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'America's Next Top Model' Contestant Jael Strauss Diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer

Jael Strauss is fighting for her life.

The 34-year-old model, who finished sixth on the eighth season of America’s Next Top Model in 2007, took to Facebook earlier this month to reveal her devastating diagnosis of stage IV rapidly progressive metastatic inflammatory breast cancer. 

“I was gonna write some long thing but some of you guys deserve to know, On October 2nd I was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer,” she wrote. “It has aggressively spread throughout my body and is incurable. With treatment it may prolong my life longer than the ‘few months’ doctors said I could make it.”

“I don’t want to die,” she continued. “I need another one of those miracles that I got back in 2013.”

I was gonna write some long thing but some of you guys deserve to know, On October 2nd I was diagnosed with stage IV…

Jael Strauss 发布于 2018 年 10 月 4 日 周四

The 2013 miracle she referenced is likely related to her sobriety. Strauss celebrated her fifth-year sober back in August in a lengthy Instagram post.

“Miracles are real, Recovery is possible for everyone no matter how far gone you think you are, We are never too broken to be put back together, Service work feels better than the greatest high, Sobriety makes you weirder not normal😊,” she wrote in part at the time. “And I’d be dead if it weren’t for all the love and forgiveness I’ve been showered with by my friends and family.”

Strauss’ friends have started a GoFundMe page for the model, revealing that Strauss — who they call “one of the most compassionate, generous, and kind-hearted beings in the universe” — will soon be let go from her job and lose her health insurance.

“She has just begun chemo, but we do not know how things will play out. What we do know is that Jael is putting all of her energy and drive into fighting this insidious disease and can use as much support and love as possible,” the page reads in part. “… She has created ‘gofundmes’ for literally dozens of her friends, and it is now time for us to pay her back. We have the chance, and honestly the obligation, to step up and return the favor.”

In an update posted earlier this week, Cody Haynes, Strauss’ partner, thanked contributors for raising more than $ 8,000 of the $ 15,000 goal. 

According to a second update posted on Tuesday, Haynes revealed that Strauss is “sleeping soundly here at the hospital tonight” as she prepares for her second round of chemotherapy, which will begin on Wednesday.

Haynes said that everyone is remaining “optimistic throughout her treatment.”

“The road ahead may be quite long and challenging at times, and your continued support, love and prayers are needed,” Haynes wrote.

In an Instagram post on Wednesday, Strauss revealed that there will be a cancer relief fundraiser for her on Saturday, Oct. 13 in Austin, Texas, and will feature raffles, a DJ and a photobooth.

Watch the video below to hear from another star who’s battling cancer:


Michael Buble Says He and Wife Luisana Were ‘Struggling to Survive’ During Son’s Cancer Diagnosis

January Jones Promotes Breast Cancer Awareness With Topless Selfie

Serena Williams Sings 'I Touch Myself' Topless for Breast Cancer Awareness

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Garth Brooks Responds to Simon Cowell's 'America's Got Talent' Challenge

Garth Brooks says a collaboration with America’s Got Talent hopeful Michael Ketterer might happen after all!

Following Ketterer’s incredible performance during the first night of this season’s AGT semi-finals, judge Simon Cowell suggested that a country icon like Brooks would be the perfect person to write a song especially for Ketterer to sing during the finals.

A little over a week later, Brooks appeared in a new installment in his Facebook Live video series, Inside Studio G, where he addressed Cowell’s suggestion, and said there’s a chance that he might be able to make it happen.

“I actually got to talk to Michael, I talked to him on the phone, just to get ideas about, if we did write a song, what in the world would it cover?” Brooks explained. “He’s a good dude… you can tell this kid was raised right.”

Ketterer has become a fan favorite this season, both for his soulful, raw voice and his tremendously inspiring personal story as the father of six children, including five adopted sons who he and his wife took in off the street and from orphanages.

The contestant was brought to tears when Cowell first called on Brooks to write something for the finals, and the 56-year-old country icon said he appreciated that Cowell thought of him for the challenge.

“Thank you. That’s a pretty cool vote of confidence,” Brooks said. “And it’s pretty cool to get to do anything with people like [Ketterer]. And it’s a chance to create music, which is what it’s all about for me.”

