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German Court Permits Berlin Protests Against Anti-Coronavirus Measures

The Deciport Daily Quick-Look: 29 August 2020

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FILE PHOTO: Gerrmans take part in a protest against the government's restrictions imposed over the coronavirus outtbreak, in Berlin, Germany, August 1, 2020. REUTERS/Christian Mang/File Photo

A regional court rules against the capital's protest ban.

Security // BLUF: A regional court has ruled against Berlin's decision to ban protests in the city, giving the go-ahead for the protests against coronavirus measures imposed by the government.

Berlin had recently banned protests, following a protest in the city where demonstrators failed to wear masks or social distance.

Police have readied for violence, with activists on social media reportedly calling for attendees to 'arm themselves'.

This report follows the Australian state of Victoria's recent arrest of an anti-lockdown protest organiser, who is now facing a fine of up to $20,000 AUD, along with police seizing two laptops, a computer and two mobile phones from the individual.

(See Point 2 Below for Further Information)

The Daily Quick-Look for 29 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. CANADA - Security, Political: Canada extending international travel restrictions, mandatory quarantine until Sept. 30

FYSA: Canada is once again extending emergency orders that place restrictions on international travel and make mandatory 14-day quarantines for anyone entering the country during the novel coronavirus pandemic. The orders will be extended for at least another month, the government said. “Our government is extending the existing restrictions on international travel to Canada by one month — until September 30, 2020 — to limit the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in our communities,” said Public Safety Minister Bill Blair in a Tweet sent out Friday afternoon. “Canadian citizens and permanent residents returning to Canada will continue to be subject to strict quarantine measures.” The ongoing restrictions prohibit all non-essential or discretionary travel to Canada from countries other than the United States. This includes any leisure travel, such as vacation and entertainment travel, for non-Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Canadians who choose to travel abroad, including to the U.S., will be required to self-isolate upon their return. Essential workers, including health-care professionals, airline crews and commercial truckers will continue to be exempt from quarantine measures. Some immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents will also be allowed to enter Canada by air if exempt. (Global News. See link in heading for further reading)

2. GERMANY - Security, Political: German court permits Berlin protests against coronavirus curbs

FYSA: A German regional court gave the go-ahead on Saturday for mass demonstrations planned in Berlin against coronavirus curbs, ruling against the capital’s ban on such protests.

Police have readied for violence as activists opposed to the virus measures have urged social media followers across Europe to arm themselves and gather in Berlin. Activists, angered by Berlin’s decision to ban demonstrations after marchers at a recent rally failed to wear masks or keep their distance, flooded the city with thousands of applications for additional protest rallies this weekend. “The gatherings planned by several initiatives for Aug. 29 against the corona policy of the federal and state governments can take place,” the court ruled. Until now Germany has managed the coronavirus crisis better than many of its European counterparts, with rigorous testing helping to hold down infections and deaths. But new daily infections have accelerated in recent weeks, as in much of the world. On Friday, Chancellor Angela Merkel urged citizens to keep up their guard against the virus. “This is a serious matter, as serious as it’s ever been, and you need to carry on taking it seriously,” she said. (Reuters. See link in heading for further reading)

3. JAPAN - Political: Party election to pick PM Abe's successor around Sept. 15, media say

FYSA: Japan’s ruling party will choose Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s successor around Sept. 15, Kyodo news agency said on Saturday, after Abe abruptly announced his resignation for health reasons on Friday. The president of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party is virtually assured of being prime minister because of the LDP’s majority in parliament’s lower house. Abe’s announcement that he is stepping down, after a worsening of the ulcerative colitis he has battled for years, marks the end of his tenure and the start of a several-week race to replace Japan’s longest-serving premier. In a news conference, Abe declined to name a preferred successor. Former defence minister Shigeru Ishiba and former foreign minister Fumio Kishida indicated they intend to run, while Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and Defence Minister Taro Kono are considered among the potential candidates. Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, a former prime minister who is also Abe’s finance minister, said he did not plan to join the race to succeed Abe, Kyodo said. Abe said it is up to the LDP leadership to determine the schedule of the party election but that he believes his health will hold up until a successor is chosen. Usually, the party must announce the leadership election a month in advance, but in the case of a sudden resignation, an extraordinary vote can be called “at the soonest date possible” among members of parliament and local LDP chapters. The main scenario is for the election to be held on Sept. 15, Kyodo said, while the format and date will be decided on Tuesday, media reported. (Reuters. See link in heading for further reading)

4. AUSTRALIA - Political, Security (Health): PM Scott Morrison wants to open borders by Christmas

FYSA: Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he wants to see Aussies be able to travel interstate by Christmas. Mr Morrison made it clear on Friday he believes the downward trajectory of virus cases means states should consider opening up for the holiday period. “Well look, I believe we can, domestically,” he said about the Christmas travel date, Seven News reports. “I’d love to say we could do it internationally but I don’t think I can give you that pledge internationally. “I hope that changes but based on the current evidence that doesn’t look likely.” Mr Morrison said closed borders is a “recipe for economic ruin” and is “not the plan” long-term. “The plan is to ensure testing, tracing and outbreak containment, strong quarantine, COVID safe behaviours in the workplace, in the home, at the footy club, at the ground, in this conference.” Mr. Morrison’s latest comments his statement from earlier this month, expressing his “hope” that COVID-19 border restrictions will be eased by Christmas. Still, he warned Australians it was unlikely that normal movement without any restrictions will be restored by summer. (News.com.au. See link in heading for further reading)

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