Mary Louise Kelly

Mary Louise Kelly is a co-host of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine. She assumed the role in January 2018.

Previously, she was a national security correspondent for NPR News. Her reporting tracked the CIA and other spy agencies, terrorism, wars, and rising nuclear powers. As part of the national security team, she traveled extensively to investigate foreign policy and military issues. Kelly's assignments took her from the Khyber Pass to mosques in Hamburg, and from grimy Belfast bars to the deserts of Iraq. Her first assignment at NPR was senior editor of the award-winning afternoon newsmagazine, All Things Considered.

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.

During her spell away from full-time reporting, Kelly's writing appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Politico, Washingtonian, The Atlantic, and other publications. She also launched and taught a course on national security and journalism at Georgetown University. And she joined The Atlantic as a contributing editor. She continues to hold that role, moderating newsmaker interviews at forums from Aspen to Abu Dhabi.

A Georgia native, Kelly's first job was pounding the streets as a local political reporter at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In 1996, she made the leap to broadcasting, joining the team that launched 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 and French language and literature. Two years later, she completed a master's degree in European Studies at Cambridge University in England.

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."

Kathy Mattea has been successfully making music for a long time. Her first gold album came out in 1987. She won her first Grammy in 1990. For a while, she was putting out albums every year or two. But Mattea's latest LP, Pretty Bird, out now, is the country artist's first release in six years — and it almost didn't come out at all.

Updated at 12:23 p.m.

In Kim Il Sung square in central Pyongyang Sunday, a military parade marked the 70th anniversary of North Korea. The pageantry lasted more than two hours, and the parade featured bands, fireworks, tanks, balloons and goose-stepping, a North Korean specialty.

But, as NPR's Mary Louise Kelly reports from Pyongyang, the parade was notable for its relative restraint: There were no direct references to North Korea's nuclear weapons, and there were no intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Yo-Yo Ma opened his recent Tiny Desk concert with the gently rolling "Prelude" from J. S. Bach's Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1. It's music Ma has lived with nearly all of his life.

"Believe it or not, this was the very first piece of music I started on the cello when I was four years old," he told the crowd, tightly squeezed between the office furniture on NPR's fourth floor.

Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds was in a hotel lobby somewhere in Asia when he first saw a modern version of a player piano. This particular one was tapping out The Beatles' "Yesterday."

Tereza Lee is a music teacher and a concert pianist who is pursuing a Ph.D. at the Manhattan School of Music.

But Lee, who was born in Brazil to parents who fled South Korea in the wake of the Korean War, is also known for something else: She's the original inspiration behind the DREAM Act, the legislative effort to provide legal status to undocumented young people.

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."

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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."

On Monday, Facebook began notifying the up to 87 million users whose information may have been compromised and given to Cambridge Analytica. As Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Congress Tuesday and Wednesday, lawmakers like Sen. Bill Nelson have raised privacy concerns.

Meg Wolitzer started writing her new novel years before the #MeToo movement, but you wouldn't know that from the story.

The Female Persuasion centers on two female characters. The first, Greer Kadetsky, is an 18-year-old college freshman. At the beginning of the novel, Greer is assaulted by a guy at a frat party, though she doesn't initially think of it as assault.

The second character, Faith Frank, is a famous feminist in her 60s who has come to give a talk on Greer's campus.

Today, the Chinese government announced tariffs on 128 American products, including food. Pork will be taxed 25 percent, and wine, dried fruit, and nuts are now subject to a 15 percent duty.

The announcement comes in response to the tariffs President Trump recently imposed on steel and aluminum. Trade officials from each country are negotiating, and it's not yet clear how long the duties will be in effect, or what the lasting impact will be for American producers and growers.

A scandal involving a high-profile Russian politician has sparked media outrage there, putting at the forefront an issue that's long been swept under the carpet in Russia: sexual harassment.

In February, three female journalists accused Russian politician Leonid Slutsky of sexual harassment. Slutsky heads the powerful foreign affairs committee in the Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament.

If you want to know how much the Bolshoi Theatre means to Russia, pull out a 100 ruble note, and there it is: the grand facade of the building.

Go inside, and it's an imperial wonderland. Gilded balconies ring the stage, and more than 100 crystal chandeliers shimmer above rows of crimson velvet seats.

