North Africa / Warring States
… 70% of S Sudan children are out of school
… ‘risks losing a generation… make it harder to rebuild…’
Sudan’s widening bread price protests: in spite of government crackdown…
… in 2017, 130 reportedly killed for their faith
… Egypt vs just about everyone over the Nile
Western Africa / Lake Chad
… Boko Haram dominates headlines, but 2x killed over land (farmers vs herders)
Ethiopia / Horn / East Africa
Ethiopia army suppressing protests in Amhara: gunfire, deaths reported
Middle Africa / Lakes
… especially with the food-borne listeriosis outbreak
Central Asia / Caucasus
… also, approval for construction of several new ‘mini-mosques’
… recruiting workers to help reach overlooked nomadic peoples
Saudi / Israel / Lebanon / Syria / Gulf
… a good, short NYT explainer.
… ‘drive to put religion at the heart of national life’
… most of the protestors were young and students
… estimated to hold around a third of Iranian economy
Afghanistan / Pakistan / Pashto
… suspends all activities in Afghanistan.
… Had branches in 16 of 34 provinces reaching 700k children.
… biggest drug producer in the world, surged 87% this year
Nepal / Bhutan / Tibet
Maldives / Sri Lanka
Bengali / Bangladesh
NatGeo: how to feed 1.4 billion appetites: revolutionizing ag system
… China using investments and soft power. More Chinese in Middle East.
… in Muslim-majority Hui region of NW China
… ‘atheists in public, who harbor religious sentiments in private’
… ‘this is a serious pledge’
… if true, I think this would be a first?
… with seating capacity of over 1,000.
… bad downward spiral
… BUT other cities on the rise, new incentives, opportunities
Preventing a post-collapse crisis in Korea (Foreign Affairs)
… how to avoid famine and mass migration
… governments clamping down on the Internet, social media
… ‘crisis has roots in the partition of 1947’
… see also “The great divide: the violent legacy of Indian partition” (New Yorker, 2015)
… ‘last vestiges of democratic govt disappeared in 2017’
Myanmar: who dares speak truth to power?
… fate of two detained journalists is intertwined with future of political transition
… area has had a long running insurgency, but first bomb in some months
Notable Europe / Americas
… Bulgaria, Latvia, Moldova, Ukraine, etc., shrinking by > 15%
… 12.4 million Chinese visited Europe in 2017; likely 20.8m by 2022
… violence due to expanding Jalisco drug cartel
New global data
… World Bank PDF/book on wave of prosperity, 3 out of 5 citizens lifted out of poverty
… 8 conflicts considered ‘top tier’ risks
… these areas could impact unreached work, but also
… possibilities for being blessing to those affected
… root causes, and the human toll: over 40 million victims
… places in style with vacationers, Westerners have been targeted
… San Salvador is the worst.
FAO: Shaping the future of livestock (PDF).
… over 770mln survive on
Longer reads & Resources
… Dr. Todd Johnson, at Gordon-Conwell’s Reformation Celebration Conference
… it’s been in Africa so long it can be considered an indigenous religion.
Lifehacking, Tactics, Skills, Rules
… lots of good recommendations in here.
… written especially from an introvert’s standpoint.
… TONS of practical advice here!
… limitations inspire better thinking
… ‘effortful restraint is not the key to the good life… what is?’
… good practical tips, including the ‘mom test’
… ‘almost impossible to accept failure… always potential rationalization…’
… instead of trying to prove a hypothesis, we should try to disprove it
… (this is a key element of testing!)
… it’s not how many experiments you run
… It’s whether those learnings validate or invalidate a critical element of the business model.
… if incentivized based on any metric, we will game it
Startups, Strategy, Books
… Jim & Carla Bowman in Mexico, develop of local oral arts to communicate the Gospel
… Great little devotional book. 30 chapters, each focus on a specific topic (‘prayer’, ‘humility,’ ‘language learning,’ etc). 2 pages of why/vision casting/inspiration, followed by a page of practical suggestions for getting out and doing it, and then one page of guided journal questions for the day (who did you meet, what did you eat, where did you visit, etc) and a page for freeform journal notes. I’m not all the way through it and I’ve found some really good nuggets I wish I’d had in our first 30 days abroad. Highly recommended. From same guys who brought us Tradecraft, another high recommendation.
Little Bets: how breakthrough ideas emerge from small discoveries. This short read is all about why you should encourage experimentation (primarily in work contexts) and how to go about doing it. It encourages you not to bet the farm (consider what you can afford to risk); how to have a growth mindset; failing quickly to learn fast only works if you learn; why ‘play’ can unlock innovation, and so on. Lots of little nuggets in here for how to leverage small experiments to iterate toward big innovations.
UPG Profiles, Travelogues, Stories
… a story from the Ali Addeh camp in Djibouti
… because of botox injections.
Beyond the Bitcoin Bubble (NYT Longread)
… driven by greed, but could build something more important than wealth
… crime down 24%. China biggest buyer of Ecuadorian crude oil.
… over 650 million smartphone users in China (2x USA population)
… $9 trillion in mobile payments in 2017 (US, $112 billion)
… ‘and that could be a huge challenge to the West
… first to test Crispr biotech on humans
… developers earned $26.5 billion in 2017 (more than McDonalds annual revenue)
… $100 million per day in purchases of Apps; = Google Adwords yearly revenue in 2012
… tech and increasing demand for security have put us all under surveillance
Report (PDF): Corporate surveillance in everyday life (Cracked Labs)
“To push the boundaries, you need to know where the edges are.” ~Mark Boulton
“The religious man makes everything about himself. A righteous man makes everything about serving others.” ~?
“Our most dangerous areas of ignorance are in the shadows of what we know best. We stop learning everywhere we think we’ve achieved expertise.” ~Dan Bouchelle
“How completely satisfying to turn from our limitations to a God who has none.” ~A.W. Tozer
“We get angry when we feel like God owes us a better life than we have.” ~Tim Keller
“Unfortunately, when it comes to mission, we Westerners like to be central to the solution, not peripheral. We like to be in the limelight.” ~Craig Greenfield
“Christians who can no longer listen to one another will soon no longer be listening to God either.” ~Bonhoeffer
“Faith is taking the first step when you don’t see the whole staircase.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.
“Nothing of real eternal value is in jeopardy while Jehovah is on the throne.” ~Charles Spurgeon
“One of the ways we think too highly of ourselves is by thinking too little of others.” ~C. M. Clark