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The Deciport Daily Quick-Look: 30 May 2020

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Trump in the White House Rose Garden with Mike Pompeo. Trump has sought to blame the WHO for the depth of the coronavirus pandemic in the US.Photograph: Yuri Gripas/EPA

US President Donald Trump Severs Ties With The World Health Organisation (WHO)

US President Donald Trump has announced that the US will sever all ties with the World Health Organisation (WHO), ten days after delivering a four-page letter that gave the WHO 30 days to implement reforms that the US required.

Trump has been vocal in his criticism of the WHO's handling of the coronavirus pandemic and its perceived playing down of China's role in the outbreak.

So what kind of impact with this have on the WHO? Will the US create its own version? What political and health impacts will this have globally?

A situation to watch closely.

(See Point 2 Below)

The Daily Quick-Look for 30 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/Security: Police Officer Charged With Murder That Sparked Minneapolis Riot

BLUF: The Minneapolis police officer accused of killing an unarmed African American man has been charged with murder as authorities sought to restore peace after three nights of violent protests left parts of the city in flames. Derek Chauvin is one of four officers fired after an explosive video emerged showing him kneeling on the neck of a handcuffed George Floyd for at least five minutes on Monday. (SBS. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: The event triggered a city wide riot, that resulted in the burning down of a police station and buildings, while businesses were looted; creating an exceptionally dangerous situation for bystanders. The riot resulted in the National Guard’s deployment to Minneapolis, while blame has shifted in the political arena over the incident, with US President Trump weighing in on the handling of the crisis by the mayor of Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey. Minnesota Governor Tim Waltz has reportedly considered imposing a curfew.

2. UNITED STATES – Political: US President Trump To Sever All Us Ties With The World Health Organisation

BLUF: Donald Trump has announced the severance of all US ties with the World Health Organisation, three weeks ahead of a deadline he laid down earlier this month. “We have detailed the reforms that it must make and engage with them directly, but they have refused to act because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms,” Trump said. “We will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs.”. (The Guardian. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: Trump has been outspoken over the WHO’s handling of the pandemic and its perceived playing down of China’s responsibility in dealing with the outbreak in Wuhan. The US is the largest contributor to the WHO, paying $450 mil in membership dues and contributions.

3. VENEZUELA – Political/Economic: US Warns Governments, Firms Against Aiding Iran Fuel Shipments To Venezuela

BLUF: Seeking to deter further shipments of Iranian fuel to Venezuela, the Trump administration has quietly warned foreign governments, seaports, shipping companies and insurers that they could face stiff U.S. sanctions if they aid the tanker flotilla, the U.S. envoy on Venezuela told Reuters on Friday. (Reuters. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: Venezuela’s oil infrastructure has been severely degraded since President Maduro’s rule. Seeking help in the form of oil imports from Iran sees two anti-US countries and OPEC members openly resist US efforts to stifle their cooperation.

4. WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION – Security (Health): WHO, 37 Countries Launch Alliance To Share Tools To Battle COVID-19

BLUF: Thirty-seven countries and the World Health Organization (WHO) appealed on Friday for common ownership of vaccines, medicines and diagnostic tools to tackle the global coronavirus pandemic, taking aim at patent laws they fear could become a barrier to sharing crucial supplies. (Reuters. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: The WHO will likely seek to strengthen its relationship with other nations, in light of the US, its biggest contributor, severing ties with the UN body.

5. SWEDEN – Security (Health): Denmark, Norway Exclude Sweden From Tourism

BLUF: Norway and Denmark say they will open up tourism between their two countries from 15 June but will maintain restrictions for Swedes. Sweden did not impose a lockdown, unlike its Nordic neighbours, and its Covid-19 death toll - above 4,000 - is by far the highest in Scandinavia. Danish PM Mette Frederiksen said Denmark and Sweden were in different places regarding the pandemic. Denmark is also opening up tourism with Germany and Iceland, within limits. (BBC. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: The move will likely strike a blow to Sweden’s stalled tourism industry, and could possibly see other countries follow the move by Denmark and Norway in restricting Sweden; as more ‘travel bubbles’ are established around Europe.

6. BULGARIA – Security (Health): Bulgaria To End Travel Ban

BLUF: Bulgaria said Friday it plans to lift an obligatory 14-day quarantine from June 1 for travellers from most EU countries, except for those with the biggest Covid-19 outbreaks. Health officials said the quarantine will remain obligatory for travellers from Sweden, Belgium, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Malta, and the United Kingdom. A ban on the entry of visitors from outside the EU remains in place. (New Europe. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: European countries are scrambling to establish ‘travel bubbles’ in time for the summer tourism season, in a move to restart their tourist industries and economies. However European countries are also seeking to balance this against the risk of a ‘second wave’ outbreak of COVID-19.

7. HONG KONG – Political/Economic/Security: Trump Moves Toward Ending Hong Kong Privileges

BLUF: President Donald Trump on Friday ordered his administration to begin the process of eliminating special U.S. treatment for Hong Kong to punish China, but stopped short of an immediate end to the territory’s cherished privileges that have helped it remain a global financial center. (Reuters. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: The situation between China and the people of Hong Kong is passing the point of no return, as new security laws introduced have sparked protest activity that will likely see significant clashes between demonstrators and police; with deaths on both sides a realistic possibility. Such events would likely see China’s People’s Liberation Army be deployed in some capacity. Hong Kong remains a powderkeg, with Taiwan, the US and the rest of the world watching closely.

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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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