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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Bob Strauss: Lawyer who as a political fixer enjoyed decades of behind-the-scenes power in Washington’s inner circles

Robert Strauss was an especially colourful member of an almost defunct Washington breed, once represented by the likes of Clark Clifford, Ron Brown and Lloyd Cutler: a fixer who moved amid the capital’s interlocking worlds of blue riband law firms, high-powered lobbying operations and government service.

Undercover: Joe McGinnis bought a home in Alaska, next door to Sarah Palin, so that he could be close to her while writing his biography

Joe McGinniss, a master of reportage, whatever the cost

For the American journalist and author, writing a book required total immersion in the subject – even if that meant becoming part of the story himself

Barack Obama offered his backing to Ukraine’s Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, during a meeting at the White House

Ukraine crisis: ‘We will stand with Ukraine’, says President Barack Obama as Russian troops mass on Crimean boarder

Barack Obama held a high-profile meeting with Ukraine’s Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, at the White House in a calculated display for the Kremlin of the West’s backing – moral, financial and diplomatic – for the embattled new government in Kiev.

Not just the states: Anti-Putin protesters in Vilnius, Lithuania last week

Adolf Hitler and his part in the downfall of political insults

Americans are very unimaginative at being rude about people. As with Hillary Clinton last week, it always comes back to the Nazis

Russian President Vladimir Putin gives a news conference at his country residence of Novo-Ogaryova, outside Moscow

Why President Putin will do everything he can to prevent a ‘normal’ Ukraine

His state was halved in size by the collapse of the Soviet Union barely two decades ago. The economy he presides over ranks a mere eighth or ninth in the world – and that is thanks almost exclusively to the oil, gas and mineral wealth below its soil. The average life expectancy of his country’s males is only 60 years and its population is in long-term decline.

Cup runs dry: Have Tea Party members have overplayed their hands in primary elections?

There are signs the Tea Party may be over 

Five years of arch-conservative revolution has left the party exhausted by infighting

Pro-Ukrainian activists hold placards reading

Unlikely odds of a Russia-Crimea reunification

The new government in Kiev is extremely unlikely to do anything to directly provoke the Kremlin

Out of favour: Only 12 of the 32 states which execute prisoners use the electric chair

The last breaths of America's machinery of death

Few states still have capital punishment, and even those that do are finding it difficult to find the drugs needed for lethal injections

Miranda Barbour (pictured) and her husband Elytte murdered Troy LaFerrara last November

Is Miranda Barbour the most dangerous woman in US history – or just a good liar?

The 19-year-old has claimed more than two dozen murders, beginning when she was just 13

Power play: Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in House of Cards

Capitol Hill longs for drama in a crisis

Washington's deadlocked political class can only envy the ruthlessly effective machinations of Kevin Spacey in 'House of Cards'

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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

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
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

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
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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
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Autism-friendly theatre

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

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
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'