Roundup 2017-11-3

New events

North Africa

Adrift in Algiers: African migrants marooned in transit bottleneck
… Libya’s civil war closed off usual routes, migrants turn to Algeria, but little support
Egypt:An est. 9.4 million Egyptians live abroad
… brief op-ed has some stats, history, thoughts about role of diaspora in homeland
Southern Egypt:Copts call for action over church closures
… ‘worshippers harassed… pelted with rocks…’
Libya:Tripoli residents drilling through pavements to access wells
… ‘in desperate search for water after the taps run dry’

West Africa

Niger: US Dept of State has issued a travel warning for American citizens.
Nigeria:Committed to raising mobile broadband from 20% to 50% by 2020
… will also raise access to Internet-based gospel material
… and, of course, to all the rest the Internet has to offer, for good or ill
Boko Haram gets the bad press, but Nigerialoses $13.7 billion to herdsmen/farmer clashes
… 2,500 killed, 62,000 displaced in Kaduna, Benue, and Plateau.
In Plateau, Muslim Fulani herdsmen attacked, massacred 48 Christians
… religious violence mixed up in herdsmen/farmer clashes, hard to tell motivation
Senegal:Child marriage: ‘I am not angry at my mother any more’
… 1 in 3 girls is married as a child under the age of 18 (most <15).

East Africa/Horn

Kenya:low turnout, protests, no end in sight for election crisis
Eritrea:Rare protests in Asmara.
opposition says 28 were killed in gunfire.
Eritrea says not true, but military makes arrests and Internet cut reported
Somalia:In Exile, in Little Mogadishu: Kampala, Uganda
Letterman to interview Somalis in St. Paul for Netflix show
Mogadishu restricts movement of trucks, tankers (to prevent bombings)
Bombings in Mogadishu: a 2017 timeline
Why is Mogadishu still a frequent target for attacks? Decade after AU Peacekeepers in
The business of fear in Boomtown Mogadishu
… ‘some take advantage of the ongoing civil war to make themselves rich’
Pastoralism and its future(IRIN): 120 to 200 million pastoralists
Drought drives children from school: 1.7 million missing school
Turkey the most active country in Somalia: in economy, army training
Eastern Congo:Rebellion fears grow
Sudan:Trial of 5 pastors postponed.
… Court asked the priests to write pledges ‘not to repeat the public nuisance’
… where ‘prayers in the church’ are defined as ‘public nuisance’
S Sudan:Starvation and violence: overview, half dependent on food aid
Madgascar:WHO issues warning over airborne plague outbreak
… 1,300 infected with pneumonic plague, related to bubonic
but the infection rate is declining, so not the end of the world.

Central Asia

On Language: the many flavors of Persian in Eurasia
… the difficulties of the many dialects. Impacts evangelistic & translation efforts, too.
Uzbekistan:Without forced labor, who will pick the cotton?
… To improve international image, Tashkent sent laborers home mid-season.
… Wants to abolish forced labor—but w/o laborers, entire system has to be overhauled
… and,Officials strive to ease hassles for tourists

West Asia/Gulf

Death shows reality of Indian workers’ life in Gulf
… 10k migrate to Gulf from Telangana.
Iraq:Reopening border crossings into Kurdish region
… after Kurdish Pres. resigns after defeat of independence attempt
Iraqi army will take control of the crossingsw/Turkey, Syria
clairvoyance, magic, sorcery spreading wide in Iraq
… TV shows and clairvoyants on social media selling potions, seeking fame/fortune
Jordan:Water crisis worsens as Mideast tensions slow action
Saudi Arabia:Women can attend sports events in stadium in 2018
… ‘whole families to attend as spectators’: we want those entertainment dollars
Women riled by robot [citizen] with no hijab and more rights than they have
Turkey:Over 16k intl students from 150 countries enrolled since 2010
… 107k applications from 163 countries in 2017