We’re talking Notre Dame ON SALE tomorrow…AND, don’t worry, I see you America's Got Talent and Simon Cowell!! HA!!! love, g #StudioG

Posted by Garth Brooks on Thursday, September 13, 2018

However, Brooks also said that nothing is set in stone, and try as they might, it’s possible that they won’t be able to create something for Ketterer in time for the AGT finals next week.

“These things, you just can’t make them happen, you have to chase the music. So I’m working on it,” he said. “If it happens, I hope it’s something he likes, [and] I hope it’s something [the fans] like.”

“The truth is, you don’t know if you’re going to be able to do it. And what happens if you do it, and the kid’s like, ‘Ugh, this isn’t me,'” Brooks added, referring to the challenges of writing music under a deadline and for another artist. “So I think the best thing to do is everybody take a breath [and] let this kid do what’s best for him.”

ET’s Denny Directo caught up with Cowell on Tuesday following the second week of the AGT semi-finals, and the English TV personality said that Brooks “loves Michael,” and praised the country music legend for being “a gentleman and a class act.”

“Just the fact that Michael knows he’s got that support, that’s a big deal,” Simon added.

For more on Ketterer’s journey to the AGT finals, check out the video below.


'AGT' Singer Michael Ketterer's Wife and Six Children Share Their Family Story (Exclusive)

'America's Got Talent' Singer & Father of 6 Michael Ketterer Is Like a Real-Life Jack Pearson! (Exclusive)

FLASHBACK: Garth Brooks Makes History With 1997 Central Park Concert

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Trump, standing with Putin, sided with him over U.S. intel. Is this the dawn of 'America's surrender'?

The last American media question for Donald Trump was, in a way, a lifeline.

As the U.S. president stood with Russia's Vladimir Putin after their one-on-one summit in Helsinki on Monday, the Associated Press's Jonathan Lemire rose to put a query to Trump. 

"Just now, President Putin denied having anything to do with the election interference in 2016," he began. "Every U.S. intelligence agency has concluded that Russia did.

"My first question for you, sir, is who do you believe?"

The answer might have seemed obvious. Not so.

Watch as Trump deflects a direct question about Russian election interference: 

Blames Democrats and Hillary Clinton, and says he believes Vladimir Putin's denial of any wrongdoing 4:41

Trump's response in the press conference instead struck critics as a breathtaking statement of surrender. It was perceived as cementing a shift in the global order — one in which an era of American leadership has been replaced by one of American acquiescence. 

What might have been a breezy affirmation by the U.S. president backing his own intelligence community devolved into a mini-tirade, with Trump fuming about Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton's emails and demanding the whereabouts of a purported "missing" Democratic National Committee server.

"My people came to me, Dan Coats came to me," Trump said, as he proceeded to undermine his own director of national intelligence. "They said they think it's Russia."

Trump wasn't convinced, he said, citing Putin's "strong and powerful" denial.

"I have President Putin — he just said it's not Russia. I will say this: I don't see any reason it would be."

'Asymmetric warfare'

For Brett Bruen, a former White House director of global engagement, watching Monday's news conference felt like witnessing "America's surrender" on the diplomatic stage to a tyrant bent on dividing the West.

"Today was really the ceremonial surrender of a role that the United States has played since the end of World War II — the end of an era of American leadership in the world." 

He also noted with dismay Trump's lack of criticism regarding Russia's support of the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, as well as its annexation of Crimea, its interference in the U.S. democratic system and its suspected poisonings of an ex-Russian spy and his daughter on British soil.

"Asymmetric warfare has taken place … and the United States has not come to the defence of our allies, of our values, of ourselves," said Bruen, who worked for years to counter Russian propaganda in the Obama administration.

"That's why I use the terminology 'surrender.'"

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin shake hands during a joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki on Monday. Standing alongside Putin, the U.S. president steered clear of any confrontation with the Russian leader. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

In the face of a geopolitical menace in the form of Russia, he believes it appears the U.S. has chosen "to accept the notion that invading other countries, that meddling in the electoral process, that assassinating people with chemicals weapons on the streets of other countries, is an acceptable practice."

Bipartisan members of U.S. Congress used some of the same disparaging language to describe the Trump-Putin news conference, with Democratic congressman Adam Schiff blasting Trump's performance in a tweet as "the most damaging and shameful surrender of American values and interests in modern history."

In a statement, Republican senator John McCain called the summit in Helsinki a "tragic mistake."

Fox News reacted in horror, too. Conservative host and Fox Business anchor Neil Cavuto slammed Trump's behaviour at the press conference as "disgusting." On FoxNews.com, a headline proclaimed: "Losing bigly? Putin eats Trump's lunch in shocking Helsinki summit."

On Monday, Trump blamed the poor state of U.S.-Russian relations on American "foolishness" and special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian election meddling, ignoring Moscow as the primary cause of tensions.

That tweet, along with Trump's behaviour at the news conference, intensified speculation that the Kremlin might have "kompromat" — or compromising material — on the president. In a combative interview with Fox News, host Chris Wallace pressed Putin about whether the Russians possessed dirt on Trump.

"We don't have anything on [Trump]," Putin insisted.

Compliments over criticism

Still, Trump's reluctance to criticize Russia has been perplexing. 

Most telling on Monday, according Brookings Institution foreign-policy fellow Jamie Kirchick, was when Reuters reporter Jeff Mason offered another opportunity for Trump to denounce Russia over its aggression in Crimea, the U.K. and the U.S.

"Do you hold Russia at all accountable for anything in particular?" Mason asked.

To which Trump responded: "I hold both countries responsible. I think that the United States has been foolish. I think we've all been foolish."

Russian President Vladimir Putin answers questions about the allegations of U.S. election meddling during a joint news conference with U.S. President Donald Trump after their summit in Helsinki on Monday, July 16, 2018. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Kirchick noted that actual U.S. policy on Russia was much less conciliatory than Trump's words.

"There's a gap between the rhetoric and the retweets, and the actual policies," he said.

For example, Trump last week dumped on the European Union as a "foe," but told reporters on Monday he considers Putin a "good competitor … and I think the word 'competitor' is a compliment."

"If you look at the NATO communiqué the president signed," Kirchick said, "it's a very strong document and it's largely at odds from the way he's behaved" in the past few days in Europe.

In March, the Trump administration also approved $ 47 million US worth of lethal arms to Ukraine so the country can defend itself against further Russian incursions — a move that the Obama administration held off on.

Whether the U.S. has truly forsaken its interests depends on how much stake one puts in Trump's remarks. 

"Trump can say we've got to be friendly with Russia, but the fact is, even if he said we've got to accept the Crimean annexation, he can't lift sanctions on Russia," said Alexandra Vacroux, director of Harvard University's Davis Center for Russian and Eurasia Studies.

While some Russia scholars said it seemed the summit sidestepped a disastrous "grand bargain" that might have included sanctions relief or the reneging of U.S. commitments to NATO, it's unlikely the public will learn precisely what — if any — concessions were discussed, given that Trump and Putin met without advisers.

Win-win for the 2 leaders?

Vacroux said it seems both leaders got what they wanted out of the meeting.

For Trump, securing the sit-down was long on his agenda as part of a bid to smooth relations with Russia. For Putin, Vacroux said, "he got the prestige of being called one of the world's great superpowers."

"There was nothing to lose" for the Russian leader, Vacroux said, though the United States' strategic partners abroad may be less confident in the country's standing as a pillar of stability. 

Just before Monday's summit, Germany's foreign minister Heiko Maas gave a grim assessment of the European Union's new dynamic with the U.S. 

His conclusion? "We can no longer completely rely on the White House." 

Watch the full Trump-Putin news conference below:

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin speak to reporters following their meeting in Helsinki on Monday. 45:50

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CBC | World News

'America's Got Talent' Is Bringing Everyone Back for Season 13

Summer isn’t summer without the #AGT fam. America’s Got Talent is coming back and leaving no one behind!

Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Mel B are returning to judge season 13 of the NBC reality-competition show, with Tyra Banks also back as the host.

“Oh lawd honey, we gonna have some fun! #SquadGoals,” Banks captioned a Tweet celebrating the news. Meanwhile, the show tweeted, “Summer isn’t summer without the #AGT fam.”

We couldn’t agree more!

Last season ended with 12-year-old singing ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer from Oklahoma City taking the top honors, a season after Grace VanderWaal, who announced on Wednesday that she’ll be joining Imagine Dragons on tour this summer.

