ASIA NEWS BITES: 100 Feared Dead in China Landslide; Thai Sex Scandal; North Korea Denials over Otto Warmbier

ASIA NEWS BITES: 100 Feared Dead in China Landslide; Thai Sex Scandal; North Korea Denials over Otto Warmbier
Photo credit: Reuters /達志影像

What you need to know

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


Rescuers have pulled 15 bodies from a massive landslide in China as the search continues for more than 100 others still trapped. -

As other countries look to China to take the lead in fighting global warming after President Trump’s rejection of the Paris climate agreement, President Xi Jinping is pushing ahead with an ambitious plan to build the world’s largest market for carbon emissions permits. - The New York Times

Some 97 percent of respondents in an informal online poll involving 150,000 mainlanders said “no” to refugees, as rumors spread that Beijing would open the country’s door to displaced people from the Middle East. - South China Morning Post

A Chinese court commuted on Friday the sentence of a man who had killed a creditor who had harassed his mother, in a closely watched case that has provoked a national debate about family honor and filial piety. - The New York Times


Taiwan offers assistance to China after Sichuan landslide. - Central News Agency

Thousands of protesters yesterday marched from the Executive Yuan to the Presidential Office Building in Taipei to back demands that the government terminate a controversial extension of Asia Cement Corp’s (亞泥) mining rights in Hualien County’s Sincheng Township (新城). - The Taipei Times

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday posted a message on Facebook to Muslims, who are celebrating Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the month of Ramadan. - The Taipei Times

The Taipei City Government yesterday unveiled its mobile payment platform called E-commerce will change Taiwan and the world, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je said, adding that such services should be managed and not prohibited. - The Taipei Times

Hong Kong:

President Xi Jinping will visit Hong Kong this week to celebrate 20 years since the former British colony’s return to China, state media confirmed Sunday, a trip that will stoke resentment among pro-democracy activists. - AFP via Hong Kong Free Press

Hong Kong police have launched a crackdown on political banners and images ahead of a visit to the city by the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, to avoid “embarrassing” the country’s leaders. - The Guardian

Two decades after the handover, scant love for China among Hong Kong youth. - Reuters via Hong Kong Free Press

Joshua Wong and other activists cover iconic Golden Bauhinia statue in black cloth ahead of Xi Jinping visit. - South China Morning Post

Hong Kong's new chief: detention of booksellers in China is not our concern. - The Guardian


India heads to the US this weekend for his first meeting with President Donald Trump, seeking to build on growing ties between the world's two largest democracies and move beyond disagreements over climate change. - Channel NewsAsia

Four Indian tourists and three local residents died when a cable car came crashing down from a height of at least 30 meters (100ft) in a tourist town in the Indian portion of Kashmir. - The Guardian

North Korea:

When Otto Warmbier died this week after a long detention in North Korea, Young Pioneer Tours, the company that arranged his trip there, announced that it would no longer sell such excursions to United States citizens. But it hardly spells the end of American tourism in North Korea. - The New York Times

North Korea says Otto Warmbier’s sudden death “a mystery to us as well.” The statement insists 22-year old was treated with "all sincerity," denies mistreatment. - North Korea News

“Abysmal drought” hits North Korea: state media. - North Korea News

South Korea:

A longtime friend of Park Geun-hye, the ousted president of South Korea, was sentenced to three years in prison on Friday on charges of abusing her influence to get her daughter illegally enrolled in a prestigious university. - The New York Times

South Korean President Moon Jae-in watched his military test-fire a ballistic missile on Friday after a string of North Korean missile tests were blamed for raising tensions on the Korean Peninsula. - National Public Radio

Thousands of protesters marched near the U.S. embassy in Seoul on Saturday, accusing U.S. President Donald Trump of "forcing" South Korea to deploy the controversial American missile defense system China opposes. - The Korea Times


The Australian government said on Friday that it would send spy planes to help the Philippine armed forces who are fighting to recapture the southern city of Marawi, where the military is battling militants for control. - The New York Times

The Philippine armed forces declared an eight-hour ceasefire Sunday in its ongoing offensive against Islamist militants occupying parts of the war-torn city of Marawi to allow residents to celebrate the end of Ramadan. - Channel NewsAsia

Philippine emissaries met on Sunday with a leader of a militant group loyal to Islamic State, officials said, taking advantage of a short truce in a battle over a southern city occupied by rebels for more than a month. - Reuters


Takata filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan and the U.S. and said it would sell most of its operations to a rival, capping the steep decline of an 84-year-old Japanese company nearly nine years after it began a global recall of rupture-prone automotive air bags. - The Wall Street Journal

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to accelerate plans to amend Japan's pacifist constitution, saying he expects to submit a proposed revision to lawmakers before the end of the year, media reported on Sunday. - Channel NewsAsia


When senior bureaucrats visited the remote Thai province of Mae Hong Son where local official Boonyarit Nipavanit worked, the routine was often the same: Welcome them with the finest food and drink and then bring out the teen girls, often referred to as "dessert". - Channel NewsAsia

Thai students 'molested, exploited' during internships in South Korea: report. - The Korea Times


Two suspected militants with possible Islamic State links attacked police in western Indonesia Sunday, killing one officer, authorities said. - The Wall Street Journal

Modern Sevel Indonesia, a retailer unit of Modern Internasional, a listed company controlled by the Honoris family, has announced it will close all of its remaining 120 7-Eleven outlets across the country. - The Jarkata Globe

Millions of Indonesians gathered at village fields, town centers, and local mosques on Sunday (25/06) to celebrate Idul Fitri, which marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.- The Jarkata Globe


The genocide trial of two senior Khmer Rouge leaders concluded its hearings on Friday with an angry scolding by the lawyer for one defendant and a humble bow to the victims by the other. - The New York Times

Over 50,000 Cambodians are participating in a Korean language test on Saturday and Sunday in Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia, for the chance to work in South Korea. - The Korea Times


A Vietnamese dissident blogger with dual French citizenship has arrived in Paris after he was stripped of his birth nationality by the Asian country and deported. - Al Jazeera