Roundup 2017-08-04

New events

North Africa

Libya: Italy begins naval mission to help curb migrant flows
… but eastern commander vows to destroy warships if sailed to Libyan water
… Economist Explains: will the new peace deal end the conflict in Libya?
Morocco: Tourist arrivals up 9%, a lot of them are Chinese.
but country 2nd most dangerous for solo female travelers.
Tunisia: takes a big step to protect women from abuse
… why the law is exceptional: prevents rapists from escaping by marrying victim
… also targets domestic violence, of which 47% of women in Tunisia have been victims

West Africa

Gambia: China promises support to Gambia after it ditches ties with Taiwan
… ended relations with Taiwan last year.
Niger: fear of Boko Haram drives thousands to flee from Niger to Chad
Nigeria: Frustration grows in the Niger Delta (STRATFOR)
looks to ‘white gold’ (rice) for economic recovery: ‘can’t depend on oil anymore’
Pres. Buhari has been gone for months
… ‘the last Nigerian president absent this long died in office’
Senegal: Saving Senegal’s sons from vanishing in European seas
crackdown fails to improve lot of child beggars: est. 50k in Dakar
… ‘talibes’: young as 4, sent to Islamic boarding schools, forced to earn keep by begging

East Africa/Horn

Eritrea: The children who cross borders and deserts alone (IRIN)
‘The Route is Shut’: Eritreans trapped by Egypt’s Smuggling
Somalia: Car bomb in capital kills six, 20 wounded: violence not done yet
Sudan: Manufacturing the Illusion of Stability in Sudan
… Sudan Democracy First Group, PDF, 70pp.
S Sudan: S. Sudanese refugees in Uganda near million mark

Central Asia

Kyrgyzstan: Study: 1 in 5 girls and women kidnapped for marriage in Kyrg.
… about 12,000 brides kidnapped every year
Tajikistan: Fines, questioning, threats for wearing hijab
Uzbekistan: The next chapter in Uzbekistan’s opening
… HRW and BBC are getting access to the country again.

West Asia/Gulf

Iraq: Lost children are the legacy of the battle of Mosul
… thousands separated from parents in 9mo battle
How can Iraq rebuild? It needs money, and will inevitably lose some in corruption
Jordan: Like Tunisia, repeals ‘marry the rapist’ law
Lebanon: Syrian refugees leave Lebanon, return to Syria after ceasefire
Oman: Expat workforce has tripled in Oman in the past decade
… from 820k in 2011 to 1.9m in 2016, 5:1 men:women.
Qatar: to offer permanent residency to children of Qatari women married to non-Qataris
… as well as to expats who ‘provide outstanding services to Q’
agrees to buy 7 Italian warships ($6bln, ‘checkbook defiance’ of 2mo old feud)
Saudi Arabia: wants to be a top beach vacation destination
… plans constructing resorts on 100 miles of Sandi coastline by 2022
… would be considered a ‘private zone’ with ‘independent laws’ on par with ‘intl standards’
… also plans $1.14 billion broadband rollout to 2 million locations
… but jobless rate has climbed to 12.7%
Syria: Cease-fire goes into effect in third city, Homs. Maps.
… FT: a tale of three cities: Damascus, Homs, Aleppo
… ‘Woe betide the Kurds of northern Syria when the war is over
Turkey: Inside Turkey’s NGO purge
… ‘targeting aid workers with intimidation, inane red tape, and senseless deportations’
Puts nearly 500 people on trial over last year’s attempted coup
… ‘The Disappearing Imam’ under a pen name for War on the Rocks
… an look inside the various timelines and conspiracies of the Turkey coup/political forces.
UAE: Population hits 9.1 million, 3:1 male/female split
Yemen: A million malnourished children at risk of cholera

South Asia

Afghanistan: How the Taliban is regaining control
in northern Afgh., a tent is a one-room schoolhouse
Iran: Rouhani elected to second term.
ex-President Ahmadinejad facing sentencing over misuse of funds.
India: More than half of India’s languages may die out in 50 years
Farmer suicides rise in India as climate change takes its toll
… ‘there are no rains… even for drinking, we get water only once in 10 days…’
World’s highest village runs dry as warming hits the Himalayas
India’s opposition heads for the hills: a golden age for the BJP
Six Hours of Chaos: a wild day inside India’s overrun courtrooms
Maldives: Parliament shut down to stop speaker’s removal
Pakistan: Christians fear rise in persecution after ouster of PM.

