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Beyond: we send teams to the unreached to start movements.
Weekly Roundup, 03/03
Perspective, Insight, Context, Analysis

New events

North Africa

Egypt: Hundreds of Coptic Christians flee north Sinai region after spate of attacks
Egyptian President offers assistance for fleeing Christians
Libya: Amid the chaos, human traffickers have free reign
Morocco: Poised to be China’s gateway to Africa, actively courting investment and ties
hope Chinese and Russian visitors will boost tourism fortunes

West Africa

Benin: founder of Very Holy Church of Jesus Christ of Baname calls herself God
… a fascinating article about a cult.
Ivory Coast: dropping cocoa demand devastating cocoa farmers
Mali: Jihadist groups to merge. Tuareg rebels join government in battle against extremists.
Nigeria: ‘Who’s running Nigeria?’ The President’s out sick while the problems pile up
… Economy shrinking, inflation doubling, Boko Haram down but not out, spectre of famine
… The collapse of global oil prices has seriously undermined the economy
... Reports of military massacring villages with suspected Boko Haram militants

East Africa/Horn:

Djibouti: The Chinese Naval Base: a ‘support facility’ or something more?
the New York Times took a look
Ethiopia: Militants apprehended trying to attack the GERD dam
… under construction, set to be the largest hydropower dam in Africa
… Eritrea & Ethiopia have tense relations: 90s border war, anti-govt protest accusations
… Ethiopia alleges militants are Eritrean; Ethiopia also tense with Egypt over dam
… and, ban on Eritrean refugees working in Eth. hurting effort to reduce illegal migration
… 5,000 Eritrean refugees flee to Ethiopia each month; 155,000 live there already
… Ethiopia has over a million refugees in total, 2nd largest refugee population in Africa
Somalia: President declares disaster for drought-stricken country, 6.2 million at risk
… Pastoralists lost 65% of animals. Photos.
… Al Shabab: ‘its most successful run of attacks in years against the Somali government.’
S Sudan: Opinion: South Sudan’s famine is China’s chance to lead
… China has 40% stake in largest oil fields, dozens of companies, 1000s of migrant workers
… Famine-hit South ‘eat weeds and water lilies to survive
As South Sudan refugee flood continues, so do tales of abuse.

Central Asia

Will Central Asia fight over water resources?

West Asia/Gulf

Azerbaijan: Possibility of renewed conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.
Iraq: ‘Bombs fall on Mosul like rain’: IS using drones to drop bombs, grenades
… on civilian and military targets alike. Attacks more devastating for psychological value.
Al-Baghdadi ack. IS defeat in Iraq, calls supporters to flee or make suicide attacks
Qatar: pop. up 40% since emirate was chosen to host 2022 World Cup, to 2.67 million
… 2.1 million migrant laborers, many from Nepal, Bangladesh, India
Saudi Arabia: still bears brunt of oil cuts as OPEC output drops.
foreign remittances from Saudi down 6.7%.
Turkey: Conflict between Turkey and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces likely

South Asia

Afghanistan: Danger on the Durand Line: tensions rise with Pakistan
… ‘killing spreed has dangerous implications… conflict a very real possibility’
Bangladesh: weakens long-standing law against underage marriage
… ‘ has one of the world’s highest rates’, but gradually dropping.
… in 2017, 52% of girls married before age 18, 18% before 15.
India: Scholarship scams in Bihar force students out of college.
Phase 5 of Uttar Pradesh elections begins: ‘crucial game winner,’ ‘>57% of voting held’
how caste affects the vote in UP.
China warns allowing Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal will cause ‘serious damage’ to ties
Nepal: Seeks up to $1 billion in foreign investment to help recover from 2015 earthquake
Pakistan: Thousands of hardliners rally to celebrate executed blasphemy murderer
… assassinated a popular governor over his call to reform blasphemy laws
… and, govt considers normalizing status of its lawless tribal regions
… in part to crack down on terror attacks; plan must be approved by Parliament

East Asia

China: Building an empire along the new Silk Road: all about the railway service
… officially atheist, but makes an exception for two religions.
… we’re angry: bans Chinese tourists going to South Korea in response to THAAD
Mongolia: Severe winter killing off livestock: thousands affected
… ‘dzud’ severe weather phenomenon now happening every 4 years

Southeast Asia

Indonesia: Saudi Arabia redefining Islam for the world’s largest Muslim nation
… ‘historic visit is the culmination of a long campaign for influence’
… economic deals largely a bust, but religiously huge.
Malaysia: We’re angry: no visa-free entry for North Koreans starting 6 March.
… and recommending Malaysians not travel to North Korea, either, out of fear of reprisals.

New Data

Climate: hot in Australia, projected hot in India.
Famine spreading across Africa: ‘a worsening humanitarian crisis, no signs of slowing’
Infographic: mortality in major famines: a world perspective on food shortages
… declaration of famine in S Sudan comes after centuries of food crises.

Longer reads

Ian Johnson: Focusing on religious oppression in China misses the big picture
… reports feel more critical ‘than the religious world I’ve experienced’
Freedom House: The Battle for China’s Spirit, PDF: 40pp.
Neroznikova, Ekaterina. ‘Convert and Love: Russia’s Muslim Wives.’
… ‘despite their most faithful efforts, many of them don’t live happily ever after.’
EU Parliament calls to end visa-free travel for US citizens
… in retaliation for US continuing to exclude five EU countries from no-visa regime

Personal Lifehacking, Tactics, Skills, Rules

90-day sprints: how to break down big picture goals into steps you can take this quarter.
… why 90-days, pick 3 goals, determine success measure (OKR), identify steps/delegate.

Leadership, Pioneer Mission Startups, Strategy

Every successful leader I’ve encountered has a community of support…’
… mentors, strategic advisers, advocates who are personally invested in their growth
… ‘Board of Directors is for company governance. Personal Board is to support you.’
… key read on diff between sponsors, coaches, mentors, and how to find/approach/engage
… and, Jerry Colonna: the ‘CEO Whisperer’: on power of a coach
… he’s New Age/Buddhist-y, but the point is coaches can have a powerful impact on leaders
… and thereby on movements...
A better alternative to Minimum Viable Product development
… reframe as a set of hypotheses to be tested to arrive at ideal product state
… think of ‘product’ as ‘discipleship-offer’ or ‘discipleship delivery mechanism’ or similar
How one company manages a team across 9 time zones.
These business schools produce the most billion-dollar startup founders.
… the article doesn’t go into the details of ‘why,’ but ‘why’ Qs are worth asking:
… what it means to be a ‘unicorn breeder,’ differences in schools, what lessons to apply?
Investing in the ‘adjacent possible’: how to identify opportunities
… lots of parallels here for pioneer mission. What is ‘next door’ and ‘recently possible’?
A16z: All about network effects, 85-slide PPT
… movements run on network effects, so very important.
12 things about product-market fit: Ever wonder why you’ve done all the DMM stuff…
... & still no church growth? Could be, haven’t found “product/market fit” yet.
108 of the biggest, costliest startup failures of all time
… there are lessons here for mission startups, too.

UPG Profiles, Travelogues, Stories

Chad: Wodaabe: the men competing for love in the deserts.
China: the empty ‘zombie cities’ of China’s stillborn rustbelt
… largest migration: 80 million migrants came to manufacturing jobs in PRD
… boom towns built in the Pearl River Delta area, that were never occupied.
Bangalore: City of Burning Lakes: illegal dumping of waste, mixed with untreated sewage
Mumbai: ranked 21st, ahead of Toronto and Washington DC in City Wealth Index
Mauritania: ‘It must be love’: wife-beating source of pride for some in Mauritania
Morocco: 36 hours in Fez
Book Review: The Sacred Routes of Uyghur History
Turkmenistan: Burning craters and empty cities.
… Darvaza Crater, natural gas field burning since 1971. 6th most oppressive regime.

Futuristics/Technology

#Security: Telegram Cracked: friend noted secure messager Telegram had been cracked
… led me to a Google search which seems to confirm, at least with a lot of smoke:
Potential Russia crack, Potential Russia crack analysis #2, Iran hack, Iran hack 2
… enough to make me decide not to use it, ever. I recommend Signal.
#AI: How to cut through the AI hype.
… why it’s not going away, and how to evaluate AI companies, what’s coming
… and, Google is building an AI to help moderate comments, detecting toxicity
… but, it’s early-stage and clearly not ready for prime-time just yet
#AutoDrive: a driverless truck startup putting human drivers to work.
… human truck drivers can take control and drive remotely at any time.
… ‘each driver will be able to monitor and occasionally control 10 to 30 trucks at a time.’
#Blockchain: A brief history of blockchain’s innovations, and why important and impactful
… and, for the first time bitcoin is more valuable than gold.
... Word is, due to demand in China. and, China is developing its own cryptocurrency.
#Cloud: How a typo took down Amazon S3, the backbone of the Internet
#Crime: proliferation of point-and-click tools for ransomware
… ‘make it stupid simple for anyone to begin extorting others for money.’
… probably already impacting some mission agencies. Make people aware of the dangers...
#Drones: SciFi Short Film Project: How delivery drones will destroy us all
… what might happen if/when a company with drones becomes corrupt
#Drones: first anti-drone gun on its way to fight terrorism in the Middle East.
… blasts drones with EM interference, blocks GPS, forces drone to land.
#Finance: Facebook takes money transfer business global, enables international transfers
#Shopping: Amazon Go: a grocery store: enter w/your cell phone, shop, walk out, autopay.
… no checkouts, etc. The store uses tech to know what you have picked up.
#Space: SpaceX planning to send two paying tourists around the moon in 2018.
#Storage: new 2TB thumbdrive, list price $2,273.
#VR Media: Virtual reality brings reality of sex trade to viewers.

Quotable

This is God’s universe, and God does things His way. You may have a better way, but you don’t have a universe. ~Vernon McGee

People who can focus get things done. People who can prioritize get the right things done. ~John Maeda

Just because someone isn’t recruitable now, doesn’t mean they won’t be in the next 3, 6, 60, or 100 months. ~Jason Lemkin

God created the world out of nothing, and so long as we are nothing, he can make something out of us. ~Martin Luther

"Kill whatever it is in your heart that makes you think you are at the center of the universe." ~Conrad Mbewe

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