Amita Kelly

Amita Kelly is a digital editor and producer on NPR's Washington Desk, where she executes election, politics, and policy coverage for NPR.org; manages the desk's social media presence; and develops multimedia projects and audience engagement initiatives.

She was previously 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.

For 24 years, Joe Arpaio was a tough talking sheriff in Arizona, famous for cracking down on illegal immigration.

About a decade ago Arpaio, dubbed "America's Toughest Sheriff" in conservative circles, started instructing his deputies to make traffic stops and detain any unauthorized immigrants they encountered. Then they'd turn the immigrants over to federal agents for deportation.

127 degrees in California's Death Valley. 124 degrees in Ocotillo Wells in San Diego County. 119 in Phoenix.

Parts of the Southwest and West are suffering through a heat wave, which is bringing problems beyond sweat and bad hair. Here's what's happening:

1. Airplanes can't take off

Nearly 50 flights were cancelled in Phoenix on Tuesday, as NPR's two-way blog reported. In Las Vegas, some airlines changed flights to take off in the morning when it's cooler.

The director of Michigan's Department of Health and Human Services, Nick Lyon, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and misconduct in office over the Flint water crisis. Both are felonies in Michigan.

The state's chief medical executive, Dr. Eden Wells, will be charged with obstruction of justice. Four other officials, including the former Flint emergency manager and former director of public works, were also charged with involuntary manslaughter.

On Friday, Hillary Clinton addressed the graduating class of her alma mater, Wellesley College.

She used the opportunity to wade into current politics and direct a few jokes at President Trump.

Melania Trump accompanied the president to the Vatican on Wednesday, wearing a black veil and a long-sleeved black Dolce & Gabbana dress.

North Carolina NAACP President William Barber, a liberal force against the state's attempts to limit voting rights and ban gay marriage, will step down from the organization next month.

Barber, who was elected to the position in 2005, organized weekly "Moral Mondays" protests, calling on supporters to take a moral stand for a wide range of issues including voting rights, higher wages, gun control and President Trump's immigration ban.

The protests grew to draw thousands of progressive supporters and led to arrests from time to time.

Baltimore Orioles player Adam Jones received an extended ovation from fans at Boston's Fenway Park on Tuesday night, one day after he says he heard racists taunts from fans at the same park.

Jones, who is African-American, also said someone in the stands threw a bag of peanuts at him Monday night.

New allegations that he inappropriately touched and groped women are "vicious" as well as "totally, absolutely false," Donald Trump said Thursday at a campaign rally.

Trump made the comments at a planned rally in West Palm Beach, Fla., his first time speaking publicly since the New York Times and other publications reported assault allegations from various women.

He said the claims were thrown at him by "the Clinton machine," the New York Times and other news outlets.

First lady Michelle Obama gave a rousing, lengthy speech Thursday, hammering Donald Trump for vulgar comments he has made about women. Campaigning for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, Obama also addressed new allegations that Trump inappropriately touched women.

Reacting to the recent release of audio of Donald Trump making vulgar comments about women, President Obama called the candidate "insecure" and said he "pumps himself up by putting other people down — not a character trait I would advise for somebody in the Oval Office."

Asked to name his favorite foreign leader, or any foreign leader he admires, Libertarian nominee for president Gary Johnson was unable to come up with an answer.

The exchange occurred on an MSNBC town hall hosted by Chris Matthews Wednesday night.

When Johnson hesitated at the initial question, Matthews said, "Go ahead, you gotta do this. Anywhere. Any continent. Canada, Mexico, Europe, over there, Asia, South America, Africa. Name a foreign leader that you respect."

It continued:

In a new episode of Web comedy show Between Two Ferns, Hillary Clinton jokes about what she should wear at next Monday's debate, attending Donald Trump's wedding and Chelsea Clinton's friendship with Ivanka Trump.

Comedian host Zach Galifianakis asked the candidate a variety of (not surprisingly) irreverent questions — like what would happen if Clinton got pregnant in office and whether she ever thinks to herself, "Oh, maybe I should be more racist."

As further proof that this presidential campaign is everywhere, Sunday night's Emmys stage featured several nods to the candidates as well as the current political climate. Here are some highlights:

1. Julia Louis-Dreyfus' wall

In story posted on the popular Facebook page Humans of New York, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton likened perceptions that she is "cold" or "unemotional" to having to learn to control her emotions as a young woman.

Clinton recounted taking a law school admissions test and having a group of men taunt the women. According to Clinton, they yelled things like "You don't need to be here" and "there's plenty else you can do."

"One of them even said: 'If you take my spot, I'll get drafted, and I'll go to Vietnam, and I'll die,'" the post reads.

