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Home >> World
UPDATED: 10:16, December 31, 2005
Bush signs bill to extend Patriot Act
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U.S. President George W. Bush on Friday signed a bill that extends the anti-terrorism Patriot Act for five weeks, among other bills, at his private ranch in Crawford, Texas.

The dozen other bills he signed included a defense bill which funnels extra money to Iraq, Afghanistan and the hurricane-damaged U.S. Gulf Coast region.

Bush is spending the week at his Texas ranch and will return to the White House on Sunday.

The Patriot Act's original expiring date was Dec. 31 and the five-week extension means lawmakers must debate again in January the merits of government anti-terrorism powers that some critics fault for not protecting Americans' civil liberties.

Unhappy with the short extension, Bush is urging lawmakers to make the extension permanent.

The defense bill Bush signed keeps the Pentagon running, provides 50 billion U.S. dollars more to military action in Iraq and Afghanistan, and gives 29 billion dollars in hurricane aid to the Gulf Coast.

The bill also provides 3.8 billion dollars to prepare for a possible outbreak of bird flu and liability protections for flu drug manufacturers.

Source: Xinhua

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