Will the real Pierre Delecto please stand up?

Ashley Shaffer writes The Short List newsletter for USA TODAY. To subscribe to this snappy news roundup, click here.

Does Mitt Romney have a secret identity? And why is Julián Castro asking for $5? Here’s the news to know Monday. 

But first, New York City cockroaches are just different: This roach “smoking” a cigarette is the internet’s latest obsession. 

Mitt Romney, is that you? 

You may know him as Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee with a savory approach to blowing out birthday candles. But according to reports, Mitt Romney is also the mysterious Twitter user Pierre Delecto. “C’est moi,” Romney confessed when confronted about the secret Twitter profile by Atlantic reporter McKay Coppins on Sunday. Earlier that day, Coppins published a profile on Romney in which he shared the existence of the secret social media profile he uses to follow the political discussion. Though he did not divulge the Twitter handle, he mentioned that he followed 688 people. Slate reporter Ashley Feinberg then used that intel to infer that the Pierre Delecto account was, in fact, Romney. 

My question now is: Does Mitt Romney have a Finsta?

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, heads to the U.S. Capitol for the weekly Republican policy luncheon in Washington, March 5, 2019. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images)

Drug distributors, opioid maker reach deal in historic lawsuit

Four major drug companies have reached a tentative deal with governments to settle a historic opioid lawsuit. The tentative settlement with two Ohio counties suing to recoup damages from and develop recovery programs for the highly addictive painkillers came hours before the landmark trial was set to begin on Monday. It would be the first federal trial related to an opioid crisis that has claimed an estimated 400,000 American lives over two decades. Lawyers stressed, however, that the deal involved only the two counties and was not a “global resolution” to the nationwide litigation.

What everyone’s talking about

  • An Air France flight was diverted to Ireland after a mysterious cellphone was found on board.
  • Illegal vapes can be traced back to this California woman, one of the pioneers of CBD.
  • President Donald Trump says the Ukraine whistleblower is not entitled to anonymity.
  • Bernie Sanders says Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will work in his administration if he’s president.
  • Thousands were without power in Texas after severe storms near Dallas ripped off roofs and downed power lines.

Give Julián Castro $800,000 – or else 

If Julián Castro doesn’t raise $800,000 in the next ten days, he says his presidential run is over. Castro, the former Housing and Urban Development Secretary under President Barack Obama, asked supporters in an email Monday to help him reach his donation goal by Oct. 31. “If I don’t meet this deadline, I won’t have the resources to keep my campaign running,” Castro said. “I’m counting on your $5 in this critical moment.” Castro has struggled to make waves in a crowded Democratic field. 

Another candidate making money moves: Pete Buttigieg. The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who was initially seen as a long-shot presidential contender, has surged within striking distance of Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren in the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses, a Suffolk University/USA TODAY Poll finds.

Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro. (Photo: AP)

Real quick 

  • Sen. Lindsey Graham indicates he may support the impeachment of Trump if inquiry establishes “quid pro quo.”
  • Original ESPN on-air commentator and former “SportsCenter” anchorLou Palmer has died. 
  • Zooey Deschanel and Jonathan Scott have made their relationship Instagram official.
  • Thanks to unusually warm temperatures high above Antarctica this month, the ozone hole shrank to its smallest size on record.
  • Historic discovery: Explorers looking for lost World War II warships found a second Japanese aircraft carrier that went down in the Battle of Midway.

A West Point cadet is missing

A search is underway for a West Point cadet who has been missing since Friday, the U.S. Military Academy says. The cadet and his M4 rifle were reported missing when he failed to report for a scheduled military skills competition over the weekend. In a news release, the U.S. Military Academy said Sunday that he is not believed to be a threat to the public, “but may be a danger to himself.”

You can buy this Lamborghini for $40,000, but there’s a catch

It’s a great deal for a car that typically costs over $200,000, and it has a sweet candy-colored paint job. Only the car is not a real “Lambo.” It’s what’s referred to as a “replica” or “kit car” among a niche community of auto enthusiasts who cobble together parts from various sources to construct imitations of head-turning sports cars. Building these faux cars is legal, too, as long as you aren’t passing them off as the real thing or selling them in large numbers. 

  • Speaking of fancy cars, these are the cities where your car is most likely to be stolen.
  • Want even more cars? Subscribe to USA TODAY’s Cars newsletter for your dose of autos news every Saturday.

A retired cop in Tennessee named Randy Morrow is selling this custom built replica of a 2010 Lamborghini LP 640 for $40,000.
Authentic versions of the luxury sports car sell for over $200,000.
The body shop that built the car covered it in a pearlescent coating of green and did most of the major work, but Morrow added the finishing touches. (Photo: Randy Morrow)

A break from the news

  • Doing this simple thing once a year can help you save more for retirement.
  • Explore Georgia’s roadside Bigfoot museum, devoted to the search for Sasquatch.
  • These are the best places in every stateto get a vacation home.

This is a compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network.

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