(Alan Poizner/The Washington Post)

In a speech Wednesday, President Obama will outline his plans for withdrawal from Afghanistan. He’s expected to announce the troops will all be brought home by the end of 2012. Since the war started in 2001, 1,486 U.S. soliders have died in Afghanistan, according to iCasualties.org. Pictured above, a soldier with the 101st Airborne pays his respects during an Eagle Rememberance Ceremony in honor of the seventeen 101st Airborne soldiers killed in September in Afghanistan.

WORLD: 40 al-Qaeda suspects escape jail

Yemen officials report that at least 40 suspected al-Qaida militants have escaped prison in southern Yemen.

ODD: Alligator break-out

In other jail-break news, 17 alligators have tunneled their way out of a gator farm in Florida. Nine have been recaptured, but eight remain on the lam.

WORLD: Bahrain jails suspects

Eight Shiite activists have been sentenced to life in prison as the country continues its crackdown against anti-government protesters. Former State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley reacted on Twitter:

The life sentences for protesters in #Bahrain represent the government’s opening statement in its promised national dialogue. Discouraging.less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet ReplyPhilip J. Crowley

TECH: Scientists create memory expander

Scientists have taken the first step toward building a prosthetic memory. Inserted into the brains of rats, the chip functions as a “neural prosthesis,” restoring and enhancing memories. “Flip the switch on, and the rats remember. Flip it off, and the rats forget,” lead scientist Theodore Berger says. There is hope that the device could help with those affected by Alzheimer’s disease or brain injuries.