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By William Schomberg LONDON (Reuters) - The Bank of England plans to assess the implications of a possible British exit from the European Union, it said in a statement, confirming an email it inadvertently sent to a newspaper about the supposedly confidential research project. The Guardian reported that an aide to a senior Bank official said in the email the project should be kept secret from most BoE staff and any journalists asking about it should be told the Bank was looking at a broad range of European economic issues. British Prime Minister David Cameron, who was re-elected on May 7, has pledged to reshape Britain's ties with the EU before holding an in-out membership referendum by the end of 2017.
The US Senate rejected legislation early Saturday aimed at reforming NSA intelligence gathering, a blow to President Barack Obama and others who support ending the bulk collection of Americans' telephone records. Senators also rejected efforts to extend the USA Patriot Act, increasing the prospects that the legal underpinnings of the domestic surveillance program will expire by June 1. The House of Representatives passed the reform measure overwhelmingly last week, with Democrats and Republicans uniting in their desire to rein in the National Security Agency's highly controversial program that scoops up data from millions of Americans who have no connection to terrorism.
The US Senate overcame bitter divisions on trade policy and passed legislation that gives President Barack Obama authority to swiftly forge international trade pacts, including a landmark Pacific Rim accord under negotiation. The measure now heads to the House of Representatives where its fate is uncertain. While Senate passage is a dramatic victory for Obama, the bill clearly faces a fierce debate in the lower chamber, where lawmakers signalled there is intense opposition from within Obama's own Democratic Party.