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.

It was Bush's war. Now it's Obama's. And the heat is on

The military audience's applause after the President's speech had barely died away before the flak began to fly

Henderson in trim for major weekend

Trainer's string hitting top form as Barbers Shop and Binocular focus on big prizes

The Sarah Palin phenomenon

The American right's darling sold a record-breaking 300,000 copies of her autobiography on day one. What does this say about the US?

Palin uses book to get her revenge

Memoir scornful of Republican Party officials and media strategy during failed election bid

Palin memoirs attack McCain camp

Sarah Palin's new memoir describes heart-wrenching anguish about her teen daughter's pregnancy playing out before a national audience. But the 413-page tome doesn't contain a single reference to the father of her granddaughter, soon-to-be Playgirl model Levi Johnston.

Business Diary: Lord Sugar learns official speak

Lord Sugar seems to be catching on to this politics lark. Yesterday, a day after an intemperate public rant about the small firms he's supposed to be championing in his new Government post, The Apprentice star issued this statement: "It is unfortunate that my words have been taken out of context". Nick and Margaret have obviously been in touch with some PR advice.

McCain's daughter called a 'slut' after busty Twitter pic

Meghan McCain, daughter of failed presidential candidate John McCain has apologised over a Twitter picture that saw her labelled a 'slut' on the microblogging site.

Obama is caught in political crossfire

Heated exchange sees John McCain berate President for his 'leisurely pace'

Chasing the dead: genealogy and the art of recruitment

Ask most lay people what they know about the Mormon Church, or the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints to give them their official title, and the chances are the first subject they will mention is polygamy, despite the practice of taking more than one wife being officially renounced around 120 years ago.

Matthew Norman: Gordo the fingernail vs Cam the puppet

Here we go again. Every four or five years, without fail, the prospect of a live, televised election scrap between the party leaders is tantalisingly raised, and this time it might even happen. Peter Mandelson has green-lit it already, of course, and where the Senior Prime Minister has led, Gordon may just follow in desperation for a last-minute game-changer. Some find the idea unappealing but, as anyone who watched the Obama vs McCain trilogy may agree, these debates are far the most reliable guides to judgement and temperament.

Obama fails to be bipartisan says McCain

Senator John McCain says President Barack Obama has failed in his effort to be a bipartisan leader.

Gordon v David: coming to a TV screen near you?

Tony Blair wanted to do it with John Major but John Major was too coy. William Hague, Michael Howard and Charles Kennedy all wanted to do it with Tony but he said no.

Matthew Norman: The insanity and enduring racism of the American right

The Republicans now make the Tories at their worst seem achingly inclusive

Is the party over for the Republicans?

The White House is lost, scandal is rife and a certain lady in Alaska has resigned her governorship. The Republican Party is, by any measure, a mess. Can it bounce back? Only if it radically alters its political leanings, suggests the Independent's chief US commentator, Rupert Cornwell

John Pilger: 'I have watched the political ground shift beneath my feet'

He has pursued almost a crusade, a missionary like zeal against the Western world, its inadequacies and corruptions, for almost 40 years. Few politicians of recent times have escaped the withering criticisms, the icy blast of his rhetoric. He once disparagingly called South African former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel "a long haired biker of the 1980s".

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Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
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Nigel Farage arrives for a hustings event at The Oddfellows Hall in Ramsgate on Tuesday
voicesA defection that shows who has the most to fear from the rise of Ukip
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The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
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Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
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Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
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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
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution