Sport

Conventional racing wisdom has it that speed, rather than an abundance of stamina, is the most important attribute in a potential King George VI Chase winner, hence the proliferation of specialists over shorter distances than three miles lining up at Kempton on Boxing Day.

Washington Post photographer Melina Mara caught Mr McCain in the act with an over-the-shoulder picture showing the 77-year-old gambling with fake money on his phone

'Worst of all I lost!': John McCain admits to playing poker on his iPhone at US Syria debate

Senior US Republican Senator John McCain has admitted today on Twitter to playing poker on his iPhone during a key meeting on possible military intervention in Syria.

Five excuses McCain SHOULD have used for playing poker on phone during Syria hearing

You might have thought Senator John McCain would pay attention, after months of advocating the arming of Syrian rebels, but during a key senate hearing yesterday evening on the potential use of military force in the Middle Eastern region, the former Presidential candidate was snapped playing poker on his smartphone.

Syria crisis: First CIA-trained rebel unit about to join fighting against Assad regime, says President Obama

In efforts to assure Congress – and Senator John McCain – that action on Syria will be more than just symbolic, Barack Obama says US efforts to support rebels are now in full swing

General al-Sisi assumed the Brotherhood would tire of their tactic after a few days in the sun

In Egypt General al-Sisi is at a loss – but a massacre on Eid would bring too much infamy

The Brotherhood doesn't want to play by the army's script

US senator John McCain calls for talks with former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi

John McCain, the US senator, has urged Egypt’s military-backed government to release detained members of the Muslim Brotherhood before starting negotiations.

Colonel Bud Day was born in 1925

Colonel Bud Day: Soldier who was held prisoner by the Vietcong for over five years

George "Bud" Day, who died on 27 July aged 88, spent more than five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam and was John McCain's cellmate. One of the most highly decorated US servicemen since General MacArthur, he was later a tireless advocate for veterans' rights.

Pentagon warns against Syria intervention which could cost US '$1bn a month'

Warning comes as the US and Britain concede that Assad could remain in power for a long while, albeit controlling only a portion of his country

Corporate tax avoiders face global crackdown

New global rules to force tax avoiders to “pay their fair share” will be introduced under a 15-point action plan launched by the OECD yesterday.

Homeland actor David Harewood is the latest name to be linked to the lead role in Doctor Who after bookies noted a surge in bets for the star.

David Harewood linked to Doctor Who role

Homeland actor David Harewood is the latest name to be linked to the lead role in Doctor Who after bookies noted a surge in bets for the star.

A Hezbollah fighter in a Shia area of Beirut

Hezbollah has been lured into unknown territory in Syria as it wages costly battle for survival

Mohammed Nour is the spokesperson for the Northern Storm Brigade, accused of kidnapping 11 Lebanese pilgrims in Syria

US Senator John McCain crosses into Syria for talks with rebel leader

US Senator John McCain crossed the border into Syria for talks with rebel commanders, becoming the highest-level American official to enter the country since the civil war began more than two years ago.

Contributer, ridden by Ryan Moore (centre), on his way to victory from Cruck Realta (right) and Cap O’Rushes in the Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup EBF Conditions Stakes at Newbury yesterday

Smith and Mania out to do a Red Rum by staging a Grand Encore

Moohaajim and Maureen can stake their Classic claims in trials at Newbury

A controversial appointment: Outspoken former Republican senator Chuck Hagel to be sworn in as US Defence Secretary

Chuck Hagel is set to be sworn in as Barack Obama’s latest Defence Secretary today, ending one of the most controversial appointment sagas in US history.

New Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee

Barack Obama's new Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel grilled in Senate confirmation hearing

Chuck Hagel, the former Republican senator picked by President Barack Obama as his new Secretary of Defence, had a rocky audition on Capitol Hill today as he sought to fend off criticism of his past positions on such hot-zone topics as relations with Israel and Iran and the war in Iraq.

A spontaneous celebration erupts in front of the White House

A Capitol adventure: Joining the party of all parties in Washington DC

The Kennedy Room in The Capitol Lounge, a short walk from the US Congress, was rammed full of Democrats who had been swept away by Barack Obama's soaring oratory, as well as buckets-full of strong craft beer.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas