Thai Government Rolls Back Protest Ban
The Deciport Daily Quick-Look: 22 October 2020
Protest leader freed on bail. REUTERS/Chalinee Thirasupa
Government's ban on protests resulted in widespread anger and further protests.
Security, Political // BLUF: Thailand's government has rolled back its ban on political protest activity, after the ban inflamed tensions and caused thousands of people onto the streets of Bangkok in further protest.
The only specific reason given for the ban was Queen Suthida's convoy being jeered by protesters, however it came after significant anti-government protests.
Protesters say that Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha rigged the election in 2019, after seizing power in a 2014 coup.
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The Daily Quick-Look for 22 October 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. VENEZUELA - Security, Political: Nearly 75% of residents in Venezuela's capital eat less than in 2019, survey shows
FYSA: Some 75% of residents in Venezuela’s capital Caracas eat less food than they did in December 2019, according to a survey released on Wednesday by opposition legislators, signaling that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated an existing hunger problem. The government of President Nicolas Maduro in March created a strict quarantine that shuttered most businesses for months, though authorities have now allowed some economic activities during alternate weeks. The country has reported over 700 deaths and 87,000 infections from COVID-19. The effects of the pandemic and restrictions have been much more pronounced in Venezuela than in other countries due to a lack of government support, said legislator Jose Guerra during a virtual news conference. “In the case of Venezuela it is more acute... precisely because of the absence of complementary measures,” said Guerra, of opposition party First Justice, which organized the survey. The survey found that 73.9% of people had reduced consumption of beef and chicken, while 82.3% said their income was insufficient to buy food for their family. “If that happens in the capital, which (the government) has tried to exempt from all the problems... what is left of the rest of the country?” said legislator Leonardo Regnault. The survey consulted 950 people by telephone in the Capital District between Oct. 12 and Oct. 14 and had a margin of error of 5%, said Regnault. The information ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment. (Reuters. See link in heading for further reading)
2. BRAZIL - Security (Health): Brazil COVID-19 vaccine trial continues despite volunteer death
FYSA: Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) said on Wednesday that a volunteer in a clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University had died, but said the trial would continue. It was not immediately clear whether the volunteer received the vaccine or the placebo. The regulator said while testing of the vaccine would continue, it provided no further details about the volunteer’s death, citing the medical confidentiality of those involved in trials. Oxford confirmed it would keep testing. “Following careful assessment of this case in Brazil, there have been no concerns about safety of the clinical trial, and the independent review in addition to the Brazilian regulator have recommended that the trial should continue,” the British university said in a statement. The Federal University of Sao Paulo, which is helping coordinate phase three clinical trials of the vaccine in Brazil, said separately that the volunteer was a Brazilian. CNN Brasil reported that the volunteer was a 28-year-old man who lived in Rio de Janeiro and died from COVID-19 complications. (Al Jazeera. See link in heading for further reading)
3. SUDAN, ISRAEL - Security, Political: Sudan agrees to normalize relations with Israel -report
FYSA: Sudan has reportedly agreed to fully normalize relations with Israel, an initial report by Israel Hayom stated late Wednesday night. According to Israel Hayom, the only mainstream outlet to publish the report so far, a political source involved in the diplomatic talks between Israel and Sudan confirmed that the countries will be normalizing relations very soon. The report indicated that the formal and public announcement on the normalization of relations is expected to take place in the next few days, following an expected phone call between President Donald Trump and Chairman of the Sovereignty Council of Sudan, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. (Jerusalem Post. See link in heading for further reading)
4. THAILAND - Political, Security: Thailand lifts protest ban that backfired
FYSA: Thailand on Thursday rolled back an emergency decree aimed at ending months of protests against the government and monarchy that had only inflamed anger and brought tens of thousands of people onto Bangkok streets. A government statement published in the official Royal Gazette said that as of 12 p.m. (0500 GMT) it would mean an end to measures that include bans on political gatherings of five or more people and publishing news that could affect security. “The current violent situation that led to the announcement of the severe situation has eased and ended to a situation in which government officials and state agencies can enforce the regular laws,” the statement said. The only specific incident given for the ban was one in which Queen Suthida’s convoy was jeered by protesters, but it came after protests that are the biggest challenge in years to Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and King Maha Vajiralongkorn. Protesters who have given Prayuth a three day deadline to quit said that withdrawing the measures was not enough. (Reuters. See link in heading for further reading)
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