Barack Obama's hopes of appointing Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the UN, as America's new Secretary of State has suffered a significant blow after Republican senators promised to block her nomination.
Mrs Rice (48) was touted as the overwhelming favourite to replace Hillary Clinton as America's top diplomat earlier this month. She has fallen foul of Republicans who accused her of leading a whitewash of al-Qaeda's role in the attacks on the US consulate in Benghazi.
Efforts to smooth out Republican opposition to her potential appointment failed after Mrs Rice held a meeting with three senators who had questioned her fitness for the role.
Afterwards, all three senators, John McCain, Lindsay Graham and Kelly Ayotte, said they were not convinced by Mrs Rice. (© Daily Telegraph, London)