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.

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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 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://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.

Like many Texans, Chiwoniso Luzolo is desperate to be rescued from her home — as she has been since Sunday afternoon. Her deck, backyard and front yard in Cypress, Texas, outside Houston are flooded, made worse by water released from nearby dams.

The house and deck are on 12-foot stilts, and when the water reached the deck, she knew it was bad.

President Trump has pardoned controversial former Sheriff Joe Arpaio for a misdemeanor criminal contempt conviction.

A statement issued by the White House Friday night said, "Today, President Donald J. Trump granted a Presidential pardon to Joe Arpaio, former Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona."

Known as "America's Toughest Sheriff," Arpaio gained a reputation for his harsh — his critics would say cruel — treatment of immigrants in the country illegally.

At the center of Charlottesville's violent white nationalist rally was a long-simmering controversy over the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

President Trump's senior policy adviser Stephen Miller had a tense exchange with reporters at Wednesday's press briefing as he defended the administration's new proposal to dramatically curtail legal immigration. The plan prioritizes highly skilled workers over family members for green cards.

A 12-year veteran of the New York Police Department, Miosotis Familia, was shot and killed early Wednesday in the Bronx.

As WNYC reports, the 48-year old officer was in her patrol car in the Bronx when a man suddenly started shooting.

NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill tweeted that Familia was "assassinated in an unprovoked attack on cops assigned to keep NYers safe."

Updated at 7:40 p.m. ET

President Trump says he is "sending in Federal help" to Chicago to help curb gun violence.

The president tweeted early Friday that crime in Chicago has reached "epidemic proportions," referencing the nearly 2,000 shootings in the city so far this year.

The tweet came ahead of a press conference announcing a new 'Strike Force' — a collaboration between the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives bureau and the Chicago Police Department.

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday sided with same-sex marriage opponents who argued that the city of Houston should not have extended its benefits policy to married same-sex couples. The court threw out a lower court ruling that had favored the benefits and sent the case back to a lower court.

The benefits policy was enacted by Houston's former, and first openly gay, mayor, Annise Parker, in 2013.

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.

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