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By a vote of 402-1, the House approved a resolution that congratulates Mr. Liu for winning the peace prize and honors his efforts to promote democratic reform in China.

The resolution also calls on China to release Mr. Liu and his wife, Liu Xia, and cease censoring news of the award. The measure “emphasizes that violations of human rights in general … are matters of legitimate concern to other governments.”

Rep. Ron Paul, the Texas Republican known for his efforts to rein in U.S. foreign policy, was the only lawmaker to vote against the measure.

Mr. Liu, 54, is serving an 11-year sentence for organizing a petition calling for greater political rights in China. His wife is under house arrest.

NORTH KOREA

Richardson confirms ‘citizen’ travel

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said Wednesday he would travel to North Korea from Dec. 16 to Dec. 20, with the intent to ease tensions with Pyongyang over its nuclear program and belligerence toward South Korea.

“I am increasingly concerned with the recent actions by the North Koreans, which have raised tensions and are contributing to instability on the Korean Peninsula,” Mr. Richardson declared in a statement, noting he was going as a private citizen.

“I am not carrying any messages, but I want to be helpful during this volatile period,” Mr. Richardson said. “If I can contribute to the easing of tension on the peninsula, the trip will be well worth it.”

EPA

EPA delays pollutant rules

The Environmental Protection Agency is delaying new rules that would impose stricter limits on two key pollutants smog and mercury drawing complaints from environmental groups that say the Obama administration appears to be caving in to political pressure from congressional Republicans.

“It is hard to avoid the impression that EPA is running scared from the incoming Congress,” said Frank O’Donnell, president of the advocacy group Clean Air Watch.

Republicans took control of the House and gained seats in the Senate in the midterm elections, and many GOP lawmakers have vowed to target the EPA for what they call a series of job-killing regulations. Lawmakers from both parties especially in industrial states in the Northeast and Midwest have complained about the boiler rule, which they say could place an added burden on business for lower emissions.

HOUSE

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