ET talked to Darci after she won last season, who recalled the agonizing moments before finding out the results.

“I was so stressed out. That was the longest 30 seconds of my life,” Darci admitted. “I was, like, just spit it out Ty Ty! “

“I really don’t think I was breathing, honestly,” Darci’s mom Misty added. “I was very nervous for her because I know she wanted to win, and I knew that she would handle it well if she didn’t. But I just, you know, you want your child to stand up there and have joy.”

Watch the video below to go inside the 2018 auditions.


EXCLUSIVE: Darci Lynne Farmer Describes Agonizing Moments Before Finding Out She Won ‘America’s Got Talent’

EXCLUSIVE: Darci Lynne Farmer ‘Overcome With Joy’ After ‘America’s Got Talent’ Win, Talks Prize Money Plans

EXCLUSIVE: Mandy Harvey Talks Emotional ‘America’s Got Talent’ Finals: ‘I Want to Inspire Other People’

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Ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer Performs Mind-Blowing Duet With Two Puppets in 'America's Got Talent' Finals

“The best part of doing this job is when you are there and you can say, ‘I was there at the beginning of someone’s career and I witnessed a star,'” Simon Cowell praised. “Tonight, again, I’ve just witnessed a star emerge, because that’s what you are. You’re special, incredible, funny, talented and I think you’re going to win.”

To see if the judges’ predictions come true, fans will have to tune in to the America’s Got Talentfinals results show on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

For more on Farmer’s beloved, hilarious performances throughout the season, check out the video below.

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'America's Got Talent': Deaf Singer Mandy Harvey Gets Compared to Adele in Flawless, Emotional Performance

After the show, Harvey admitted to ET’s Denny Directo that she felt “amazing.”

“I got to introduce signing with song for the first time on the AGT stage, and that meant a lot to me, and I got to sing an original song again on the Dolby Theater,” she said. “I mean, life is beautiful right now.”

“I’m presenting a song that’s very heartfelt and very raw, so stripping it down so that you can hear all the words or see the signs without too much distraction meant a lot for the meaning of the song, so I’m happy that it was received as well,” she added.

Being compared to Adele is truly an honor, though Harvey, unfortunately, wasn’t fully aware of just how special Cowell’s comments were. “It’s crazy. I’ve never heard Adele sing, so it’s a difficult comparison for me, but you can’t not know Adele. She’s Adele!” she said. “I hope that if she sees the video and hears me sing, she’s not offended by that comparison.”

And while plenty people have had some harsh words for Cowell in the past, Harvey is not one of them.

“Simon is wonderful because he’s listening to my musicianship,” she explained. “He’s not trying to get caught up in a pity story, which I don’t feel that I am one, but some people would put me in that category. He’s listening to me as a musician and judging me that way. Regardless of what happens, the fact that he’s looking at me straight on as a singer means the world, because I want that judgment.”

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'America's Got Talent': Inspiring Houston-Based Singer Kechi Shares Message of Hope for Hurricane Survivors

At her home in Houston, Texas, Kechi gave viewers a look at supportive letters written to her by the families of her school mates who didn’t survive the crash. They were letters that encouraged Kechi to stay strong as she underwent numerous rounds of surgeries and medical procedures to save her life following the tragic accident.

“I’ve always felt a responsibility to the people that lost loved ones in that plane crash, and it pushes me to do all the things that I do,” she shared. “I want to make them proud. I want them to see that this life that was saved that day was not saved in vain.”

After performing twice earlier this season, the talented singer picked a song that seemed to speak volumes toward her own personal struggles — Katy Perry’s “By the Grace of God.” The emotional ballad was the perfect showcase for her flawless voice, and she was brought to tears as she finished singing.

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'America's Got Talent' Results Show: Big Night for Young Performers While Some Fan Favorites Get Sent Home

Unfortunately, The Masqueraders weren’t the only legitimately talented entertainers AGT fans still had to say goodbye to on Wednesday night. Death-defying escape artist Demian Aditya — whose quarter-finals performance was marred by technical mishaps — was sent home, along with the hip-hop dance group Brobots & Mandroidz, the singing and dancing duo Mirror Image and the dog-training Pompeyo Family.

