Tributes pour in as Vietnam veteran and six-term senator, John McCain dies at 81

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Republican Senator John McCain

Tributes from former US presidents and across the political spectrum have poured in for Republican Senator John McCain, who has died aged 81.

Barack Obama, who beat him to the White House in 2008, said they had shared a “fidelity to something higher”.

George W Bush described him as “a patriot of the highest order”. President Donald Trump, whom McCain had strongly criticised, tweeted his “deepest sympathies” to McCain’s family but did not comment on his life.

Sources quoted by US media said Trump would not be invited to the funeral and the current administration would probably be represented by Vice President Mike Pence.

Former Presidents Obama and George W Bush are expected to give eulogies.

McCain was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour in July last year and had been undergoing treatment. But on Friday his family announced he had decided to discontinue that treatment.

A statement from his office on Saturday said McCain had died in Arizona surrounded by family members.

His family said he would lie in state in Phoenix, Arizona, and in Washington DC before a funeral at the Washington National Cathedral and his burial in Annapolis, Maryland. (BBC)

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