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)
#India 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
#Bangladesh “A nightmare arrives”: Covid-19 reaches the Rohingya camps.
East Asia (1.6b)
#China 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.
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 …
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=“https://econ.st/3c3OKM7)
Another scenario: Coronavirus may never go away, even with a vaccine - <a href=“https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/05/27/coronavirus-endemic/) … 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
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=“https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/25/tech/hangzhou-health-app-intl-hnk/index.html)
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