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International relations

US hits 17 nations for human trafficking, downgrades Malaysia

Southeast Asian country joins China and North Korea in worst tier

Secretary of State Antony Blinken explains the State Department's annual "Trafficking in Persons" report on July 1 in Washington.   © AP

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Biden administration on Thursday designated 17 countries as not doing enough to combat human trafficking and warned them of potential U.S. sanctions. The administration also called out several U.S. allies and friends, including Israel, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal and Turkey, for backsliding in their efforts.

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