Inside Politics: Human rights problems assessed in China, Vietnam

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The State Department says human rights conditions have deteriorated in China and that Vietnam continues to severely restrict political rights and freedom of expression.

The judgments were made in the department’s annual assessment of human rights around the world released Thursday.

The department hailed “remarkable” improvements in Myanmar, with the releases of hundreds of political prisoners and the participation of its most famous former detainee, democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, in elections.

The report criticized Sri Lanka for disappearances and killings by pro-government paramilitary groups despite the end of the island nation’s civil war in 2009.

The department said conditions remain extremely poor in North Korea, where an estimated 130,000 to 200,000 people are detained in political penal labor camps.

CAMPAIGN

Romney ad outlines first day of presidency

Mitt Romney’s campaign has released an ad promoting “Day One” of a Romney presidency, describing which of President Obama’s policies the Republican will reverse first if he wins the White House.

The ad promises that on his first day in the Oval Office, Mr. Romney will announce deficit reductions, ending what the campaign calls “the Obama era of big government.”

It says Mr. Romney will stand up to China on trade and demand “they play by the rules.”

The ad also says Mr. Romney will repeal what it calls “job-killing regulations that are costing the economy billions.”

JUSTICE

Prosecutor misconduct found in Stevens case

The Justice Department’s internal ethics watchdog said Thursday that two prosecutors in the bungled corruption case against Sen. Ted Stevens engaged in reckless professional misconduct by failing to disclose information favorable to the lawmaker, who eight days after his 2008 conviction lost re-election to the seat he held for 40 years.

The Office of Professional Responsibility, however, did not find that the misconduct was intentional.

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