Pastor Mark Burns, an African-American supporter of Donald Trump who has been defending the candidate's recent outreach to minority voters in the media, tweeted a cartoon Monday of Hillary Clinton in blackface, mocking her outreach to black voters.

In the cartoon, Clinton is standing at a podium holding a sign reading, "#@!* the police" and "I ain't no ways tired of pandering to African-Americans."

In a speech Thursday in Reno, Nev., Hillary Clinton argued that Donald Trump is "helping a radical fringe" — the alt-right — take over the Republican Party.

"From the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. He's taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over one of America's two major political parties," she said. "His disregard for the values that make our country great is profoundly dangerous."

Just months after Paul Manafort was promoted to bring some structure to and scale up Donald Trump's presidential bid, the Washington insider has resigned from the campaign.

In a statement Friday morning, Trump said that Manafort offered his resignation. The candidate said he is "very appreciative for his great work in helping to get us where we are today, and in particular his work guiding us through the delegate and convention process."

"Paul is a true professional and I wish him the greatest success," Trump continued.

Khizr Khan, the Muslim-American lawyer thrust into the spotlight this week after speaking at the Democratic National Convention about his soldier son and criticizing Donald Trump, says he has no regrets about the speech or the attention that followed.

"I will do it [a] million times, I will do it louder, I will do it forcefully," Khan told Kelly McEvers, host of NPR's All Things Considered. "I'll do it [a] hundred million times — now is the time for the rest of the world to see the true America, the decent America, the good America."

Rep. Paul Ryan is a powerful member of Congress — he's House speaker serving his ninth term, and up for re-election. But some persuasive forces — including GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and conservative pundit Ann Coulter — are expressing support for his Wisconsin primary opponent Paul Nehlen.

The state holds its Republican primary next Tuesday, Aug. 9.

Khizr Khan, whose speech at the Democratic National Convention about his slain son has garnered admiration from Democrats and some Republicans, but ire from Donald Trump, says the candidate needs to have "patience and tolerance for criticism."

Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Tim Kaine introduced himself to America Wednesday night as a fighter, Hillary Clinton's ally and — a dad. Not just a dad to his own children but everybody's dad.

To start, he doesn't speak like a politician.

"Can I be honest with you about something?" Kaine said, "Can I be honest with you about something? I never expected to be here." He talked about his midwestern upbringing, and his own union father dad.

Amid furor over an email leak that revealed a bias against Bernie Sanders inside the Democratic National Committee, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced Sunday she will step down as chair.

Wasserman Schultz will still open and close the convention, she said in a statement, and "address our delegates about the stakes involved in this election not only for Democrats, but for all Americans."

Appearing on stage together for the first time since Friday's vice presidential announcement, Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine made a push for voters of color by highlighting his record on diversity and civil rights.

Kaine also spoke about gun violence, job creation, equal pay and raising equal pay — all mainstays of Clinton's campaign.

Clinton said Kaine has "lived" the values of diversity. That, she argued, is in contrast the GOP ticket and last week's Republican National Convention. "Tim Kaine is everything Donald Trump and Mike Pence are not," she said.

In a "Carpool Karaoke" segment that will surely mortify her daughters, Michelle Obama drives around the White House grounds enthusiastically singing and dancing with Late Late Show host James Corden.

After an unconventional and then emotional opening day, the 2016 Republican National Convention will turn to Republican leadership and Donald Trump's children as it makes the case to "Make America Work Again."

Earlier in the day, around 5 p.m. ET, state delegates will formally nominate Trump and Gov. Mike Pence.

Following the shooting death of three law enforcement officers Sunday in Baton Rouge, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump blasted President Obama on Twitter and Facebook, saying he has "no clue" how to deal with a country that is a "divided crime scene."

Sunday's shooting follows a deadly officer shooting in Dallas and the death of Alton Sterling, a black man in Baton Rouge, earlier this month.

After weeks of speculation, presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump tweeted Friday morning that he has chosen Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate.

Trump had planned to hold a press conference Friday morning, but he canceled that after a deadly attack in France. He has now scheduled a news conference for Saturday at 11 a.m in New York City.

Pence quote-tweeted Trump's announcement, adding that he is "honored" to join the ticket and "work to make America great again."

Following last week's deadly shootings, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott gave a deeply personal speech on the Senate floor in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday about the "deep divide" between communities and law enforcement.

While many law enforcement officers do good, he said, some do not. "I've experienced it myself."

Donald Trump is firing back at Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after she disparaged him in several media interviews. He tweeted late Tuesday that she "has embarrassed all" with her "very dumb political statements" about the candidate. Trump ended his tweet with "Her mind is shot - resign!":

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