Roundup 205

New Events

Covid-19 Dashboard

… now: over 5.8 million cases, 360k deaths
… 5/15: over 3.7 million cases, 260k deaths
… 5/7: over 3.1 million cases, 227k deaths
Trackers: Johns

North Africa / Egypt / Sudan (266m)

Libya has become the playground of mercenaries.
… As military power shifts, Turkey & Russia control its fate.
… Turks roll back Hiftar gains, “in a stunning reversal.”

Sudan: violence in the south leaves dozens dead.
… Khartoum lockdown extended 2 weeks.

Morocco lockdown extended to June 10.

E. Africa / Ethiopia / Somalia (520m)

Somalia looking forward to its first full elections in 50 years.
… while still being hammered by Covid-19 and the aftermath of the war …

More than 30,000 IDPs in western Ethiopia return to their homes.
… after living in Amhara camps for 2 years …

W. Africa / Nigeria / Sahel (457m)

In W. Africa’s conflict-torn regions, the children left behind.
… links to several reports from various aid agencies …

As mosques reopen in West Africa, Covid-19 fears grow.
… “opening of the mosques will help spread the virus” …

Covid+Jihadi+Climate Change = amplified food crisis
… 43 million in need of food assistance …
… 265 million are food insecure across Africa …

Nigeria’s president says farmers must produce more food.
… “the country has no money to import food”

Violence in Nigeria’s northwest: rolling back the mayhem.
… exec summary of report from the Intl Crisis Group …

South & Middle Africa (275m)

South Africa to allow places of worship to operate in June.

W. Asia / Saudi / Turkey / Iran / Iraq (303m)

Iran began to re-open last month, since seen a surge in 8 provinces.

UAE expands nightly curfew, but allows more citizens to return.

Dubai: Expat flight to follow migrant exodus from the Gulf.
… 3.5+ million foreign workers may lose jobs: pandemic+oil crisis
… Emirates + Qatar will let go up to 40k employees
… 70% of companies in Dubai could go bankrupt in 6 months
… employment across region could fall by 13%
… will impact lots of ministry options

Saudi Arabia Covid-19 cases top 50,000.
… drop in oil: “big dreams and easy living” hits a wall.

Will end curfew on June 21 except in Mecca.
… “2,000+ new cases still being reported daily”

Mosques allowed to re-open for Friday prayers.

Yemen: Covid-19 widespread, decimating ‘collapsed’ health system.

South-central Asia (2.1b)

The largest lockdown in the world is ending.
… “India is bracing for what comes next”
Cases surge past 100,000, deaths past 3,000.
… India ranks 4th in # of new cases per day.
… Death and despair as migrant workers flee cities.
… Mumbai: more patients than beds as India faces surge in cases.
… Mumbai: How Covid-19 has ravaged India’s richest city.
… Rural epidemic? as curfews ease, millions return to villages.
Cyclone Amphan slams into India, Bangladesh.
… millions evacuated, some deaths, but “could have been far worse”
Covid + heatwave + locusts = perfect storm Airports begin to re-open (but many reports of canceled flights)
There’s a kerfuffle between China and India in the Himalayas
… (My intuition says this will settle down, but insufficient data.)

Central Asia

Kazakhstan’s reformed protest law hardly an improvement.
The strangers reaching out to Kyrgyzstan’s lonely teenagers.
… volunteers be-friending those at risk with regular chats …
… I shiver but the article seems positive about the effort

Afghanistan: How the Taliban outlasted a superpower: tenacity and carnage.
… “on the brink of realizing their most fervent desire: US troops will leave Afghanistan. They have given up very little of their extremist ideology to do it.”

Pakistan: The locusts arrive.
Covid cases 4X during Ramadan, and show no sign of slowing


“A nightmare arrives”: Covid-19 reaches the Rohingya camps.

