U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and Prime Minister Najib Razak attend the gala dinner at the 27th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, November 21, 2015. REUTERS/Olivia Harris
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In Southeast Asia, President Barack Obama has taken a softer tone on human rights and corruption in a part of the world that rights groups claim is rife with abuses.Obama, for the most part, has avoided openly challenging leaders.White House officials say Obama routinely raises human rights and accountability concerns whenever he meets with foreign leaders, and that this trip to the Philippines and Malaysia is no exception.Discussion of human rights was absent from Obama's public comments in Manila with Philippine President Benigno Aquino.Obama's most direct advocacy for improved human rights in Southeast Asia came Saturday during a meeting with civil society leaders.
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