Happy Friday, folks! Hope everybody’s set to have a great weekend.
1. Obama Shrugs Off Global Slavery To Protect Trade Deal (HuffPost Politics)
The Obama administration outraged human rights advocates on Monday by removing Malaysia from its list of the world's worst human trafficking offenders -- a move that the activists said damages U.S. credibility -- simply to boost the president's trade agenda…
Hundreds of Democrats and a handful of Republicans had previously urged the State Department to maintain Malaysia's ranking as a "Tier 3" human trafficking violator. For years, the Malaysian government has largely turned a blind eye to sex slavery involving men, women and children. Forced labor is rampant in several sectors of the country's economy, particularly the electronics industry. In April, mass graves holding more than 130 human trafficking victims were discovered near the country's northern border with Thailand. That same month, the U.S. ambassador to Malaysia said the government needed to take human trafficking prosecution more seriously.