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Increased US security for Aussie travellers

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Australian airline passengers travelling overseas face new tougher security measures, which may include full-body scans, on flights to the United States. Part of a $400 million-plus counter-terrorism package, the scans come in conjunction with other measures being considered, including strengthening of international gateway security checkpoints to Australia in Asia and the Middle East, and religious programs to halt the spread of radical Islam in prisons. The roll-out of full-body scanners would take place at a small number of international airports-most likely Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane-and be used for flights to the USA. After rewriting eight earlier drafts and encountering lengthy delays, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his senior ministers will today finalise a White Paper on counter-terrorism. In a move triggered by the arrest of terrorism suspects in Melbourne last August, and a botched attempt by a passenger to blow up a plane approaching Detroit in the US in December, the White Paper will also ramp up security for incoming cargo from international locations.

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