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.

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?

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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."

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.

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UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Unintelligible).

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: (Unintelligible).

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Unintelligible).


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

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.

In the new film Red Sparrow, a CIA officer walks alone in Moscow's Gorky Park. There's a hand-off — a brush pass in the darkness with a Russian agent. Then all goes wrong: Police lights flash, gunshots ring. The CIA officer runs for his life straight to the gates of the American Embassy.

Jennifer Lawrence plays Dominika, a ballerina-turned-Russian-spy who's taught the tools of her trade by a secret, highly specialized "Sparrow School."

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."

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To celebrate Valentine's Day, you can buy a sappy card. Or a silly one.

Or, you can buy one that takes on Islamophobia with messages like "This burka is built for two" and "First Muslim Registry ... Then Wedding Registry."

These are some of the valentine creations of Tanzila Ahmed, a Los-Angeles-based writer, artist, activist and co-host of the podcast #GoodMuslimBadMuslim.

The messages make people laugh — and squirm. And that was absolutely her intention, Ahmed says.

If you lived in Atlanta in the late 1970s or early '80s, you heard this question every night: "It's 10 p.m. Do you know where your children are?"

The reason that TV news started broadcasting that question every night: Many people didn't know where their children were. Kids were disappearing. Their bodies would turn up in the woods, strangled.

After a big fashion show there's always the question of which trends will make the leap from the runway to real life. And after Paris Men's Fashion Week, at least one question remains: Do shoes need their own pair of shoes?

Chinese fashion label Sankuanz hopes the answer is absolutely.

Its design team sent male models down the runway wearing high top sneakers — that never actually touched the runway.

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.

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.

It was April 4th, 2004, and troops from the 1st Cavalry, out of Fort Hood, Texas had just arrived in Iraq. They had been handed a routine mission, escorting Iraqi sewage trucks through a Baghdad suburb, and they were done for the day, headed back to base. Then the streets emptied, machine gun fire and rocket-propelled grenades rained down. Eight Americans died in the ambush that day, and 65 were wounded. For the U.S. military, it marked what was, at the time, the worst single day in terms of casualties since Vietnam.

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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Where there is classified information, there will be leaks.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: There is a leaking epidemic in Washington.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old whistleblower...

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In Las Vegas today - a search both for clues and for a motive for Sunday night's mass shooting which left 59 people dead and more than 500 injured. The death toll may rise as many victims remain in critical condition.


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What would happen if every woman on earth went to sleep ... and never woke up? Only men would be left to run the world.

If that's not the beginnings of a horror page-turner, we don't know what is. And it is — in fact — the premise of Stephen King's new book, Sleeping Beauties.

You'll discover the first twist right on the cover: King has a partner in crime, at least in this endeavor — his son, Owen King, who had the initial idea for the book.

This week Mark Twain has a new book out.

Yes, we know. He's been dead for more than a century, but that hasn't stopped him — or more accurately, his collaborators — from publishing a children's book, called The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine. It's based on 16 pages of notes, handwritten by Twain and discovered in an archive, in Berkeley, Calif.

Philip and Erin Stead took it from there; the Caldecott Award-winning author-illustrator duo picked up Twain's trail and finished the story.

Can a human run a marathon in two hours flat? The documentary Breaking2 follows three elite runners as they attempt to break one of the most famous barriers in sport — maintaining 26.2 four-minute, 34-second miles.

One of those runners, Olympic gold medalist Eliud Kipchoge, of Kenya, came 25 seconds shy of the two-hour mark with a time of 2:00:25. "The world now is just 25 seconds away," Kipchoge says in the film.

"I'm not afraid to say when he crossed the line I cried," filmmaker Martin Desmond Roe tells NPR.

It was the lawsuit that rocked Silicon Valley.

In 2012, tech investor Ellen Pao sued her employer, the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, for gender bias. She accused her bosses of not promoting her because she was a woman — and then retaliating against her when she complained.

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We're going to spend a few minutes now examining President Trump's plan for Afghanistan. When he addressed the nation this week, Trump laid out the mission this way.


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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Our troops will fight to win. We will fight to win.


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President Trump was out of sight today, huddling with his national security team at Camp David. On the agenda - a much delayed decision on a plan for America's longest war. NPR's Mary Louise Kelly reports.