Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

NATION [Derived Headline]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

NATION [Derived Headline]

Article excerpt

2 COUNTRIES REMOVED FROM BLACKLIST

WASHINGTON - The State Department today took Malaysia and Cuba off its blacklist of countries failing to combat modern-day slavery.

Thailand, downgraded with Malaysia last year because of pervasive labor abuses in its lucrative fishing industry, remained on the blacklist. That will add to the growing strains in its once-strong relations with Washington. Critics contend that Malaysia's upgrade is related to its participation in a U.S.-backed trade agreement among Pacific Rim countries. Thailand is not part of the proposed agreement.

Secretary of State John Kerry formally launched the annual U.S. assessment of how 188 governments around the world have performed in fighting the flesh trade and other forms of exploitative labor.

Cuba has for several years been stuck on the lowest ranking, "tier 3," amid allegations, denied by Havana, of coerced labor with Cuban government work missions abroad. Its upgrade comes a week after the U.S. and Cuba formally restored diplomatic relations after a half-century of estrangement. The U.S. also removed Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism in late May.

BOAT FOUND, BUT NOT TEENS

TEQUESTA, Fla. - The Coast Guard scoured the waters off Florida today, searching for any sign of two 14-year-old fishermen who disappeared three days earlier as they headed toward the Bahamas.

On Sunday, the Coast Guard located the teens' 19-foot boat about 67 miles from where they were last seen buying $110 worth of gas. The center-console boat had capsized but it didn't appear damaged.

"This is an active search-and rescue case," Coast Guard Petty Officer Steve Lehmann said Sunday night. "We maintain our perpetual optimism that we are going to find somebody."

There were storms in the area at the time Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos started their trip Friday. …

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