Roundup 2017-09-08

New events

Hurricane Irma
NYT overview piece on Irma, one ofthemost powerful Atlantic hurricanes ever
… how many mission agencies, mission-churches, etc. are in Florida?
… a lot of short-term mission trips will be headed totheCaribbean soon

Floods and natural disasters
South Asia is also experiencingtheworst flooding in decades
… hundreds dead, millions displaced
… ‘They thoughtthemonsoons were calm. Then camethedeadly floods.’
Over 100k flee homes after heavy rains, flooding in Nigeria
Niger floods force thousands from their homes in Niamey
A third of Bangladesh is under water during flooding
Flash monsoon flooding in Karachi, Pakistan kills 16

North Africa

Egypt: New HRW report:Torture and National Security in Egypt(63pp).
… ‘an assembly line of serious abuse to collect information about suspected dissidents’
Number of blocked websites increases to at least 424

West Africa

TheEvangelical Church of Niger has a goal to plant 52 new churches
Nigeria:Boko Haram–thefear,theconspiracy theories,thedeepening crisis.
… ‘military’s regular claim thatthejihadists are ontherun is patently false…’

East Africa/Horn

Kenyan Supreme Court nullifiedtheelection results.
irregularities and disruptions to electronic vote tallying were uncovered.
Ethiopia faces worst drought in years, with millions at risk
South Sudan:in Juba’s only post office, forgotten mail offers intimate archive of upheaval

Central Asia

Kazakhstan:In at least 3 cases, courts banned religious communities from any activities
… ban includes worship, and is to last for 3 months.
Uzbekistan devalues its currency, emerging from decades-long isolation

West Asia/Gulf

Churches condemn Israeli attempts to ‘weaken’ Christians in Jersualem
… Israeli court decision: pro-settlement group to take church land in Palestinian area
Saudi Arabia:learning that preparing for life after oil is easier said than done
… scaling back its overly ambitious plans.
Turkey:mass persecution of Christians and Kurds
… ‘hatred of Christians… widespread among public… expressed extensively on social media’
Yemen:ThephotostheU.S. and Saudi Arabia don’t want you to see.
… horrific war has devastated Yemen and shows no signs of ending.
Cholera epidemic hits 600,000.

South Asia

Bangladesh:Desperate Rohingya flee Myanmar on a trail of suffering: ‘it is all gone’
… 10s of thousands have fled into Bangladesh.
Aid groups hurriedly prepare to take in more refugees.
Iran:Tourism industry is booming.
India: Op/Ed:A ‘godmen industry’ flourished as state failed to dignifythepoor
Rivers are polluted and dying
Air pollution istheworst intheworld(even worse than China’s)
No country in Asia has more bureaucracy than India
Fully 70% of India’s population have no toilets in their homes
Nepal:New law cracks down on religious conversion.
Pakistan:A slice of China in Islamabad: catering totheinflux of Chinese
Traveling China’s Karakoram Highway: linking China to Pakistan and Central Asia

East Asia

China:Risky road: China’s missionaries follow Beijing west(BBC).
… “Government responds w/crackdown on house chs connected to overseas mission…”
Chinese man sentenced to prison for selling VPN software. They’re serious.
… “5 main religions in China to sinicize” (incl Christianity, but a Global Times article, so…)
Mongolia:TakingtheBible to Asia’s outback
N Korea:US urges strong UN response as North Korea prepares new launches
Increase of nuclear, missile tests overtheyears, graphed.
What’sthedifference between an A-bomb and an H-bomb?
Theimpact of a hydrogen bomb on Seoul.What war would look like.
US, Korea agree to lift payload limits to boost S Korea defense abilities.
Korea defense minister suggests bringing back US tactical nukes.
Cracks in US-S Korea alliance?
US calls for all oil, fuel to be cut off.Ships to be interdicted.
Putin says no to oil embargo.
China doesn’t want to,but looks like it will back some measures.
… Unlikely: China doesn’t want NKor to fall, with lots of refugees and potential of warfare
… “There is no foreseeable solution totheescalating crisis.” ~Bill Bishop
Chinese border cities are calm despite global jitters.

