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The Deciport Daily Quick-Look: 08 June 2020

Updated: Jun 9

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Protesters gather in Parliament Square Garden, London, on Sunday.Photograph: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Thousands Protest In The UK While The Coronavirus Death Toll Continues To Climb.

Tens of thousands of people have attended protests in the UK, sparked worldwide by the death of George Floyd in the US. While these protests are ongoing, the UK continues to count deaths from COVID-19.

While the UK had employed strict measures in social distancing during its lockdown and suffered one of the highest death tolls in the world, the protests see the country run the risk of the much talked about 'second wave outbreak'.

The second wave outbreak scenario was widely discussed globally in the media and publicly by government, as a means for justifying strict lockdowns, and this scenario did occur in Japan and South Korea.

Countries experiencing mass protest activity should at this stage be preparing for a second wave outbreak, if their own rhetoric around safety measures are to be followed by themselves. This could possibly see a stutter in the reopening of borders globally.

(See Point 2 Below)

The Daily Quick-Look for 08 June 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 and why they matter. Each headline contains the link to its source report.

*BLUF = Bottom Line Up Front.

1. UNITED STATES – Political: Ny Times Editorial Page Editor Resigns Amid Staff Fury Over Tom Cotton Op-Ed

BLUF: The New York Times announced Sunday that Editorial Page Editor James Bennet is resigning -- amid reports of anger inside the company over the publication of an op-ed from Sen. Tom Cotton about the George Floyd unrest last week. Bennet, the brother of 2020 White House candidate Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., had apologized late last week after previously defending the piece, titled, "Send in the Troops." Cotton, R-Ark., called for the government to deploy troops as a last resort to help quell riots and looting that emerged amid the anger over Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody last month. (Fox. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: Public perspectives on the riots that had broken out as a result of the George Floyd death appear to either condemn the violence and looting and to quell them using force, or to justify the violence and looting as a natural result of anger and outrage. The use of force as an option to quell looting and rioting has been widely condemned in the media around the world.

2. UNITED KINGDOM – Security/Political: Mass Anti-Racism Protests Take Place In Cities Across UK, UK Coronavirus Death Toll Rises 77 To 40,542

BLUF: Tens of thousands of people attended protests across the UK on Sunday – including one where a statue of a slave trader was pulled down – after a week in which growing numbers defied calls from politicians and police to avoid mass gatherings to rally against racial injustice.

The United Kingdom’s death toll from confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose by 77 to 40,542 as of 1600 GMT on June 6, according to government data published on Sunday. Scotland and Northern Ireland earlier reported no COVID-19 deaths in the previous 24 hours. Including suspected cases, the United Kingdom’s death toll this week surpassed 50,000, according to a Reuters tally of official data sources. (Reuters. See Links In Heading)

Why It Matters: The UK’s death toll from COVID-19 has been one of the world’s highest. While it had enforced strict lockdown measures that were widely followed by the public, the mass protests put the UK again into a vulnerable and risky position.

3. TAIWAN – Security (Health): Taiwan To Further Ease Coronavirus Restrictions

BLUF: Taiwan will further ease its restrictions related to control of the coronavirus, the government said on Sunday, as the island has kept the pandemic well in hand with only 6 active cases and no local transmission for 56 days. (Reuters. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: Taiwan has been lauded for its approach to the handling of the pandemic, however has been denied participation and input by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in its response to COVID-19 due to its political relationship with China.

4. CHINA – Security (Health)/Political: China To Strengthen Global Cooperation In COVID-19 Vaccine Trials, China Will Continue Pushing For 'Fast-Track' Entry Arrangement With Other Countries

BLUF: China will strengthen international cooperation in future COVID-19 clinical vaccine trials, building on earlier collaboration in vaccine development, the science and technology minister said on Sunday.

China will continue pushing for “fast-track” border entry arrangements with other countries, the vice foreign minister said on Sunday. China has fulfilled its responsibility as a big country through shipments of goods to help counter the coronavirus epidemic to other countries, Ma Zhaoxu told a news conference in Beijing. (Reuters. See Link In Heading)

Why It Matters: China has done well to maneuver during the pandemic, managing to strike deals with countries to provide PPE and medical equipment, receiving backing in its response to COVID-19 by the World Health Organisation, held off other countries’ calls for independent inquiry into the origin and outbreak of the virus, and working to reopen its borders.

5. JAPAN – Political: Japan Declines To Join US, Others In Condemning China For Hong Kong Law: Kyodo

BLUF: Japan has decided not join the United States, Britain and others in issuing a statement scolding China for imposing a new security law, Kyodo news agency reported on Sunday, citing officials from countries involved. (Reuters. See Links In Heading) Why It Matters: Japan sits in a precarious position with its traditional allies and its powerful neighbour. A publicly opposed stance on Hong Kong would almost certainly draw Japan into a war of words with Beijing, while more contentious issues such as the South China Seas and North Korea continue to be important issues that sit directly in front of the Japanese leadership.

6. AUSTRALIA – Political/Security (Health): 'Completely Reckless And Irresponsible': Mathias Cormann Stands Firm On Condemning Mass Protests

BLUF: Finance minister Mathias Cormann has stood firm over his condemnation of "reckless" Black Lives Matter protesters for breaching COVID-19 rules. The Black Lives Matter rallies have sparked fears of a second wave of coronavirus, after tens of thousands of people converged on Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane in protest against Aboriginal deaths in custody and the death of George Floyd in the United States. Speaking to Today on Monday, Mr Cormann called the demonstrations "completely reckless and irresponsible". (Nine. See Links In Heading) Why It Matters: COVID-19 restriction rules have played a big part in the government’s response to the pandemic, and widely promulgated through media agencies. Social distancing and the use of tracing apps had been key elements to defeating the pandemic, according to the federal government. But, with protests occurring, even being permitted by state government in states such as South Australia, the risk of a second wave should currently be at the forefront of a government response based on its own previous rules. Public backlash to opposing the protests based on the breaching of these COVID-19 rules represents a paradox in public sentiment, given the blacklash to people breaking these rules up to only two weeks ago.

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