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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Kalashnikov c. 1949, by which time his gun was standard issue for the Red Army

Mikhail Kalashnikov: Soviet general whose design for a cheap and reliable assault rifle transformed the nature of conflict round the world

With his stocky frame, and his general's uniform smothered with medals, Mikhail Kalashnikov looked the quintessential Soviet military veteran. But he was a veteran with a difference. For one thing he was a keen and lifelong poet. For another, having been badly wounded fighting the German invader around Bryansk in October 1941, early in what Russians still call the Great Patriotic War, he conceived what would become the most famous assault rifle in the world.

Bronfman in 2006, at the opening of a new main synagogue in Munich

Edgar Bronfman: Businessman who as head of the World Jewish Congress devoted his private life to championing Jewish causes

Edgar Bronfman was a restless, imaginative business leader who presided over what was once the largest liquor group on earth. The Seagram Company, however, is no more, sold to the French group Vivendi in 2000 amid an unhappy foray into the entertainment industry by his son and successor, Edgar Jr. The elder Edgar's real legacy is his quarter-century tenure as president of the World Jewish Congress, which he turned into the pre-eminent institution representing the Jewish diaspora, and a champion of Jewish causes, from the right of emigration from the Soviet Union to the restitution of assets lost during the Holocaust.

Mikhail Kalashnikov obituary: Man behind world’s most famous assault rifle dies aged 94

Soviet general whose design for a cheap and reliable assault rifle transformed the nature of conflict round the world

Wait for it...Obama is to make a statement on the NSA after his holiday

Barack Obama puts his 'annus horribilis' on hold

Edward Snowden's revelations about the NSA have wounded the President almost as much as the disastrous roll-out of his healthcare reform

Head turning: Mary Barra, the world’s first woman to lead a major car company

At last, the face of power is female

First, General Motors, next, the Federal Reserve. The glass ceiling in the US is not broken, but some big cracks are beginning to appear

Radio Days: The golden age of AM is long gone but it’s cherished by many Americans

Turning up the voice of America

The warm crackle and hiss of AM radio lives on in the US, and is about to get a boost that could put it back at the heart of communities

President Barack Obama pardons Popcorn the Thanksgiving turkey

Pardon people, not turkeys, Mr President

Why is Obama so reluctant to reprieve the many Americans trapped in excessive life-without-parole sentences? A little mercy would be a true cause for giving thanks

Blocked vote: Harry Reid, centre, the Senate majority leader, lost patience with the Republican’s stalling tactics

Barack Obama gets his judges. But at what cost?

Incensed by filibusters against the President’s nominees, the Democrats passed a law banning the practice – a move they may live to regret

Members of the Kennedy family pay their respects at Arlington National Cemetery to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy

JFK assassination: The world remembers the president, 50 years on

Kennedy family members gathered at his grave in Arlington cemetery

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Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star