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Christchurch Mosque Shooting Sentencing

The Deciport Daily Quick-Look: 24 August 2020

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Fifty-one people were killed in a terrorist attack on two Christchurch mosques on March 15, 2019. Photo: Stuff

The shooting that killed 51 people was the worst in NZ history.

Security // BLUF: Brenton Tarrant, the Australian national responsible for the shooting that killed 51 people at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on 15 March 2019, will be sentenced today.

Tarrant's actions saw him drive from Dunedin to Christchurch with weapons and ammunition, heading to the Al Noor Mosque and opening fire on mosque attendees, driving to the Linwood Mosque and again opening fire on mosque attendees, before being intercepted by police. Tarrant had reportedly been heading to a third mosque in the city of Ashburton.

The event was the worst mass shooting in the country's history.

(See Point 6 Below for Further Information)

The Daily Quick-Look for 24 August 2020

The Deciport Daily Quick-Look is your at-a-glance look at several key events and situations around the world over the last 24 hours. Each headline contains the link to its source report.

BLUF = Bottom Line Up Front.

FYSA = For Your Situational Awareness.

1. UNITED STATES - Security (Health): Trump announces 'breakthrough' plasma treatment for patients

FYSA: President Donald Trump has announced the emergency authorisation of convalescent plasma for Covid-19 patients, in a move he called "a breakthrough," one of his top health officials called "promising," and other health experts said needs more study before it's celebrated. The announcement will come after days of White House officials suggesting there were politically motivated delays by the Food and Drug Administration in approving a vaccine and therapeutics for the disease that has upended Trump's re-election chances. On the eve of the Republican National Convention, Trump was set to issue the emergency order — which would make it easier for some patients to obtain the treatment — in a news conference Sunday evening, according to White House officials. The blood plasma, taken from patients who have recovered from the coronavirus and rich in antibodies, may provide benefits to those battling with the disease. But the evidence has been inconclusive as to how it works or how best to administer it. (NZH. See link in heading for further reading)

2. PERU - Security (Travel): At least 13 killed in Peru nightclub crush as police raid clandestine party

FYSA: At least 13 people were crushed to death or asphyxiated as partygoers tried to flee a Lima nightclub after it was raided by police for hosting a party in violation of coronavirus restrictions. Fifteen of the 23 people detained by police who broke up the clandestine party on Saturday night tested positive for COVID-19, President Martin Vizcarra said. At least six others were injured, including three police officers, as around 120 people tried to escape the Thomas Restobar club in Lima’s Los Olivos district on Saturday night as police arrived to break up the event, which neighbors had reported, national police and government officials said. The partygoers had become trapped between the only entrance door, which was pushed closed in the chaos, and a staircase leading to the street, police said. Government officials clarified on Sunday that the 13 victims were 12 women and one man between the ages of 20 and 30, after initially reporting the victims as 11 men and two women. Only seven of the victims had been identified by Sunday afternoon, officials from the Interior Ministry said. (Reuters. See link in heading for further reading)

3. MOROCCO - Security, Political: Morocco rejects normalizing ties with Israel, PM says

FYSA: Moroccan Prime Minister Saad Dine El Otmani on Sunday rejected any normalization of relations with Israel. “We refuse any normalisation with the Zionist entity because this emboldens it to go further in breaching the rights of the Palestinian people,” El Otmani told his Islamist PJD party. The remarks came ahead of a visit to the region by Jared Kushner, a senior adviser and son-in-law to U.S. President Donald Trump, and after the UAE and Israel struck a deal to normalise ties. Morocco’s official position has been in support of the two-state solution, with East Jerusalem as capital of a Palestinian state. Morocco and Israel began low-level ties in 1993 after an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal was reached. But Rabat suspended relations with the Jewish state after the outbreak of a Palestinian uprising in 2000. (Reuters. See link in heading for further reading)

4. BELARUS - Political, Security: Defiant protesters flood Minsk demanding Lukashenko's removal

FYSA: Defiant protesters have flooded central Minsk again in a sign that even a threat to use the army was not enough to quell the uprising against Belarus’s authoritarian president, Alexander Lukashenko. The vast square outside the parliament was turned into a sea of red and white by protesters waving the traditional Belarusian flag adopted by the protest movement and chanting “resign!” and “put Lukashenko in a police van!”. Unofficial estimates put the crowd at 150,000 people or more. Later in the evening, as protesters marched across the city, a helicopter flew low over one part of the crowd toward Lukashenko’s working residence. Footage later released on a social media channel close to Lukashenko’s press service showed the president, clad all in black and holding a rifle, observing the protests from inside the helicopter. “They’ve run away like rats,” he said, as he ordered the pilot to move closer. Shortly after landing at his working residence, he ventured outside to congratulate a cordon of riot police, who applauded Lukashenko. One of them could be heard to say “We are with you to the end”. (The Guardian. See link in heading for further reading)

5. AUSTRALIA - Security (Health): Victoria's coronavirus case numbers plummet as state records 15 new deaths

FYSA: Victoria has had mixed coronavirus news, with 15 deaths amid a sharp drop in new cases. The state toll is now 430 and Monday's deaths take the national figure to 517. But the number of new cases plummeted to 116 from Sunday's figure of 208. That is the lowest number of daily cases for the state since 5 July, when there were 74 - that was also the last time the figure was below 100. At the halfway point of the lockdown period, Victoria's chief health officer has defiantly declared he won't let the state's hard-fought COVID-19 gains slip.(SBS. See link in heading for further reading)

6. NEW ZEALAND - Security: Day of reckoning for gunman in mosque terror attacks

FYSA: On Monday, 528 days since a terrorist gunman carried out mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, he will come face to face with his victims and their families. This is the day when sentencing begins for Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 29, on 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and a charge of committing a terrorist act in a hearing due to start at 10am in the city’s High Court. The Australian national, who entered surprise guilty pleas in late March, could become the first person in New Zealand to be jailed for life without parole. (Stuff. See link in heading for further reading)

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