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Bush Calls for Renewal of Patriot Act - 2004-04-20


President Bush has called on Congress to renew a controversial anti-terrorism law passed after the September 11th, 2001 attacks.

Speaking in Pennsylvania Monday, Mr. Bush said the law he signed in 2001, known as the Patriot Act, is making America safer. He said the legislation, set to expire next year, has removed the "wall" between the law enforcement and intelligence communities.

Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, the likely Democratic Party presidential candidate, has said the Patriot Act should be replaced with a new law that helps combat terrorism, while also ensuring the protection of individual liberties.

Meanwhile, the author of a new book on the Bush administration's preparations for the Iraq war (Bob Woodward) says the Saudi Arabian government has pledged to boost oil production as the presidential election nears.

A White House spokesman (Scott McClellan), while not directly commenting on the allegations, said the Saudis have pledged to keep oil prices within a range of 22 to 28 dollars per barrel.

Senator Kerry said he hopes the American people are not being held hostage to a secret deal between the president and the Saudis to keep oil prices high until the weeks leading up to the election.

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