British P.M. to Call Some Troops Home A thousand British troops will be coming home from Iraq by Christmas, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced. Also, airport security plans extra scrutiny for travelers carrying remote-control devices, including toys.

British P.M. to Call Some Troops Home

British P.M. to Call Some Troops Home

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A thousand British troops will be coming home from Iraq by Christmas, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced. Also, airport security plans extra scrutiny for travelers carrying remote-control devices, including toys.

Rachel Martin:

Hey, good morning everyone. So while the Blackwater scandal unfolds on Capitol Hill today, there's other news out of Iraq. Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced that about 500 British troops can come home by the end of the year. Gordon arrived in Baghdad today to meet troops and lawmakers. It's Brown's first visit to Iraq as the new British leader.

Today, the prime minister also said he thought Iraq could take control of southern Basra from British troops within two months. British troop vacated their last downtown Basra base last month amid public pressure in Britain to draw down troop levels. There are still about 5,000 British soldiers in Iraq.

And there's been a second devastating suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan this week. Remember that other war? Today a suicide bomber boarded a bus and set off a blast that killed at least 12 people, including several children, on Saturday. A suicide bomber wearing an army uniform blew himself up next to an army bus in Kabul, killing 30 people. Such attacks have not been prevalent in Afghanistan, but have ramped up in recent months.

Meanwhile, U.S. military officials in Afghanistan have implemented a new most wanted program to try to catch key Taliban and al-Qaida operatives. U.S. is offering up to $200,000 for information on a dozen insurgent leaders.

And a top UN envoy met with a leader of Myanmar's military regime today to try to ease pressure on anti-government protests that have swept that country in recent weeks. Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets last month in the largest pro-democracy rallies in Myanmar - also known as Burma - in 20 years. Visiting groups say as many as 200 people died in the crack down. No details of the meeting have been released, but military leaders did, today, reduce an overnight curfew put in place to stop the demonstrations.

And if you're curious about why the media is always saying Myanmar in one breath, Burma in another - myself included - stay tuned. Answers are coming up later in the show.

And just a month ahead of the holiday travel season, security checks at airports are getting a bit more complicated, especially for kids. Yesterday, the Transportation Security Administration stepped up security checks on all passengers carrying remote-controlled toys aboard planes. Officials say the move comes in response to credible and specific information about tactics used by potential terrorists. Authorities decided against banning the devices in carry-on bags. But be warned: People carrying remote-controlled toys, including kids, could be subject to body searches and extensive baggage checks.

I'm Rachel Martin. The News is always online at npr.org. Alison and Luke, back to you.

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