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The Deciport Daily Quick-Look: 13 July 2020

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FILE PHOTO: People place candles as they commemorate victims of the Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 plane disaster, in front of the Iranian embassy in Kiev, Ukraine February 17, 2020. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

Iranian Shooting Down Of Ukrainian Passenger Liner Declared 'Human Error' - Iran

BLUF: Iran's Civil Aviation Organisation has blamed a radar misalignment and lack of communication between the air defence operator and commanders for the shooting down of Ukraine International Airlines flight 752, shortly after take off from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport on 08 January 2020.

Iran was initially quiet around the circumstances of the incident, before admitting on 11 January that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had in fact shot it down.

The IRGC's posture at the time of the incident was at high alert in response to the killing of Qasim Soleimani and Mahdi al-Muhandis by the U.S.

The U.S had claimed that Iran had shot down the jet, which was initially refuted as American propaganda, before admitting it was the IRGC that shot it down.

All 176 people onboard were killed.

(See Point 3 Below)

The Daily Quick-Look for 13 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, CHINA - Economic/Political: U.S. weighs limited options to deal with China over Hong Kong: WSJ

FYSA: The United States is weighing restricted options to deal with China over its recent moves in Hong Kong, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, as tensions between Washington and Beijing heat up. Steps against Hong Kong's financial system risk hurting U.S., Western and Hong Kong companies and consumers, according to the report here, citing U.S. officials and analysts. Measures like more targeted sanctions against Chinese officials and trade moves against products made in Hong Kong would have little impact on Beijing’s integration of the city into the mainland’s political and security system, the Journal added. (Reuters. See link in heading)

2. W.H.O - Security (Health): WHO reports record daily increase in global coronavirus cases, up over 230,000

FYSA: The World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Sunday, with the total rising by 230,370 in 24 hours. The biggest increases were from the United States, Brazil, India and South Africa, according to a daily report. The previous WHO record for new cases was 228,102 on July 10. Deaths remained steady at about 5,000 a day. Global coronavirus cases were approaching 13 million on Sunday, according to a Reuters tally, marking another milestone in the spread of the disease that has killed more than 565,000 people in seven months. (Reuters. See link in heading)

3. IRAN - Political/Security (Travel): Iran agency says chain of errors caused Ukrainian plane crash

FYSA: Iran’s Civil Aviation Organisation blamed a misalignment of a radar system and lack of communication between the air defence operator and his commanders for the accidental downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane in January that killed 176 people aboard. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards shot down the Ukraine International Airlines flight with a ground-to-air missile on Jan. 8 shortly after the plane took off from Tehran, in what Tehran later acknowledged as a “disastrous mistake” by forces who were on high alert during a confrontation with the United States. “A mistake in aligning the radar system had caused human error. An operator had forgotten to re-adjust the direction on the radar system after moving to a new position, an error that contributed to misreading the radar’s data,” an interim report on the Civil Aviation Organisation (CAO) website said. (Reuters. See link in heading)

4. HONG KONG - Political/Security: Nearly 600,000 Vote in Opposition Primaries in Hong Kong

FYSA: More than half a million people turned out in Hong Kong over the weekend to vote in primary elections to select pro-democracy candidates for September's general election. Around 580,000 people had cast mostly electronic votes by the end of polling on 9.00 p.m. local time on Sunday despite warning notes struck by officials, a raid targeting the poll organizer's office, and a new spike in coronavirus cases. People lined up between socially distanced markers over both days at 250 polling stations in diverse locations across the city to cast their votes, which will help pro-democracy parties coordinate their election strategy in a bid to win a majority in the city's Legislative Council (LegCo). "Even though there's the threat of the national security law, there are still nearly 600,000 people coming out to vote. This shows how brave Hongkongers are," Au Nok-hin, one of the organizers, told government broadcaster RTHK. (RFA. See link in heading)

5. AUSTRALIA - Security (Health): Human trial begins in Queensland for COVID-19 vaccine

FYSA: University of Queensland scientists are set to begin a human trial for a world-leading COVID-19 vaccine which will give hope of a breakthrough in combating the deadly virus. The human testing of the “molecular clamp” vaccine candidate will start on Monday, and follows encouraging results from animal testing trials conducted in the Netherlands. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk praised UQ for their search for a vaccine and is encouraged by the advances they have have made so far. “We have great scientists in Queensland and they are doing a remarkable job so we wish them all the very best as they undertake these trials,” she said. “We know UQ is at the forefront of some of the work they’re doing and they’ll be making further announcements.” (The New Daily. See link in heading)

6. NEW ZEALAND - Political: Swastikas painted on New Conservative political campaign signs in West Auckland

FYSA: Swastikas have been painted on several election signs for a New Conservative Party candidate in West Auckland. The signs, promoting party leader Leighton Baker, were vandalised on the weekend, with two swastika symbols painted on four of the six signs, and one swastika on the remaining two. The Nazi symbol appears to have been spray painted onto the signs using a template. The party’s election boards, near the Avondale Racecourse, were put up on Saturday and appear to be the only ones vandalised. Māori Party co-leader John Tamihere’s sign, just a few blocks away, was not vandalised. Baker labelled the vandalism disappointing and sad. He couldn't confirm if it has been reported to police. “We have more than 600 signs, delivered to local areas and they are responsible for them,” Baker said. “We have vandalism on our signs all the time, some cut out, faces drawn on them, these things happen all the time.” He said information about the party in the news recently which painted them as a far right extremist party may have something to do with the swastikas. “These are obviously people that don’t respect people’s stuff and vandalise others things. It is sad and we don’t know what their motivation is.” (Stuff. 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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