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The Deciport Quick-Look Weekly Recap: 19 July 2020

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

13 July 2020: Iranian Shooting Down Of Ukrainian Passenger Liner Declared 'Human Error' - Iran

Security (Travel) // 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.

14 July 2020: Leader of New Zealand's National Party Steps Down After Two Months

Political // BLUF: The National Party's leader Todd Muller has resigned from his position after only two months in the job, citing the toll the position has taken on himself and his family.

Muller ousted Simon Bridges in a leadership challenge in May. However, Muller received negative media coverage from the outset, including stories around a 'Make America Great Again' hat spotted in his office that was quickly capitalised on by reporters (one of several souvenirs from his trip to the US during the 2016 Presidential Elections, where he got items from both Trump and Clinton rallies); and the 'whiteness' of his front bench.

In a short time, he had dealt with several party issues, including the leaking of information to the media by a National Party MP that raised allegations of racism regarding the nature of the information leaked.

The New Zealand General Election is to be held on 19 September 2020.

15 July 2020: No Plans For Australian State Of New South Wales To Lockdown Again Over COVID-19

Security (Health) // BLUF: The Premier of New South Wales (NSW), Gladys Berejiklian, has at this stage ruled out a second state-wide lockdown over rising COVID-19 infections.

While the state of Victoria has gone back into a six-week lockdown, Berejiklian stated, “Look, that’s not a path we want to take,” she told ABC’s 7:30 last night. She also told A Current Affair the state “cannot shut down every time we have a cluster”.

Berejiklian further commented that due to the size of NSW's population, complete elimination of the virus was unlikely.

NSW is reported to be adopting a long term strategy that seeks to avoid a lockdown situation.

Victoria and NSW: Two neighbouring states, two different approaches.

16 July 2020: COVID-19 Tracing Apps: Worth It? Or Waste Of Time?

Security (Health) // BLUF: Residents of New Zealand's (NZ) biggest city of Auckland are reportedly showing very little interest in the government's COVID-19 tracing app.

Businesses are reporting a low usage when it comes to customers scanning QR codes, while Radio New Zealand (RNZ) took to the streets to question people on it, of whom one person in turn questioned the need for it there is no community transmission of COVID-19 cases.

With cases rising again in NZ, many of which are due to people arriving from countries with high infection rates, the government is warning that it may make it compulsory for businesses to implement contact tracing.

With NZ previously being one of the global darlings of pandemic management thanks to a strict lockdown of residents and the closing of many businesses, poor quarantine procedures through the border and negligent security at quarantine hotels has meant the the wheels have quickly fallen off of NZ's much lauded effort and sacrifice.

17 July 2020: Twitter Suffers Major Hack For Bitcoin Scam

Security (Cyber) // BLUF: Twitter has suffered a major security breach, after a group of high-profile accounts were hijacked to perpetrate a bitcoin scam recently.

Among the hacked accounts were Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Barrack Obama and Kanye West.

US Presidential Candidate Joe Biden's account was also hacked, however US President Donald Trump's was not. While the hack appears to have been for monetary gain, one London academic, Dr Heather Williams, from King's College London, has already alluded to 'Russian Collusion' claiming, "We already know Russia is planning to meddle in the 2020 election just as they did in the 2016 election ...".

18 July 2020: Arrest After Bomb Threat On Flight From London To Oslo

Security (Travel) // BLUF: A 51-year-old British man was arrested on suspicion of issuing a mid-air bomb threat while on a Ryanair flight from London to Oslo.

The incident initiated the scrambling of Danish F-16 fighter jets, escorting the aircraft to Norway; along with the deployment of a security force on the ground.

The aircraft landed without incident, with the investigation ongoing.

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