South Asia

South Asia Christians advocate for Rohingya Muslims
… believers in Bangladesh & Pakistan aid fellow persecuted minority fleeing Myanmar.
Afghanistan:Taliban awash in heroin cash.
… ‘Af. provides 85% of world’s opium despite $8 billion spent to fight it over the years’
… ‘drug increasingly refined in Afghanistan, increasing profits for Taliban’
… ‘drug trade is 60% of Taliban $… without drugs, war would have been long over’
Kabul’s territory control dips to lowest level
Bangladesh:Urban underbelly a cause for concern(Part 1 of 3)
… 14k slums, 2.2 million, 6.3% of urban population of Bgd., more stats.
Iran:Fears Persian King Cyrus Day Gatherings
… theocracy would prefer to emphasize country’s Islamic heritage
… this celebrates pre-Islamic Persian heritage
India:Christians say train arrests are part of chronic harassment(Crux)
… ‘accusing Christians of kidnapping children in an attempt to convert them’
The true face of India’s secularism(Op-Ed)
… ‘Hindutva… leaves no space for the followers of other religions’
… ‘since 2014… anti-minorities sentiment has grown…’
Hindus in minority in 7 statesof India, apply for minority status
…’not able to exercise their rights in the truest sense’
India is killing the Ganges, and the Ganges is killing India
… now so polluted it is a menace to public health
India is working on increasing trade with Afghanistan, Central Asia -stans
… while bypassing Pakistan using new Iranian port.
… might trade open up some platform for cross-pollinating Indian CPM expertise?
If Uttar Pradesh were a country, where would it rank? (QZ)
Maharashtra adds 18m to Shivaji statue, to be world’s largest
Pakistan: Authorities order closure of churches in Bahawalpur, pastors arrested
… after Muslims complained they were disturbed by Christian prayers
Honor killings persist one year after new law passed to prevent them
… 280 murders recorded from Oct 2016 to June 2017
Women gain new mobility with transportation apps in Pakistan
… but cost is still out of reach for most.

East Asia

China:5 key takeaways from the 19th Party Congress from ZG_Briefs
… Party takes center stage, Chairman Xi, is a true cult of personality possible?
100s of Korean religious people in northeastern China sent back home
… ‘3 local governments sent home 100s… taken measures to have their churches closed…’
Why millions of Chinese are filing for divorce every year
… social changes, but domestic abuse is also a serious problem
Meanwhile,Alibaba looks to turn Singles Day into an international affair
… China’s ‘premiere national shopping festival’, exceeds US$16.8 billion
More than half of Chinese newborns are second childrennow
… ‘demographic structure undergoing transformation…’
… ‘continue to push demographic reform to facilitate country’s development’
China, Korea shelve the THAAD dispute. For now.
Planning a 1,000-km tunnel to divert water away from one of India’s largest rivers.
… carrying from Yarlung Tsangpo (=Brahmaputra in India) to Xinjiang. Potential tensions.
N Korea:Chinese geologists warn counterparts of potential catastrophic collapse of test site
… further testing could ‘blow the top off the mountain,’ leading to radiation leaks
… fallout could spread across the border to China …
How NKor takes a cut from its workers abroad(video)
Saber rattling impacting fan turnout for Winter Olympics in South Korea (Reuters TV)
… only 30% of tickets have been sold at this point, Olympics 100 days away
… Olympics to be held only 50 miles from border. Almost no Chinese tourists.

Southeast Asia

Cambodia:Drawing closer to outright authoritarianism.
… ‘in past year, … politics have slid farther backwards than … any other country in E Asia’
… some increasing indications of ‘sourness’ toward foreign NGO workers
Indonesia:“It’s our right”: Christian congregation fights to worship in its church
… in Bogor, got the necessary legal permits, won in the Supreme Court, still can’t worship
Bali volcano alert downgraded: most of 130k displaced can return
Tourism ministry aiming to attract more international tourists to visit Lake Toba
… expected to welcome 1 million overseas tourists in 2019 to north Sumatra.
… might be an opportunity for prayer walkers and other short-term teams
Myanmar:The man directly responsible for the Rohingya massacres
… Gen. Hlaing, commander of armed forces, a man with virtually unchecked power
Across Myanmar, the denial of ethnic cleansing and loathing of Rohingya
… and the role of social media as a conduit of hate
The Christian vigilantes fighting Myanmar’s heroin epidemic
… across Kachin state, locals have taken the war on drugs into their own hands
Thailand:Criminalizing irregular migrant labor: Thailand’s crackdown in context
… est. 4 million migrants employed in Th. in 2017, 6% of country’s pop.
… 800k-1M Cambodians, backbone of fishing, construction, agriculture
… Govt making serious effort to change these patterns: fines, jail time

#Data

Infographic:500 years of Protestantism, 1517-2017. CSGC.
… and,Global Evangelism
Top 10 cities by fastest growing tourism
… six are in China, all in Asia.
Arrive Ministries’ Refugee Crisis Update has notes about US decisions re refugees
… as well as a number of statistics, nicely bulleted.
Amazon:43 cents of every dollar spent online.

