Washington: US President Barack Obama has made history by using an autopen - an automatic signing machine - from an ocean away to sign a legislation into law hours before expiry. And stirred a new controversy.
Originally, there had been a plan in place to have a White House aide hand-carry the legislation re-authorizing the Patriot Act, a controversial set of anti-terrorism and law enforcement measures passed in the wake of 9/11, to Europe, where Obama was for G8 talks.
However, the vote process was delayed, which meant that the bill might not have reached Obama before the act expired at midnight Thursday.
So Obama authorised the use of autopen, a tool that exactly mimics the president's signature and is more commonly used to sign Christmas cards and letters to schoolchildren....more
12:35 PM, May 28, 2011