Southeast Asia

In Cambodia, control of information shifts up a gear in run-up to election.
Government orders newspaper Cambodia Daily to close, alleging unpaid taxes.
Arrests opposition party leader, accuses of treason.
Over 275,000 Rohingya in Myanmar exodus.
Reports Myanmar army is setting landmines neartheborder,
… to keep refugees from returning
India set to deport 40,000 Rohingya Muslims who fled there.
Machetes vs Machine Guns: brutal Myanmar army tactics.
Maungdaw: intotheconflict zone: a rare first-hand look inside.
What Rohingya carry as they fleetheMyanmar violence.
Rohingya refugee exodus, in photos, from PBS.
Vietnam:9 extraordinary journeys that take you into it’s hidden corners

New Data

ReachingtheForeigner Among Us conference, September 20-21, Hyatt Regency, DFW
Report: Chinese and Chinese-American philanthropy is growing
More Americans now say their spiritual but not religious
… “more” means “more than before” not “more than 50%”; most still religious
State oftheWorld: Jason Mandryk & Molly Wall’s video presentation at Lausanne YLG

Longer reads

Perceptions of Probability: beautiful graphs translating probabilistic phrases into odds
How your fear and outrage are being sold for profit.
… on algorithms, news editing, andtheimpact being had on society.
TheRushing on ofthePurposes of God: Book Review
… Andrew T. Kaiser on development of missions in Shanxi, China. Looks interesting.

Lifehacking, Tactics, Skills, Rules

The20% of productivity advice that produces 80% oftheresults.
Why first impressions are often wrong.
The”Burner List”: simple, paper-based system for focused to-dos.
If you never have enough time, watch for time leaks and declutter.

Pioneer Mission Startups, Strategy

Thefour most important metrics for any business: how do these apply to mission agencies?

UPG Profiles, Travelogues, Stories

Dead Man Talking: Hungry Ghost Month, andtherole of dreams in Chinese spirituality

Futuristics/Technology

Geopositioning:What3Words is an interesting tech for locating specific spots
… divides world into 3×3 meter squares, assigns 3 words to each of them, easier than GPS
… can be integrated into phone apps.
#AI: we are at a ‘camels to cars’ moment
How Youtube benefited from Google Brainand perfectedthevideo newsfeed
#Autodrive:Ford wants to deploy self-driving technology in commercial trucks
John Deere is heavily investing in AI, automation: robotic tractors, lettuce farmers
#Automate:One pessimistic expert warns robots will kill most retail jobs
Video of technology for stores without cashiers
… RAND:What autonomous vehicles could mean for American workers
Robots that can sew T-shirts as fast as a crew of 17 humans
#Surveillance: Facial recognition is taking a next leap forward:
Thenext leap forward for smartphones lies inthecamera.
Mobile phones doubling asscanning, facial recognition, surveillance tools.
China is testingtheuse of facial recognition as a boarding pass for planes
China has 170 million surveillance cameras in public places, likely to add 450mby 2050
AI facial recognition used to make over 4,000 arrests intheUSA. and in China.
AI can identify protesters hiding behind hats or scarves.
AI can distinguish between heterosexuals and homosexuals based on face photos.
#Censorship:theevolution of China’s Great Firewall: 21 years
Facebook has mappedthepopulation of 23 countries in incredible detail
… in order to figure outthebest way to deliver Internet connectivity.
… High Resolution Settlement Layer maps based on satellite imagery from Digital Globe.
Several ofthecountries are available here.
Twitter:a unique attack: how bots following an account can gettheaccount banned.

Quotable

“The early church didn’t say, ‘Look what the world is coming to!’ They said, ‘Look what has come into the world!’” ~Carl F. H. Henry

“Jesus has a different view of maturity: it is the ability and willingness to be led where you would rather not go.” –H. Nouwen

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