The third AGT quarter-finals round kicks off Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

Check out the video below for a look at last week’s results show, which included a beautiful performance from 13-year-old singer Grace VanderWaal, who won the competition last season.

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'America's Got Talent': Deaf Singer Mandy Harvey Praised as a 'Miracle Worker' Following Emotional Performance

For Heidi Klum, the best part of Harvey’s performance was “how raw and how real and how honest” the whole thing felt.

“There was no backing track, there was no production around it. It was just you, your beautiful voice, your ukulele, and it was very powerful,” she shared.

Mel B was equally effusive with her reaction, praising the singer for her impact and her influence on others who look to Harvey as an inspiration. “You make the impossible, possible,” the former Spice Girls star said. “You’re like a miracle worker, and you’ve literally taken me on an emotional journey.”

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'America's Got Talent': Child Dancers, Dog Trainers & Stunning Singers Dazzle in the Final Week of Judge Cuts

Tuesday saw some of the toughest competition between America’s Got Talent performers, who were all vying for the last seven spots in the final week of the Judge Cuts round.

From singing groups to daredevils to mind-blowing magicians, every act that hit the stage knew what was on the line and brought everything they had to impress the judges — but despite an onslaught of stunning displays of skill, the panel still had to make their cuts.

Special guest judge Seal helped the panel whittle down the he competition to the seven performers who impressed them the most and showed that they have what it takes to go all the way. Here are the acts that made it through to the upcoming AGT live round.

WATCH: ‘America’s Got Talent’: Johnny Manuel Earns Golden Buzzer From Guest Judge Seal After Epic Performance

1. In The Stairwell

This a capella singing group, made up of members of the Air Force Academy, donned their flight suits to impress the judges — especially Howie, who didn’t really love their audition earlier this season — with a super fun cover of *NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye.”

2. Pompeyo Family

What’s not to love about cute kids doing tricks with adorable dogs? This Florida family of dog trainers donned their best Western wear for an energetic performance showcasing their unique canines, who can pull off some of the coolest tricks you’ve ever seen.

WATCH: ‘America’s Got Talent’: Dancer Crews, Singers, Daredevils and a Comic Shine in Week 3 of Judge Cuts Round

3. Johnny Manuel

This 32-year-old singer belted out a beautiful rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Lately” that impressed Mel B, but left Simon Cowell a little cold. The judge then asked Manuel to perform an a capella cover of Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing,” and the singer’s ability to hit some amazing high notes impressed Seal so much he had no choice but to slam the Golden Buzzer.

4. DaNell Daymon & Greater Works

Very rarely, if ever, do gospel choirs compete on AGT, but it’s a good thing Greater Works decided to, because their stage presence, energy, vocal skills and enthusiasm are revelatory. For their second round of competition, the group delivered a cover of Marvin Gaye’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” that brought everyone in the theater to their feet.

5. Artyon and Paige

While these pint-sized performers didn’t impress Simon Cowell with their well-choreographed interpretive dance routine during the auditions, they came back even stronger and won over everyone watching with their beautiful dance number set to Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes’ “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.”

WATCH: 7 Mind-Blowing Performances From ‘America’s Got Talent’ Season 12 Premiere

6. Merrick Hanna

When 12-year-old dancer Hanna took the stage, hopes were high because the judges had loved his audition so much. And the young performer didn’t disappoint, proving once again that he has an almost-impossible level of control over his movements, performing a dance number as a robot in a way that evokes pain, beauty and heartache with every motion. It’s unlike any other act this season.

7. Kechi

This stunning singer — who, at 16, found a love for music in the hospital after being badly burned during a tragic plane crash — brought the AGT audience to tears with her stirring cover of John Hiatt’s “Have a Little Faith in Me.” The performance earned a standing ovation and nothing but love from Seal, who joined the singer on stage to give her a hug.

WATCH: Heidi Klum Reunites With Ex-Husband Seal on ‘America’s Got Talent’

The America’s Got Talentlive rounds kick off next week, and the contestants who have made it this far will get a chance to compete for the votes of the viewing public when AGT returns next Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT, 7 p.m. CT on NBC.

Check out the video below for a look at the seven talented performers who made it through after the third night of challenging competition last week.


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