Rupert Cornwell

Known for his commentary on international relations and US politics, Rupert Cornwell also contributes obituaries and occasionally even a column for the sports pages. With The Independent since its launch in 1986, he was the paper's first Moscow correspondent - covering the collapse of the Soviet Union – during which time he won two British Press Awards. Previously a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times and Reuters, he has also been a diplomatic correspondent, leader writer and columnist, and has served as Washington bureau editor. In 1983 he published God's Banker, about Roberto Calvi, the Italian banker found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge.

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In the aftermath of 9/11, US policy in Guantanamo was acceptable to terrified Americans

The American hysteria that led to CIA torture

Out of America: Amid the justifiable recriminations, it is too easy to forget that 3,000 people were killed in the US in one day
CIA Director John Brennan addresses the press

CIA torture report: Far from being reined in, the agency will emerge stronger than ever

If anything, scrutiny is now likely to become laxer with the GOP in charge

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) logo is displayed in the lobby of their headquarters in Langley, Virginia

CIA torture report: A victory for moral outrage and a blow for US democracy

Torture report confirms fears expressed about CIA when it was formed in 1947

Protesters demanding justice for Eric Garner, following his death at the hands of a New York police officer

Eric Garner 'chokehold' death: A grand jury blind to the evidence before it

Out of America: The decision not to bring charges after the death of a black man in police custody suggests a fatal flaw in the system
Orion sits on the Delta IV rocket after its inaugural launch was postponed

Orion 'Mars ship': The most ambitious venture in Nasa's history offers the best chance of rekindling national excitement over space exploration

The project could revive the excitement and sense of purpose that drove the Apollo programme and the series of moon landings between 1969 and 1972

Nevada is currently the only US state where sports betting is permitted

US considers a change in the law to allow gambling on sports

Out of America: Nearly a century after the 'Black Sox' affair, official America is starting to clamour for a slice of the action
The firebrand preacher Al Sharpton has been leading the protests in Ferguson

Al Sharpton: The spokesman for black America

The firebrand preacher has been leading the protests in Ferguson. Just don't mention the tax bill

Barry, left, in 1978, after winning his first mayoral election

Marion Barry: Civil rights hero who went on to become mayor of Washington but was laid low by his personal demons

Marion Barry could have been a great man, an indomitable fighter for civil rights and the mayor who made Washington DC whole. Instead, he will be remembered above all as a racial polariser brought low by his demons, his career summarised by grainy images of him smoking crack cocaine with a former mistress at a downtown hotel.

Bill Cosby dismisses the allegations that have demolished his lovable TV persona as ‘innuendos’

Bill Cosby: from America's dad to sexual predator

Out of America: Stories of his alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans
Byrne in 1979: four years later she lost in the primary to Harold Washington, who became Chicago’s first black mayor

Jane Byrne: Politician who remains the only woman to serve as mayor of one of the three largest cities in America

Jane Byrne, the only female mayor in Chicago history, established a milestone for women’s advancement in the US.

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Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
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Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
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Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
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Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there