John Mccain

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

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.

10 to watch over jumps this winter

The National Hunt season hits top gear this weekend. With Flemenstar and Sprinter Sacre already on their way to the top, Chris McGrath picks lesser lights to look out for

Sea Of Thunder can drown out big noise Boston Bob

Willie Mullins has described Boston Bob as a match for any novice he has ever brought to the Festival, which guarantees he will start a hot favourite for the Albert Bartlett Hurdle today. It would be no surprise to see him look a Gold Cup winner in the making, but the odds will be very short about a horse running on quick ground for the first time.

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Inside Obama's Chicago machine

As the Republican primaries get under way, David Usborne is granted exclusive access to the crack team in the President's home town who hope to neutralise the enemy and return their man to the White House