October 30, 2018

VOA news. I'm Christopher Cruise reporting.

Search and rescue teams continue looking for the Lion Air passenger plane that crashed Monday off the coast of Jakarta, Indonesia, north of Java island.

One hundred eighty nine people were on board.

Associated Press correspondent Charles De Ledesma reports the jet was cleared to turn back shortly after takeoff.

The head of AirNav, which manages the air traffic in Indonesia, said the pilot had made an "RTB," or return to base request, "just two or three minutes after the took off" and the RTB has been approved.

The plane, which was delivered to Lion Air just in August, crashed about 30 minutes after taking off.

The authorities believe all on board were Indonesians except for its pilot originally from New Delhi and an Italian citizen.

The accident is the first reported that involves a Boeing 737 Max and updated and widely sold aircraft that is more fuel efficient than previous versions of the 737.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has found another suspicious package addressed to CNN at a post office in Atlanta, Georgia. The package found Monday is reportedly similar in appearance to the 13 other packages sent to prominent Democrats and other critics of President Trump last week.

Police say 56-year-old Cesar Sayoc sent the explosions, explosives, that is. He appeared in federal court Monday to hear the charges against him and law enforcement officials said on Monday that he had a list of more than 100 other potential targets.

Forty-six-year-old Robert Bowers made his first court appearance Monday to hear the charges against him following Saturday's attack on a Jewish religious center in the eastern city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Police said Bowers opened fire with a rifle and other weapons, killing 8 men and 3 women. Six people were injured in the attack.

Bowes survived multiple gunshots.

This is VOA news.

The Pentagon is sending more than 5,000 active duty troops to harden the southern border.

Associated Press correspondent Ed Donahue reports a migrant caravan is making its way through Mexico.

The caravan has been slowly moving north.

General Terrence O'Shaughnessy says these new troops will have "mission-enhancing capabilities."

"We have the authority, given to us by Secretary Mattis the units that are normally assigned weapons, they are, in fact, deploying with weapons."

Andrew Meehan with Customs and Border security says there is already a humanitarian crisis at the Mexico border.

"CBP has encountered a culmination of almost 1,900 persons apprehended crossing the border illegally for presenting without documents of ports of entry."

President Trump has said the migrants include gang members and some very bad people.

"I think the president has made it clear that border security is national security. That is the direction we were given and that's the direction we are marching to."

A 30-year-old woman blew herself up in the center of the Tunisian capital, Tunis, on Monday. Nine people were wounded, including 8 police in what the Interior Ministry called a terrorist explosion.

The bomber had no previously known militant background.

Security forces in Cameroon have been cracking down on gatherings of people protesting the October 7 re-election of President Paul Biya. To avoid beatings and arrest, some of them have taken their message to safer grounds such as schools and churches.

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa met with business leaders Monday in an effort to assure them and the public that his government can stabilize the sinking economy.

Correspondent Columbus Mavhunga reports for VOA from the capital, Harare.

The heart of the issue is a lack of usable cash. Since Zimbabwe abandoned its own dollar in 2009, the country has mostly used U.S. dollars, the British pound and South African rand to conduct businesses.

But in recent years, all the three currencies have been hard to find, paralyzing the economy and forcing the country to rely on bond notes, a currency the government began printing two years ago to ease cash shortages.

Monday, the president said the "multi-currency system of exchange is here to stay." He said people's bank balances are safe and there is no reason for people to spend or move their savings.

In Sri Lanka, one person was killed when a former cabinet minister tried to reenter his office at the Petroleum Ministry.

On Friday, the president fired the prime minister and swore in an ex-president to replace him after claiming to have uncovered an assassination plot.

Parliament has been suspended for more two weeks.

The U.S. is urging all sides to refrain from violence.

You can find more on these and other late breaking and developing stories, from around the world, around the clock, at voanews.com and on the VOA news mobile app. I'm Christopher Cruise, VOA news.