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The Deciport Daily Quick-Look: 09 July 2020

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A Southeast Asian man subdued by police in Tsim Sha Tsui in May 2020. Photo: Apple Daily.

Hong Kong Police To Keep Chokehold Restraining Despite Global Controversy

The Hong Kong Police Force will not be stopping officers from using chokeholds while restraining people, despite the tactic being brought into the public eye after the death of a man in the US that sparked race riots.

Most recently, Hong Kong Police had used the tactic while restraining a man in May, kneeling on his neck reportedly for between seven and nine minutes; and resulting in his death.

The protests in Hong Kong had seen numerous claims of police brutality against demonstrators. With the introduction of Beijing's national security laws, cases of police brutality could possibly increase, while reporting of them decreases dramatically.

(See Point 4 Below)

The Daily Quick-Look for 09 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. FIVE EYES - Security/Political: Foreign ministers of Five Eyes group nations discussed HK on call: official

FYSA: Foreign ministers from the Five Eyes intelligence sharing group discussed the situation in Hong Kong during a conference call on Wednesday, a Canadian government official told Reuters. The official declined to elaborate. The Five Eyes groups Canada, the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand. Separately, Canada’s Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne tweeted on Wednesday that he discussed with his counterparts from the other countries many issues regarding international peace and security. Beijing imposed a new national security legislation on Hong Kong last week despite protests from residents of the island and Western nations, setting China’s freest city and a major financial hub on a more authoritarian track. Since then Canada has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and said it could boost immigration from the former British colony. (Reuters. See link in heading)

2. SPAIN - Security (Health): Spain's Catalonia makes masks compulsory in public at all times

FYSA: Catalonia on Wednesday ordered all residents and visitors to wear face masks in public at all times, becoming the first Spanish region to toughen a national directive mandating their use when in close proximity to others. The order, which takes effect on Thursday, was announced by regional leader Quim Torra four days after more than 200,000 people in the Segria area were placed under a local lockdown following a series of coronavirus outbreaks there. (Reuters. See link in heading)

3. NIGERIA - Security/Economic: Nigeria restarts domestic flights amid easing coronavirus restrictions

FYSA: Nigeria resumed domestic flights on Wednesday after a hiatus of around three months as Africa’s most populous country relaxes restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the new coronavirus. The airports for the capital, Abuja, and commercial hub Lagos reopened for flights. A handful of other airports will open on July 11 and the remainder of airports will resume flights on July 15. (Swiss Info. See link in heading)

4. HONG KONG - Security: Hong Kong police have no plans to ban use of chokeholds despite global controversy

FYSA: Hong Kong’s security chief has said the city’s police force has no current plans to stop officers from using chokeholds when arresting people. It came amid a worldwide controversy over such practices following the death of African-American man George Floyd in US police custody in May. Lawmaker Eddie Chu submitted questions regarding two Hongkongers who died after police allegedly used chokeholds on them during their arrests. One case was from 2012 involving a taxi driver, which is subject to an on-going legal challenge. The other case was from May this year, when an unnamed south Asian man died shortly after he was subdued and apprehended in Tsim Sha Tsui. A video from an eyewitness showed an officer appearing to kneel on the man’s neck for five to seven minutes during the arrest. (HKFP. See link in heading)

5. AUSTRALIA - Security (Health): Australian city wakes to another lockdown as more state borders close

FYSA: Five million Australians in the country’s second largest city Melbourne woke up under strict stay-at-home rules on Thursday as authorities struggled to contain a coronavirus outbreak in the city. Three Australian states have imposed a hard border lockdown with the southern state of Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, after a surge in infections in recent days. Victoria on Wednesday reported 134 new infections, down on the previous day’s record increase but well above the rate of other states. Other states and territories have recorded few or zero cases in recent weeks and are continuing to reopen their economies.(Reuters. See link in heading)

6. NEW ZEALAND - Economic: Rio Tinto smelter in New Zealand to close with loss of 1,000 jobs

FYSA: More than 1,000 jobs will be lost in New Zealand after mining giant Rio Tinto said it would close an aluminium smelter at the bottom of the South Island. New Zealand Aluminium Smelters (NZAS), at Tiwai Point will close in August 2021 after a strategic review found the business was not viable. The smelter uses alumina from refineries in Queensland and Western Australia, and exports 90% of its product. It is also New Zealand’s biggest consumer of electricity, using roughly 10% of the country’s power, and one of the country’s biggest single-site employers. The smelter was given an exemption to continue operating through the Covid-19 lockdown, but the deteriorating outlook for aluminium use sealed its fate. A $NZ46m ($A43m) loss last year prompted a review of its operations, the company said. Rio Tinto Aluminium’s chief executive, Alf Barrios, said: “It is very unfortunate we could not find a solution with our partners to secure a power price reduction aimed at making NZAS a financially viable business,” he said in a statement on Thursday. (The Guardian. See link in heading)

7. NEW ZEALAND - Security (Health): Crown seeks to lay terrorism charge against Auckland man

FYSA: The Crown's bid to charge an Auckland man with terrorism has been heard in court this morning. He is just the second person to face such an allegation in New Zealand's legal history after the Christchurch mosque shooter was charged last year. The man, who has interim name suppression, appeared via AVL link in the High Court at Auckland as the Crown continued to seek to charge him under the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002. A lengthy debate was held between Crown prosecutor Henry Steele and defence lawyer Belinda Sellars, QC, about the interpretation of the act. (NZH. 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

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

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