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Barack Obama ousts US defence secretary Chuck Hagel after differences

WASHINGTON: He was packed off with the usual Washington finesse, including warm words of appreciation for services rendered, but US President Barack Obama ostensibly ousted his defence secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday after a series of military and foreign policy glitches and differences, including on the unbridled rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Hagel, the only Republican member of President Obama’s cabinet, tendered his resignation on Monday and it was immediately accepted, making him the first cabinet-level casualty after the mid-term election rout for the Democrats. Although his departure was couched in graceful exit lines from all sides, broad leaks suggested President Obama…