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Here's What the 'Oprah Cruise' Was Like

First of all, Oprah was only on it for one night

(Newser) - Oprah Winfrey has declared 2017 her "Year of Adventure," and as part of that year, she decided to take her first cruise and invite 2,000 of her biggest fans along for the ride. Allison Davis and her mom were two of those people, and Davis entertainingly chronicles... More »

Big Chocolate's Wise Strategy: Paying for Chocolate Studies

Vox is underwhelmed by the actual scientific evidence about its benefits

(Newser) - Chocolate lovers, Vox has a hard dose of reality for you. Chocolate isn't good for you. Not even dark chocolate. Not even that bar of vegan avocado dark chocolate, all organic, of course. Chocolate is candy, after all, with fat and sugar. In a lengthy analysis, the news site... More »

When a Catfishing Nightmare Becomes a Dream Romance

She was tricked by man using model's photos; then she met the model

(Newser) - This tale of loneliness, catfishing, Turkish models, and, yes, love sounds like it should have been written by Nicholas Sparks or star Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, but it's true and absolutely engrossing. French-born Emma Perrier, 33, was living outside London, struggling with English and heartbroken over a recent... More »

He Called Himself 'Mr. Breeze.' He Was Really a 'Con Man'

Brendan Borrell profiles Jeff Caldwell in 'Outside'

(Newser) - In the thru-hiking community, he called himself Mr. Breeze. On dating website Plenty of Fish, he was "lovetohike1972." But to those who've encountered Jeff Caldwell over the past two decades, he's perhaps best known as a con man who gains a person's trust only to... More »

She Thought It Would Be a Tattoo. It Was a Branding

Women recount bizarre initiation of secret group within Nxivm self-help organization

(Newser) - It's called Nxivm, pronounced Nex-e-um, and thousands have gone through its various self-help and executive training seminars since the 1990s. As the New York Times explains in a lengthy story about the group, most people take a few classes and leave after that. But others become devoted adherents to... More »

9 VPs Have 'Assumed' the Presidency. What If He's 10?

Jane Mayer takes a long look at Mike Pence for the 'New Yorker'

(Newser) - Of the 48 men to have served as vice president of the United States, nine have "assumed the presidency" due to death or a resignation, observes Jane Mayer in what Axios reports is a 16-page New Yorker piece on the current VP. Of the likelihood that Mike Pence could... More »

Can't Afford Life-Saving Medicine? Just Make Your Own

Anarchist is leading push to upend the pharmaceutical industry

(Newser) - Don't have $600 to spare for a two-pack of EpiPens? Michael Laufer will show you how to make your own for $35. Need a cure for hepatitis C but don't have $84,000 laying around for Sovaldi? The anarchist says his DIY version will run you $800 or... More »

What Happens When an American Town Explodes

Inside the deadly West, Texas, fertilizer plant explosion

(Newser) - "I've never seen destruction like that," says a firefighter with decades of experience with destruction. On April 17, 2013, a fertilizer plant in West, Texas exploded , killing 15 people and injuring 252 more—nearly 10% of the town's population. A rest home "folded like a... More »

A Lauded Prison Recycling Program Became a Hacker's Dream

3 refurbished computers hidden in ceiling of Marion Correctional Institute

(Newser) - Three computers hidden in the ceiling above a closet in a staff computer lab in Marion Correctional Institution gave inmates access to the Ohio prison's network, databases, tools for creating security passes, and the outside world. “Our inmates are way smarter than our technical people, you know,”... More »

He Was a Rap Pioneer. Then He Forgot Everything

But T La Rock has reconstructed his life after a traumatic head injury

(Newser) - Back in 1995, Tupac recorded a song called "Old School" in which he paid tribute to the rap artists who'd come before him. Among those he mentioned was T La Rock, whose single "It's Yours" in 1984—mixed in the dorm of Rick Rubin at NYU—... More »

