JustinLong.org: The Weekly Roundup, 5/12

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2017, Issue No. 19, May 12
Data | LongReads | LifeHacksStartupsUPG Stories | Futures | Quotes

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New events

North Africa

BBC2’s new 2-part travel program is an in-depth look at North Africa.
Libya: No political deal reached yet.
ICC mulls investigation into Libya’s abuse of refugees: sold in slave markets

West Africa

Ditching African print cloth (Dutch wax prints) for Chinese ‘real-fakes’
Niger: Growing needs of those displaced by Boko Haram conflict.
… for more than 3 years, conflict has taken a heavy toll around Lake Chad …
As droughts worsen, phones and radios lead way to water for Niger’s herders
Nigeria: 82 of the girls captured by Boko Haram have been released.
negotiating for more Chibok releases.

East Africa/Horn:

Report: the impact of social media on peace in the Horn.
Report: Sex for Fish: women’s reluctant trade on Kenya’s Lake Victoria shore
… fortunately, microenterprise programs beginning to change this
Ethiopia: Anguish and unrest in Amhara over Ethiopian state of emergency.
… Photocollage: The Amhara people pine for the Ethiopia of old.
Drought highlights the plight of Ethiopia’s internally displaced.
Somalia: Government wants arms embargo lifted to fight al-Shabab.
… In pictures: a life or death search for water in drought-parched Somalia.
S Sudan: China’s success in Africa depends on peace in South Sudan.
… key oil reserves, end-point of major projects planned in Kenya.

Central Asia

Kazakhstan: set for economic recovery, but what next?
… sustaining reform momentum, confronting corruption is vital.
Kazakhstan cracks down on religious freedom.
Now Kazakh Christians can prove their faith isn’t foreign:
… Archaeologists discover Christianity existed along Silk Road before Russians arrived.
Tajikistan: Fighting along the Afghan border: how concerned should Central Asia be?
Turkmenistan: ‘Erasing images of the dead in southwestern Turkmenistan

West Asia/Gulf

Saudi Arabia: Pres. Trump to visit.
… backgrounder/survey of history of US Presidential visits, foreign policy issues.
Syria: Russia, Turkey, Iran agree on de-escalation zones for Syria.
… ‘remains a great deal of skepticism over whether such a deal can be implemented’
… ‘relative calm reported in Syria safe zones after deal comes into force
Turkey: US approves plan to arm Syrian Kurds against IS.
… Erdogan called on the US to immediately reverse this decision.
can Syrian refugees be a boon to Turkey’s economy?
skyrocketing welfare spending is a major instrument to lure and control voters.

South Asia

Afghanistan: US poised to expand effort against Taliban.
… Take note: security situation in Afghanistan likely to get worse.
… Voices from Kunduz: fearing the worst as the Taliban close in again
India: Map of the Maoist Rebellion
… ‘violence declining in recent years, but in 2016 it spiked’
Nepal: 1 in 2 Nepalis use the Internet. (almost all using smartphones).
Sri Lanka: “Planting churches and ‘saving souls’
… a post on Lankaweb that is anti-proselytization, gives a sense of some perspectives

East Asia

China: to further tighten Internet controls.
on campuses far from China, still under Beijing’s watchful eye.
… and, how international students are changing US colleges: infographic
Backgrounder on the important Belt and Road initiative.
Can China and the Catholic Church kiss and make up?
if money can’t buy happiness, many Chinese now seek spiritual meaning (PRI)
tourism industry ordered to monitor, report on visitors to Xinjiang.
… video: Beijing revamps hutong rules, demolishes buildings
… ‘another way to target migrant workers’
N Korea: government says it foiled an assassination plot, but story has no credibility.
Four US citizens have been detained in North Korea. always potential hostages.
US and South Korea+China may be at odds over how to deal with North Korea.
Any cooling in China-North Koreas ties could benefit Russia.
… Backstory: How Reuters reports from North Korea (how information gets out)
Despite arrests, Americans continue to visit North Korea
Also: The rise of Cafe Churches in South Korea
… corruption scandals driving young Christians away from megachurches & conservativism

Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is taking over as the region’s economic growth leader
Indonesia: Jakarta governor sentenced to 2 years in jail for blasphemy.
… harsher than expected ruling critics fear will embolden hardline Islamist forces…
Malaysia: Christians being kidnapped/murdered.
Thailand: ‘A vacation with a purpose: fighting trafficking in Thailand
… ‘Building a vision of heaven for Thailand’s God: the funeral pyre for the king

