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The Deciport Daily Quick-Look: 18 May 2020

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Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro greets supporters during a protest against the President of the Chamber of Deputies Rodrigo Maia, Brazilian Supreme Court, quarantine and social distancing measures, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Brasilia, Brazil May 17, 2020. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

Brazil's Own President Takes Part In Anti-Lockdown Protests.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has taken part in protests, flouting social distancing guidelines to take pics with supporters, including children; as crowds gather to protest numerous issues including quarantine and social distancing measures.

Bolsonaro has lost two Health Ministers in a month, with Nelson Teich recently resigning after only two weeks in the job. (See Point 2 Below)

Protests gather momentum around the world. However, lot of venom is coming out on social media against the protesters, including calls to lock people up, publicly name them, not treat them at hospital and so on.

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The Daily Quick-Look for 18 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. UNITED STATES – Political: US Secretary of State Pompeo Warns China Over American Journalists in Hong Kong

BLUF: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has expressed concern over Chinese threats to interfere with American journalists reporting from Hong Kong, further adding that, “Any decision impinging on Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms as guaranteed under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law would inevitably impact our assessment of One Country, Two Systems and the status of the territory.” (The Hill. See Link) Why It Matters: China had expelled US journalists from the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post in March, with the New York Times Beijing Bureau Chief being expelled on the 8th of May. US recently imposed visa restrictions on Chinese journalists in America. Hong Kong continues to remain in the midst of a political struggle between an increasingly pro-Beijing local government and anti-government protesters.

2. BRAZIL – Political: President Bolsonaro Disregards Health Warnings, Takes Photos With Supporters, Kids

BLUF: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has disregarded public safety warnings to take pictures with supporters including children, openly flouting social distancing guidelines, during protests against the President of the Chamber of Deputies Rodrigo Maia, Brazilian Supreme Court, quarantine and social distancing measures on Sunday. (Reuters. See Link) Why It Matters: Former Health Minister Nelson Teich resigned Friday after only two weeks in the job, losing two health ministers in a month; with both Teich and his predecessor Luiz Mandetta falling into disagreement about Brazil’s path out of the pandemic. Brazil has the fourth largest outbreak of COVID-19 globally.

3. TANZANIA – Security (Health): President Magufuli Plans To Lift COVID-19 Restrictions

BLUF: Tanzania’s President John Magufuli has stated that he plans to re-open universities and allow for the resuming of sports and international flights if new COVID-19 infections continue to decline. (Reuters. See Link) Why It Matters: Countries around the world are deciding how to best reopen their countries, with some countries, such as South Korea, having to reintroduce restrictions after new break outs of COVID-19. Meanwhile in Africa, South Africa is alluding to rolling back restrictions but employing stricter measures (paradoxically), while Kenya has closed its border with Tanzania and Somalia due to cross-border infections.

4. ISRAEL – Political: Israel’s New Unity Government Approved By Parliament

BLUF: Israel’s parliament has approved Benjamin Netenyahu’s unity government on Sunday, ending a political deadlock of more than a year. Netenyahu is still facing trial on corruption charges, starting next week. (Reuters. See Link) Why It Matters: Israel’s deadlock of more than a year had seen Netenyahu’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank delayed, however those plans will now proceed. Netenyahu will remain in power for 18 months, before handing over to Benny Gantz.

5. INDIA – Security (Health): India To Extend Lockdown Restrictions Until 31 May

BLUF: India is extending its nationwide lockdown until 31 May, however, will ease restrictions in areas with low case numbers. Urban migrant workers have clashed with police, as no work and minimal transport to return to rural villages or out of state homes have flared tensions. (Reuters. See Link) Why It Matters: India’s enforcement of any kind of social distancing measures is difficult given the highly populated areas and living conditions of some of the poorer neighbourhoods. However, despite India’s population and conditions for many of the poorer classes, the official death toll is low (2,872) comparative to many other countries, including Western nations.

6. TAIWAN – Political: Taiwan’s WHO Status On Agenda At World Health Assembly

BLUF: Taiwan’s status at the World Health Organization (WHO) is on the agenda for the World Health Assembly. The US has been a strong supporter of Taiwan regaining its observer status, particularly with Taiwan’s success in controlling the outbreak of COVID-19 despite its proximity to mainland China. (SBS. See Link) Why It Matters: The WHO has been criticized by the US and other countries over its handling of COVID-19 and downplaying in China’s possible negligence in the outbreak. Taiwan was removed as an observer to the WHO and other UN bodies after a veto from China, following the election of pro-independence Taiwan President Tsao Ing-wen.

7. AUSTRALIA – Political: Coalition Of 62 Countries Back Australia Push For COVID-19 Pandemic Probe

BLUF: 62 countries, including India, Japan, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Indonesia, Russia and all 27 EU member states, have co-sponsored a call by Australia for an independent inquiry into the origins and spread of COVID-19. (SBS. See Link) Why It Matters: Australia had called for the inquiry several weeks ago, which had lead to a war of words between Canberra and Beijing; going so far as Chinese officials to Australia alluding to economic restrictions. This was followed by China suspending the import of Australian beef, of which China makes up 20% of Australia’s total beef exports. The Chinese foreign minister commented that this was unrelated to Australia’s push for an inquiry.

8. AUSTRALIA – Security (Health): McDonald’s Closes 12 Restaurants After Employee Tests Positive For COVID-19

BLUF: McDonald’s has closed 12 restaurants in the state of Victoria, after one of its employees tested positive for COVID-19. No other employees had tested positive. The 12 outlets will be closed for a ‘deep clean’ following the positive test of a delivery driver. (The Age. See Link) Why It Matters: Restaurant chains are particularly susceptible to shutdowns such as this due to the pandemic. With fast food chains recently reopening in New Zealand,it is highly likely that one COVID-19 case would have the potential to reclose outlets again; particularly if the case originated from a delivery driver.

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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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