ASIA NEWS BITES: Liu Xiaobo’s Condition Worsens; Chinese Release Employees of Australian Casino Company; Arrest in Cambodia over Facebook Post; Apple to Open Data Centers in China

ASIA NEWS BITES:  Liu Xiaobo’s Condition Worsens; Chinese Release Employees of Australian Casino Company; Arrest in Cambodia over Facebook Post; Apple to Open Data Centers in China
Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

What you need to know

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


Friends of China’s most famous political prisoner, the Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, said they feared he was entering his final hours on Thursday, as the White House renewed its call for the dissident’s release. - The Guardian

Authorities in China released 10 employees of Australian casino company Crown Resorts Ltd. on Wednesday after they were convicted last month for gambling offenses, according to a person familiar with the matter, in a closely watched case for the global casino industry. - The Wall Street Journal

Apple said Wednesday that it would open its first data center in China, joining a parade of technology companies responding to growing global demands to build facilities that store online data closer to customers. - The New York Times

A Canadian retirement home chain found itself in an uncomfortable position last year when it agreed to be bought by a politically connected Chinese company with a shadowy group of owners. Now, this Canadian nursing home deals spurs questions about Chinese money. - The New York Times


India’s film censors have ordered that a documentary about the economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen be altered to remove words including “Hindu” “India” and “cow”, the director has said. - The Guardian


Japan 'black widow' Chisako Kakehi retracts confession. - BBC

Chinese authorities detained 35 Japanese nationals earlier this month suspected of fraud in Fujian province, a Japanese government source said Wednesday. - The Japan Times

Hong Kong:

A report by the government’s official think tank has suggested rebuilding a colonial police special unit to “tail, deter, frighten and contain opposition forces.” - Hong Kong Free Press

Hong Kong’s anti-gay advocates have warned that laws to protect sexual minorities will lead to “reverse discrimination" and threaten freedom of speech and religion. - Hong Kong Free Press

North Korea:

A magnitude-5.8 earthquake that occurred off North Korea's east coast Thursday (local time) was not caused by a nuclear test, the U.S. Geological Survey said. - The Korea Times


A Chinese naval flotilla headed by China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, that entered Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the early hours of Wednesday, left the zone at 2 a.m. the following day after sailing north along the Taiwan Strait, according to the Ministry of National Defense. - Central News Agency

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and visiting Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes held talks on Wednesday in which Cartes said that his country will continue to help Taiwan take part in international organizations and activities. - Central News Agency

Taiwan on Wednesday announced visa-free entry for nationals of its 11 diplomatic allies in Latin America and the Caribbean, with immediate effect.- Central News Agency

The operation of Taiwan's representative office in the Kingdom of Bahrain remains normal in spite of the recent forced change in its name, a result of increasing efforts on the part of China to minimize Taiwan's international space, according to a statement issued on Wednesday by Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).- Central News Agency

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is to mark the 30th anniversary of the lifting of martial law with a series of events from Saturday. - The Taipei Times


Cambodian police arrested a young social media user on Wednesday for a video she posted on Facebook suggesting that Prime Minister Hun Sen and his family were behind the killing last year of a prominent political analyst and scholar, RFA’s Khmer Service has learned. - Radio Free Asia

Cambodia has banned all sand exports on environmental grounds, the Ministry of Mines and Energy said on Wednesday (Jul 12), officially ending the sale of sand to Singapore which has for years used it to reclaim land along its coasts. - Channel NewsAsia


Southeast Asian lawmakers Wednesday called on Malaysia to treat undocumented workers fairly and respect their human rights as Kuala Lumpur carried on with an immigration crackdown that has rounded up more than 3,300 foreigners this month, according to government figures.- Radio Free Asia


Aung San Suu Kyi's government in Myanmar risks getting bracketed with "pariah states" like North Korea and Syria over its refusal to grant visas to a UN team investigating the plight of Rohingya Muslims, activists said Wednesday (Jul 12). - Channel NewsAsia

Egyptian authorities continued this week to round up and deport ethnic Uyghurs studying at Cairo’s Al-Azhar Islamic University, prompting some to appeal directly to the university’s senior imam for his help in preventing their forced return to China, sources said. - Radio Free Asia


A Vietnamese sailor from a crew held for five months by Islamic militants in the Philippines was killed during a firefight with Filipino troops over the weekend, Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry said Wednesday, a week after captors beheaded two other hostages when their ransom demands were not met.- Radio Free Asia


Indonesia has issued a decree allowing it to ban groups that oppose its official state ideology, in a move seen to target radical Islamists in the world's most populous Muslim-majority country. - Channel NewsAsia

The Indonesian Government's decision to ban groups that do not support the nation's ideologies has been condemned by human rights groups and will be challenged in the nation's constitutional court. - ABC News

More than half of Indonesian startup founders don't have tech backgrounds. - The Jarkata Globe