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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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.

Jim Webb has criticised rising social equality

Jim Webb: The redneck Vietnam vet who is eyeing the presidency

Jim Webb has become the first Democrat to challenge Hillary Clinton

By the end of the year, says the White House, Obama will take executive action to at last deliver comprehensive immigration reform

Someone tell President Obama he lost the midterms — he's busier than he's been in years

Out of America: He seems fired up by defeat, and has ploughed ahead on climate change, the internet... and now immigration
George W Bush discusses ‘41: A Portrait of My Father

Bush the father, by Bush the son, adds context but offers few real insights

Biography '41' reveals another side of George W, but has few surprises

Angelina Jolie, with William Hague and John Kerry, should not confuse her role as UN envoy with internal US politics

Please don't run for office, Angelina Jolie

Out of America: The actress has hinted her future may lie in Washington, but she would surely be depressed by its deeply flawed system
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David Starkey's assessment
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