Neurosurgeon Dr Ben Carson has withdrawn from the race to be the Republican Party candidate to contest the US Presidential election, making Donald Trump's selection even more probable. Carson, himself no stranger to making the odd controversial comment, told his followers he won't attend the debate in his hometown Detroit on Thursday (3 March) as he can't see a "way forward" for his campaign following a poor showing on "Super Tuesday."
Carson rose from poverty to become a world-respected surgeon, the first to carry out a separation of twins conjoined at the head and the subject of a TV biopic based on his own modestly-titled memoir, "Gifted Hands." The only Afro-American among the Republican Party nominees, he had a likeable, easy-going persona but sometimes came out with comments every bit as controversial as those of Trump, now widely thought to be the Republican nominee.
Discussing the prospect of gay marriage, Carson warned it could potentially lead to the legalisation of bestiality. Speaking about gun control - which he opposed - he said the Nazis wouldn't have been able to carry out the Holocaust if ordinary Germans had been armed. Claims in his book about his troubled childhood - including an incident where he said he tried to stab another youth - have also been hotly disputed.
Carson's withdrawal from the race means there are now just four Republicans battling it out in their bid to take on the Democratic nominee, widely believed to be Hilary Clinton, in the race for the White House. Of the Republican candidates, Donald Trump had by far the best results on Super Tuesday, potentially pointing the way to a fascinating duel between two utterly different, yet equally colourful characters , each hoping to succeed Barack Obama as President and be the holder of the most powerful job in the world.