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The Deciport Daily Quick-Look: 16 May 2020

Updated: May 17

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Border guards took down warnings signs as the Baltic states opened its "travel bubble" at midnight. Photo: EPA

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia form Europe's first 'Travel Bubble'!

The rest of the world will be eagerly watching the Baltic states to see how it works out for them (See Point 5 Below).

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The Daily Quick-Look for 15 May 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. BRAZIL – Political: Brazil Health Minister Quits After Two Weeks In The Job

BLUF: Brazil’s Health Minister, Nelson Teich, has resigned on Friday after only two weeks in the job. Teich’s resignation comes one day after Brazil recorded a record number of new COVID-19 cases. (Reuters. See Link) Why It Matters: It was speculated that President Bolsonaro’s insistence on the use of hydroxychloroquine was possibly a factor in the resignation. The Deputy Health Minister is also a serving general in the army, with military members of the cabinet pushing for his elevation to the top health job. Teich’s predecessor, Luiz Mandetta, was fired after a public disagreement with Bolsonaro.

2. IRELAND – Security (Health): Ireland To Introduce Mandatory 14-day Quarantine For Arrivals

BLUF: Ireland is planning to implement a 14-day quarantine period for all travellers during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. (Market Watch/AFP. See Link) Why It Matters: Ireland follows countries such as the UK, France and Japan using a 14-day quarantine for people travelling into the country as it looks to lift restrictions.

3. SOUTH AFRICA – Security (Health): Court Orders Suspension Of Soldiers Over Death Of Man In Lockdown

BLUF: South Africa’s High Court has ordered the suspension of soldiers and police officers who were allegedly near or at the home of a man who was killed during lockdown, following allegations he was beaten to death by security forces. (Reuters. See Link) Why It Matters: South Africa signed off on the deployment of more than 73,100 soldiers to the streets as part of the lifting of restrictions moving from level 5 to level 4, in what was seen by some critics as a veiled move to martial law.

4. SLOVENIA – Security/Political: Anti-government Protests In Slovenia Amidst Official End Of Pandemic

BLUF: Anti-government protests continue in Slovenia, as the government officially calls an end to the pandemic in the country. Protesters claim that the government is clamping down on civil rights by attacking the media and environmental groups. (Reuters. See Link) Why It Matters: Prime Minister Jenez Jansa’s social media attacks on journalists have led to protesters fearing the government will begin reducing media freedom. The government is also reportedly seeking to remove environmental nonprofits from participating in an administrative review of infrastructure projects.

5. ESTONIA/LATVIA/LITHUANIA – Security: Baltic Travel Bubble As Baltic States Open Their Borders To One Another

BLUF: The Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have opened their borders to one another to create a ‘travel bubble’, with any arrivals to isolate for 14 days. This constitutes Europe’s first travel bubble since the pandemic began. (BBC. See Link) Why It Matters: Countries are seeking to implement travel bubbles, including neighbouring countries such as Australia and New Zealand, in the hopes of providing a much needed boost to their economies (incl. tourism industries).

6. HONG KONG – Security/Political: Hong Kong Considers Police Powers For Monitoring Social Media

BLUF: Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has reportedly commented that the police will be given more powers to monitor social media to tackle ‘false malicious information’ and ‘rumours’. (HKFP. See Link) Why It Matters: The comment follows public outrage at the report into police conduct that widely cleared police of wrong-doing during the large protests.

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The reporting period for this Daily Quick-Look is the previous 24 hours (unless stated otherwise). This Daily Quick-Look is comprised of reports from agencies around the world, and are referenced where possible. Deciport LLC is in no way associated with any agency listed. This Daily Quick-Look is for information purposes only. This Daily Quick-Look is not intended for planning purposes. The comments that comprise the 'Why It Matters' do not represent the opinions, viewpoints or assessment of the agency from which the linked source report originated, and is intended to add context for the reader as part of a summary.

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