It's impressive, but not quite as impressive as what's happening onstage. Dancers in toe shoes and tights are rehearsing Anna Karenina, a ballet based on the Tolstoy epic.

Vladimir Putin won re-election with a landslide victory: 76 percent of the vote. That win puts him on track to rule until 2024 — nearly a quarter century in power, second only to Stalin as far as Kremlin leaders go.

What does another six years mean for Russia?

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Russians head to the polls Sunday to vote in their presidential election. Vladimir Putin is expected to win handily. He has been in power now for 18 years — 14 as president and four as prime minister — and even he seems a little bored with his candidacy. A campaign speech he gave this week lasted just two minutes, and he didn't even say the word "election."

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

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Unintelligible).

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: (Unintelligible).

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Unintelligible).

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

It's just days before the Russian presidential election, and the office of Golos is jampacked.

Chef's Table restaurant in Moscow is a cozy space. There are about 20 seats at a horseshoe-shaped bar with a kitchen in the middle. It's a small room, but the man who runs this place has a big personality.

Diners seated around the horseshoe burst into applause when chef Vladimir Mukhin sweeps into the room in a snow-white, short-sleeved chef's jacket, his long hair tied back in a man bun.

The building at 55 Savushkina St. on the outskirts of St. Petersburg, Russia, is unremarkable. It's four stories high, made of concrete and shares a small parking lot with the apartment building next door.

But if you look a little closer, a few details stick out. For instance, the building is covered in windows, but each one is blocked by heavy drapes. And there are security cameras all over the building.

Editor's note on March 16: During this report, we say that Gina Haspel ran a black site prison in Thailand where al-Qaida suspect Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded. She did run that site for a time after the Sept. 11 attacks, but as ProPublica has now acknowledged in a retraction of its reporting, she was not there when Zubaydah was waterboarded.

This winter, the Syrian government regained control over the entire city of Aleppo. For years before that, it was the largest urban stronghold of anti-regime rebels. Over those years, there were countless government bombings, and the city was reduced to rubble.

The documentary Last Men In Aleppo, by Syrian filmmaker Feras Fayyad, takes viewers inside the city. "I grew up in the countryside of Aleppo," he says. "And Aleppo — it's my city, where I know every single street and every single store."

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Early in her career, Brandi Carlile bent and broke Americana and folk stereotypes as an openly gay woman with outspoken progressive politics. Leading up to the release of her latest album, she posted an open letter on Facebook to the Baptist pastor who refused to baptize her because of her sexuality when she was 15. She forgave him.

Rachael Denhollander was 15 the first time she went to see Larry Nassar, then the doctor for USA Gymnastics. Denhollander didn't tell anyone of authority about how he sexually assaulted her until years later, in 2004, when she was working as a gymnastics coach.

Nassar has admitted to sexually assaulting minors. He has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for charges related to child pornography but has not yet been sentenced in a state case for sexually assaulting the athletes.

For nearly a decade, Tune-Yards' Merrill Garbus has been known for drumming, strumming and dancing wildly onstage as she coaxes sound from a handful different instruments and a trusty loop pedal. While the signature sound of Tune-Yards is distinct, Garbus isn't one to put labels on her music.

"It's always the hardest thing," she says. "I appreciate how I'm allowed to maybe not classify the music I play because as soon as you do, assumptions begin to be made and you start shutting out people."

As winter looms, Syrians who have fled their homes have much to worry about.

October brought the defeat of ISIS in Raqqa, and the military campaign to retake that city displaced many thousands of people from their homes. Many have fled to camps in other parts of Syria, camps that were already overflowing after years of civil war and fighting in other cities.

With his signature top hat and star sunglasses, Bootsy Collins is considered by many to be amongst the godfathers of funk.

Barry Blitt drew his first New Yorker cover back in 1992. Ever since, he has been skewering politicians of all stripes. In 2008, he drew Barack and Michelle Obama fist-bumping in the Oval Office, and in 2016, he drew Donald Trump in a tiara and a women's bathing suit.

"I have a sketchbook open and I'm just trying to make myself laugh," Blitt says.

His new book, simply titled Blitt, features some of the cartoonist's most memorable and merciless work.

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