Jaclyn Diaz

Several major companies, financial institutions and airlines from the U.S. to Australia and Hong Kong suffered brief online outages Thursday due to a third-party IT provider.

The outage appeared to affect each company's website and mobile applications. Internet monitoring websites including ThousandEyes and Downdetector.com showed disruptions across the world.

In Australia, major banks and airlines were hit by the outage, affecting business in the middle of the day.

Facebook researchers say they've developed artificial intelligence that can identify so-called "deepfakes" and track their origin by using reverse engineering.

Deepfakes are altered photos, videos, and still images that use artificial intelligence to appear like the real thing. They've become increasingly realistic in recent years, making it harder to detect the real from the fake with just the naked eye.

Gay and bisexual men in England, Scotland, and Wales can now donate blood, plasma and platelets under certain circumstances, the National Health Service announced this week in a momentous shift in policy for most of the U.K.

Beginning Monday, gay men in sexually active, monogamous relationships for at least three months can donate for the first time. The move reverses a policy that limited donor eligibility on perceived risks of contracting HIV/AIDs and other sexually transmitted infections.

Southern Baptists are gathered this week in Nashville, Tenn., for an annual meeting that could prove a turning point as the faithful square off on an array of divisive issues that some fear could drive a wedge into the largest Protestant denomination in the United States.

Tuesday marks the first full day for the event in which the voting members of the Southern Baptist Convention could tackle high-profile issues including racial discrimination, gender inequality and sexual abuse.

Updated June 15, 2021 at 4:46 PM ET

Less than 24 hours after a data problem disrupted Southwest Airlines flights across the U.S., the airline was once again hit by outages, leading the Federal Aviation Administration to order a temporary halt to new Southwest departures.

The company said Tuesday it had a "brief pause" in its flight activity "resulting from intermittent performance issues with our network connectivity."

One woman is dead after a man drove into a crowd of protesters late Sunday night in Minneapolis. The suspect is in custody, according to the city's police department.

Demonstrators were gathered to protest the June 3 shooting death of Winston Boogie Smith Jr., a 33-year-old Black man, by U.S. marshals in Minneapolis. At about 11:39 p.m. Sunday, a car sped into protesters that were standing along Lake Street and Girard Avenue in the city's Uptown area, hitting and injuring at least three people.

World leaders of the Group of Seven are expected to announce Friday a commitment to share 1 billion of their COVID-19 vaccine resources with lower-income countries struggling to control the spread of the virus.

On Thursday, President Biden announced plans for the U.S. to donate 500 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine globally. The first 200 million are expected to be distributed this year and the rest will follow in 2022.

A large fire at an electrical substation for Puerto Rico's new electricity provider, Luma Energy, knocked out power for hundreds of thousands of the island's residents Thursday.

At the height of the blackout, nearly 800,000 customers were without power, according to Luma. By midnight, roughly 60,000 customers were still in the dark.

"The fire caused major blackouts across the entire island. The situation is under assessment and work is being done to restore the system," LUMA Energy tweeted.

The fire and blackout were not the only crises facing Luma on Thursday.

In 2020, the world marked a rise in child labor for the first time in two decades. Additionally, with the coronavirus pandemic upending economies and closing schools, the United Nations believes by 2022, the problem will get much worse.

Updated June 9, 2021 at 8:24 AM ET

Support for same-sex marriage in the U.S. has reached an all-time high of 70%, according to a poll released by Gallup on Tuesday.

The percentage — the highest since the organization began recording the trend in 1996 — marks a 10% increase since 2015, the same year the U.S. Supreme Court ruled all states must recognize same-sex marriages.

A vendor on Amazon was discovered selling a pack of blank COVID-19 vaccination cards this week. The post has since been removed, but photos reshared online showed a 10-pack of blank cards going for $12.99.

In the U.S., actually getting a COVID-19 vaccine and receiving a legitimate vaccination card is free.

One million Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are heading to Mexico from the U.S. with most of the shots set to service resort areas and spots along the border.

A tropical storm that hit southern and central Philippines has left at least three people dead and displaced hundreds of residents, according to news reports and government bulletins.

Tropical Storm Dante, also called Choi-Wan, triggered floods and landslides across the southwest region of the country. It hit central Masbate province early Wednesday, local time, with sustained winds of 40 miles per hour and gusts of up to 56 mph.

Iran's largest navy vessel caught fire in the Gulf of Oman on Wednesday and sank, according to the Tasnim News Agency.

A fire broke out on the IS Kharg while the ship was near Iran's port of Jask, southeast of Tehran, according to the Iranian navy. All crew members were able to flee the burning ship and were transferred to safety on the coast. The Kharg — sometimes spelled "Khark" — was one of navy's few ships capable of replenishing other ships at sea.

West Virginia is giving its vaccine incentive program a boost to get more residents immunized from the coronavirus, Gov. Jim Justice announced on Tuesday.

