ASIA NEWS BITES: Greece Vetoes Tough EU Stance on China Human Rights; New Alzheimer's Treatment in Taiwan; China Uses Facial Recognition Software on Jaywalking

ASIA NEWS BITES: Greece Vetoes Tough EU Stance on China Human Rights; New Alzheimer's Treatment in Taiwan; China Uses Facial Recognition Software on Jaywalking
Photo Credit: REUTERS/達志影像

What you need to know

A quick roundup of the most important news from around the region.

China:

At least 26 people were injured, four of them seriously, when a China Eastern Airlines flight from Paris hit turbulence on Sunday (Jun 18) over southwest China, state media said. - Channel NewsAsia

Greece has vetoed a European Union condemnation of China’s human rights record at the UN, infuriating diplomats and rights organizations, who said the move undermined the EU’s position as a defender of human rights. - The Guardian

Efforts by some Chinese cities to use facial recognition software to shame jaywalkers have been met with concerns that the practice may violate pedestrians’ privacy. - Hong Kong Free Press

A 22-year-old man made the bomb that exploded at the front gate of a kindergarten in eastern China, killing eight people, including himself, investigators said Friday, apparently closing the case on one of the worst school attacks in the country in the recent year. - CBC News

Taiwan:

Ho Show-chung (何壽川), chairman of SinoPac Holdings (永豐金控), was detained Sunday on charges of breach of trust after prosecutors found he and other company executives were involved in illegal loans that reportedly amounted to NT$5 billion (US$164.6 million). - Focus Taiwan

A group of Taiwanese college students and a professor were denied a visit to United Nations human rights public gallery in Geneva this Monday for not being able to present documents other than a Taiwan passport. - Taiwan News

Taiwan scientists find potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease. - The News Lens via Central News Agency

Hong Kong:

A flood of Chinese bankers is changing the social fabric of Hong Kong, as they rapidly expand their footprint in one of the world’s premier financial centers, even as Beijing struggles to tame the former British colony politically. - Reuters via Hong Kong Free Press

Tibet:

A young Tibetan living in northwest China’s Qinghai province has been released after being held by police for more than two weeks over his possession of a photo of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, RFA’s Tibetan Service has learned. - Radio Free Asia

Tibetan nomads previously forced from traditional grazing lands in a state-directed resettlement scheme in Qinghai are now being told to go back, as authorities begin to target their current homes for development as tourist centers and housing for government employees, Tibetan sources say. - Radio Free Asia

Xinjiang:

Members of the worldwide community of Uyghurs rallied on Thursday in defense of their language, warning that their Turkic tongue and cultural identity are under threat from heavy-handed Chinese policies to assimilate the central Asian ethnic group. - Radio Free Asia

Japan:

The US Navy on Monday identified all seven sailors killed after their destroyer was partially flooded following a collision with a container ship off Japan's coast at the weekend, confirming their deaths for the first time. - AFP

The Cabinet’s approval rating has plunged 10.5 points since May to 44.9 percent over its denials in a favoritism scandal linking Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to his close friend’s success in a deregulation project in Shikoku, a Kyodo News poll showed Sunday. - The Japan Times

Japan and the European Union are in the final phase of wrapping up a wide-ranging agreement on free trade early next month, seeking to strike deals on sensitive issues, such as access to the agriculture and automobile markets. - The Japan Times

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike has decided to move the famous Tsukiji fish market to the Toyosu waterfront district in Koto Ward after additional safety measures are taken to ease pollution concerns. - The Japan Times

Thailand:

The United Nations has called on Thailand to amend its harsh law against insulting the monarchy. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said it was deeply troubled by the high rate of prosecutions, and the disproportionate sentences for the offense. - BBC

Philippines:

The Philippine government said Sunday that it would suspend offensives against communist guerrillas to reciprocate a similar plan by the insurgents and allow troops to focus on quelling a bloody siege by Islamic State group-aligned militants that has dragged on for nearly a month in Marawi City. - The Philippine Star

Islamic State threat in Southeast Asia raises alarm in Washington. - CBS News

Despite President's threat that he would no longer listen to anyone if he declares martial law for the second time, President Duterte’s readiness to pull out troops from Marawi City if the Supreme Court orders him to do so indicates his respect for the rule of law, Malacañang said yesterday. - The Philippine Star

Terrified Christians are escaping Isis militants in the Filipino town of Marawi by wearing hijabs borrowed from Muslims. - The Independent

The irresponsible use of social media can unwittingly put soldiers’ lives at risk, warned the Philippine military involved in a fierce battle with militants in the besieged city of Marawi. - Channel NewsAsia

Malaysia:

Nearly $30m (£23.5m) allegedly stolen from a sovereign wealth fund established by Malaysia’s prime minister was used to buy jewelry for the prime minister’s wife, including a rare 22-carat pink diamond set in a necklace, according to filings by the US justice department in a civil lawsuit. - The Guardian

U.S. acts to seize assets allegedly looted from Malaysia fund 1MDB, including a Picasso given to Leonardo DiCaprio. - Reuters via CNBC

Singapore:

Singaporean political stalwarts have stepped up calls for an end to the bitter public feud among the children of the late Lee Kuan Yew, as the Lion City marked Father’s Day worrying whether the squabble will hurt the revered patriarch’s legacy the longer it goes on. - South China Morning Post

Further questions were raised about Lee Kuan Yew's (LKY) final will when his younger son Lee Hsien Yang sought to explain how it turned out the way it did. - The Star Online

South Korea:

Korea's first commercial nuclear reactor, Kori 1 in Busan's Gijang County, shut down at midnight Sunday, 40 years after it went online. - The Korea Times

Shortly after foggy-fine dust across Korea subsided towards spring's end, with contamination level staying "normal" for weeks, ozone warnings are increasing. - The Korea Times

North Korea:

North Korea on Sunday accused United States officials of “mugging” its diplomats at Kennedy International Airport by seizing a diplomatic package they were carrying. - New York Times

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the man had swum across a particularly narrow part of the fast-moving river after attaching foam to his shoulders to help him stay afloat. - BBC

Myanmar:

A Myanmar ship has retrieved the black box of a plane that crashed into the Andaman Sea with 122 people on board, the army said Sunday (Jun 18), raising hopes of discovering the cause of the tragedy.- Channel NewsAsia

Vietnam:

Vietnamese human rights bloggers and activists are being beaten and intimidated, Human Rights Watch said in a report released on Monday, as it urged the Communist government to end attacks and hold that responsible accountable.- Channel NewsAsia

As climate change wreaks havoc on Vietnam, more children will be forced to work from an early age, experts say. - Saigoneer


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