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.

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.

If you have friends or family members who insist they have "no time to read," poet Tess Taylor says you should consider giving them poetry for the holidays: "We are all busy, and poetry is short," Taylor explains. "So you can actually reroute your day productively in like five minutes with something that really captures your imagination, takes you to a different place, and then allows you to return a little altered — which is I think what we all want from reading."

Of all the writers wrestling with the Trump presidency, it's probably safe to say that Jonathan Lethem is the only one who has managed to produce a book featuring a shootout on a decrepit Ferris wheel, hippies living off the grid in California and a detective who keeps a live possum in his desk drawer.

Lethem's new book is titled The Feral Detective. It's in some ways his response to the Trump era. It's also a detective novel.

Walk into the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. right now and you will find a painting that has been ripped to shreds.

Another one, nearby, hangs half-loose from its stretcher, rumpled. It's a portrait of Thomas Jefferson; behind it, you glimpse a seated black woman.

If, on a recent Wednesday morning, you had happened to find yourself in the cavernous lobby of Pyongyang's Yanggakdo Hotel, you might have witnessed the following exchange, between a pleasant-looking North Korean man and an exasperated-looking American news team.

"You must be tired," says Mr. Kim. "You will want to rest at the hotel this morning."

Nope, we're good. Ready when you are.

"Well, I am tired."

In March 2011, Kim Brooks did something that many parents have either done or thought about doing — and it led to a warrant being issued for her arrest. Brooks was rushing to get herself and her two kids to the airport to catch a flight. As she pulled into the Target parking lot to run one last errand, her 4-year-old asked if he could wait in the car. It was a cool day, and so she cracked the windows, child-locked the doors, and ran inside.

It's hard to imagine anyone sending hate mail to Fred Rogers, but there was one episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood that brought the beloved children's TV star a bit of blowback: "He did an episode about Santa Claus," explains filmmaker Morgan Neville. "And he didn't like the idea that there was somebody who snuck into your house in the middle of the night ... so he told kids the truth ... and a lot of parents wrote a lot of angry letters."

There's a new novel out Monday — a political thriller told from the perspective of a U.S. president who's been called to testify as his opponents lay the groundwork to impeach him. The narrator, President Jonathan Duncan, describes the scene toward the beginning of the book:

When you watch The Graduate, do you identify with the parents? Do you grow impatient scrolling to your birth year in online drop-down menus? Is a night of continuous, unmedicated sleep one of life's greatest pleasures? If so, Pamela Druckerman says, you might be in your 40s.

Druckerman thought that being in her 40s would be a "delicious secret." But, it turns out, others noticed, too. Salespeople steered her toward anti-aging creams. Her daughter observed: "Mommy, you're not old, but you're definitely not young anymore."

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

In April 2016, former President Barack Obama singled out the "worst mistake" of his presidency: his administration's lack of planning for the aftermath of the 2011 military intervention in Libya.

When Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi was toppled, author Frederic Wehrey says, the country was initially seized by euphoria.

Among the many questions Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrestled with as he testified before Congress Tuesday and Wednesday was one of a more existential nature: What, exactly, is Facebook?

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) asked Zuckerberg whether the social networking website was a tech company or a publisher.

Zuckerberg replied, "When people ask us if we're a media company — or a publisher — my understanding of what the heart of what they're really getting at is, 'Do we feel responsibility for the content on our platform?' The answer to that, I think, is clearly yes."

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