Your Must-See News Headlines for Today, October 5

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Billions of annoying robocalls are still getting through, despite new efforts to combat unwanted solicitors.

Superstar gymnast Simone Biles can do tricks no one else can do. She and USA Gymnastics feel she is being penalized on the world stage for being too talented.

And McDonald’s is bringing back the famous McRib. Read on to find out where and when you can find the saucy sandwich.

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


TOP STORY: Americans Received More Than 4.5 Billion Robocalls in September

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Did you feel like your phone was ringing incessantly last month? You weren’t imagining it. Americans were bothered by an estimated 4.5 billion robocalls in September. According to research by YouMail, people in the U.S. received 150 million robocalls every single day. That is more than 1,750 calls per second.

The organization found that health care scams were the most common source of the robocalls. Interest rates scams, student debt calls, social security scams and calls about warranties rounded out the top five. The city with the most robocalls was Atlanta, at nearly 175 million calls. But people in Washington, D.C. accounted for the highest number of calls per person: nearly 49 per person.

The calls are more than just annoying. The Federal Trade Commission says too many people are falling victim specifically to scams about Social Security. Federal officials say that fraudsters squeezed an estimated $17 million from Americans in the first six months of 2019. Real workers from Social Security would never call to threaten anyone, and the FTC reminds people that federal officials would never ask anyone to send cash or money via a wire transfer.

The federal government has made fighting robocalls a priority, but progress appears to be slow. Earlier this year, the Federal Communications Commission gave phone companies greater leverage to block unwanted calls before they can reach customers’ phones. The FCC has also fined telemarketing companies tens of millions of dollars for engaging in caller ID “spoofing,” which is illegal.


WHAT’S BUZZING THAT HAS EVERYONE TALKING: Simone Biles Shares Frustration Over How the Gymnastics Federation Grades Her Difficult Dismount

Is Simone Biles being penalized for, essentially, being too talented? That’s the message the Olympic superstar thinks the International Gymnastics Federation is sending with a recent scoring decision.

The organization scores different tricks based on how difficult they are. A more challenging routine will lead to a higher score even if all of the tumbles aren’t perfect, as opposed to performing a flawless routine that is too easy. A numerical system is used in the sport. For example, an “A” skill is worth a tenth of a point, a “B” is worth two-tenths, and so on. A “J” is worth a full point.

Biles has two new skills she is doing at the World Championships. During the floor exercise, her most difficult trick is a triple-twist, double somersault and the scoring committee decided to value it as a “J.” But the trick she is doing off the balance beam, which is a double-twist and a double-somersault, is only an “H.” Biles and USA Gymnastics feel the decision doesn’t give her another credit for the challenging skill. She told NBC Sports, “It’s so unfair, because, am I in a league of my own? Yes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t credit me for what I’m doing.”

The International Gymnastics Federation issued a statement yesterday explaining that the decision not to give Biles’ balance bean dismount a top value has to do with safety concerns. They don’t want to encourage other gymnasts to attempt such a difficult skill and risk harming themselves. “There is added risk in landing of double saltos for Beam dismounts (with/without twists), including a potential landing on the neck. Reinforcing, there are many examples in the Code where decisions have been made to protect the gymnasts and preserve the direction of the discipline… The WTC’s task is to ensure the safety of all athletes around the world and decisions are not based purely on one gymnast.”


CHECK THIS OUT: McDonald’s McRib Sandwich Is Making a Comeback

McRib at McDonald's

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It’s that time of year, meat-lovers. McDonald’s is bringing back its popular McRib! The pork sandwich will be available in more than 10,000 restaurants nationwide beginning on Monday, October 7. McDonald’s described the offering as the “sauciest time of year” on its website.

McDonald’s cautioned that not every location will have the McRib and the sandwich will be sold for a limited time only. The company set up an online tool so customers can check which restaurants closest to them have the sandwich. Here’s the link.

The McRib sandwich first debuted in 1981. It was reportedly not a major hit at the time and it was removed as a regular menu item after a few years. The McRib has been a seasonal treat ever since.

McDonald’s is encouraging fans to share their excitement on social media; the company has created 16 Instagram story GIFS to help decorate posts. According to a news release, the GIFs can be found in the Story library with the hashtag #McRibSZN.


DAILY NEWS ROUNDUP

  • Dozens of cities set records for warmer-than-average temperatures for October.
  • The name ‘Richard Ketay’ was trending after President Trump quoted him in a tweet and social media struggled to identify the man.
  • Senator Bernie Sanders is back home and recovering after suffering a heart attack.
  • PayPal is pulling out of Facebook’s digital currency project known as Libra.
  • Singer Sia reveals she has a neurological disease and urged others battling chronic illness to “keep going.”

UPDATE TO A STORY WE BROUGHT YOU YESTERDAY

An outburst at a town hall event hosted by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York on Thursday night went viral. A woman stood up and insisted that the best strategy for combating climate change was to dramatically reduce the population by “eating the babies.” The term trended on social media on Friday as commenters either laughed at the outburst, criticized Rep. Ocasio-Cortez for not condemning the woman, or speculated that the woman may have been a plant.

A fringe conservative group called LaRouchePAC claimed responsibility for the outburst on Twitter as a staged stunt. The organization was started by Lyndon LaRouche Jr., who died in February at the age of 96. He launched the group in the 1960s as a Marxist movement and it evolved into a conspiracy-theorist movement, according to Business Insider. British journalist Matthew Sweet, who wrote a book about LaRouche called “Operation Chaos,” calls the group a “bizarre political cult.”

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez explained on social media that she stayed calm as the woman went on her rant about eating babies in order not to inflame the situation. She wrote, “Turns out the woman yelling was a Trump supporter. 🤷🏽‍♀️ Doesn’t rule out potential mental issue (Drs do that) but good to know they were not in crisis. Earlier this year I was stalked & very nearly hurt by a disturbed person. I don’t take chances & immediately try to de-escalate.”

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