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Victoria Police Arrest Woman Over Anti-Lockdown Protest Plans

The Deciport Daily Quick-Look: 03 September 2020

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Police raided the Ballarat home of Zoe Buhler this afternoon after becoming aware of a "prohibited" Freedom Day rally being organised in the regional Victorian town on Facebook. (Facebook)

The woman, who is reportedly pregnant, was arrested in front of her children and partner for incitement.

Political, Security // BLUF: An Australian woman was arrested in the state of Victoria over a Facebook post regarding plans to conduct an anti-lockdown protest.

The woman, who is reportedly pregnant, was arrested for 'incitement' at her home in front of her children and partner; according to reports.

The protest was being organised for Saturday 05 September in the town of Ballarat, with the post outlining social distancing and masks as a requirement during protests.

According to the report below, the woman's phone was seized and she was banned from posting on social media upon her release.

Victoria is currently locked down due to reemerging COVID-19 cases.

The Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has been granted a six month extension on emergency powers.

(See Point 3 Below for Further Information)

The Daily Quick-Look for 03 September 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. Each headline contains the link to its source report.

BLUF = Bottom Line Up Front.

FYSA = For Your Situational Awareness.

1. UNITED STATES, CHINA - Security, Political: Trump threatens to cut federal funds to 'lawless' cities

FYSA: President Donald Trump signed a memo on Wednesday that threatens to cut federal funding to “lawless” cities, including Seattle, Portland, New York and Washington.

“My Administration will not allow Federal tax dollars to fund cities that allow themselves to deteriorate into lawless zones,” said the memo, which was released by the White House. The memo instructs Attorney General William Barr to develop a list of “anarchist jurisdictions” that “permitted violence and the destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures” to restore order. The memo also instructs White House budget director Russell Vought to issue guidance in 30 days “to the heads of agencies on restricting eligibility of or otherwise disfavoring, to the maximum extent permitted by law, anarchist jurisdictions in the receipt of Federal grants.” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Twitter that Trump was trying to cut off funding that states and cities must receive to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. “He is not a king. He cannot ‘defund’ NYC,” Cuomo said. “It’s an illegal stunt.” (Reuters. See link in heading for further reading)

2. BRITAIN - Security (Health): Britain to fund expansion of rapid COVID-19 test trials

FYSA: Britain is putting 500 million pounds ($666 million) into trials of rapid COVID-19 tests and into population-testing for the disease, the health ministry said on Thursday. Health minister Matt Hancock has said he hopes mass testing using faster COVID-19 tests can be rolled out towards the end of the year, adding that they are key to restoring freedoms after months of COVID-19 restrictions. The funding will be used to expand existing trials of saliva tests and a rapid 20-minute test in southern England, while a new, community trial in Salford, northwest England, will assess the benefit of population-testing, under which people are regularly tested regardless of whether they have symptoms, so that any cases can be picked up before they have spread widely. (Reuters. See link in heading for further reading)

3. AUSTRALIA - Political, Security: Anti-Melbourne lockdown protester charged in Ballarat over alleged 'Freedom Day' rally

FYSA: Police have defended arresting and handcuffing a pregnant Victorian woman in front of her partner and children for organising an anti-lockdown protest. Zoe Buhler was banned from posting on social media when she was bailed today after being arrested in her Ballarat home yesterday afternoon. Police seized the Victorian mother's phone during a raid of her home after becoming aware of a "prohibited" Freedom Day rally being organised in the regional Victorian town on Facebook. Ms Buhler told 9News today she had been charged with incitement, which she did not understand. (Nine News. See link in heading for further reading)

4. SOLOMON ISLANDS - Political: Solomon Islands province announces independence vote amid China tensions

FYSA: The largest province in Solomon Islands has announced plans for an independence referendum as tensions with the country’s national government over China policy rise. Malaita, a province of 200,000 people in the country’s east, “will soon conduct a provincial-wide referendum on the topic of independence”, a statement from premier Daniel Suidani said on Tuesday. In a phone interview with the Guardian, Suidani confirmed the plan, saying a vote would be held as soon as this month. The referendum plan comes after a year of tensions between Suidani’s provincial government, which is supportive of Taiwan, and Solomon Islands’ national government which has adopted a pro-Beijing stance. The internal division over China policy falls along similar cultural, ethnic and political fault lines that led to civil unrest in Solomon Islands between 1998 and 2003, resulting in a fourteen year Australian-led peacekeeping mission which concluded in 2017. In September last year, Solomon Islands’ national government, led by four-time prime minister Manasseh Sogavare, ended a 36-year alliance with Taiwan and instead normalised ties with Beijing. (The Guardian. See link in heading for further reading)

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