Jaclyn Diaz

A worrying spike of coronavirus infections in Europe is being driven by the delta variant, according to global health leaders, even as immunization rates in some countries are on the way up.

Increased cases reported in the U.K. and Portugal have forced officials to reimplement lockdown restrictions or hold off on lifting pandemic mandates. Officials in France, Germany and Spain said they are closely monitoring clusters of infection tied to the delta variant.

Updated June 17, 2021 at 9:00 AM ET

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.

Updated June 16, 2021 at 2:08 PM ET

Two organizations filed a lawsuit against Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb in an attempt to block the state's push to end pandemic unemployment benefits on June 19. This lawsuit may be the first of its kind that aims to stop states from ending these benefits earlier than Congress mandated.

Overnight, tensions between Israel and Hamas erupted into violence, posing a potential threat to the brief period of peace reached between the two just weeks ago.

Israeli jets struck two targets early Wednesday in Gaza. In a tweet, which included a video of the attack, the Israel Defense Forces said its "fighter jets struck Hamas military compounds last night, which were used as meeting sites for Hamas terror operatives. Hamas will bear the consequences for its actions."

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.

No new vehicles will be rolling off the floor at Hyundai Motor Company in Alabama this week due to a temporary shutdown caused by an ongoing global semiconductor shortage.

Semiconductor chips are key components used in cars, for monitoring tire pressure, radios, and climate control systems, as well as other electronics and appliances.

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.

The U.S. Capitol Police have added a four-legged officer to their ranks.

Two-year-old Lila, a black Labrador retriever, will serve as the department's full-time emotional support animal.

"We are thrilled to welcome the newest member of our Department!" the announcement said.

Lila joins the force several months after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. The chaos of that day left more than 100 officers injured.

A plane carrying dozens of journalists preparing to take off from Washington, D.C., to cover President Biden's first trip abroad was delayed for several hours Tuesday evening.

A swarm of cicadas was evidently looking to hitch a ride to Europe with the press corps.

A horde of Brood X cicadas had filled the plane's engines, causing mechanical issues that delayed takeoff. Eventually, White House aides had to find another plane for reporters to make it overseas, according to The Associated Press.

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.

International relations are still tense following the shocking arrest of journalist Roman Protasevich by the Belarusian government last month in which it forced the plane he was aboard to land in Minsk.

European and U.S. governments have been engaged in an apparent tit for tat with Belarus and Lukashenko's government following the incident.

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.

Police in Nicaragua raided the home of opposition figure Cristiana Chamorro on Wednesday and placed her under house arrest in a move viewed by critics as an attempt by the federal government to block her efforts to run for president.

Chamorro, a journalist and daughter of former President Violeta Chamorro, is widely seen as a challenger to President Daniel Ortega, who is running for a fourth consecutive term in November.

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.

With more than half of adult Americans now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, many employers have started laying the groundwork to get back to the office.

Returning to a post-pandemic workplace can be daunting — even more so as employers attempt to navigate safety and consider the sometimes-thorny issue of vaccine mandates.

A large number of Americans still say they are hesitant to get a COVID-19 vaccine, leaving employers to decide about how to handle employee health and safety.

A Pennsylvania judge has ordered former Penn State President Graham Spanier to report to jail on July 9 for charges related to the child abuse scandal that embroiled the university a decade ago.

A Dauphin County Court judge ordered Spanier to serve two months in a Centre County correctional facility, followed by two months of house arrest for charges of endangering the welfare of children.

The European Commission wants to hold Facebook, Google, TikTok and Twitter accountable for disinformation shared on their platforms. Under proposed rules released Wednesday, the European Commission is requesting that the tech companies do more to properly address disinformation online and show proof they've taken action.

The brazen arrest of journalist Roman Protasevich by the Belarusian government, in which it forced the plane he was aboard to land in Minsk, has sent a chill down the spine of the international community.

Protasevich, the former editor and founder of Nexta, an anti-regime blog and social media channel, has been instrumental in leading protests against authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko.

The State Department announced Sunday visa restrictions for Ethiopian and Eritrean government officials and members of security forces over atrocities tied to a months-long conflict in northern Ethiopia.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken also announced that the U.S. has imposed wide-ranging restrictions on economic and security assistance to Ethiopia after parties to the conflict in Tigray have "taken no meaningful steps to end hostilities."

The Biden administration is granting eligible Haitian nationals living in the United States the chance to apply for a new, 18-month Temporary Protected Status designation. The decision potentially affects more than 100,000 Haitians living in the U.S., advocates said.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas cited security concerns, social unrest, human rights abuses and crippling poverty for the decision. The effects of a devastating earthquake in 2010 in Haiti have exacerbated the severity of conditions there, he said in a statement Saturday.

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