Patriot Act provisions expire as Senate compromise comes late

(USA Today) The Senate on Sunday let key sections of the Patriot Act law expire at midnight, but voted to advance a bill that would eventually replace its most controversial provision. The drama on the Senate floor over the anti-terrorism law, passed in the wake of 9/11, highlighted sharp divisions within the GOP over privacy concerns and national security and carried immediate implications for government surveillance programs. The Senate voted 77-17 to advance a bill that would end the National Security Agency’s controversial bulk collection of the phone data of millions of Americans not suspected of any terrorist activity. “Tonight begins the end of bulk collection,” said Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.

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Direct Sale of Distillery Spirits Wins Initial Senate Vote

(Carolina Journal) With no debate, the state Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly gave initial approval to a change in the state’s alcohol laws sought by small distilleries. The first floor vote was 40-8, and — if the measures prevails in its next vote, it will return to the House. The previous day the Senate Finance Committee backed an amendment by Sen. Rick Gunn, R-Alamance, to House Bill 909, a measure making a series of changes to other Alcoholic Beverage Control laws. Gunn’s amendment would allow small distilleries to sell a bottle of liquor, marked with a commemorative sticker, to customers touring the facility. Customers would be limited to one bottle of liquor per 12-month period and the distillery would have to maintain records of customers buying the liquor for 12 months.

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