October 26, 2018

This is VOA news. I'm David Byrd in Washington.

Investigators are expressing confidence that they will identify who is responsible for sending 10 pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and critics of U.S. President Donald Trump.

As AP's Ed Donahue reports, three more devices - one to actor Robert De Niro and two to former Vice President Joe Biden - were discovered on Thursday.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says this is definitely terrorism "because it's an effort to use violence to make a political impact."

Inspector Phillip Bartlett says some of the packages were sent through the postal service.

"We have over 600,000 postal employees out there right now. So, we have their eyes and ears looking for these packages."

NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill was asked if these devices can detonate or if they are just meant to scare people.

"We have to treat them as live devices. This is a protocol that our bomb squad people use and it keeps everybody safe."

Two packages were sent to former Vice President Joe Biden, who says America has to "turn off this hate machine."

I'm Ed Donahue.

Saudi Arabia has again changed its explanation for the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside Riyadh's Istanbul consulate. It now says that [he] it was "premeditated," based on information it received from Turkey.

Reuters reporter Emily Wither has details.

Two sources have told Reuters that CIA director Gina Haspel has heard an audio recording of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Haspel arrived in Turkey Monday as part of a fact-finding mission into the dissident's murder.

At first, Saudi Arabia denied anything happened and then changed their explanation multiple times.

State TV now reporting that the country's public prosecutor says the murder was premeditated.

For more on these stories and the rest of the day's news, log on to our website voanews.com. You can also find us on the VOA mobile app. This is VOA news.

The Pentagon is considering sending hundreds of troops to the southern border after President Donald Trump reiterated Thursday the military would be used to prevent a caravan of Central American migrants from entering the United States.

As AP's Sagar Meghani reports, the troops will help the Border Patrol with vehicles and logistics.

The president and senior officials here at the White House have long believed immigration is a key issue for tuning out Trump-backers.

With a migrant caravan winding its way through Mexico but still several hundred miles from the American border, the president said yesterday the military is ready.

A U.S. official says Pentagon chief Jim Mattis is expected to sign an order sending 800 or more troops to the border where they would help the Border Patrol with things like vehicles and equipment there in addition to about 2,000 National Guard members sent to the border earlier.

Sagar Meghani, at the White House.

U.S.-led international forces in Afghanistan have temporarily scaled back "face-to-face" contacts with local partners after two "insider" attacks in the past week killed a revered top Afghan police chief and a foreign service member.

A spokesman for NATO's Resolute Support confirmed Thursday while speaking to VOA that "the current situation" has prompted the mission to introduce measures to ensure the safety of American and other foreign troops."

Colonel Knut Peters said that, "We have not stopped operations but conduct them from a distance, in particular through phone and email."

On Monday, an Afghan soldier shot dead a Czech service member and wounded two others at a military base in western Herat province.

That incident happened just days after a local security guard, a purported Taliban "infiltrator," opened fire at a gathering of top Afghan and American military officers in Kandahar province.

Britain's Information Commission(er) Office has slapped Facebook with a fine of $644,000 for its behavior in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

AP correspondent ??? reports.

The ICO's investigation found that between 2007 to 2014, Facebook processed the personal information of users unfairly by giving app developers access to their information without informed consent.

The fine was a maximum allowed under the law at the time the breach occurred. Had the scandal taken place after new EU data protection rules went into effect, the amount would have been far higher.

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Major U.S. stock indices made strong gains Thursday after some upbeat profit reports by major companies.

The S&P 500 jumped nearly 2 percent while the Dow advanced 1.6 percent by the close. The NASDAQ was up more than 3 percent.

I'm David Byrd, VOA news.