Roundup 191

New Events


First there was a sustained downward trend in reported new coronavirus infections – Link
… early days, “too early to celebrate” – Link

Then Chinese authorities changed the way infections are counted – Asia Times
… I think this is a change for the more accurate, but it suggests China has been undercounting
… (though not necessarily with malicious intent or desire to deceive)
… Total infection count surged to 60,000+; total deaths to 1,368; recovered to 5,896
… So, more data, but remember all data is in flux.

Four charts that help explain how the coronavirus spread – Sixth Tone

Some churches have been a nexus for the Coronavirus – Asia Times

Jon Hirst has some good thoughts about Service to Others in a Virus Outbreak – Generous Mind

Public anger in China over the coronavirus is mounting – will it matter? China File
… I think not. But I’m a cynic.

People know Hubei is in lockdown. So is Zhejiang – Link
… 4 big cities essentially put their populations under house arrest …

Africa is not prepared for the Coronavirus – Link
… est. 1 million Chinese live in Africa, much transit between China & Africa
… ‘who recently returned from China, showed up with coughs, not placed in isolation…’

Coronavirus will of course impact the global economy. Some examples:
… Canada Goose – CNN
… Chinese car factories idled, impact global growth – Link
… Chinese tourism down, impacting nations – Link
… The world’s largest mobile trade show, Mobile World Congress, cancelled – Link


A new Moroccan military drive may inflame tensions with Algeria – Stratfor

Egypt’s population hits 100 million – NYT
… politics around creating a new governorate (province) in the Sinai – Al-Monitor
… more on the Nile & Ethiopia’s dam & potential conflict, huge national issue – NYT

Libya, still more weapons: no end in sight – WPost
… and, ‘re-contaminated’ by landmines after months of fighting – UN

Ensuring child rights protections in Central African Republic – UN

A new generation of voracious dust locusts about to hatch – IRIN
… biblical-level plague, 20X larger than the wave that recently swept through
… now following the worst-in-decades drought that hit Somalia, Kenya last year
… Somalia’s “no-go zones” frustrate anti-locust efforts – Link

Fast facts about Nigeria – Pew
… mainly about immigrants & US travel ban, but a helpful quick glance at the current snapshot
… Nigeria is 7th most populous today, will likely be 3rd most by 2100
… I haven’t done the math, but are the majority of Muslims in Africa in Nigeria?


USA and Afghan Taliban provisionally going ahead with peace deal – NYT
… but the provisos are unlikely to be reached, IMHO

3 million in rebel Syria seek shelter – Telegraph
… in area size of Somerset as Idlib turns into open air refugee camp

Hospitals in Yemen attacked, disrupting healthcare for thousands – UN
… “biggest humanitarian emergency nears breaking point” – BBC
… I’m not even sure what that means. Yemen has been broken for years. Decades, even.

A spasm of ethnic violence in Kazakhstan – Eurasianet

20% of marriages in Iran are child marriages – Iran Wire
… defined as involving at least one person under the age of 18

India: New Delhi voted with Modi’s popularity on the line – AP
… and Modi’s party suffered a setback – NYT
… Kejriwal’s AAP stuns BJP with huge win – Al Jazeera
… “Political newbies takes nations capital” – Asia Times

China’s schools pledge to do away with religion – Bitter Winter
… children urged to report religious relatives …

Polygamous marriage in modern Malaysia – BBC

North Korea deepens its isolation amid virus threat – WSJ
… has cut off trade with China, which will damage its economy …
… if Coronavirus got into N Korea, health system might be able to cope …

New Data

Infographic: global remittance flows – Link

Sharing the burden of the global refugee crisis – Brookings
… 71 million forcibly displaced (25.9m refugees, 41.3m IDP)
… half are children under 18
… 57% came from three countries: Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan
… Developed countries host 16%, developing countries 84%
… more stats!

Barna releases new State of the Church 2020 report for USA data – Link
… asking pastors, priests to rank some of the issues facing the church today …

About “nones” in the USA:

‘Nothing in Particulars’ may be the most Gospel-ready – Ed Stetzer
… ‘atheists’ and ‘agnostics’ unlikely to change, but ‘nothings’ are very different

And, incredibly important: “The decline of religion [growth of nones] may be slowing” – Link
… We may be close to the ceiling/floor on secularization?

Longer reads

The never-ending need of multiplying leaders – Ed Stetzer
… movements multiply everything …

Wars are not won by military genius or decisive battles – Aeon
… attrition & ability to endure is a far stronger force …

The virtues and downsides of online dating – Pew
… 30% of US adults have used a dating site or app
… 12% married or in committed relationship with someone they met through one

Time management is more than life hacks: 3 essential skills – HBR


WhatsApp hits 2 billion users – CNN

Surging Internet use from North Korea as it turns to cybercrime to prop up government – NYT
… wouldn’t be surprised if church, mission groups are eventually targeted

Free CBInsights report on AI trends in 2020 – Link

How AI is being used to track the coronavirus outbreak – Wired

Reuters uses AI to prototype first ever automated video reports – Forbes
… AI matches photography to a data feed for a sports game, auto-generates a script for any match report, which can then be presented by a live person …

“Every 60 seconds” — in China. A twist on the common infographic. Link

A group of companies has spent $16 billion on developing self-driving cars – Link
… little to show for it so far …

Apple sells more watches per year than the entire Swiss watch industry – Link

3D printing replacement limbs, prosthetics for war-wounded – IRIN

Dubai has largest 3D printed building, wants to make 25% of its buildings 3D printed by 2030 – Link

US federal agencies purchasing access to commercial databases mapping the movements of millions in America for immigration enforcement (and if they can do it, so can others) – WSJ

The Digital Dictators: How technology strengthens autocracy – Foreign Affairs

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