Kim Jong Un Envisions Tourist Haven at His Summer Retreat

North Korean leader has big plans for Wonsan: Mud baths and live missiles

(Newser) - If Kim Jong Un has his way, the port city of Wonsan, North Korea, will someday be a mecca for tourists. Reuters reports on Kim's ambitious plans for the resort city, which serves as his own summer retreat and, by some accounts, was where he was born. UN sanctions... More »

Terrified, She Left. So He Went After Her Daughter

But Terra Newell fought back against John Meehan

(Newser) - Someone always gets it in the end, and in the case of John Meehan—or "Dirty John," the nickname that doubled as the title for the Los Angeles Times' six-part series on the con man —it was him. He had had something else in mind, though. Some... More »

How Much More Can Tillerson Take?

Being secretary of state is quite different than heading Exxon—and Rex may not like it

(Newser) - "I don't know. I'm not a diplomat" is an odd statement to make if you're a high-ranking US Cabinet official tasked with critical matters of diplomacy. Yet those words were uttered by the US secretary of state during a September meeting at the UN regarding Iran'... More »

It's Not Easy Leaving a Man Even Strangers Are Terrified Of

Part 5 in the 'Dirty John' series from the 'Los Angeles Times'

(Newser) - "Scariest man I've met in my 70 years," attorney John Dzialo tells the Los Angeles Times in Part 5 of its six-part series on "Dirty John" Meehan, a conman who married a California woman desperate to find love . Dzialo was hired—and quickly fired—by Meehan... More »

She Learned Her Husband Was 'Dirty John'—and Went Back

Part 4 of the 'Dirty John' series in the 'LAT'

(Newser) - The Los Angeles Times on Thursday dropped Part 4 of six in its "Dirty John" series, and the title is "Forgiveness." If you've been following along , go ahead and read deep into that word. It's true: After uncovering more than 300 pages that documented her... More »

He Made Big Tobacco Cave. Now's He's Got a New Target

Attorney Mike Moore is going after companies that make and sell opioids

(Newser) - Mike Moore is renowned in legal circles as the attorney who brought Big Tobacco to its knees by orchestrating a 50-state, $246 billion settlement back in the 1990s. Now, the 65-year-old Moore has a new but similarly giant target: companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell opioids, reports Bloomberg Businessweek . Its... More »

Married for a Decade. Then She Met the Real 'Dirty John'

Conman called 'the most devious, dangerous, deceptive person I ever met'

(Newser) - John Meehan became "Dirty John"—occasionally "Filthy John"—in law school. The nickname was bestowed by his classmates for the sheer number of women he would bring home, but it seemed to cover a lot of his unseemly behavior, Christopher Goffard writes in the third installment... More »

Bluster or Grand Vision? 'Just Mayo' CEO Has Big Plans

Critics think Josh Tetrick's Hampton Creek has too much talk, not enough results

(Newser) - If you're familiar with a company called Hampton Creek, it's likely because of its "Just Mayo" product. It's essentially vegan mayonnaise, with pea protein in place of eggs, though 37-year-old CEO Josh Tetrick hates the connotations of the word "vegan," and industry rivals don'... More »

He Was the Man of Her Dreams. Then the Red Flags Piled Up

The 'Los Angeles Times' presents 'Dirty John' in 6 parts

(Newser) - At 59, Debra Newell had found professional—but not romantic—success. Divorced four times, the Irvine, Calif., interior designer hadn't totally given up on love, and then it found her in a whirlwind. She met John Meehan via an online dating site in October 2014, and he seemed too... More »

The Pathos- Driven Rise of Kate McKinnon

In 'VF' interview, 'SNL' comedian touches on empathy she drew on to play Hillary Clinton

(Newser) - Kate McKinnon is dressed down ("real-person down," without makeup and in sneakers and a baggy tee) and skittish like a cat, reacting so warily to her interview with Lili Anolik for Vanity Fair that Anolik realizes she's "going to have to approach her slowly, carefully, no... More »

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