Amita Kelly

Amita Kelly manages national news coverage across NPR.org and other digital platforms.

Previously, she was a digital editor on NPR's Washington Desk, where she managed election, politics, and policy coverage for NPR.org as well as social media and audience engagement.

She was also an editor and producer for NPR's mid-day newsmagazine program Tell Me More, where she covered health, politics, parenting, and, once, how Korea celebrates St. Patrick's Day. Kelly has also worked at Kaiser Health News and NBC News.

Kelly was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Fellow at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, where she earned her M.A., and earned a B.A. in English from Wellesley College. She is a native of Southern California, where even Santa surfs.

Christopher Anderson is testifying in the ongoing House impeachment inquiry on Wednesday, along with Catherine Croft.

Anderson and Croft both worked for the U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker — Anderson for almost two years. He served in Kyiv from 2014-2017 and then as special adviser for Ukraine negotiations through July 12, 2019.

In his testimony in the House impeachment inquiry Tuesday, Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, is expected to describe his concerns with how the Trump administration handled Ukraine policy and with a July call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Republican Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina gave an emotional eulogy Thursday for his friend and Democratic colleague Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, who is lying in state at the National Statuary Hall of the Capitol.

"He's called a number of things — a father, a husband, friend, chairman. For me, I was privileged enough to be able to call him a dear friend," Meadows said.

"Some have classified it as an unexpected friendship, but for those of us that know Elijah," he continued, "it's not unexpected or surprising."

Updated at 7:10 p.m. ET

Longtime U.S. diplomat William Taylor told lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Tuesday that President Trump orchestrated a parallel foreign policy for Ukraine that made U.S. aid to the country contingent on investigations to help himself politically.

In a written statement to three House committees tasked with Democrats' impeachment inquiry, Taylor said he "became increasingly concerned" as "irregular, informal channels" of policymaking diverged from official U.S. goals — led by Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.

The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee took in a huge haul in the third quarter, which ended Monday — a combined $125 million.

This means that this year alone, they've raised more than $300 million — double the total that then-President Obama and the Democratic Party had raised at this point in 2011 on Obama's way to a successful reelection bid.

Updated at 11:20 p.m. ET

President Trump has released a transcript of his July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Updated at 9:50 p.m. ET

Democratic presidential candidate Jay Inslee announced Wednesday that he is withdrawing from the race.

"It's become clear that I'm not going be carrying the ball, I'm not going to be the president, so I'm withdrawing tonight from the race," the Washington governor said on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper dropped his bid for president Thursday.

"Today, I'm ending my campaign for president. But I will never stop believing that America can only move forward when we work together," Hickenlooper tweeted.

He had been urged to run for Senate in Colorado, challenging Sen. Cory Gardner. In a video attached to his tweet, he said he would give that "serious thought" but made no announcement.

Updated at 5:42 p.m. ET

An official says the Justice Department has been instructed to keep looking for a way to ask 2020 census responders whether they are citizens of the United States.

The Supreme Court has left in place a lower court's order to block the question for now.

After the Supreme Court declined to allow the question, tweets by President Trump had sowed confusion about whether he planned to continue the legal fight.

Updated at 10:45 p.m. ET

The Trump administration has decided to print the 2020 census forms without a citizenship question, and the printer has been told to start the printing process, Justice Department spokesperson Kelly Laco confirms to NPR.

Updated 7:45 p.m. ET

With Virginia's top two politicians mired in their own controversies, the state's attorney general, Mark Herring, has revealed a racial incident in his own past. In a statement released Wednesday, he said he and friends attended a party in 1980 dressed as rappers they admired, including wearing wigs and "brown makeup."

The partial government shutdown is rippling beyond federal workers and contractors.

In Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian museums and National Zoo are closed. Other recreational sites around the country remain closed or lack adequate staff. Some assistance and loan programs that rely on federal funding also could face delays.

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

More than 100 people were waiting to be rescued from homes and vehicles Friday morning in New Bern, N.C., after Hurricane Florence brought severe flooding to the area. Officials say more than 100 people have already been rescued in the area overnight.

Six swift water rescue teams have been working since Thursday afternoon to evacuate individuals and families, in some cases, from the roofs of their homes, the New Bern Public Information Officer Colleen Roberts said Friday afternoon.

Updated Sept. 18

Thanks to Tropical Storm Florence, Eastern coastal residents continue to experience widespread flooding, closed roads and large-scale displacement.

