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.

Several GOP presidential candidates are starting to lay out their closing messages in a new round of campaign ads airing in Iowa and New Hampshire this week. The ads come ahead of the early February primaries in those states.

They strike a dark and fearful tone, with footage and news headlines highlighting the recent terror attacks in San Bernardino, Calif., and Paris.

It all started with a question about food labeling at the Iowa Agriculture Summit earlier this year and Jeb Bush's not-so-humble brag:

"When I go to Publix in Coral Gables after church to go prepare for Sunday Funday in my house ... I'll probably make a really good guacamole and I want to know where that avocado is from and I want to know where the onions are from and the cilantro and all the secret stuff I put in it."

Stressing that his administration has "been at this for a long time," President Obama launched a forceful defense of his strategy against ISIS in a year-end interview with NPR. He makes "no apologies," he said, for wanting to target terror groups "appropriately and in a way that is consistent with American values."

Weighing in at 17 1/2 pounds, 4-month-old giant panda cub Bei Bei made his media debut Wednesday at the Smithsonian National Zoo. Keepers say the cub, born in August, is developmentally on track and ahead of his older sister Bao Bao in some milestones. The cub will make his public debut on Jan. 16.

"He's actually walking a lot sooner than his older sister did," said panda keeper Juan Rodriguez. "He's about 4 or so pounds heavier than his sister was at this same age, so he's definitely a much larger bear and developing a lot faster than his sister did."

This post was updated at 10:00 a.m. ET Friday.

Fourteen Republican candidates are speaking Thursday at a forum hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition in Washington, D.C. Comments made by front-runner Donald Trump are already garnering criticism on social media.

Trump spoke about Wednesday's shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., saying it "probably was related" to "radical Islamic terrorism." He criticized Obama for not using the term.

It starts with seemingly benign questions: Who are you voting for? Did you see that exposé about candidate X on Facebook? Before long, somebody is storming off to the basement or slamming the mashed potatoes on the table. And playing Adele's new song "Hello" won't make every family instantly get along (a la SNL's Thanksgiving Miracle).

Bernie Sanders laid out his brand of Democratic socialism Thursday, explaining how it informs his views on higher education, poverty, health care, the minimum wage and more.

In response to last week's terrorist attacks in Paris, House Republicans have formed a task force charged with finding a legislative response to calm fears about Syrian refugees coming into the U.S.

Speaking on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan called the attacks "pure evil."

"It's clear that this was an act of war and that the world needs American leadership," he said.

'It's All Politics' is packing up. We have decided to suspend the blog to consolidate NPR's political news and make it easier to find.

But don't worry, we're bringing you with us. You can find the same great news coverage, analysis, fact checking and more from NPR's political team streamlined here: NPR Politics.

We're also adding some new beats and angles to our coverage — more on that to come.

The Republican National Committee says it will suspend a debate partnership with NBC News, citing "inaccurate or downright offensive" questions during Wednesday night's debate on CNBC.

"We simply cannot continue with NBC without full consultation with our campaigns," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus wrote in a letter to NBC Chairman Andrew Lack.

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