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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