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By Wayne Cole SYDNEY (Reuters) - China's vast factory sector flatlined in June as exports shrank and jobs were cut, a worrying trend evident across Asia that argues for yet more policy stimulus as doubts gather over the potency of measures taken so far. The hard times signaled by a range of surveys was not what the world needed a week after Britain's vote to leave the European Union condemned that bloc to months, if not years, of political and economic instability. Most of the responses from manufacturers also preceded the Brexit vote, suggesting July could be even tougher.
Myanmar's new civilian government rebuffed a United States decision to brand the country as one of the world's worst human trafficking offenders on Friday, calling the move "regrettable" at a time when the nascent democracy is still getting on its feet. The US State Department downgraded Myanmar in its annual human trafficking report Thursday, putting the former junta-run country into the lowest "Tier 3" category for failing to combat people smuggling and slavery. Years of poverty and corruption under Myanmar's former military rulers have fastened the Southeast Asian nation as a major source of forced labour and sex trafficking, often to neighbouring countries.