URGENT ¥¥¥ US Senate confirms Hagel as secretary of defense

The US Senate confirmed Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense Tuesday, ending an acrimonious nominations process and giving President Barack Obama a victory as he fills his second-term cabinet.

Senators voted 58-41, with four Republicans joining the majority Democrats, to confirm the Republican former senator and Vietnam War veteran to replace outgoing Pentagon chief Leon Panetta. Hagel is likely to be sworn in Wednesday.