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.

Republican rift sparked by Afghan war

Just months before the US mid-term elections, the Republican Party is grappling with an unexpected internal ruckus triggered by its chairman, Michael Steele, after he suggested the Afghan war was of "Obama's choosing" and wasn't one that the country ever really "wanted to engage in".

Niall Ferguson: 'What would the left wing do without me?'

He's the media don who makes liberals bristle. Now Niall Ferguson is rewriting economics. He talks to Sean O'Grady about banking in the Third Reich, the failure of Obama and how he's helping Michael Gove

Cape heads stout Irish defence of Curragh showpiece

The Irish Derby, to be run for the 145th time at the Curragh this afternoon, has taken on a variety of guises over the years: a lap of honour, a decider, a consolation prize. Today, following a recent trend, it is once again the lastnamed and, with the best will in the world, does not seem a renewal of Ireland's premier Classic to quicken the pulse unduly. Except down Co Tipperary way, perhaps. Aidan O'Brien will be going for his eighth victory, and fifth in a row, and even though four of the five Ballydoyle contenders have already failed in their Group One endeavours, that does not necessarily write them off at the highest level.

Republicans exploit sacking to challenge Afghan strategy

McCain leads assault on Obama's decision to reveal exit strategy from warzone

McCain happy to uphold tradition with Overturn

The Northumberland Plate, one of the calendar's longest-established marathons, was first run in 1833, a year which was, topically enough, also a significant one for the nation's finances. It was then that the Treasury first became a ministerial department; the inaugural Chancellor of the Exchequer to deliver a budget under the new regime, Viscount Althorp, was a Whig, an early sort of Liberal.

Petraeus collapses at Senate hearing

The general who oversees the war in Iraq and Afghanistan slumped at the witness table yesterday while testifying at a US Senate hearing.

Archie Bland: General Petraeus’ faint praise for Obama

Well, that’s a rare contrast that helps BP. On the same day their US chief Lamar McKay was getting thoroughly roasted by the House energy and commerce sub-committee, and, all right, not exactly breezing it, but at least remaining on a relatively even keel, US commander in Iraq and Afghanistan General David Petraeus was collapsing in the middle of a considerably friendlier interrogation by John McCain. Goodness known what would have happened to Petraeus had he been subjected to the same tongue-lashing as McKay and his fellow oil chiefs.

Mary Dejevsky: The voters are back in the game

The worst is that instead of courting us with promises the major parties have taken to threatening us instead

Tim Walker: Facebook wants to tame the web

Facebook doesn't really do irony, and nor would you if you were an $11.5bn internet behemoth with upwards of 400 million users. So all those blue "Like This" buttons that you'll have noticed appearing web-wide this week, eagerly waggling their little upwards-pointed thumbs, are in complete earnest. The roll-out of "Like" widgets to sites such as IMDB, Yelp and Slate allows Facebook users to instantly recommend movies, restaurants and news articles to their friends without even logging in to their Facebook accounts, and was one of a number of new features announced at the company's f8 developer conference in California last week.

Online sites win journalism firsts at Pulitzers

ProPublica, in an historic first for online journalism, have won a coveted Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting about controversial deaths at a New Orleans medical center following Hurricane Katrina.

Sarah Sands: Yes, the voting age should be changed – to 25

Gordon Brown has got it wrong about youth

Who’s hot (and who’s not) in the big race

Red Hot Tips

Character Building

Has his quirks but the type to come alive for Nina Carberry over these fences. Stays well, too, and has shown glimpses of class in his time, albeit not since returning from an injury. Odds: 16-1

Is Balls heading for a Portillo moment?

The man tipped as Gordon Brown's successor faces an uphill struggle to win his seat. Andy McSmith reports from the battleground

Palin flies to Arizona to breathe life into McCain's Senate bid

Chasing a fifth term, Vietnam vet summons darling of Republican right to save his campaign
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering