Mary Louise Kelly | WYPR

Mary Louise Kelly

Mary Louise Kelly is a co-host of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine.

Previously, she spent a decade as national security correspondent for NPR News, and she's kept that focus in her role as anchor. That's meant taking All Things Considered to Russia, North Korea, and beyond (including live coverage from Helsinki, for the infamous Trump-Putin summit). Her past reporting has tracked the CIA and other spy agencies, terrorism, wars, and rising nuclear powers. Kelly's assignments have found her deep in interviews at the Khyber Pass, at mosques in Hamburg, and in grimy Belfast bars.

Kelly first launched NPR's intelligence beat in 2004. After one particularly tough trip to Baghdad — so tough she wrote an essay about it for Newsweek — she decided to try trading the spy beat for spy fiction. Her debut espionage novel, Anonymous Sources, was published by Simon and Schuster in 2013. It's a tale of journalists, spies, and Pakistan's nuclear security. Her second novel, The Bullet, followed in 2015.

Kelly's writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, Washingtonian, The Atlantic, and other publications. She has lectured at Harvard and Stanford, and taught a course on national security and journalism at Georgetown University. In addition to her NPR work, Kelly serves as a contributing editor at The Atlantic, moderating newsmaker interviews at forums from Aspen to Abu Dhabi.

A Georgia native, Kelly's first job was pounding the streets as a political reporter at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In 1996, she made the leap to broadcasting, joining the team that launched BBC/Public Radio International's The World. The following year, Kelly moved to London to work as a producer for CNN and as a senior producer, host, and reporter for the BBC World Service.

Kelly graduated from Harvard University in 1993 with degrees in government, French language, and literature. Two years later, she completed a master's degree in European studies at Cambridge University in England.

Living with the pandemic has been difficult for everyone: the isolation, the need to wear protective gear like masks and gloves, the adjustment to working or learning from home.

For those living with or caring for someone with severe autism, those challenges can be exponentially more difficult.

"Wearing gloves or masks, you know, things like that? That's just not going to happen here," says Feda Almaliti.

These days, it seems any morsel of good news about a coronavirus vaccine sends hopes — and markets — soaring.

The reality is, developing and producing a vaccine is an incredibly complicated process — one that is heavily reliant on global cooperation, says Prashant Yadav, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development.

California led the nation in issuing a statewide stay-at-home order. But there's been an economic cost for going first — in the form of a $54 billion budget shortfall and unemployment projected to be as high as 25% this quarter.

"Those are Depression-era numbers and they're numbers that you'll see across this country," Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom tells All Things Considered. "By some estimates ... this has been the biggest shock we've seen in living memory."

Middle school spans those tween and early teenage years when, for many, puberty hits.

Bullies seem to reign supreme. And we begin to grow into ourselves.

Like most, writer and reporter Judith Warner was once a middle schooler. She's also the mother of two former middle schoolers. In her new book, And Then They Stopped Talking To Me, she investigates why the middle-school years can be so awful — and what we can do to help make them a little bit better.

In Alaska, some restaurants are easing their way back into the business of serving food to dine-in customers.

Lawrence Wright is not interested in saying "I told you so."

At the beginning of his new novel, he writes: "Dear Reader, The events depicted in The End of October were meant to serve as a cautionary tale. But real life doesn't always wait for warnings."

Wright's fictional tale is about a mysterious virus that starts in Asia, sweeps across continents, cripples the health care system, wrecks the economy, and kills people worldwide.

For eight seasons, Homeland has closely tracked real-life events and anxieties. Claire Danes played CIA officer Carrie Mathison — chasing down traitors and terrorists, al-Qaida plots and Russian bad guys. Showrunner Alex Gansa says the show has held a "funhouse mirror" to events in Washington and overseas.

You may recall that Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice follows Elizabeth Bennet and her four sisters — and their efforts to marry well.

Spoiler alert: Elizabeth does marry — she lands the handsome and rich Mr. Darcy and then lives happily ever after.

But what about Mary, the bookworm, the serious one, the plainest of the sisters? Did you ever wonder what happened to her? Well, Janice Hadlow did. She has made Mary the star of her first novel, The Other Bennet Sister.


In New York City, emergency hospital beds are multiplying — inside tents set up in Central Park, on a hospital ship docked on Manhattan's West Side and in the Javits Convention Center, which now houses about 1,000 beds.

In a decade, Harry Styles has gone from teenage heartthrob to a global pop star in his own right. As he's distanced himself from his adolescent years as a member of One Direction, he's become his own person, starring in the 2017 blockbuster Dunkirk, hosting Saturday Night Live and creating music that pulls from a variety of influences.

Craigslist is a bit of an anomaly on the rapidly changing Internet. While other sites are constantly tweaking, testing new designs, finding new ways to gather data, Craigslist is remarkable for its stability.

A typical city's page looks roughly the same today as it did 15 years ago.

Before the words "Ukraine" and "impeachment" dominated headlines, before most Americans had heard of Marie Yovanovitch or Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman — Adam Schiff sat down to write a cryptic letter.

A onetime member of the Trump administration has some mildly critical words for her old boss but disagrees with Congress' efforts to impeach him.

