The U.S. Senate has given final approval to renewal of the USA Patriot Act, which supporters claim is essential as the country fights the war against terrorism. Senator Talent says the Act has been extended on a limited basis since its initial expiration at the end of 2005, but will now be extended for a number of years. A Senate stalemate was broken when Republican leadership agreed to a number of new privacy protections that had some Senators concerned. Senator Talent’s Combat Meth Act has also been passed as part of the Patriot Act. It will, among other things, restrict access to cold medications containing the primary ingredients used to make methamphetamine. The entire Patriot Act package goes to the House, next week, where it is expected to win approval.