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Technology
Is Facebook down? Users report problems worldwide
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Is Facebook down? Users report problems worldwide

Photo Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
5 Things About Facebook You Didn't Know You Could Do

Is Facebook down? Users report problems worldwide

Thousands of social media users across the globe reported that Facebook was down on Wednesday morning.

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Instagram users also reported problems with the photo sharing social media site starting around 11:05 a.m. EDT, according to downdetector.com, a website that tracks site issues.

Problems with Facebook first surfaced around 8:20 a.m. EDT, according to downdetector.com. A map compiled by the website showed reports were most prevalent in the United States, Europe and parts of South America.

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
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Is Facebook down? Users report problems worldwide

Photo Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

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  • The organ transplant of a 2-year-old boy who was born without a kidney will likely be stalled for months. The reason? His father’s latest arrest. Anthony Dickerson, 26, is no stranger to the criminal justice system. He has been in and out of jail on misdemeanor theft charges and a first-degree forgery charge since 2011, according to Gwinnett County jail records. Just this month, he was released on a $2,600 bond on charges of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer and possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of attempted felonies. But Dickerson promised that his son would be the one thing he did right in his life, the child’s mother, Carmellia Burgess, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. So when he found out he was a match to donate his kidney to Anthony Jr., he jumped at the chance to help. The family was “hysterical” when they found out the day of the planned surgery Oct. 3 that Emory University Hospital had changed the plan. “They’re making this about dad,” Burgess said. “It’s not about dad. It’s about our son.” In a letter The AJC obtained from Burgess, a hospital official said the surgery would be pushed back until Dickerson could provide evidence he has complied with his parole officer for three months. “We will re-evaluate Mr. Dickerson in January 2018 after receipt of this completed documentation,” the hospital representative said in the letter. Emory officials refused to answer The AJC’s questions about the decision or its policies, and Gwinnett law enforcement agencies have not responded to requests for comment. Janet Christenbury, an Emory spokeswoman, said in a statement the hospital is committed to the highest quality of care for its patients.  “Guidelines for organ transplantation are designed to maximize the chance of success for organ recipients and minimize risk for living donors,” Christenbury said. “Because of privacy regulations and respect for patient confidentiality, we cannot share specific information about our patients.” Burgess said news of the hospital’s decision caught her by surprise because Emory had earlier been supportive of the dad being the donor. The hospital even requested Dickerson’s temporary release from jail, according to a letter from Emory’s Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program to the Gwinnett County jail where Dickerson was being held. “If Mr. Dickerson could be escorted to Emory for blood work and a pre-operative appointment tomorrow, September 29, we will be able to continue with the scheduled surgery,” an Emory official said in the letter dated Sept. 28. Even though jail records show Dickerson was released Oct. 2, the child’s surgery has not been rescheduled for this year. Burgess created a web petition to urge the hospital to allow the surgery sooner. It has garnered more than 18,400 signatures, but Burgess said she doubts the petition will make a difference. A GoFundMe page also was set up with a $1,000 goal. “I’m just taking it day by day,” she said. “That’s all we can do.” In other news:
  • British police are investigating three new allegations of sexual assault against film producer Harvey Weinstein, all made by the same woman. In another blow to the Hollywood titan after he was ejected from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, France's president said Sunday he was working to rescind Weinstein's prestigious Legion of Honor award. In the new British allegations, London's Metropolitan Police force said Sunday that the woman reported being assaulted in London in 2010, 2011 and 2015. The force said officers from its Child Abuse and Sexual Offenses Command are investigating. The woman's name has not been made public. The force also did not name Weinstein, in keeping with its policy of not identifying suspects who have not been charged. But it said the allegations involve a man against whom another accusation was made Wednesday. That alleged assault — reported to have taken place in west London during the late 1980s — also is being investigated. British actress Lysette Anthony says she reported to police on Wednesday that Weinstein raped her in her west London home in the late 1980s. Anthony, 54, who appears on the British soap opera 'Hollyoaks,' told the Sunday Times newspaper that Weinstein raped her in the late 1980s after showing up at her London home. She said she was left feeling 'disgusted and embarrassed' after the attack. 'It was pathetic, revolting,' she was quoted as saying in a Thursday interview. 'I remember lying in the bath later and crying.' Dozens of women have made allegations of sexual harassment and assault against the movie mogul in recent days, some dating back decades. Weinstein denies non-consensual sexual activity. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences took the almost unprecedented step Saturday of revoking Weinstein's membership. It said it did so 'to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over.' Weinstein, who backed many British movies including 'Shakespeare in Love' and 'The King's Speech,' also has been suspended by the British film academy. The fallout from the multiplying accusations against Weinstein also reverberated in France on Sunday. French President Emmanuel Macron said he had 'started the procedures' to revoke Weinstein's Legion of Honor award. Rescinding the honor is rare, although it also happened to another American: disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong. Weinstein was given the prestigious French award in 2012 by then-President Nicolas Sarkozy after the French film 'The Artist' won multiple Oscars. Weinstein's company produced the film, and he predicted in an interview with The Associated Press at the time that it would augur a new 'golden age' of French cinema. French actresses are among those who have accused Weinstein of sexual wrongdoing, notably during his multiple appearances at the Cannes Film Festival. Macron said he wants to speed up procedures for investigating and prosecuting sexual harassment in France to encourage more women to come forward. ___ Angela Charlton in Paris contributed.