East Asia

China: says India building up troops amid border standoff
Elite have begun their game of thrones: here are some of the potential winners
Beijing, Shanghai loosening rules on tourist visas.
Communist Party to punish members who visit ‘illegal websites’
… Some analysts believe China+India has entered critical phase, may escalate to force
Mongolia: bans grain exports as hottest temps in 56 years cause drought
Korea: Ban on American travelers to N Korea takes effect Sept 1.
surge in N Koreans slipping illegally into Thailand (popular defection route)
N Korean money man reveals smuggling operations, ‘chilling details of inner circle’
… ‘had enough of the executions’ … ‘N Korea lost one of its top money makers’
S Korea reportedly considers a nuclear arsenal to counter the North

Southeast Asia

Philippines: HIV epidemic declared a national emergency
… rose 140% during 2010-16.
Cambodia: PM insists mission AIM must leave after CNN report on trafficking
Indonesia: Mt. Sinabung (Sumatra) blasts ash 2.6mi high, spreads for miles.
Threat to ban Telegram app lifted.
Myanmar: Largest spirit festival postponed after swine flu outbreak.
Singapore: Forget about a job for life in Singapore, study finds
… become a norm for workers to switch every few years: lifelong career history
Thailand: Escaping the clutches of sex trafficking in Thailand (Al Jazeera)
… an Uzbek woman trafficked, forced to sell, shares the story of her escape
Floods in north, eastern regions kill 23, $300 million in damages
… 10 provinces affected, 600 sq mi of rice farming land

New Data

MIT Study: within a few decades, deadly heat waves in S Asia
… wet-bulb temps of 35+ cannot be withstood by human body more than a few hours
… these temps exceeded in 2015 in Persian Gulf, deadly heat Gulf+S Asia, 3,500 killed
… in today’s climate, 2% of India exposed to 32-deg wet-bulb temps
… by 2100, 70% will be exposed to 32-deg, and 2% at 35+. Agriculture suffers…
Who’s the richest man in the world? Not Bezos, not Gates. Probably Putin.
Tech giants are eating the ad world
… 2/3rds of all global ad dollars will go to the “Big 5”: Google, Facebook, Tencent, etc.

Longer reads

Schroeder, Christopher. Entrepreneurs building an Arab Tech economy. MIT.
Gershgorn & Murphy. The small US towns that will be crushed by the trucking revolution.
… consider the implications for donor development and mission sending out of rural America.
Smietana, Bob. The ‘prophets’ and ‘apostles’ leading the quiet revolution in American religion.
Bryson, Rachel. The Jihadi Gender imbalance.
… lack of understanding of female jihadis leads to an oversimplified treatment of the topic
Thompson, Derek. This is the way the college ‘bubble’ ends. Atlantic.
… ‘college behemoth is shrinking.’ May impact mobilization.

Lifehacking, Tactics, Skills, Rules

What is the difference between an endemic, epidemic and a pandemic?

Pioneer Mission Startups, Strategy

Optimize your funnel by getting inside your buyer’s head: 84-slide PPT
… lessons here for mobilization, donor development, etc.
Why everything breaks when you reach 25 employees
… lessons here for growing teams inside agencies, as well as small agencies

UPG Profiles, Travelogues, Stories

Bahrain: more than fast cars and oil; and, tourism up 14% in first half of 2017
… over 5.6 million visitors
Nepal: Catching a glimpse of Janai Purnima 2017 festival
Japan: time lapse captures rush hour in one of Japan’s busiest stations
China: Sleeping under yak hair: life with Gansu’s Tibetan nomads


Anonymous browsing not so anonymous
… people can be identified just by the URLs that share an IP
Modern 3G, 4G phones can be location-tracked as easily as 2G
Apple removes VPN apps from Chinese iPhone App Store
… ‘no choice under local laws, hopes crackdown won’t be permanent’
Amazon partner in China tells users to stop using illegal VPNs, too.
China holds drill to shut down ‘harmful’ websites. More, NYT.
… and, perhaps less noticed, Russia has banned proxies and VPNs, too.
Twitter growing in popularity across the Middle East
Facebook algorithm and the mom problem
… if mom liked it, it must be a family related piece of content…
… so it narrows the audience to only family.
… and, FB will drown out fake news with more information
Facebook and the problem of regulating hate speech
… when the victims are the ones whose posts get censored
… maybe FB needs some of Google’s bots, that identify bad content faster than humans
FB said to be working on a video chat device, too
Vaccine for type 1 diabetes headed for human trials in 2018
China’s Artificial Intelligence Revolution.
… But some analysts are doubtful a state-sponsored approach can work.
… Economist: Why China’s AI push is worrying: state-controlled corps with powerful AI
China & US battling to become the world’s first AI superpower
Ray Kurzweil, Google, AI: writing your emails for you.
… the team behind ‘Smart Reply’: AI working hand-in-glove with human intelligence
A new growth industry: custom pornography. (UK Guardian, Safe for Work)
… specific film requests commissioned by a single person.
… and, in same trend line, The Verge has ‘the women who sell nudes on Patreon’
… long analysis. Photos, while censored, are only moderately SFW. Not direct-linking.
… trend line was inevitable; it’s the only way to have new, niche content for new ‘artists.’


“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.” ~Isaac Asimov

“Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.” ~Seth Godin

“The divine excellency of real Christianity is never exhibited with such advantage as when under the greatest trials.” ~Jonathan Edwards
“The desire to learn is worth little without a commitment to grow.” ~Dan Bouchelle

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