Also trending on your TGIF: People confused by Valentine's Day texts mistakenly resent 8 months later, man claims McDonald's sweet tea came with weed inside, Anonymous book describes volatile, incompetent Trump.
People confused by Valentine's Day texts mistakenly resent 8 months later
(CNN) -- Text messages received overnight on Wednesday caused confusion, misunderstandings and even alarm for some recipients.
The text messages appear to have originally been sent on February 14, Valentine's Day, but were received more than eight months later with Wednesday's time stamp. The total number of messages sent due to what's being called an "internal maintenance cycle" was 168,149, according to Syniverse, which provides technology and business services for a number of telecommunications companies.
The issue occurred across all four major carriers in the United States and affected both Apple and Android devices.
People shared their experiences about receiving delayed messages on social media and Reddit. Some said they received text messages from ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends that led to awkward conversations. Others said the messages came from relatives or friends who had since passed away. One person complained to Sprint's Twitter account that her phone had sent a text to her boss in the middle of the night.
The person who originally sent the text should have a record of the message in their archives.
The carriers that have responded pointed to a "maintenance update" and a "third-party vendor."
"Last evening, a maintenance update occurred to part of the messaging platforms of multiple carriers in the US, including Sprint, which caused some customers to have older text messages sent to their devices," a Sprint spokesperson told CNN Business. "The issue was resolved not long after it occurred. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused."
T-Mobile said it wasn't an internal issue but rather a problem stemming from a third-party vendor that also affected its networks. A spokesperson said T-Mobile was aware of the issue and it has since been resolved.
Verizon referred CNN Business to Syniverse, which confirmed the incident.
"We apologize to anyone who was impacted by this occurrence," said William Hurley, chief marketing and product officer at Syniverse. "While the issue has been resolved, we are in the process of reviewing our internal procedures to ensure this does not happen again, and actively working with our customers' teams to answer any questions they have."
AT&T, which is CNN's parent company, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Apple and Google also did not immediately respond.
ABI Research, which provides research and guidance on technology, said the four major carriers announced a "cross-carrier messaging system" that is expected to launch in 2020.
"Unfortunately, in order for improvements to happen, updates need to take place. And, sometimes those updates do have a glitch or hiccup," Leo Gergs, an ABI research analyst, told CNN Business.
Gergs also said Valentine's Day messages were likely affected because the amount of texts sent on that day is "abnormally high."
Man claims McDonald's sweet tea came with weed inside
HILTON HEAD, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina man who went to McDonald's for a sweet tea says he received a little extra herbal substance on the side.
The Island Packet reports Parrish Brown went to a McDonald's on Hilton Head Island and asked for a sweet tea with light ice and extra lemon.
Brown now believes "extra lemon" was code for marijuana, since he found three bags of weed in his cup. He says he only realized it once he was "high as a kite."
Brown says he'd never had marijuana, so he didn't recognize the taste. He says he paid regular price for the items.
Beaufort County Sheriff's Office spokesman Maj. Bob Bromage says an investigation is ongoing. He didn't specify which McDonald's Brown had gone to.
A representative for McDonald's said the company is "fully cooperating with law enforcement on the validity of this claim."
Bloomberg opens door to a 2020 Democratic presidential bid
WASHINGTON (AP) — Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, is opening the door to a 2020 Democratic presidential campaign, warning that the current field of candidates is ill equipped to defeat President Donald Trump.
Bloomberg, who initially ruled out a 2020 run, has not made a final decision on whether to jump into the race. If he were to launch a campaign, it could dramatically reshape the Democratic contest less than three months before primary voting begins.
The 77-year-old has spent the past few weeks talking with prominent Democrats about the state of the 2020 field, expressing concerns about the steadiness of former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign and the rise of liberal Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, according to people with knowledge of those discussions. In recent days, he took steps to keep his options open, including moving to get on the primary ballot in Alabama ahead of the state's Friday filing deadline.
In a statement on Thursday, Bloomberg adviser Howard Wolfson said the former mayor believes Trump "represents an unprecedented threat to our nation" and must be defeated.
"But Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that," Wolfson said.
Bloomberg's moves come as the Democratic race enters a crucial phase. Biden's front-runner status has been vigorously challenged by Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who are flush with cash from small-dollar donors. But both are viewed by some Democrats as too liberal to win in a general election faceoff with Trump.
Anonymous book describes volatile, incompetent Trump
WASHINGTON (AP) — A forthcoming book by an anonymous author identified only as "a senior official in the Trump administration" describes President Donald Trump as volatile, incompetent and unfit to be commander in chief, according to excerpts published Thursday by The Washington Post.
The book describes racist and misogynist behind-the-scenes statements by Trump and says he "stumbles, slurs, gets confused, is easily irritated, and has trouble synthesizing information."
The Post acquired a copy of the book, "A Warning," and first reported on its contents Thursday.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham released a statement late Thursday saying, "The coward who wrote this book didn't put their name on it because it is nothing but lies."
