ASIA NEWS BITES: US Flies Bombers over Korean Peninsula; Apple Slammed after Removing VPN Apps in China; Philippines Mayor Shot in Police Raid

ASIA NEWS BITES: US Flies Bombers over Korean Peninsula; Apple Slammed after Removing VPN Apps in China; Philippines Mayor Shot in Police Raid
Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

What you need to know

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

North Korea:

North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile Friday that experts said put the continental U.S. firmly in range of a strike, underscoring Pyongyang’s rapid advance in technology and intensifying a standoff with Washington.(7/29) - The Wall Street Journal

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) conducted a successful test of its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on Sunday, the second trial in three weeks. The test took place over Alaska, with the THAAD system located at the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska in Kodiak.(7/30) - North Korea News

The United States flew two supersonic B-1B bombers over the Korean peninsula in a show of force on Sunday and the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said China, Japan and South Korea needed to do more after Pyongyang's latest missile tests. (7/31) - Channel NewsAsia

North Korea's test of a long-range missile that could hit major US cities has drawn condemnation from the US, China, Japan and South Korea, and calls for a rethink in tactics toward Pyongyang, given the dramatic escalation in its capabilities. (7/31) - CNN

South Korea:

Moon shifting to tough stance on North Korea: President Moon Jae-in is apparently shifting his policy on North Korea from appeasement toward a hawkish approach following Pyongyang's continued launching of ballistic missiles with intercontinental range. (7/31) - The Korea Times


The United States has accused China and Russia of bearing “unique and special responsibility” for North Korea’s “belligerent” pursuit of nuclear weapons, after Pyongyang tested its latest ballistic missile.(7/29) - The Guardian

A day after North Korea tested a ballistic missile that it claims can reach all of the United States, US President Donald Trump ripped China for not reining in Kim Jong Un and his missile program. (7/31) - CNN

A month after China announced its plan to crack down on companies offering virtual private networks (VPN), United States-based tech company Apple informed its customers that it would take down VPN services from its China store in compliance with the country's new regulation. - The News Lens via Global Voices

China unveiled a new, more mobile intercontinental ballistic missile at a parade of advanced weaponry and combat troops, in President Xi Jinping’s latest display of military—and political—muscle. - The Wall Street Journal

Baidu profit rises in rebound from Chinese government crackdown: Chinese internet giant shifts its strategy to focus on its mobile app and artificial-intelligence products. - The Wall Street Journal

Three of the world’s biggest carriers, Delta Air Lines, Air France-KLM SA and China Eastern Airlines, strengthened their partnership through a series of share transactions, amid mounting competition on lucrative international routes. - The Wall Street Journal

Hong Kong:

The conglomerate owned by Hong Kong’s richest man is selling its fixed-line telecommunications business for $1.86 billion, the latest in series of deals for the sprawling firm.- The Washington Post

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said that Hongkongers’ civil liberties and personal safety would not be compromised under the controversial joint checkpoint arrangement for the cross-border express rail link’s terminus, as she described opposition lawmakers’ criticism as “ridiculous” and “incomprehensible”. - Hong Kong Free Press


Japan said Friday it would impose a temporary 50% tariff on frozen beef from the U.S. and several other countries, a move Washington said could inflame trade tensions with an important partner. - The Wall Street Journal

Just last fall, it seemed that Japan was starting to shake off its legacy as a country with a poor record of putting women in political power. In the space of less than two months, three women had assumed high-ranking posts, poking a few more holes in the glass ceiling. - The New York Times

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling bloc avoided an embarrassing defeat on Sunday as an ally won reelection as mayor of Yokohama, with the premier planning to reshuffle his cabinet this week in an effort to boost his sagging support ratings. - Channel NewsAsia


EVA Air Corp (長榮航空) yesterday canceled 50 flights after about 500 of the company’s flight attendants went on strike, leaving operations at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in disarray. - The Taipei Times

The southwest braced for strong winds and rain brought by Tropical Storm Haitang yesterday afternoon, less than 24 hours after Typhoon Nesat pummeled the nation, injuring 111 people. - The Taipei Times

Taiwan's government admonished its citizens Sunday not to use passports issued by China, reminding them that using a People's Republic of China passport puts them at risk of losing their rights and benefits as citizens of the Republic of China (Taiwan). - Central News Agency

A total of 69 Taiwanese suspects were arrested during massive raids on the alleged operational bases of an international ring committing telecommunication fraud in several Indonesian locations on Saturday, according to a senior Indonesian police officer. - Central News Agency

Taiwanese electric smart scooter maker Gogoro on Friday launched its first battery-swapping station in Taiwan that is powered by solar energy. - Central News Agency

Taiwanese clothing manufacturer Roo Hsing said Sunday that it will become the world's largest jeans provider from Aug. 1 after a merger with China-based JD United Holdings. - Central News Agency


Severe monsoon flooding has killed 213 people in western India, an official said on Sunday (Jul 30), as rescuers continue to sift through villages devastated by torrential rains. - Channel NewsAsia

What India can learn from Hong Kong's sewage system: the toilets. - The Economic Times


Malaysia has a problem: misogyny. The country's Parliament set yet another sordid example last week when Member of Parliament Che Mohamad Zulkifly Jusoh, during a debate on amending domestic violence laws, said husbands were 'abused' when wives threw insults, withheld sex and denied consent for Muslim men to take another wife. - CNN


A mayor who had been accused by President Rodrigo Duterte of involvement in drug trafficking was killed along with his wife and 10 other people in coordinated police raids early Sunday, the authorities said. - The New York Times

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) maintained its independence following President Rodrigo Duterte's calls for its abolition. - The Philippine Star


Vietnamese police arrested four activists for anti-state activities on Sunday, the police ministry said, in a widening crackdown on critics of the Communist Party that human rights groups have described as alarming. - Channel NewsAsia

China has gone back on the verbal offensive against Vietnam, its strongest adversary in the disputed South China Sea, after a year of peacemaking, but analysts believe Communist parties on both sides will meet to prevent any escalation. - Voice of America


Indonesia has been in a salt crisis since the past two months, after unusually long wet season disrupted domestic supplies of the seasoning and doubled its prices in local markets. - The Jakarta Globe

Islamist groups, numbering in their thousands, took to the streets of Jakarta on Friday (28/07) to protest a new regulation that will make it easier for the government to ban so-called "mass organizations" — including Muslim groups — accused of threatening Indonesia's national unity. - The Jakarta Globe

The office of Indonesia's ombudsman has unearthed evidence of rights violations in the execution of a Nigerian drug convict last year, an official said on Friday (28/07). - The Jakarta Globe

Indonesia is probably only stopping a fraction of what could be hundreds of tons of methamphetamine flooding in from countries such as China, even after a record seizure this month, its anti-narcotics czar said.- The Jakarta Globe

Indonesia has detected a growing number of hotspots as intense dry weather condition continues. - Channel NewsAsia


Cambodia’s acting head of state signed into effect a controversial new amendment to the country’s Law on Political Parties Friday, as international and domestic nongovernmental organizations slammed the legislation they said will undermine the democratic process ahead of general elections set for next year. - Radio Free Asia

Angelina Jolie denies 'cruel' Cambodia child auditions. - BBC