empties after EU crackdown.
… But: the EU’s hollow success over migrant smuggling in Niger.
Maldives: tourist paradise–but for how long? Tourism is 80% of GDP.
Mali: What Mali really needs.
… suicide bombing underscores fragility of Mali & the entire region.
North Korea: The long history of predicting North Korea’s collapse.
… frequently predicted, always wrong. One day the forecast will be right, but until then…
Oman: How much longer can it be an oasis of peace in the Middle East?
… long read with historical data.
Pakistan: Middle class soars as stability returns.
… and, Cold Start: a new way for India to start a war with Pakistan
… could lead to tactical nukes
Russia: It’s Putin’s World. A strange mix of nationalism and ‘Christianity.’
Saudi: Oil minister says Aramco reserve audit ‘very reassuring’
… plans to sell 5% to set up world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, reduce oil reliance
… plans world’s cheapest power with solar and wind.
Syria: rebuilding Aleppo will take billions–and peace. Video.
… with fall of Mosul, Raqqa, ISIS fortifying Deir ez-Zor, under its control since 2014.
… ez-Zor is the richest oil supply in all Syria, flanked by mountains, with Euphrates river.
… what life in refugee camps in Lebanon is like for Syrian refugees.
Tajikistan: half of Central Asia’s water reserves, but 40% don’t have clean water.
… also: the booming business in organ transplants, where cost for surgery is relatively low
Thailand: cracking down on human trafficking.
… rights groups say millions of migrant workers vulnerable to abuse in fishing, sex trade
Yemen: food crisis could become famine this year, UN warns.
… Yemen Under Siege: 35 minute video from Frontline.
Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction, Quarterly Report: downward spiral
… 210k hectares under poppy cultivation in 2016, up 10%
… Government controls just 57% of its territory, down from 72% a year ago.
… 583,000 internally displaced due to conflict in 2016
… Taliban collecting taxes on utility bills
Infographic from Christianity Today: ‘Worst Year Yet.’
… top 50 countries where it’s hardest to be a Christian.
ChinaSource has a new course on Udemy, “The Church in China Today.”
… cost after Feb. 6 is $30. It is a 5-lecture course with supplementary materials.
Shane Bennett has started a new email letter, ‘Muslim Connect’.
… ‘Thinking about Muslims the way God thinks about Muslims’
Hickson, Gordon. ‘Ordinary’ Christians can reach Muslims better than specialists.
Ghemawat, Pankaj. Even in a digital world, globalization is not inevitable.
… 8 reasons why digital tech aren’t necessarily sufficient to drive globalization forward.
Goodstein, Laurie. Christian leaders denounce Trump’s plan to favor Christian refugees.
… ‘frontlines account of the global crisis is a gift to concerned Christians’
Robson, David. How East and West think in profoundly different ways.
… psychologists uncovering surprising influence of geography on reasoning, behavior…
Addison, Steve. Pioneering Movements: Leadership that multiplies disciples and churches.
Kingsley, Patrick. The New Odyssey: the Story of the 21st Century Refugee Crisis.
Lifehacking, Tactics, Skills, Rules
How to use fewer words: in emails, documentation, anything.
How to get 100,000 Facebook fans in 30 days.
… probably not, but it does outline an interesting little trick I hadn’t seen before.
5 ways to survive war on the mission, by an ABWE missionary in the Middle East.
Pioneer Mission Startups, Strategy
UPG Profiles, Travelogues, Stories
Kazakhstan: The hidden ice fishermen of Kazakhstan.
Chinese Internet: yes, 731 million on, but that equals 619 million Chinese who aren’t.
#AI: Computers learn to paint whatever you tell them to; advancing exponentially.
… and learning to win, bluff at poker.
… #Photos: Facebook AI unlocks the ability to search photos by what’s in them.
#Autodrive: Unexpected consequences of self-driving cars.
… Autoships: Commercial vessels will soon have no crew on board
#AR/VR: 16:36 Podcast, Economist Radio, “Babbage: Adding to Reality”
… augmented reality to overtake VR as the innovation of choice.
#BlockChain: The future will be decentralized.
… impact of documentation, or lack of; remittance costs; trust; insurance. Bitcoin. Trust.
#Fraud: Warning on new scams blending CEO fraud with W-2 phishing to get tax files.
… if it hasn’t happened already, when will non-profits get hit with scams like these?
#Robots: North America ordered 35,000 robots in 2016, up 10%, = $1.8 billion.
… taking over oil rigs. And tax return preparation. And local delivery.
… New Boston Dynamics robot self balancing on wheels, jumping (Video)
… The Warbot Builders of the Middle East spill their secrets (Wired)
#SocialMedia: Pew Social Media Update 2016: Facebook up, rest stagnant.
#Crime: Slate: welcome to our month-long cyberdefense class.
“Sometimes the desire to save the whole world can be an impediment to taking even one small action to improve it.” ~George Prochnik
“The real problem is that we judge God based upon how well He carries out my agenda for the world.” ~Voddie Baucham
”To the degree that you hold purpose and principles in common among you, you can dispense with command and control.” ~Dee Hock
“If the church uses carnal means to draw carnal men, it will be forced to continue and even grow in carnality in order to keep them.” ~Paul Washer
“You take people, you put them on a journey, you give them peril, you find out who they really are.” ~Joss Whedon
“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” ~Winston Churchill
“Pain nourishes courage. You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.” ~Mary Tyler Moore