1. The theme uses WordPress’ built-in wp_trim_words() function to generate the excerpt and this should work even with Asian languages. Do you have any other theme excerpt-related options enabled (like HTML excerpts)?
2/3. Did this appear after Parabola’s 2.2.2 update? We haven’t really changed anything related to featured images or padding in this update (or any recent one for that matter).
I see the indicated site is running Nirvana, not Parabola. Did you switch themes?