  • The Latest on the explosion in Somalia's capital (all times local): 7:30 a.m. Qatar's foreign minister says his country's diplomatic mission in Somalia was hit by the massive truck bombing in Mogadishu. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said on Twitter early Monday morning: 'The attack on (hashtag)Qatar diplomatic mission in Mogadishu will not deter our support for (hashtag)Somalia's democracy, security and stability.' He did not elaborate. It was unclear if any Qataris were hurt in the blast. Officials in Doha did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Somalia has found itself torn by the boycott by four Arab nations of Qatar. Saudi Arabia is the Somali government's biggest benefactor, while the United Arab Emirates has trained the country's military and launched a high-profile aid appeal this year. Somalia has meanwhile allowed Qatari aircraft to increasingly fly through its airspace as Arab nations have closed theirs off. A Somali state in September broke with Somalia's central government in Mogadishu, saying it backed the boycotting nations. ___ Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. ___ 12:45 a.m. Somalia's information minister Abdirahman Osman says the death toll from Saturday's truck bombing in Mogadishu has risen to 276, with about 300 people injured. It is the deadliest single attack in Somalia's history. The toll is expected to rise. Somalia's government has blamed the al-Shabab extremist group, which has not yet commented. ___ 12:40 a.m. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says he is 'sickened' by the deadliest single attack in Somalia's history. Guterres in a tweet Sunday night urged 'unity in the face of terrorism.' Saturday's truck bombing in Mogadishu killed at least 231 people. Another 275 are hurt. Somalia's government has blamed the al-Shabab extremist group, which has not yet commented. Officials fear the death toll will rise. ___ 10:05 p.m. The United States is condemning 'in the strongest terms' the deadliest single attack in Somalia's history. The State Department statement expresses condolences to victims and wishes a quick recovery for the injured. Saturday's truck bombing in Mogadishu killed at least 231 people. Another 275 are hurt. The U.S. calls the attack 'senseless and cowardly' and says it will stand with Somalia in its fight against extremism. ___ 6:35 p.m. Qatar says its embassy was 'severely damaged' in the deadly truck bombing in Somalia's capital. A foreign ministry statement Sunday says the embassy's charge d'affaires was 'slightly injured in the explosion but he is now in a good health, and the rest of staff are fine.' Saturday's blast killed at least 231 people. It is the deadliest ever attack in the Horn of Africa nation. ___ 5:50 p.m. The United Nations special envoy to Somalia calls the deadly truck bombing in the capital 'revolting' and says an unprecedented number of civilians have been killed. A statement from Michael Keating says: 'I am shocked and appalled by the number of lives that were lost in the bombings and the scale of destruction they caused.' Saturday's blast struck a densely populated neighborhood of Mogadishu. The death toll has risen to 231. It is the deadliest ever attack in the Horn of Africa nation. Keating says the U.N. and African Union are supporting the Somali government's response with 'logistical support, medical supplies and expertise.' ___ 5:45 p.m. The U.S. Africa Command says U.S. forces have not been asked to provide aid following Saturday's deadly attack in Somalia's capital. A U.S. Africa Command spokesman tells The Associated Press that first responders and local enforcement would handle the response and 'the U.S. would offer assistance if and when a request was made.' A Somali senator says the death toll from the massive truck bomb blast in Mogadishu has risen to 231, with 275 people injured. It is the deadliest ever attack in the Horn of Africa nation. ___ 5:35 p.m. Angry protesters have taken to the streets in Somalia's capital a day after a massive truck bomb killed at least 231 people. The protesters who gathered at the scene of the blast are chanting against the attack, the deadliest ever in the Horn of Africa nation. The government has blamed the Somalia-based al-Shabab extremist group for what it calls a 'national disaster.' Al-Shabab has not commented but often targets Mogadishu with bombings. ___ 5:20 p.m. A senator says the death toll from a massive truck bomb blast in Somalia's capital has risen to 231. Abshir Abdi Ahmed says 275 others were injured. He cites doctors at hospitals he has visited in Mogadishu. Saturday's blast is the single deadliest attack ever in the Horn of Africa nation. Many of the bodies in hospital mortuaries are yet to be identified. ___ 3:05 p.m. Local journalists say one freelance journalist was killed in Saturday's massive bombing in Somalia's capital and several were injured. Voice of America says one of its reporters, Abdulkaidr Mohamed Abdulle, is among the injured. Police and hospital sources say the death toll from the truck bomb in Mogadishu has risen to 189 in what is the single deadliest attack ever in the Horn of Africa nation. — Abdi Guled in Mogadishu. ___ 2:35 p.m. The death toll from a massive explosion in Somalia's capital has risen to 189 with over 200 others injured, police and hospital sources say, making it the single deadliest attack ever in the Horn of Africa nation. Doctors are struggling to assist hundreds of horrifically wounded victims, with many burnt beyond recognition. Somalia's government has blamed Saturday's truck bombing in Mogadishu on the al-Shabab extremist group, which has not commented. — Abdi Guled in Mogadishu. ___ 1:25 p.m. The United States is joining the condemnation of Saturday's massive truck bombing in Somalia's capital that left scores dead. A statement by the U.S. mission to Somalia says that 'such cowardly attacks reinvigorate the commitment of the United States to assist our Somali and African Union partners to combat the scourge of terrorism.' The U.S. military this year has stepped up drone strikes and other efforts this year against the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab, which is based in Somalia and often targets Mogadishu. ___ 1:20 p.m. The International Committee of the Red Cross says four volunteers with the Somali Red Crescent Society are among the dead after a huge truck bombing in Somalia's capital. A statement Sunday says 'this figure may rise as there are a number of volunteers still missing.' Security and medical sources say at least 53 people are dead after what Mogadishu residents call the largest explosion they've ever witnessed. Officials have pleaded for blood donations. More than 60 people are injured. Somalia's government has blamed the al-Shabab extremist group, which has not commented. ___ 10:45 a.m. Security and medical sources say the death toll from Saturday's truck bomb blast in Somalia's capital has risen to 53 as hospitals struggle to cope with the high number of casualties. More than 60 others are injured. Police Capt. Mohamed Hussein says many victims died at hospitals from their wounds. Somalia's government has yet to release the exact death toll from an explosion many called the most powerful they had ever witnessed in Mogadishu. Ambulance sirens still echo across the city as bewildered families wander in the rubble of buildings. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has joined thousands of people who responded to a desperate plea by hospitals to donate blood for the wounded victims. The al-Shabab extremist group often targets high-profile areas in the capital with bombings.
