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Paul protests Patriot Act renewal...Bin Laden documents...Gyrocopter pilot charged

By The Associated Press | Posted - May 20, 2015 at 8:51 p.m.



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WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul is protesting against the renewal of the Patriot Act, which is about to expire. He's been delivering an hours-long speech on the Senate floor. Paul gets to rest his voice with lengthy questions from colleagues. The law was enacted after Sept. 11 and allows what critics argue is government intrusion on Americans' privacy. The House has passed a bill that renews the law but ends authority for bulk collection of phone records. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell favors keeping that in force.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. intelligence officials have released some of the documents taken from the Pakistani compound of Osama bin Laden. The material shows that during his years in hiding, the al-Qaida leader urged followers to concentrate on attacking Americans. There's also a video letter to one of his wives. The documents were seized in the 2011 raid in which bin Laden was killed.

BEIRUT (AP) — It now appears that Islamic State extremists have seized almost full control of the ancient Syrian town of Palmyra after government defense lines there collapsed. Syrian state TV acknowledges that pro-government forces have withdrawn from Palmyra. It remains unclear how close the extremists are to famed historic ruins in the town.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Florida man who flew a gyrocopter to the lawn of the U.S. Capitol last month faces charges, including two felonies, that carry up to 9 ½ years in prison. Douglas Hughes has been indicted by a federal grand jury. The 61-year-old postal carrier says he was protesting the corrupting influence of money on Congress. The stunt also led to a congressional hearing and exposed a gap in ensuring the safety of the Capitol.

GOLETA, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in Santa Barbara County over a coastal oil spill. That allows the state to free up emergency state funding and resources to help in the cleanup efforts. A ruptured onshore oil pipeline has spilled up to 105,000 gallons of oil. About a fifth of it has made it to sea. Some beaches have been fouled and wildlife is threatened.

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The Associated Press

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