She said reporters should "cover the book as what it is — a work of fiction."
In the book, due out Nov. 19, the writer claims senior administration officials considered resigning as a group last year in a "midnight self-massacre," but ultimately decided such an act would do more harm than good.
On Monday, the Justice Department sent a letter to the book's publisher and the writer's literary agency, raising questions over whether any confidentiality agreement had been violated and asking for information that could help reveal the author's identity.
The publisher, Hachette Book Group, responded by saying it would provide no additional information beyond calling the author a "current or former senior official."
"A Warning" was written by the official who wrote an essay, published last year in The New York Times, alleging that numerous people in the government were resisting the "misguided impulses" of Trump.
According to the Post, the author now writes, "Unelected bureaucrats and cabinet appointees were never going to steer Donald Trump the right direction in the long run, or refine his malignant management style. He is who he is."
Viral uproar after Rapper T.I. says he has daughter's hymen checked annually
The hosts of a podcast that caused a viral uproar apologized Thursday for how they reacted to rapper-actor T.I.’s story about taking his virgin daughter to the gynecologist annually to have her hymen checked.
“We were completely caught off guard/shocked and looking back, we should have reacted much differently in the moment,” “Ladies Like Us” hosts Nazanin Mandi and Nadia Moham wrote on Instagram. The two had laughed and joked with T.I. as he continued to dig his hole deeper with more details about intruding on his 18-year-old’s doctor-patient relationship.
It was, they said, a “knee-jerk reaction to the uncomfortable topic.” T.I.’s comments and their responses didn’t reflect their views, they wrote.
“We support and love Women and feel that their bodies are theirs to do as they wish. There was absolutely no ill intent towards any party involve & [we] feel deeply awful about the entire incident,” Mandi and Moham wrote.
Meanwhile, as they took responsibility for the podcast episode, the rapper had no comment on social media as of Thursday and a representative had not replied to a request for comment. The Times also reached out Wednesday to T.I.’s 18-year-old daughter, who models and also has participated on the family’s VH1 reality shows, but got no reply.
“This is what we do: Right after the birthday, we celebrate,” T.I. said on the “Ladies Like Us” podcast, which went live Tuesday and was taken down Wednesday afternoon amid a flood of criticism on social media. “And usually like the day after the party, she’s enjoying her gifts, I put a sticky note on the door: ‘Gyno. Tomorrow. 9:30.’”
The Atlanta rapper, who also goes by the nickname Tip, went on to explain that the physician — “maintaining a high level of professionalism” — always tells him that his daughter has to sign away her privacy before results can be shared, and always tells him that a hymen can be broken in many ways that do not involve sex.
“I say, ‘Look, doc, she don’t ride no horses, she don’t ride no bike, she don’t play no sports. Man, just check the hymen please and give me back my results expeditiously,’” he said, referring to “results” that legally belong to his daughter.
“Hymens are not a measure of virginity,” Brittany McBride, a veteran sexual health educator with Advocates for Youth, told The Times on Wednesday. She also lamented some people’s “need for virginity” that measures a daughter’s worth by “a thin, mucosal piece of tissue.”
Dr. Jennifer Gunter, an OB-GYN in San Francisco, tweeted a long thread on hymen education, including the tidbit that fully half of sexually active teen girls still have their hymens intact.
“We want men to be aware of women’s health issues. We don’t see that enough, and that can put the burden entirely on women,” Dr. Brian T. Nguyen, an OB-GYN at Keck Medical Center of USC, told The Times on Wednesday. “At the same time, we don’t want it to happen in a way that encroaches upon a woman’s autonomy.”
Nguyen said physicians typically encourage patients to transition away from having a parent in the room with them around age 13, to lay the groundwork for a confidential doctor-patient relationship that encourages honest exchanges on awkward topics.
Buffalo Wild Wings employee dies after exposure to cleaning agent
BURLINGTON, MASS. — A Buffalo Wild Wings employee died and at least 10 people checked themselves into hospital after being exposed to a strong chemical cleaning agent at a restaurant in Burlington, Massachusetts, authorities said on Thursday.
The Burlington fire department responded to a chemical reaction in the kitchen area of the restaurant where a male employee was suffering from nausea, a fire department representative said in a statement.
Media identified the chemical as sodium hypochlorite, a cleaning agent.
"The employee was taken to Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in serious condition after being exposed to a strong cleaning agent. The man later died at the hospital," the department said.
The other patients, including restaurant employees and patrons, complained of difficulty in breathing and burning eyes, the department said.
"The gentleman that passed away was an employee of Buffalo Wild Wings, who attempted to squeegee the product out of the building when he was overcome," Assistant Burlington Fire Chief Michael Patterson told reporters.
There was no threat to public safety, officials said.
"We...are working closely with our franchisee and the authorities while they conduct an investigation," a spokesperson for Buffalo Wild Wings said, but did not share any additional details.