Former Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said in an interview with NPR on Friday that "it is not a good practice for us ever to ask a foreign country to investigate an American" — referring to President Trump's efforts to get Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, his potential 2020 opponent.

But, she added, "I don't see it as impeachable."

Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam vows it's "a new day and a new landscape" in Virginia. He says when Democrats take over the state legislature for the first time in a generation at the start of the new year, passing gun violence prevention laws will be a top priority.

He adds guns "shouldn't be a partisan issue," even though he says he's prepared to pass new "common sense" gun laws without Republican support.

Edward Norton's new movie Motherless Brooklyn is the first he wrote, directed and stars in.

A noir detective film set in 1950s New York, the film sees Norton playing Lionel, a private eye with Tourette's syndrome. He twitches and blurts out words — as is typical of Tourette's. He's also brilliant, with an incredible memory.

Even when he's praising his spy chiefs, President Trump can't resist taking a swipe.

The instinct was on full display this past weekend, as he announced the killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

"Thank you, as well, to the great intelligence professionals who helped make this very successful journey possible," he said in an address from the White House on Sunday.

His intelligence officials are ''spectacular," "great patriots," the president went on.

I was a girl once, but not any more.

That's the first sentence of Edna O'Brien's new novel. It goes on:

I smell. Blood dried and crusted all over me, and my wrapper in shreds. My insides, a morass.

The new series Unbelievable on Netflix tells the true story of a woman named Marie, who was raped when she was 18.

Instead of investigating the rape, the police investigated her. The man who assaulted Marie went on to rape several more women.

The story was the subject of a blockbuster investigation from ProPublica and The Marshall Project. It won a Pulitzer Prize in 2016.

Note: An updated version of the letter, with additional signatures, was published Sept. 13.

"We blew it."

That was Forbes editor Randall Lane's assessment on Twitter after his publication released a list of America's 100 most innovative leaders that included only a single woman.

Top-tier black college athletes should take their talents to historically black institutions. That's the argument that Jemele Hill is making in a new piece for The Atlantic. She says that doing so could benefit both the colleges and the communities around them.

Nobody wanted to go first.

That was one of the essential problems for Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey — the New York Times investigative journalists who helped ignite the #MeToo movement with their 2017 story about film mogul Harvey Weinstein — as they detailed in an interview with NPR airing Monday.

Novelist Laura Lippman doesn't say her stories are "ripped from the headlines" — she says they're "inspired by crimes." Inspiration for Lippman's latest crime novel, Lady in the Lake, came from two real-life disappearances in 1960s Baltimore — one a girl, one a young woman, one white, one black. "When I decided to write a novel set in the '60s, I very much wanted to look at these two different deaths, and how differently they had been portrayed in media," she says.

Two weeks into the fight for Fallujah, Elliot Ackerman's company commander told him he was both the luckiest and the unluckiest lieutenant he'd ever met. The luckiest — because right out of the gate, Ackerman was in the thick of the biggest battle the Marine Corps had experienced in decades. And the unluckiest — because everything he ever did after that would seem inconsequential.

Right after Olivia Wilde saw Lady Birdthe 2017 film about the loving, infuriating, infinitely complicated relationship between a teen daughter and her mother — her first impulse was to pick up the phone to call her mom. Now, when the credits roll on Wilde's new film Booksmart, audiences are dialing their old high school best friends.

Updated at 10:53 a.m. ET

Maria Butina says this is all a big misunderstanding.

Was she part of the vast Russian government effort to influence politics within the United States?

"Absolutely not," she said.

There was a time in Summer Brennan's life when she wore high heels almost every day — when she was working at the United Nations. It was a place, as she describes it, of "suits and ties, skirts and silk blouses ... freshly shined wingtips and yes, high heels."

The heels were critical, as Brennan saw it, to being the kind of woman — professional, feminine, poised — who marched those halls of power with confidence. Brennan is now a writer, and she explores all this in her new book, High Heel. It's a meditation on beauty and power — and stilettos.

The Magical Negro: That's the trope in literature and movies where a black character appears in a plot solely to help a white character — and then vanishes.

Think Will Smith in The Legend of Bagger Vance or Michael Clarke Duncan in The Green Mile. In her new book of poems, called Magical Negro, Morgan Parker strives to reclaim the term.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made headlines in early 2016 when he dropped out of the presidential race and subsequently became the first major Republican to endorse Donald Trump.

Soon after, he found himself leading then-candidate Trump's transition team. By the time Trump won the election in November, Christie says, he and about 140 other staff members had compiled some 30 binders filled with shortlists for various positions and strategies for legislative undertakings.

But days after the election, Christie was out — and so were his binders.

There was some surprises in this year's 2019 Oscar nominations, but for people paying attention to the best original song category, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper's "Shallow" from A Star Is Born was absolutely sure to make the cut.

I missed Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. Skipped The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Not that I couldn't use the help! But because I was always a little skeptical — if these books work, why do we need so many of them? Couldn't we all just read one and be sorted? Marianne Power was similarly skeptical, but she also says she found herself, at age 36, convinced her life was in a rut and not quite sure how to climb out of it.

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