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Chauvin Trial Verdict Likely to Spur Unrest

SITUATION REPORT

The trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with killing George Floyd, wrapped up this week. The jury has reached a verdict and it will be announced today between 1630 and 1700 EST. 

Protests, counter-protests, unrest, and rioting are possible after the verdict is announced, regardless if he is found guilty or not guilty on any, all, or none of the charges.

Protests in response to Floyd's killing over the summer of 2020 lead to widespread unrest and riots in major cities. Similar unrest is possible in the wake of the trial verdict, especially in Minneapolis and other cities that saw significant upheaval in the summer of 2020, including Chicago and Atlanta.

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U.S.: The Rise in Violent Crime Could Continue in 2021

SITUATION REPORT

While violent crime in the U.S. has been on the rise since 2014, the precipitous spike in 2020 is completely unprecedented. The year 2020 was by no means a normal year. But is the elevated level of violent crime here to stay? To address whether or not last year was an anomaly or an inflection point, it is important to reflect on the causes of the surge in violent crime. 


BREAKING DOWN THE 2020 CRIME SURGE

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics both report that violent crime increased in 2020. Indeed, if the FBI’s preliminary data for 2020 holds (the conclusive report will be issued in September), then the U.S. recorded more than 20,000 murders in 2020(6.22 homicides per 100,000 people), the highest total since 1995 (8.22 homicides per 100,000 people). Alarmingly, this represents the largest yearly increase of homicides on record with estimates ranging from a 25 to 30 percent increase over 2019 levels. According to these data, aggravated assaults also increased by 10.5 percent. Meanwhile, with the exception of motor vehicle theft – which rose by 13 percent – non-violent crime fell significantly in 2020. Similarly, public mass shootings were effectively paused by the pandemic. This pause was broken in March 2021, as the country began loosening restrictions, with a mass shooting in Atlanta and continued through April with mass shootings in Boulder and Indianapolis.

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COVID-19 Update: U.S. Eyes Herd Immunity by Mid-Summer

United States Latest Developments 

  • The CDC and FDA recommended the U.S. pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after reports that at least six people (all women aged 18-48) developed dangerous blood clots after receiving the vaccine. The pause is expected to last days or weeks while the situation is reviewed. At least 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the U.S.
  • Nearly 3.4 million shots were administered on average in the last seven days. This compares with just over 2.8 million doses administered per day on average two weeks ago. So far, around 122 million people have received at least one vaccine dose. 
  • At current pace, 70% of the population will have been at least partially vaccinated by early June, with herd immunity, estimated between 70-90% reached in mid-July. These projections continue to improve as more vaccine supply reaches states. 
  • On 2 April, the CDC issued updated guidance on travel for those who are fully vaccinated. For international travel, you do not need to self-quarantine after arriving back in the U.S. but still need to get tested before boarding a flight back to the U.S. from abroad.

For the latest United States case counts, click here.

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Unrest in Minnesota

SITUATION REPORT

Protests, looting, and rioting occurred in the Twin Cities area in the aftermath of the 11 April fatal police shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, MN. Wright was pulled over for having an expired registration on his vehicle and was then discovered to have an outstanding warrant. He was shot in the ensuing altercation and an investigation is ongoing. The Twin Cities area was already on edge due to the ongoing trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis PD officer accused of killing George Floyd in May 2020.

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COVID-19 Update: U.S. Hits 100 Million Doses Goal

United States Latest Developments 
  • The Biden administration hit its goal of 100 million shots in its first 100 days on 19 March, six weeks early. They have set a new goal, 200 million doses by the 100th day. The country appears to be on track to meet this goal as vaccine supply ramps up.
  • Nearly 2.8 million shots were administered on average in the last seven days. This compares with just over 2.5 million doses administered per day on average two weeks ago. So far, around 96 million people have received at least one vaccine dose.
  • At current pace, 50% of the population will have been at least partially vaccinated by early May, with herd immunity, estimated around 70%, reached in mid-June. These projections continue to improve as more vaccine supply reaches states. 
  • Pfizer announced strong preliminary results for it's vaccine in 12-15 year old children, noting a 100% efficacy against COVID-19 in the clinical trial. 

For the latest United States case counts, click here.

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U.S. Embassy Issues First Evacuation Order

Situation Report

On 30 March 2021, the U.S. Embassy Rangoon, Myanmar ordered the departure of non-essential diplomatic personnel and all personnel family members amid escalating violence across the country but particularly in Yangon (Rangoon). At least 500 anti-coup protesters have been killed by the Tatmadaw (Myanmar military) since the 01 February coup. Expat travelers and residents in Myanmar should consider leaving the country before the situation deteriorates further and exit options become even more limited. 

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Recent Mass Shootings Spark Post-Pandemic Concern

IncidenT

 The pandemic has seen a significant shift in crime trends in the United States. Homicides across major cities increased significantly in 2020 and through 2021; however, public mass shootings were effectively paused by the pandemic as schools closed, work places emptied, and public spaces became less crowded. 

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COVID-19 Update: Multiple European countries suspend AstraZeneca vaccinations

The U.S. government has moved up its estimate for when every adult in  America would have access to a vaccine, up to 01 May from the end of May previously. 

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Microsoft Exchange Server Attack

Incident: Last week Microsoft and DHS CISA reported that a previously unknown vulnerability in on-premise, self-hosted Microsoft Exchange Servers was being exploited by government sponsored espionage hackers, dubbed Hafnium. The attacks allowed not only inbox access, but offered the ability for attackers to steal mailbox contents.

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Myanmar Coup Update - Situation Worsens

SITUATION: On 1 February, the Myanmar military seized control of the government, declaring a year-long state of emergency, following a general election in which Ms. Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party won by a landslide.

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