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China's status as a signatory to the Warsaw Convention doesn't cover Taiwan, a federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled. The Ninth Circuit Court decision in the case of a Taiwanese insurance firm that invoked the convention while seeking compensation for goods lost in transit was seen as challenging China's diplomatic dominion over Taiwan - and as heightening already tense relations between the US and China.

The House voted overwhelmingly to note the 10th anniversary of China's Tiananmen Square crackdown and condemn its human-rights abuses. The nonbinding resolution seeks a new official Chinese inquiry into the June 4, 1989, crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing.

New Hampshire became the last state to officially recognize Martin Luther King Day. Gov. Jean Shaheen (D) was to sign the bill as soon as it hit her desk after the state's House of Representatives - on a 212-to-148 vote - approved making the third Monday in January an official state holiday.

The Senate barely rejected a bid to bar the use of US combat troops in Yugoslavia without congressional approval. The 52-to-48 vote came three weeks after Senate refusal to authorize the use of ground troops to accomplish NATO objectives.

Independent counsel Kenneth Starr said he would drop the remaining charges against Julie Hiatt Steele and Susan McDougal. He decided against retrial of Steele on charges she lied about knowing of alleged sexual advances by President Clinton in 1993 - and against retrial of McDougal for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating the president. Deadlocked juries dealt Starr defeats in both cases.


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