Government officials in Peru announced on Monday the country's official COVID-19 death toll had been far lower than the real number. Instead of 69,342 Peruvians perishing from COVID-19 as of May 22, as the Peruvian government previously reported, more than 180,000 actually have died from the virus.

Seven people have been charged with "simple homicide with eventual intent" in the death of Argentinian soccer great Diego Maradona, according to several news reports.

Prosecutors in San Isidro, Argentina, have asked a judge not to allow the seven medical professionals charged in Maradona's death to leave the country, according to an ESPN report.

The State Department will now approve U.S. citizenship for children born abroad to same-sex or heterosexual American parents via in vitro fertilization, surrogacy and by other assisted reproductive means.

Under the policy announced Tuesday, the child must be born abroad to married parents and at least one of the parents has to be a U.S. citizen. The child must have biological ties to at least one parent.

The New York state attorney general's office has widened its probe into the Trump Organization to include an examination of potential criminal wrongdoing, according to the office's spokesman.

Previously, the office was investigating former President Donald Trump's namesake company in a solely civil matter with New York Attorney General Letitia James focusing on whether the company improperly valued its assets for loan and tax purposes.

However, now the state's investigation has entered "a criminal capacity," spokesman Fabien Levy confirmed to NPR late Tuesday.

Many state and city officials welcomed news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday that fully vaccinated people in the U.S. can forgo masks and social distancing.

But some still stopped short of immediately implementing the changes.

The CDC said vaccinated people must follow existing state, local or tribal laws and regulations on masks and social distancing, as well as policies at businesses and workplaces.

Updated May 27, 2021 at 5:59 PM ET

Abbigail Bugenske of Silverton near Cincinnati is Ohio's first million-dollar winner in a series of lotteries intended to encourage more people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Joseph Costello of Englewood near Dayton won a full college scholarship in the lottery for people under age 18 who've been vaccinated.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued a coronavirus mandate Tuesday preventing schools and local governments from creating mask mandates. His order also bans the use of so-called vaccine passports in the state.

The top social media sites — Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Twitter — are all "effectively unsafe for LGBTQ users," according to a new report by GLAAD.

"Of special concern, the prevalence and intensity of hate speech and harassment stands out as the most significant problem in urgent need of improvement," the organization focused on ending discrimination against LGBTQ people said in its inaugural social media index report.

Twitter wants users to think twice about sending a mean or offensive tweet.

The tech company on Wednesday announced it has released a feature that detects "mean" replies on its service before a user presses send. When a not-very-nice tweet is detected, an automatic prompt reads, "Want to review this before Tweeting?" The user is presented with three choices: tweet, edit, or delete.

This feature, which launched Wednesday, will initially be enabled on accounts with English-language settings. It's unclear when other languages will be added.

Residents living on the West Coast don't know when the next earthquake will hit. But a new expansion of the U.S. earthquake early warning system gives 50 million people in California, Oregon — and now Washington — seconds to quickly get to safety whenever the next one hits.

Updated May 4, 2021 at 8:50 AM ET

An elevated train derailed in Mexico City after a concrete overpass it was crossing collapsed Monday night. At least 23 people were killed and nearly 80 were injured and transferred to nearby hospitals, according to government officials.

Photos posted online show two train cars dangling precariously from the elevated track. The yellow and orange cars were crushed together as the overpass collapsed, leaving them suspended at a V-shaped angle.

Updated May 3, 2021 at 1:38 AM ET

Four people are dead and dozens injured after a suspected human smuggling boat capsized and split into pieces off the coast of San Diego Sunday.

"Twenty-nine people have reportedly been accounted for, consisting of twenty-four people alive, four people declared deceased by local emergency medical services personnel and one person who was last reported to be in critical condition," according to the U.S. Coast Guard statement that was issued shortly before 11:30 p.m. ET Sunday.

On Tuesday, the city of Alameda, Calif., released police body camera footage of an interaction with a 26-year-old man who died after police pinned him to the ground for at least five minutes.

Mario Gonzalez of Oakland died April 19 after what police previously called a "scuffle" with officers. The Alameda Police Department said Gonzalez suffered some sort of "medical emergency" after an interaction with police.

The man accused of killing 10 people in a mass shooting in a Boulder, Colo., grocery store last month now faces more than 40 additional charges.

Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 21, was already facing 10 counts of murder in the first degree and one count of attempted murder over the shooting rampage at a King Soopers supermarket.

Prosecutors amended the criminal complaint against him to add 43 new felony charges, according to a motion filed Wednesday in Boulder County District Court.

Plans for a new Super League in European soccer collapsed after half of the groups' founding members said they were splitting from the project just two days after it was first announced.

The 12 founding clubs announced Sunday their plans to create a rival to the existing Champions League in European soccer.

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