Mary Louise Kelly

Have you ever had this experience? You were having the most awful, terrible day and a stranger does something kind, and it nearly brings you to tears.

Maybe they wave you on instead of honking when you cut them off in traffic. Or maybe you get to the front of the coffee line to find the guy in front of you already paid for your drink.

Former CIA Director John Brennan is no fan of Donald Trump, having called the president a "disgraced demagogue" who belongs "in the dustbin of history."

But these days, Brennan is rooting for the president, who returned to the White House from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday night. Trump had been at the hospital since Friday night, after revealing his positive coronavirus test early that morning.

Washington is — and always will be — a town that struggles between outcomes and principles. It's a place where compromise is both necessary and invariably suspect.

This sentiment comes from the opening pages of a new book — a book about Washington when it was a different town that worked in a different way, and about a man who excelled at getting things done in that distant Washington.

In the three years since the Harvey Weinstein story broke and the #MeToo movement took off, a new report finds that people working in Hollywood and the entertainment business say not enough has changed.

The Hollywood Commission, a nonprofit that works to eradicate harassment and discrimination, surveyed nearly 10,000 people in the entertainment industry nationwide. It found many are staying silent because they fear retaliation, or they don't believe people in positions of power will be held to account.

When the now former British Ambassador to the United States Kim Darroch described Donald Trump's White House as "inept" and "deeply dysfunctional" — and added that the president "radiated insecurity" — an international scandal ensued.

And when his frank assessment became public in the summer of 2019, he became persona non grata in Trump's Washington, overnight.

The county government cafeteria in Northampton County, Pa., is a large, airy room with big windows and, for now, lunch tables separated by plexiglass.

But a few months from now, on Election Day, this is where the county plans to have a couple of dozen people processing what it expects could be 100,000 mail-in ballots, nearly triple what they handled in the June 2 primary and 15 times what they handled in November 2016.

Philando Castile, Eric Garner and George Floyd. The deaths of these Black men at the hands of police have fueled outrage over police brutality and systemic racism.

Men make up the vast majority of people shot and killed by police.

It is one of the most intimate and complicated relationships around, and for many women — and yes it's mostly women — an all-important one.

I'm talking about the relationship between a mother and her child's caregiver. And that's the relationship at the heart of author J. Courtney Sullivan's new novel, Friends and Strangers. She says the idea for the book came from her own experiences.

More widespread wearing of face masks could prevent tens of thousands of deaths by COVID-19, epidemiologists and mathematicians project.

A model from the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation shows that near-universal wearing of cloth or homemade masks could prevent between 17,742 and 28,030 deaths across the US before Oct. 1.

Following the police killing of George Floyd, officials on the state, local and national level are focusing on how to improve policing in the United States.

Brit Bennett's latest novel is set in the late 1960s and '70s and — in the five years she was working on it — she never anticipated that when it came out it would be framed as "timely."

The Vanishing Half is about identical, African American, twins. One sister lives as a black woman, while the other passes as white. Both are haunted by personal and collective traumas of the past, and the book explores whether it's possible to erase the past, in the name of a better future.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was behind the pulpit in Atlanta in 1967, the year before he was killed, when he told churchgoers at Ebenezer Baptist Church that sometimes there is an "obligation" to break certain man-made laws.

"It is important to see that there are times when a man-made law is out of harmony with the moral law of the universe, there are times when human law is out of harmony with eternal and divine laws," the civil rights leader said at the time. "And when that happens, you have an obligation to break it."

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

One point seven million cases, more than 100,000 deaths.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: Albert Farber (ph). Albert Bernard (ph). Albert Fields, Jr. (ph).

KELLY: People in all 50 states.

Amid record-breaking unemployment numbers, Nevada stands out. The jobs crisis hit the state early and dug in deep. Unemployment there has soared to more than 28% — the highest in the nation and the highest for any state since 1976, when the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking this data.

As the number of COVID-19 deaths continues its upward march, many of the rituals designed to help people navigate the loss of a loved one aren't possible.

Living with the pandemic has been difficult for everyone: the isolation, the need to wear protective gear like masks and gloves, the adjustment to working or learning from home.

