US: House passes extension of anti-terror law

The House passed a one-month extension of the Patriot Act on Thursday and sent it to the Senate for final action as the US Congress scrambled to prevent expiration of anti-terror law enforcement provisions on Dec. 31. Approval came on a voice vote in a nearly empty chamber, after Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, refused to agree to a six-month extension the Senate cleared several hours earlier. House passage marked the latest step in a stalemate that first pitted Republicans against Democrats in the Senate, then turned into an intramural Republican dispute. It was not clear when the Senate would act on the one-month bill, but approval was possible by evening.