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The Deciport Quick-Look Weekly Recap: 02 August 2020

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A summary of Key Events from this week's Daily Quick-Looks. Click on the headings or pictures below to be taken to the Quick-Look for that particular day. All Quick-Looks can also be found on the Intelligence Stream.

27 July 2020: Sophisticated Virtual Kidnapping Operations Target Chinese Students In Sydney

Security (Personal) // BLUF: Chinese students have been the target of sophisticated virtual kidnapping operations in the Australian city of Sydney.

The operation reportedly involves the target being contacted by someone claiming to be a Chinese authority, who convinces them that they have either been involved in a crime in China or that their identity has been stolen; then told they must pay a fee.

Extended examples of this operation involve the target being instructed to cut communications with family, rent a hotel room and fake their own kidnapping with photos; in an effort to elicit ransom payments from the family to the perpetrators.

According to New South Wales Police, one case resulted in $2 million paid, with a total for all cases in 2020 upward of $3.2 million.

28 July 2020: US Urges Australia To Step Up Naval Exercises In South China Sea

Security // BLUF: The United States has called on Australia to increase its naval exercises in the disputed South China Sea.

This follows Australia's recent unplanned encounter with the Chinese Navy, along with Australia declaring to the UN that “there is no legal basis” for China's territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Australia's Foreign and Defence ministers are due to meet with with US counterparts in Washington DC on Tuesday to discuss issues including the expanding naval operations in the disputed waterway.

29 July 2020: Warning that Hong Kong On Verge Of Large Scale Outbreak

Security (Health) // BLUF: Hong Kong Executive Carrie Lam has warned the city is on the verge of a large scale coronavirus outbreak, with the strictest security measures yet being introduced.

Measures such as the banning of gatherings larger than two people and mandatory face masks will be implemented Wednesday.

Lam has claimed that a large outbreak will overburden the hospital system and put the elderly at risk.

30 July 2020: NZ Government Could Provide Indemnity For COVID-19 Vaccine Supplier

Security (Health) // BLUF: New Zealand's (NZ) Ministry of Health is reportedly planning to fast track the approval process for a COVID-19 vaccine, and won't rule out providing vaccine suppliers with indemnity against claims made resulting from the vaccine's use.

A similar line was taken by the previous Labour government, who had purchased 100,000 Bird Flu vaccines from Baxter Healthcare, with part of the purchase agreement seeing Baxter receive indemnity from the government.

The report of potential indemnity for vaccine suppliers in NZ comes as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook recently came under fire for systematically deleting a video of front-line doctors in the United States claiming the drug Hydroxychloroquine, widely criticised by media, as being effective (along with other drugs) in treating a variety of COVID-19 cases.

31 July 2020: Over 400 NZers Trying To Return Home From India

Security (Health) // BLUF: The New Zealand (NZ) government is yet to confirm whether over 400 New Zealanders and permanent residents can return to NZ on repatriation flights, as the Indian government announces two planes that will arrive in NZ next month to repatriate Indian nationals.

Air India has reportedly said it is happy to bring people to NZ on their flights to pick up the Indian nationals, however cannot do so without the permission of the NZ government.

Daily COVID-19 cases in India are rising upward of 50,000 per-day, presenting to the NZ government a challenge in the repatriation of its citizens and residents.

01 August 2020: No Report Due To Operational Requirements

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