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The Deciport Daily Quick-Look: 08 July 2020

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Hamish Walker. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

NZ National Party MP Scores Own Goal

Hamish Walker of New Zealand's National Party has scored an own goal in an attempt to justify concerns around people entering New Zealand (NZ) from countries with an increased coronavirus threat, through the leaking of personal information, including the country of origin, of new COVID-19 cases.

Walker leaked the information to several media outlets to prove new cases of COVID-19 had actually come from other countries. The leaked information was reportedly unprotected (no password protection etc) by the government and was easily accessible.

Walker had made a statement that was labelled as 'racist', regarding an influx of 11,000 people arriving India, Pakistan and South Korea possibly being sent for quarantine in Dunedin, Queenstown and Invercargill without the community being consulted.

(See Point 7 Below)

The Daily Quick-Look for 08 July 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)/Political: Trump administration sends letter withdrawing U.S. from World Health Organization over coronavirus response

FYSA: The Trump administration has begun the process of withdrawing the United States from the World Health Organization, a move that could hurt the U.N. agency’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and reshape public health diplomacy. The notice of withdrawal, effective July 6, 2021, was sent Monday to United Nations Secretary General António Guterres. Under the terms of a joint resolution passed by Congress in 1948, the United States must give a year’s notice and pay its debts to the agency to leave. (Washington Post. See link in heading)

2. COLOMBIA - Security (Health): Colombia coronavirus lockdown extended until Aug. 1

FYSA: Colombia's national lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus will be extended by just over two weeks until Aug. 1, President Ivan Duque said on Tuesday. The Andean country has reported more than 124,400 cases of the novel coronavirus and 4,359 deaths. Duque declared a national lockdown in late March to slow coronavirus infections across the country. While thousands of businesses have begun reopening, the lockdown was due to be lifted on July 15. (Swissinfo. See link in heading)

3. PORTUGAL - Security (Health): Coronavirus: Portugal in talks with UK over travel quarantine exemption

FYSA: Portugal is in talks with the British government over its exclusion from a list of countries exempt from the coronavirus travel quarantine. The country's prime minister, Antonio Costa, said: "The foreign minister had a long conversation with his counterpart. "It is very important we build a confident relationship." Last week, the government unveiled a list of more than 70 countries which holidaymakers can visit without having to self-isolate for 14 days on their return to England. Portugal was not among them, a decision Lisbon called "absurd". (Sky News. See link in heading)

4. BURKINA FASO - Security: Extrajudicial killings suspected as dozens of bodies found in Burkina Faso

FYSA: At least 180 bodies have been found in common graves in Djibo, a town in the north of Burkina Faso, Human Rights Watch (HRW), said in a report released on Wednesday, saying that the killings were likely carried out by government forces. "Available evidence suggests government forces were involved in mass extrajudicial executions," HRW said. It called for the government to hold those responsible to account. The Burkina Faso government told HRW it will investigate the claims. (The Jerusalem Post. See link in heading)

5. WHO - Security (Health): WHO acknowledges 'evidence emerging' of airborne spread of COVID-19

FYSA: The World Health Organization on Tuesday acknowledged “evidence emerging” of the airborne spread of the novel coronavirus, after a group of scientists urged the global body to update its guidance on how the respiratory disease passes between people. (Reuters. See link in heading)

6. AUSTRALIA - Security (Health)/Economic: Victoria state coronavirus curbs to cost Australia up to $700 million (USD) a week

FYSA: Australia could take an economic hit of as much as A$1 billion ($700 million) each week because of coronavirus restrictions reimposed by Victoria state, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Wednesday. Renewed lockdown measures in Victoria’s capital city of Melbourne will kick in from midnight for at least six weeks, closing down cafes, bars, restaurants, hairdressers and gyms, and confining around 4.9 million people to their homes except for essential business. The state also closed its busy border with New South Wales at midnight on Tuesday, cutting off movement between the country’s two most populous and economically significant states. (Reuters . See link in heading)

7. NEW ZEALAND - Security (Health)/Political: How the Hamish Walker Covid-19 patient detail leak played out

FYSA: In an extraordinary move National Party leader Todd Muller has had one of his own MPs, Hamish Walker, lawyer-up over his leaking of private details before coming clean about his involvement. Muller revealed on Morning Report today that he was told by Walker that he was responsible for passing the private details of Covid-19 patients to the media at midday on Monday. But it was 5.30pm on Tuesday before the party went public about it because Walker had brought in a Queen's Counsel and Muller had to work through legal processes first. Walker's political future looks over after Muller wrote to the party board last night expressing his disappointment in the Clutha-Southland MP's actions. The board will meet today to decide Walker's fate, just two months out from the election. In the meantime, Walker has been stripped of his portfolios after he informed his leader he was responsible for a leak that is now subject to an independent State Services inquiry. But it's difficult to see how he'll survive this political storm when he kept his role in the leak quiet for four days.

RNZ was one of three media organisations that received personal details, including names, ages, addresses and quarantine locations, of the 18 Covid-19 active cases in the country as of last week. RNZ made a commitment to Walker before receiving the information, not to name him as the source. (Reuters . See link in heading)

Date: 15 July 2020

Time: Morning session starts 9:30 am, Afternoon session starts 1:00 pm

Location: Central Christchurch, New Zealand

Get Tickets to the upcoming Travel Security and Safety Workshop in Christchurch (NZ)

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Get Tickets to the upcoming Travel Security and Safety Workshop in Christchurch (NZ)

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