East Asia (1.6b)

Restrictions on int’l flights into Beijing to last into October.
… “each country can only send 1 flight from 1 airline via 1 route once per week”
Beijing “out of patience” with Hong Kong
… “new national security law is ‘death’ of ‘two systems'”
… Xinhua on the decision.
… sweeping law banning sedition, secession, subsversion.
… Under cover of Covid-19, China re-wrote the rules.
… New laws to be imposed ‘without delay
… Taiwan: will help fleeing Hongkongers move to Taiwan
… UK: if China pursues, it will extend Hongkongers’ visa rights
… changes jeopardize international finance centered in the region
Why China’s move to rein in Hong Kong is just the start.
Educational freedom in Hong Kong under assault.
… “the question was called unpatriotic by a teachers’ union…”
China’s memory manipulators:
… “recreating history to serve the present”

Korea: Could face return to restrictions after spike in new cases
… the world could be living with recurring lockdowns a long time…

Singapore: sudden Covid-19 surge brings out the city’s dark side.
… The “Contradictory City”: interesting piece on Medium

Japan ends its state of emergency.

Southeast Asia (700m)

Indonesia: The blossoming trade in fake health documents.
… “Those with a hospital letter (‘free of the virus’) were able to travel”
… 100s of 1000s of soldiers, police to enforce rules on distancing, masks
Coronavirus patients flood Surabaya hospitals.
… “worried that East Java cases will be same as/more than Jakarta”
It’s “too late”: sprawling Indonesia battles coronavirus surge

Europe / North America (1,125m)

Spain re-opening to tourists in July.

Italian churches, shops reopening.

France allows faith gatherings, but worshippers must wear masks.

New Data

Antibody studies suggest the world is still only lightly infected.

CCSA: How Covid-19 is changing the world: a statistical perspective – 90p PDF

Covid-19 is undoing years of progress in curbing global poverty.

The Economist has done a deep dive on the future of tourism.
… and, “how China emerges from lockdown will affect global tourism
… Visual Capitalist infographic: the countries most reliant on tourism.
… Statista infographic: the ‘crushing blow to tourism‘.
… also, American Airlines & Delta are cutting significant %s of workforce
… tourism affects exploratory journeys, short-term trips, tourist visas…

An infographic on how many people die each day.
(one caveat with this last one: multiple issues are often involved in death.)

Inside the NSA’s secret tool to map your social network:
… a somewhat chilling read in Wired on the ability to map all of the phone contacts between people in the United States, 24/7/365
… gives you an inkling of what other governments can do, too …

New Learnings

Even if lockdowns lift, society will not be the same. A short piece on how social lives will suffer as people shun gatherings, even if 90% of work returns to normal – <a href=”

Another scenario: Coronavirus may never go away, even with a vaccine – <a href=”
… the question is not how to end lockdowns, but how to end them safely …
… (but if the virus remains with us, what impact will it have on international travel?)

Push to reopen houses of worship in Europe and the Middle East brings perils, tensions – Link

Risk stratification for workers during the Covid-19 pandemic: a framework for counseling patients about appropriate steps – Link

“The three sides of risk” – a tragic story demonstrating the dangers of low-probability, high-tail-end-consequence events. Link

If you haven’t seen the e-book, Global Transmission, Global Mission, written by Jason Mandryk (Operation World), you should – Link

New Technology

US Navy testing high-powered lasers, shooting down drones.

Visual Capitalist has an infographic on facial recognition around the world.

Analysis of what noise-canceling headphones can and can’t do
… for when you want to start traveling again, or for now, working at home

Hangzhou announces a plan to launch a health-tracking QR code
… monitor people’s health status at all times, regardless of public emergency
… significant backlash, but… similar discussion of plan on CNN – <a href=”

China’s coronavirus campaign offers a glimpse into its surveillance system.

All the big browsers are eliminating 3rd-party “tracking” cookies.
… some more quickly than others …


“Most people have the will to win. Few have the will to prepare to win.” ~Bobby Knight

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