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Trump budget kills funding for agency that polices international child labor and slavery

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President Donald Trump’s new budget guts funding for the federal agency that oversees and polices the exploitation of child laborers and forced workers around the world.

Reveal News reported Friday that Trump plans to cut $60 million from the Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs, which fights child labor, human trafficking and slavery around the world.

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“The preliminary budget of President Donald Trump’s administration would eliminate $60 million in grants from the bureau’s budget, calling them ‘largely noncompetitive and unproven,’” wrote Reveal News’ Jennifer Gollan. “It suggested that the agency instead focus its efforts ‘on ensuring that U.S. trade agreements are fair for American workers.’”

The cuts would cripple the government’s ability to monitor child exploitation around the world and potentially interfere with tenets of 13 separate trade agreements. Furthermore, the measures would ultimately have the opposite effect of what the president intends. By allowing other countries to exploit child workers and other laborers, U.S. workers will be put at a disadvantage for using fair labor practices.

Obama-era director Labor Secretary Carol Pier said that there is a “huge logical disconnect” between Trump’s stated desire to protect U.S. workers and the actual outcome of the law.

“These programs help to level the global playing field,” Pier said.

Gollan said, “The bureau has provided grants for projects on topics such as seafood processing in Thailand to gold mining in Colombia. It also helps other countries enforce labor standards and produces a list of goods associated with child or forced labor from countries around the world. The bureau also investigates complaints of violations of labor provisions in free trade agreements, including NAFTA.”

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“This is an example of a move that’s really penny wise but pound foolish,” said Jo Becker –advocacy director of the children’s rights division at Human Rights Watch. “It’s 0.4 percent of the Department of Labor budget, but it packs a big punch. The U.S. has been the largest supporter of eradicating child and forced labor worldwide.”


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Internet explodes over news that Putin is planning to sabotage the election for Trump — yet again

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On Thursday, The New York Times revealed that Russian President Vladimir Putin is prepared to interfere in the 2020 presidential election to help President Donald Trump win a second term — and that Trump's first reaction was outrage that House Democrats had been briefed on the matter.

The news was met with horror and outrage on social media:

Republicans keep blocking election security bills in the Senate, and now we know why:

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Putin is backing Trump in 2020 — but is also seeking to undermine his legitimacy: Ambassador McFaul

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The former ambassador to Russia warned of the "extremely scary" report that Russian President Vladimir Putin is supporting Trump's 2020 reelection -- and is already meddling in the Democratic Primary.

Ambassador Michael McFaul was interviewed Thursday by MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber on "The Beat."

"I don't understand why the president doesn't understand that this is no good for him," McFaul said. "It discredits his own election or reelection. So he should be out in front of this condemning what the Russians are doing instead of trying on cover it up."

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Pentagon data breach compromises servicemembers’ personal information: report

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According to NBC News, the Department of Defense has sent out letters warning servicemembers that a likely breach in the system that manages military information technology and communications may have compromised their personal information.

"The letters, dated Feb. 11, told recipients that last May and June, 'some of your personal information, including your Social Security number, may have been compromised in a data breach on a system hosted by the Defense Information Systems Agency,'" said NBC.

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