Your Must-See News Headlines for Today, August 15

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There is a new weapon in the battle against those annoying robocalls. See how two of the largest cellphone carriers are teaming up to help customers identify a fake call before answering the phone.

Amazon Prime went down worldwide last night, causing confusion for thousands of customers.

And Americans may need to find different fruit to put in our favorite smoothies. The most popular type of banana is in danger of being wiped out.

Here’s what you need to know in the daily roundup.


TOP STORY: AT&T & T-Mobile Team Up to Help Customers Avoid Robocalls

Americans were hounded by more than 5 billion robocalls in July alone, according to RoboKiller, despite recent government attempts to block the spam. AT&T and T-Mobile are launching a new effort to help customers better filter which calls are legitimate.

The two companies have announced they will work together to verify caller identification. For example, if an AT&T customer calls someone on a T-Mobile plan, then AT&T will check whether the call was made by a real person or if the number has been spoofed. The receiver will get a message that reads “Caller Verified” if it’s a real person on the other end of the line.

This initiative won’t stop robocalls. But it may prevent customers from wasting time answering them.


WHAT’S BUZZING THAT HAS EVERYONE TALKING: Amazon Prime Went Down for Thousands of Users

Thousands of people reported issues with Amazon Prime last night, especially with video services. Customers took to social media to complain about abruptly losing access to their shows and to express confusion about whether their subscription had been canceled.

The “Amazon Help” Twitter account replied to individual customers with the message, “Apologies for the trouble you’re facing with Prime Video. Our relevant team is aware of this issue and currently working to fix it. Appreciate your understanding.” The outage appeared to be centered in the United States but affected customers worldwide.

As of Thursday morning, the vast majority of the outages had been resolved, according to DownDetector. Amazon has not yet explained what caused the problems.


OFF-BEAT: Fungus Could Destroy Bananas

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The banana is one of the most popular fruits sold and eaten in the United States. The type referred to as the Cavendish banana accounts for nearly all of the bananas imported to the U.S. and Europe. And it’s in danger of going extinct.

A strain of fungus known as Fusarium oxysporum, or Tropical race 4, is infecting banana trees in Latin America. The government of Colombia declared a state of emergency today, ordering farmers to destroy banana crops that have been infected and to quarantine impacted farms to try to stop the fungus from spreading.

As reported by NBC, the fungus is not dangerous to humans. But infected trees won’t produce fruit, meaning that the fungus has the potential to wipe out this type of banana.


DAILY NEWS ROUNDUP

  • Maurice Hill was identified as the suspect accused of shooting and injuring six police officers during a standoff in Philadelphia.
  • Former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper is expected to drop out of the presidential race and may run for the Senate instead.
  • Microsoft is warning Windows 10 users to update their operating system immediately in order to fix two vulnerabilities.
  • Smart ovens have been turning on overnight and heating up to 400 degrees. The company says it’s user error.
  • Ignacio Anaya García was the Mexican restaurant owner credited with inventing nachos in the 1940s. He is today’s Google Doodle.

CHECK THIS OUT


Lake Superior kayakers escape injury as cliff collapses into water | ABC7Kayakers on a tour of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in northern Michigan narrowly escaped injury when a large section of cliff collapsed near them into Lake Superior. Details: abc7.la/2Z287OX2019-08-15T02:41:35.000Z

Kayakers managed to escape unharmed after a side of a cliff collapsed just a few dozen feet away from them! The video was shot on Lake Superior in northern Michigan.

ABC7 reported that the kayakers were participating in a tour called Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. A guide told local news outlets that the group first saw smaller pieces of rock falling near them moments before the facade came down.

The aerial footage was shot by nature photographers who were operating a drone nearby at the time.

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