For those living with or caring for someone with severe autism, those challenges can be exponentially more difficult.

"Wearing gloves or masks, you know, things like that? That's just not going to happen here," says Feda Almaliti.

These days, it seems any morsel of good news about a coronavirus vaccine sends hopes — and markets — soaring.

The reality is, developing and producing a vaccine is an incredibly complicated process — one that is heavily reliant on global cooperation, says Prashant Yadav, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development.

Yadav says cooperation is necessary for a number of reasons. For one, "just protecting U.S. population won't be sufficient for us to resume global travel and trade," he says.

California led the nation in issuing a statewide stay-at-home order. But there's been an economic cost for going first — in the form of a $54 billion budget shortfall and unemployment projected to be as high as 25% this quarter.

"Those are Depression-era numbers and they're numbers that you'll see across this country," Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom tells All Things Considered. "By some estimates ... this has been the biggest shock we've seen in living memory."

Middle school spans those tween and early teenage years when, for many, puberty hits.

Bullies seem to reign supreme. And we begin to grow into ourselves.

Like most, writer and reporter Judith Warner was once a middle schooler. She's also the mother of two former middle schoolers. In her new book, And Then They Stopped Talking To Me, she investigates why the middle-school years can be so awful — and what we can do to help make them a little bit better.

In Alaska, some restaurants are easing their way back into the business of serving food to dine-in customers.

Lawrence Wright is not interested in saying "I told you so."

At the beginning of his new novel, he writes: "Dear Reader, The events depicted in The End of October were meant to serve as a cautionary tale. But real life doesn't always wait for warnings."

Wright's fictional tale is about a mysterious virus that starts in Asia, sweeps across continents, cripples the health care system, wrecks the economy, and kills people worldwide.

For eight seasons, Homeland has closely tracked real-life events and anxieties. Claire Danes played CIA officer Carrie Mathison — chasing down traitors and terrorists, al-Qaida plots and Russian bad guys. Showrunner Alex Gansa says the show has held a "funhouse mirror" to events in Washington and overseas.

You may recall that Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice follows Elizabeth Bennet and her four sisters — and their efforts to marry well.

Spoiler alert: Elizabeth does marry — she lands the handsome and rich Mr. Darcy and then lives happily ever after.

But what about Mary, the bookworm, the serious one, the plainest of the sisters? Did you ever wonder what happened to her? Well, Janice Hadlow did. She has made Mary the star of her first novel, The Other Bennet Sister.


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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

In New York City, emergency hospital beds are multiplying — inside tents set up in Central Park, on a hospital ship docked on Manhattan's West Side and in the Javits Convention Center, which now houses about 1,000 beds.

Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is sitting in a prison hospital awaiting his sentencing for rape and sexual assault.

Many thought this day would never come.

"There certainly was a sense of bracing for a much more expected outcome that was much more in line with Weinstein's attempts to evade accountability," Ronan Farrow tells All Things Considered.

Farrow had doubts that the powerful Hollywood producer would be held to account.

In a decade, Harry Styles has gone from teenage heartthrob to a global pop star in his own right. As he's distanced himself from his adolescent years as a member of One Direction, he's become his own person, starring in the 2017 blockbuster Dunkirk, hosting Saturday Night Live and creating music that pulls from a variety of influences.

Craigslist is a bit of an anomaly on the rapidly changing Internet. While other sites are constantly tweaking, testing new designs, finding new ways to gather data, Craigslist is remarkable for its stability.

A typical city's page looks roughly the same today as it did 15 years ago.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

You may have heard by now about the interview my colleague Mary Louise Kelly, co-host of All Things Considered, did yesterday with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. But because of the impeachment trial airing on most of our member stations, you may not have actually heard the interview, so we air that interview for you now, start to finish, no edits. At the end, you'll hear Mary Louise tell her co-host Ari Shapiro what happened after the interview.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

MARY LOUISE KELLY: Secretary of State, good to see you.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

All right. Audie, I got a question for you. Guess how cold it has been in parts of the Canadian province of Alberta this week.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

All right. I'll bite. How cold?

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