#LongRead

How did the $9 billion holiday Halloween get started?
… Participants, 179m Americans. Candy, $4.1b. Total, $9.1b.
… and for the curious,the back story behind jack-o-lanterns.
In Japan, Halloween is bigger than Valentines, second only to Christmas
Pope Francis may be popular with some, but he is making some grave enemies too.
Buddhism and Islam in Asia: a long and complicated history
… demography and history explain troubled attitudes toward Islam

#Lifehacks

Get more value out of the content you consume
Forget the 10,000 hour rule in favor of the 10,000-experiment rule

#Leadership #Strategy #Pioneer #Startup

The Monsters under the Desk
… ‘often the most frightening threats to success lurk in everyday practices’
… ‘reliable universal answers are rare in leadership writing’
… Instead ‘leaders are constantly fighting monsters under the desk’
… ‘the nagging inner feeling something is wrong… the willingness to listen to that feeling’
… ‘is the first step toward truly strategic leadership’
How to cultivate leadership that is honed to solve problems
… ‘a collaborative project may seem to happen without leaders…’
… ‘many leaders are hard to spot until you know how to look for it’
… ‘not motivated by trappings of authority, status or showmanship’
… ‘don’t particularly want to lead, don’t want to be led’
… ‘excel at choreographing and directing the work of others’
… ‘expert knowledge enables them to spot opportunities to innovate’
How to be a CEO, from a decade’s worth of them
… Adam Bryan interviewed 525 executives through years writing the Corner Office column.
… This is a great look at leadership in general, not just upper executives.

#UPGs #Life #Travelogues #Stories #Profiles

The largest Diwali festival in America: in Dallas, in the Cotton Bowl, November 4.
In pictures:Pakistan’s Hindu community celebrates Diwali, the festival of lights
In photos:Indonesia at a crossroads
… A descent intoIndonesia’s Mount Tambora:
… the volcano that ‘wiped out a summer and triggered a famine’
Djibouti:the African country sure to dominate 2018 travel agendas
Ethiopia:Up close with the tribes of Ethiopia’s imperiled Omo valley.
Georgia:The shepherds of the Tusheti mountains
China:Down from the Mountains
… with their parents at work far away, the children are raising themselves
China:Out West: a visual narrative of China’s westernmost region

#FutureTech

#AI:UAE appoints first Artificial Intelligence minister.
#Food:The Future of Food(RetroReport+Quartz, Youtube, 7min)
#SocialMedia: “It looks like nothing changed since 2014
… “but now FB and Google have direct influence over 70% of Internet traffic.”
… note these stats are for North & Latin America. Diff in China, India, etc?
By 2020, >40% of 1.6 billion new smartphone connections will be in four countries
… Nigeria, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan: unsurprising given populations
… nearly 800m new connections in majority-unevangelized countries
… increases priority of Internet-based access to Gospel resources
Facebook tries moving non-promoted Pages posts to a secondary ‘Explore’ feed
… if implemented, Pages (what most orgs/corps use) will see dramatic downfall in views
… essentially this is forcing Pages to pay for advertising (=’promoted’)
… ‘Biggest drop in Facebook organic reach we have ever seen
… ‘Facebook’s new Explore feed is a cesspool of the worst content on the Internet
… (you won’t want content confined to the Explore feed, so you’ll pay $ for promotion)
… Facebook: ‘no current plans to make catastrophic news feed change worldwide
Youtube: people are watching 100 million hours of its clips per dayon TV sets.
… our kids probably watch 5-10 hours of that themselves, between them.
… lots of ‘religious’ programs on Youtube, but I don’t see a lot of mission-related stuff yet?
How the Guardian found 800,000 paying readers without using a paywall
… donor-sponsored material is possible
Social media election hacking:
over 150 million Americans may have seen Russia-linked political posts
Youtube says 1,000 political videos uploaded by Russian ‘trolls’
… “Do Russian bots qualify for free speech?” interesting look at ‘software as speech’
… Zeynep Tufekci:we are building a dystopia just to make people click on ads(TED)
… key analysis of important implications: bots can turn against people, organizations, too
… in the long run, this kind of activity may lead to regulation on social media platforms
… what qualifies as ‘hate speech’? What can be regulated? Can evangelism?…
… Ben Evans argues differently:Fashion, Maslow, and Facebook’s Control of Social
… ‘wrong to say FB gets to decide what we do on its platform or see in the newsfeed’
… ‘you can optimise… measure… but people still have to want it’
Cashless China: shoppers to spend $15 trillion on their phones this year
Life under Amazon: ‘there’s a precendent for Amazon competing with so many companies’
… ‘it doesn’t end well.’ … ‘entire industries are loss leaders for Amazon’
… ‘Amazon is combining the digital and physical in a way we’ve never seen before’
… ‘Amazon controls household consumption data… unparalleled insight into… wants…’
Era of easily-faked AI-generated photos is quickly emerging
… ‘method can now be used to generate high-resolution believable images’

Quotable

“Just as running uphill makes us fitter faster, so trials can accelerate our growth in godliness.” ~Alex Hawke

“God isn’t fulfilling your dreams. He’s fufilling his.” ~Carey Nieuwhof

“Most of the things worth doing in the world have been declared impossible before they were done.” ~Justice Louis Brandeis

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