  • Steve Bannon leveled a blistering attack on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other top Republicans at an Arizona fundraiser for a GOP primary challenger to incumbent Sen. Jeff Flake. The former chief strategist to President Donald Trump heaped disdain on McConnell and other incumbent Republicans, saying they are failing the country by not backing Trump's agenda and are openly critical of their own president. Bannon said McConnell and Republicans such as Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Arizona Sen. John McCain 'are trying to destroy him every day' and fueling the populist revolt Bannon is pushing. His comments came at a Tuesday night campaign kickoff fundraiser for Flake challenger Kelli Ward in Scottsdale, Arizona, headlined by Bannon and talk show host Laura Ingraham. 'It's an open revolt and it should be. These people hold you in total contempt,' Bannon said of establishment Republicans. 'When they attack a Donald Trump and Dr. Kelli Ward, it's not Donald Trump and Kelli Ward they're trying to shut up, it's you they're trying to shut up.' Bannon is promoting a field of primary challengers to take on incumbent Republicans in Congress, especially the Senate. He has said he plans to recruit challengers for every GOP senator up for re-election next year except Ted Cruz of Texas. Bannon wasn't following the game plan Trump seemed to advocate on Monday, when he said during an appearance with McConnell that he would try to discourage Bannon from going after all Republican senators and praised McConnell. 'Some of the people that he may be looking at, I'm going to see if we talk him out of that, because frankly, they're great people,' Trump said during a joint news conference with McConnell. Flake is seeking a second term but has raised Trump's ire by being among his most vocal critics among Senate Republicans. He's being targeted by Ward and the Bannon-backed Great America PAC, which announced Monday it would back her over Flake. Other Arizona Republicans are considering jumping in, driven by the belief that while Ward might be able to knock off Flake, she has too much baggage to win a general election. Flake isn't letting on that he's overly worried about his re-election chances. 'I've had tough primaries almost every time I've run, mostly because of the position I've taken on immigration,' he told The Associated Press in an interview after his own Scottsdale fundraiser last week. 'People will say, 'Well I can get to the right of Jeff on immigration.' But we came out all right.' Flake has another fundraiser set for Thursday hosted by major Arizona donors, including auto dealership magnate Jim Click and Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver. The event featuring former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice comes after Sen. Marco Rubio came to back him last week. 'I believe Jeff Flake is as principled a conservative as there is,' Rubio said in an interview. 'He believes in free enterprise, limited government, a strong America, he believes in the Constitution.' At least one Republican senator who has been critical of Trump was dismissive of Bannon and his actions. 'He's not on my radar. It's not relevant to what I'm doing,' said Corker, who has announced he won't seek re-election. The Bannon-backed group also announced Monday it was supporting retired Marine Kevin Nicholson in Wisconsin over state Sen. Leah Vukmir in the GOP primary to challenge Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat seeking her second term. Great America also backed Roy Moore in his Alabama runoff with Sen. Luther Strange, the preferred candidate of McConnell. Moore defeated Strange. Bannon pointed to that race and to Corker's decision not to seek re-election in his speech before about 500 Ward supporters Tuesday. 'The last couple of days Mitch has been saying, 'Hey you gotta win. Winners make policy, losers go home,'' Bannon said. 'Note to self, Mitch: Big Luther Strange and little Bobby Corker are both going home. The people of Alabama and the people of Tennessee have spoken.' A key goal of Bannon's is to see McConnell dumped as Senate GOP leader, while also getting the president's agenda, including the dismantling of the 2010 Affordable Care Act and major tax cuts, enacted. ___ Beaumont reported from Des Moines, Iowa. AP reporter Scott Bauer contributed from Madison, Wisconsin.
  • Memo to the many places vying for Amazon's second headquarters: It ain't all food trucks and free bananas. For years, much of downtown Seattle has been a maze of broken streets and caution-taped sidewalks. Dozens of enormous cranes tower overhead as double-length dump trucks hauling excavated dirt rumble past pedestrians and bicyclists. The crashing and clanging of construction is the city's soundtrack on a perpetual loop. Housing prices have soared faster than anywhere else in America, driving some low- and even middle-income residents beyond city limits. Traffic is frequently unmentionable. And while Amazon is far from solely to blame - and while lawmakers, economists and many residents say the benefits clearly outweigh any drawbacks - life in its hometown is indeed one more endeavor the tech giant has disrupted. 'Economic growth brings opportunities, and it brings headaches,' says Margaret O'Mara, a University of Washington professor who specializes in urban history. 