The Oscar-winning actor and producer surprised viewers last night when he told "Late Show" host David Letterman that he has Stage 4 throat cancer. Looking thinner after finishing his first week of radiation and chemotherapy, Michael Douglas said he'd felt symptoms and sought medical attention earlier this summer, but the disease was not diagnosed until three weeks ago.
Audience members gasped when Douglas, 65, said the disease was at Stage 4. Letterman – polite, but persistently curious – asked, "Is Stage 4 where you want to be, or not where you want to be?"
"No." Douglas said with a humorous beat. The good news, he said, was that the disease has not spread and that he has an 80 percent chance of recovery. Also not apparently affected yet: Douglas' trademark voice. "This is just the first week," Douglas admitted, "so the progression goes down. ... The radiation continues to burn your mouth. ... You can't take solids."
Douglas said smoking and drinking contributed causing the cancer.
In a People magazine cover story released today, Douglas and his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, admitted the treatment was exhausting the otherwise indefatigable performer. Still, Douglas said, "I'll beat this."
The chairwoman of the Tea Party Express added another victory for the organization with Lisa Murkowski's concession in the Alaska Republican Senate primary last night. Kremer has been in Alaska since the August 11 primary, with the Tea Party donating $600,000 to Joe Miller's cause.
Calling the win "the political shocker of the year," Kremer said in a written statement yesterday: "Joe Miller's campaign based on a constitutional conservative platform resonated with the state's Republican primary voters and should serve as a wake-up call to the political establishments of both parties."
Kremer also credited former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for connecting Miller and the Tea Party Express. Other candidates who have benefited from Kremer's organization include Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sharron Angle of Nevada, Mike Lee of Utah and Ken Buck of Colorado, CNN reports.
What makes Kremer most intriguing is how quickly she has risen as a political influence. Raised in Atlanta, Georgia, the former Delta flight attendant did not become politically active until 2008, when she began blogging. After a complicated start founding the Tea Party Patriots, Kremer came to the Tea Party Express in 2009. She was the keynote speaker at the Tea Party Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, earlier this year and has traveled the country stumping for chosen candidates.
A 33-year-old computer programmer who was released on bail last week told the Boston Globe yesterday that he was not involved in a plot to bomb Times Square this year.
Mohammad Sharif ur Rahman told the Globe's Shelley Murphy that he was swept up an FBI investigation of a computer software company he once worked for that was suspected of sending money to the Taliban in Pakistan. Rahman and two of his cousins were arrested in May, originally in connection to Faisal Shazad, the man who reportedly left a bomb-laden SUV in Times Square. While none of the men has been charged with that crime, they all face deportation charges.
Rahman, originally from Pakistan, was adamant that his work was legitimate, adding that he put in 16-hour days in the 10-year period that the was employed at the software company. "I have never been involved in any criminal activity, not even a speeding ticket," he said during the interview, which included his American wife, Sara. "I don't want to be associated with that group whose crimes are against humanity. I'm a human being."
The former prime minister of Britain is releasing his memoir today, the same day he'll be at the White House as an envoy in the Middle East talks. The book, "Tony," earned Blair a reported $7 million advance.
Blair, 57, never expected the Iraq war to become such a "nightmare," adding that while he never formally apologized, he deeply regrets the deaths in Iraq.
Blair says he knew Gordon Brown would not succeed as prime minister, and he should have done something about it.
Just weeks before her death in a car accident, Blair directly questioned Princess Diana about her relationship with her boyfriend, Dodi al-Fayed.
Reviewers are wondering whether Blair will ever rehabilitate his image. When he first came onto the scene as the leader of the "New Labour" party, Blair offset British formality by insisting that he be called Tony. Today, he often faces war protesters and is criticized for his support of the George W. Bush administration.
Still, Blair pushes onward. He'll sit down with President Obama, Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas this evening in an effort to launch renewed Mideast talks.