New Data

China-Africa Trade, 1992-2015, country-by-country.
Mexico was the second deadliest country in 2016, despite others getting the report.
… drug wars claimed 23,000 lives during 2016, second to Syria’s 50,000 dead.
Ukraine surpasses Afghanistan in landmine casualites: 101 killed during 2016.
The world’s largest cities throughout history, mapped.
Pew: Religious belief and national belonging in Central and Eastern Europe
… ‘religion has reasserted itself as an important part of identity…’

Longer reads

4 minute video from ABWE: the Great Commission is humanly impossible.
… ‘God rarely calls his servants to do reasonable things’
33 minute video: Pioneering Movements in the Czech Republic
… Steve Addison talks to Nathan Beck
Berkeley author George Lakoff says, ‘Don’t undestimate Trump’
… the framework of this is political, but value goes far beyond that.
… this is about worldview, ideas activating neural circuits and getting stronger.
… how communication needs to be aimed at subconcious worldviews
… how to understand worldview ‘frames’, understand how narrative impacts us, etc.
How Houston has become the most diverse place in America.
… read for a look at where America is headed (?) and why cross-cultural ministry required
Peace in Colombia has led to a cocaine boom in the United States.
3 mothers in Pittsburgh start making and selling hijabs for Barbies.
Cuba’s new luxury hotels look to waves of US tourists
… probably not the short-term trips, but indicator that Cuba is gearing up for more visitors

Lifehacking, Tactics, Skills, Rules

Don’t call it networking: three important, measurable keys
… 1) identify stakeholders, 2) interact meaningfully, 3) add value without expecting something

Pioneer Mission Startups, Strategy

A look at how the Local News Business Model is changing.
… other business models – like those in missions – are changing too. Are there parallels?
Coke’s new CEO James Quincey to Staff: Make Mistakes
… ‘If we’re not experimenting more… making mistakes… we’re not trying hard enough.’

UPG Profiles, Travelogues, Stories

Chinese traders changed South Africa–but now they’re leaving
… relentlessly bad economy, rising tide of xenophobia, competition from new malls
… and, The best days of selling cheap Chinese goods in Africa are over
35 photos: Scenes from Xinjiang.
Explore Sudan’s forgotten pyramids.
Creepy Soviet Space Shuttles sitting in a Kazakhstan desert.
A day in Kyrgyzstan: off the beaten path, natural beauty and rich culture worth a visit.


China’s Internet Statistics for 2017: 731 million as of December 2016.
Growth in technology can disrupt mission service agencies
… reflecting on the closure of GMI
On Google Maps, where the border is depends on who’s looking at them
… and rivers, roads disappear too, based on disputed zones.
Interesting Kickstarter: the Field Study Handbook
… ‘collection of 50 essential templates … for running international field research’
#Agriculture: US farmers, who once fed the world, are overtaken by new powers.
Apple-picking robot prepares to compete for farm jobs: who will lose out?
#AI: From warehouse to your house in 13 minutes: how AI will reshape retail
… and, realistic AI is making it easy to generate/manipulate video/audio
… letting anyone be impersonated with amazing accuracy.
every single machine learning course on the Internet, ranked by reviews
#Autodrive: How self-driving cars could end Uber. #Disruption.
Uber teases Uber Freight.
South Korea builds the world’s largest test bed for self-driving cars.
Norway’s self-driving electric ship will replace thousands of truck trips
#Books: Why the Google Books operation failed.
#Crime: mobile network hackers used 2FA SMS codes to drain bank accounts
… using SMS for 2-factor authentication is not secure. (Use the apps.)
#Drones: AeroVironment unveils palm-sized surveillance drone.
#Free: Half of all Americans pay for news. 26% who use for free willing to pay.
… no.1 reason: coverage of a specific topic.
#Social: Facebook to launch TV-like shows in June.
… and cracks down on fake accounts, downgrades fake news spreaders in news feed
#VR: North Korea VR, an extraordinary glimpse of the world’s most oppressive country


“Africa has been evangelized but the African mind has not been captured for Christ. ” ~Tokunboh Adeyemo

We don’t become more spiritual by becoming less human. ~Eugene Peterson

“I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life.” ~Nepalese mountainer Tenzing Norgay

There are no closed doors to the gospel – provided that, once you get inside, you don’t care if you ever come out. ~Brother Andrew

“Discernment is a discriminating choice between two or more good options.” ~Gordon T. Smith

“Pursue something so important that even if you fail, the world is still better off with you having tried.” ~Tim O’Reilly

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