World Briefs: EU awards jailed Uighur activist rights prize

EU awards jailed Uighur activist rights prize

STRASBOURG • The European Parliament awarded its annual prize for the defence of human rights yesterday to jailed ethnic Uighur economics professor Ilham Tohti, angering Beijing.

Uighur rights advocate Tohti was jailed for life in China in 2014 on separatism charges that were widely denounced at the time in Western capitals. The European Parliament said it chose him for his activity to foster dialogue between Chinese people and the mostly Muslim Uighur minority who live in China's western region of Xinjiang.

China's Foreign Ministry has called the activist a criminal, adding that it "hopes that all sides respect China's internal affairs".


Four in five EU coal plants are unprofitable

LONDON • Four in five coal plants in the European Union are unprofitable, and utilities could face losses of nearly €6.6 billion (S$10 billion) this year, a report by think-tank Carbon Tracker said yesterday.

Adding to that, expensive technology will also need to be installed at many existing coal plants to meet stricter EU air quality standards from 2021, the report said.


Jho Low parts with London lingerie office

LONDON • The London office used by Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho for his luxury lingerie company will be sold while he continues to fight US claims that the property is one of many acquired with money stolen from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) investment fund, according to court filings.

The office, bought for £42 million (S$74 million) in 2014, as well as a nearby penthouse and apartment that Low acquired in 2010 are to be sold as part of forfeiture lawsuits that federal prosecutors in Los Angeles brought against the properties in 2017. Low is alleged to be the mastermind behind a multibillion-dollar theft from 1MDB.


Chinese ship leaves Vietnam waters

HANOI • A Chinese oil survey vessel that has been embroiled in a tense stand-off with Vietnamese vessels in the South China Sea yesterday left Vietnamese-controlled waters, after more than three months, marine data showed.

The Chinese vessel, the Haiyang Dizhi 8, was speeding away from Vietnam's exclusive economic zone towards China under the escort of at least two Chinese ships, according to data from Marine Traffic, a website that tracks vessels.

Tensions between Hanoi and Beijing escalated when China sent the vessel to conduct seismic surveys in waters off Vietnam in early July.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 25, 2019, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe