The Deciport Weekly Recap: 30 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.
24 August 2020: Christchurch Mosque Shooting Sentencing
Security // BLUF: Brenton Tarrant, the Australian national responsible for the shooting that killed 51 people at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on 15 March 2019, will be sentenced today.
Tarrant's actions saw him drive from Dunedin to Christchurch with weapons and ammunition, heading to the Al Noor Mosque and opening fire on mosque attendees, driving to the Linwood Mosque and again opening fire on mosque attendees, before being intercepted by police. Tarrant had reportedly been heading to a third mosque in the city of Ashburton.
The event was the worst mass shooting in the country's history.
25 August 2020: Facebook Blocks Access To Thai Group Critical Of Monarchy
Security (Cyber), Political // BLUF: A Facebook group that discusses the Thai monarchy has been blocked by Facebook.
The group, called 'Royalist Marketplace', has approximately 1 million members and was started by a self-exiled academic and critic of the Thai monarchy.
Group members were met with the message, “Access to this group has been restricted within Thailand pursuant to a legal request from the ministry of digital economy and society.”
The move by Facebook comes amid nearly daily protests against the military-ruled government and calls for changes to the monarchy.
Thailand carries severe penalties for criticising or defaming the king (lese-majesty) that can result in 15 years in prison.
26 August 2020: Victorian Premier Warns "Third Wave" Of Coronavirus
Security (Health), Political // BLUF: Daniel Andrews, the premier of the Australian state of Victoria, has said that the state could face a 'third wave' outbreak of coronavirus if he isn't granted powers to declare a state of emergency at any time during the next 12 months.
During a press conference today, Andrews said that extending emergency powers would allow authorities react quickly to new outbreaks. Andrews said that without the extension of powers, “That will lead to rather than businesses recovering, workers getting back to work, families having that sense of financial security, we will just be essentially in the beginning of a third wave.”
The state of emergency is due to end at 11.59 pm on September 13.
Security, Political // BLUF: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will reveal new powers that enable the Federal Government to block secret deals between foreign powers and state governments and universities.
The new powers come amid rising concerns over espionage, particularly from China. Victoria's Belt and Road Initiative deal with China, under embattled Premier Dan Andrews, has been heavily scrutinised and is prone to being blocked under the new powers.
The University of Queensland has also been scrutinised for its position on China, following its handling of pro-Hong Kong protests in 2019 at one of its campuses that turned violent as pro-Beijing counter-protesters confronted the demonstrators; with pro-Hong Kong protesters criticised by the university and student Drew Pavlou suspended.
28 August 2020: 24 Hours Of Violence In Rio De Janeiro As Shootouts Plague City
Security // BLUF: Violence erupted in Rio De Janeiro as warring crime gangs and police clashed in the streets.
The violence reportedly started after members of one of the city's largest gangs got into a shootout with police after their car broke down in a wealthy neighbourhood.
A shootout saw bystanders caught in the crossfire, with a mother killed while protecting her daughter.
A family was also taken hostage by a gang member, who were later released and the gang member handed himself in.
Security // BLUF: A regional court has ruled against Berlin's decision to ban protests in the city, giving the go-ahead for the protests against coronavirus measures imposed by the government.
Berlin had recently banned protests, following a protest in the city where demonstrators failed to wear masks or social distance.
Police have readied for violence, with activists on social media reportedly calling for attendees to 'arm themselves'.
This report follows the Australian state of Victoria's recent arrest of an anti-lockdown protest organiser, who is now facing a fine of up to $20,000 AUD, along with police seizing two laptops, a computer and two mobile phones from the individual.
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