NPR and our member stations covering the storm want to hear how it is affecting you.

Fill out the form below or at this link and someone may follow up. Your response may be used on air or online.

(For the latest news on the storm, visit npr.org).

Updated Oct. 21, 2019

Updated 3:30 p.m. ET

In opposition to the Trump administration's practice of separating immigrant families, at least five governors, including two Republicans, say they will not send their National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Updated at 6:20 p.m. ET

Stephon Clark, the 22-year-old black man shot and killed by Sacramento police earlier this month, was shot eight times, at least six in the back, an independent autopsy commissioned by Clark's family found.

Last week's shooting in Parkland, Fla., echoed in the state's Capitol on Wednesday, as student survivors lobbied their legislature to pass stricter gun laws. Gun policy had already become a central issue in Florida's current legislative session after the shooting. But the effects of the shooting are reaching beyond the state's borders into legislatures across the country.

L.L. Bean's outdoor gear — including its signature Bean Boots prized by campers and hipsters alike — is no longer guaranteed for life.

In a letter to customers Friday morning, the company said it has updated its return policy to give customers one year to return purchases, with a receipt. The previous lifetime guarantee, which enabled customers to return products years — or even decades — after purchase, has long been a selling point for the company.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange lost an attempt Tuesday to have his U.K. arrest warrant dropped. He could still be arrested for leaving Ecuador's embassy in London, where he has lived for years.

British Judge Emma Arbuthnot said she was "not persuaded" the warrant should be withdrawn, according to The Associated Press.

Leaders in Washington continue negotiations to end a partial government shutdown, and they're getting their own messages out about how we got here. As NPR's Ron Elving writes, each party is accusing the other of being out of touch with Americans — and they're both probably right.

So we asked you what you want them to know.

Joe Arpaio, the controversial former sheriff from Arizona, announced this week that he will run for the U.S. Senate to help advance President Trump's agenda.

But he is breaking from the president on the future of people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

"Deport them," Arpaio told NPR Morning Edition's Rachel Martin in an interview that aired Thursday morning.

Updated 7:45 a.m. ET Thursday

Baltimore's public schools closed Thursday after parents and educators there complained students were enduring frigid classrooms with plumbing issues — conditions the local teachers union called "inhumane." Four of Baltimore's public schools were closed Wednesday because of facilities problems but the rest had remained open through below freezing temperatures. Some schools hovered around 40 degrees inside.

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo stood this morning outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. In an underground passageway somewhere beneath Cuomo's feet, a man had set off a homemade suicide vest earlier in the morning.

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

When a shooter started spraying the inside of a Sutherland Springs, Texas church with bullets on Sunday, 30-year-old Joann Ward "threw her body over the little ones," according to her mother-in-law, Sandy Ward.

The "little ones" who were at church that day were Joann Ward's daughters Rhianna Garcia, 9, Emily Garcia, 7 and Brooke Ward, 5 and stepson Ryland Ward, 5.

Joann Ward, Emily and Brooke died; Ryland was shot several times and remains in critical condition, facing multiple surgeries.

Dispatch audio from the New York Police Department recorded as Tuesday's attack unfolded in the city reveals a dramatic — and often tense — response. At least eight were killed and more than a dozen were injured.

Listen to six moments from the first 10 minutes after reports of pedestrians hit and shots fired came in:

(NPR obtained this audio via Broadcastify)

Updated 10:10 p.m. ET Fri

Though the brunt of Hurricane Maria has left Puerto Rico, the island's water worries continue. On Friday afternoon, the National Weather Service reported that the Guajataca Dam in the northwest is "failing," causing flash flooding. Buses were trying to evacuate people from the area "as quickly as they can," the service said.

Walking through mobile homes ravaged by Hurricane Irma in Naples, Fla., President Trump praised first responders and residents for doing an "incredible" job on rescue and recovery. Earlier in his one-day visit to Florida, Trump also lauded state and federal officials for their preparation and response to the hurricane.

"We love the people of Florida and they went through something that, I guess, the likes of which we could really say nobody's ever seen before," Trump said in Naples.

Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET

More than 6.5 million Florida homes and businesses are now without power after Hurricane Irma moved through the state, according to the state's emergency management division. That's 64 percent of the state's power customers, and there are several counties where 80-90 percent of customers are without power.

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