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Washington (AFP) – The House of Representatives passed landmark reforms Thursday curbing U.S. bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records, the first step toward restricting NSA intelligence-gathering since Edward Snowden divulged the secret program last year.

The reforms, backed by the White House, lost the support of civil liberties groups and tech companies like Google and Microsoft after the Obama administration demanded changes to the bill that critics say watered down strict limits on collection of phone records and other personal data.

©afp.com / Saul Loeb

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For a long time, inflation has been the phantom of the American economy: often expected but never seen. But the latest Consumer Price Index, which showed that prices rose by five percent from May of last year to May of this year, raises fears that it is breaking down the front door and taking over the guest room.

The price jump was the biggest one-month increase since 2008. It appears to support the warning of former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, who wrote in February that President Joe Biden's budget binge could "set off inflationary pressures of a kind we have not seen in a generation." Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell charged last month that the administration has already produced "raging inflation."

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