'That was true in 1840s Manchester, it was true in 1890s Pittsburgh, and it's true with Seattle in the 20-teens. ... It's on both cities and the tech companies to figure out the way to handle these things.' Amazon opened its headquarters in a previously sleepy warehouse district known as South Lake Union in 2010, foregoing what it says would have been the cheaper option of building in the suburbs, where its workers might have been less connected to the city. Since then, it has expanded from a workforce of about 5,000 to more than 40,000 in 33 buildings here. It surpassed the university as the city's biggest employer, and it's still growing apace. Even as it announced plans for a second headquarters location, the company said it would lease the entirety of Seattle's second-largest skyscraper, the still-under-construction Rainier Square tower, which will have room for 3,500 workers. The city has been transformed, with new towers seeming to sprout weekly and Amazon's striking new biospheres due to open next year. Amazon estimates its direct spending boosted Seattle's economy by $38 billion from 2010 to 2016. Hotels are thriving thanks to visits by friends and family of Amazon workers, as well as by Amazon employees from elsewhere. The Downtown Seattle Association estimates $5 billion in construction activity was underway during the summer, with more than 30,000 residential units in the works. Cities across the U.S. and Canada are clamoring at the prospect of landing Amazon's second headquarters - and with it, investments topping $5 billion. They have until Thursday to submit their proposals. In Seattle, there's no question the company's growth has improved life in many ways. Unemployment is extremely low. A large fraction of its workers walk to the office or rely on public transit, and its buildings have green roofs, recycled heat, reclaimed lumber and other sustainability features. It opened plazas where it hosts farmers markets, concerts and, yes, banana stands - Amazon has given away 2.7 million bananas and counting. Terrific restaurants, cafes and food trucks have proliferated, with lines of Amazon workers - recognizable by their badges or by their dogs, welcome at work - outside. That said, not everyone can afford to enjoy such amenities. Robby Stern, president of Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action, which advocates for seniors, said rising housing costs have forced two of his organization's board members from the city. The Seattle Times reported in September that the median house price in the city was $730,000 - double what it was five years ago. 'Bringing a lot of new, good-paying jobs to town, you have to view that as being a positive development,' Stern said. 'But the changes that have happened have created Seattle as a less livable place for categories of people, and that's not what I want for Seattle.' After taking some criticism for a perceived lack of involvement in the community, Amazon has engaged more publicly, including supporting some beloved Seattle nonprofits: It announced this year that it will give the shelter organization Mary's Place permanent room in its new building to house 200 homeless women, children and families. It has also given FareStart, which trains people struggling with homelessness or drug addiction to work in the restaurant industry, space and equipment to open five new eateries on its campus. Last year, Amazon gave $10 million toward a new computer sciences building at the University of Washington, where it also endowed two professorships. And this year, the family of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced a $35 million gift to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center - the largest donation in the center's 41-year history. The company also donated to a successful political campaign last fall to expand light rail service, and has paid for an additional streetcar to serve South Lake Union. Seattle had bad traffic and limited housing even before Amazon arrived - some of which lingered from decades of anti-growth policies and a failure to build more mass transit sooner. With Amazon's bidding process for 'HQ2,' at least the places applying know what to expect. Greg Nickels, the city's mayor from 2002 to 2010, worked to transform South Lake Union into a tech and biotech hub. He says Seattle has had to do some catching up on transit and housing, given the company's unpredictably explosive expansion, and the city's $15-an-hour minimum wage experiment is a good one to try to alleviate income inequality. 'I know many people find that growth uncomfortable, but it's much better than being a Detroit or a Cleveland, where people are watching their cities waste away,' Nickels said.
  • Search and rescue efforts in California's Joshua Tree National Park led to the discovery of two bodies embracing one another. They are believed to be Joseph Orbeso, 21, and Rachel Nguyen, 20. >> Watch the news report here According to KESQ and KABC, the couple was last heard from in late July, and search teams later located their car near the beginning of one of the park’s trails. Their last known contact was a cellphone ping in the area, and their belongings were found still inside the Airbnb they were renting, as they never checked out. >> On Rare.us: Watch the amazing moment hikers lost in the wilderness are found by a drone hovering high above the trees Orbeso’s father, Gilbert, and a group of search and rescue workers launched a months-long search for the hikers, making a huge breakthrough on Sunday as they scaled 30-foot cliffs and covered new ground. Clothing, food wrappers and water bottles led them to the bodies, which were picked up by a helicopter and sent to a coroner’s office to confirm the identities. Orbeso’s father, however, is certain that the remains belong to his son and his son’s girlfriend. >> Read more trending news “A sense of relief that we have found them after going a long time on these hikes. I feel like we have closure. We know we found them. That was our main goal, to find them. And I’m glad we did that,” he said, according to KESQ. 'Hope they can rest in peace now,' he added, KABC reported. Official identification of the remains is pending and will follow completed autopsies.