US Congress votes to renew Patriot Act provisions

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The US Congress has voted to renew three expiring provisions of the anti-terrorism Patriot Act which increase surveillance powers.

The four-year extension was approved in the Senate just hours before the deadline at midnight (0400 GMT).

The bill was then sent to the House of Representatives, where it passed by a 250-153 vote.

The Patriot Act was brought in under President George W Bush in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks.

US President Barack Obama is now due to ratify the bill, officials said.

With Mr Obama currently in France for a G8 summit, a spokesperson said the president would use an autopen machine that holds a pen and signs his actual signature....

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