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Ted Cruz hits back at Donald Trump no show

Credit: Fox News

Republican candidate Ted Cruz has kicked off tonight's Iowa debate by mocking his opponent Donald Trump and suggesting he has shown a lack of respect to voters by not showing up.

"I'm a maniac and everyone on this stage is stupid fat and ugly and Ben you're a terrible surgeon.

Now we've got the Donald Trump portion out of the way I want to thank everyone here for showing the men and women of Iowa the respect to show up.

– Ted Cruz, Texas Senator

Donald Trump veterans fund raises more than $5 million

The website set up to collect donations for veterans. Credit: donaldtrumpforvets.com

Donald Trump's foundation has raised more than $5 million (£3.5m) for veterans ahead of a rally he is holding during the Republican debate in Iowa.

Ahead of Thursday night's event, the billionaire said he would be donating $1m of his own money to the fund and that many of his wealthy friends would also be contributing.

Trump launched a website, donaldtrumpforvets.com, collecting donations for the cause on Thursday.

He is boycotting the final GOP debate because of a feud with host Fox News.

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Republican candidates prepare to debate without Trump

US Republican party presidential candidates are preparing for a key debate in Iowa this evening which is going ahead despite current front-runner Donald Trump's refusal to attend.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Ohio Governor John Kasich, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson will all take part in the debate.

Trump has opted out of the chance to take part instead choosing to host his own event nearby.

People have already started queuing to see the Iowa debate Credit: Robert Moore/ITV

Obama: Republicans had a good night

President Barack Obama has conceded that the Republican party has had a "good night" after they secured a majority in the US Senate in last night's midterm elections.

He said that the message from last night was that voters want to see the Washington gridlock eased.

Watch Obama's press conference at the White House:

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