At this point, every chocolate lover with access to the internet or a newspaper knows that dark chocolate is good for you. Now, medical researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston are looking to see if science can give you all the benefits of eating chocolate — specifically, preventing heart attacks and strokes — without any of the joy.
A new study will enroll 18,000 people to test out a pill containing cocoa flavanols, which smaller studies have shown to be beneficial in preventing a host of cardiovascular problems. The capsules will contain many, many more times the flavanols than you'd find in a candy bar.
While it may seem odd that the study is being sponsored not only by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, but also Mars Inc., the maker of such confectionary delights as Snickers, Dove bars, M&Ms, and Twix, Mars and other chocolate companies have undoubtedly benefitted from chocolate's new status as a health food. And "you're not going to get these protective flavanols in most of the candy on the market," says Brigham's Dr. JoAnn Manson, who's leading the study. "Cocoa flavanols are often destroyed by the processing."
Here's the secret ingredient: Mars has patented a method to extract high concentrations of flavanols from cocoa pods and put them in capsules. So this is a win-win for Mars. Just maybe not for chocoholics. Peter Weber
On Monday night, the State Department released 7,000 emails sent by Hillary Clinton from a private server during her time as secretary of state.
Out of those emails, 150 are now considered classified, with the State Department telling reporters none were deemed classified when they were sent, Time reports. Clinton has continously said that she did not send any emails marked classified from the server. This is the third and largest release of Clinton's emails from her tenure as secretary of state. Catherine Garcia
After hearing Kanye West declare at Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards that he will run for president in 2020, Eugene Craig wasted no time setting up a PAC called Ready for Kanye.
Craig, a 24-year-old black Republican activist from Maryland, said the PAC is not a joke, and he'll be "gathering data, gathering info" on people willing to get West elected. "If Mr. West is to seek the presidency in 2020, and if there is no incumbent Republican president, I would absolutely encourage him to run," Craig told The Washington Post. "I think he will bring an interesting dialogue to our party, and he'll find a lot of people who want that dialogue. He's pointed out the crippling racial disparities in the law and the economy. He's talked about the pipeline of private prisons. He's a genuine entrepreneur. Oh, not to mention that his first big single was 'Jesus Walks.'"
Craig said he's not sure where West falls on the political spectrum, but he is a huge fan of the "musical genius" and would be willing to introduce him to the Republican Party if he's receptive. "He's been critical of President Bush; he's been critical of President Obama," Craig said. "You know, we'll find out when we reach him." Catherine Garcia
The Taliban said in a statement Monday that it suffered an "incorrigible loss" on April 23, 2013, when leader Mullah Mohammed Omar died.
— Telegraph News (@TelegraphNews) August 31, 2015
The news of Omar's death leaked in July, but the date of his passing remained a mystery until Monday. In the statement, which was written in several languages and posted on the Taliban's website, the organization said his death was kept a secret in order to keep spirits and morale high at a time when foreign fighters were leaving Afghanistan. Only a few of the Taliban's higher ups knew about the "depressing news."
The communication also included information on Omar's successor, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor. Many rank and file members of the Taliban are not supportive of Mansoor, The Guardian reports, and Omar's family is not backing him. The statement said Mansoor fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s and "particularly loves and has interest in marksmanship." Catherine Garcia
Two Vice News journalists were charged Monday in a Turkish court with "aiding a terrorist organization."
— Selin Girit (@selingirit) August 31, 2015
Correspondent Jake Hanrahan and cameraman Philip Pendlebury, both Brits, and their Turkish assistant were detained Thursday while in Diyarbakir, The Associated Press reports. Al Jazeera says the men have been accused of being members of the Islamic State. Diyarbakir is in an area that has seen an uptick in fighting between Kurdish rebels and security forces, and several people have been killed.
Vice calls the charges "baseless and alarmingly false" and an "attempt to intimidate and censor their coverage." It's not uncommon for journalists working in Turkey's mostly Kurdish regions to be taken into custody while reporting on situations, accused of having links to Kurdish rebels, AP reports. Catherine Garcia
President Obama is reportedly going back to college after he leaves the White House.
On Monday, Lee Bollinger, president of Obama's alma mater Columbia University, announced during an event on campus that the school is looking forward to hosting Obama in 2017, the Columbia Spectator reports. Bollinger didn't say what role the president will have, but before becoming commander in chief, Obama was a professor at the University of Chicago Law School. Catherine Garcia
Despite turning out a buzzy show filled with Miley Cyrus' skimpy costume changes and even a feud between Cyrus and Nicki Minaj, MTV's Video Music Awards experienced a 5 percent drop in viewership from last year. The awards show brought in 9.8 million viewers Sunday night — down from 2015's 10.3 million — despite its airing on an additional six networks. The VMAs still churned out a healthy amount of Twitter chatter, however. According to Nielsen, this year's show was the most tweeted non-Superbowl program since it began tracking social media. Samantha Rollins
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 115 points Monday, closing out the biggest monthly percentage drop since May 2010, CNN Money reports. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also posted big monthly slides amid concern over China's market.
A week earlier, U.S. stocks had tumbled 1,000 points, but largely recovered over the next few days. After the turmoil, the Federal Reserve is reportedly on track to raise interest rates as early as September.