Michele Kelemen

A former NPR Moscow bureau chief, Michele Kelemen now covers the State Department and Washington's diplomatic corps. Her reports can be heard on all NPR News programs, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

In her latest beat, Kelemen has been traveling with Secretary of State John Kerry and Hillary Clinton before him, tracking the Obama administration's broad foreign policy agenda from Asia to the Middle East. She also followed President Bush's Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell and was part of the NPR team that won the 2007 Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award for coverage of the war in Iraq.

As NPR's Moscow bureau chief, Kelemen chronicled the end of the Yeltsin era and Vladimir Putin's consolidation of power. She recounted the terrible toll of the latest war in Chechnya, while also reporting on a lighter side of Russia, with stories about modern day Russian literature and sports.

Kelemen came to NPR in September 1998, after eight years working for the Voice of America. There, she learned the ropes as a news writer, newscaster and show host.

Michele earned her Bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master's degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Russian and East European Affairs and International Economics.

When Turkish officials visited Washington this week, one of their first stops was the Justice Department. They are trying to make the case that the U.S. should extradite a key suspect in last month's failed coup attempt.

Following those talks with the Justice Department, three Turkish lawmakers had tough words about Fethullah Gulen, the aging cleric who lives in rural eastern Pennsylvania and whose followers have been rounded up in Turkey in the wake of the coup.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The nuclear deal with Iran has been in place for a year now. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was the result of complex negotiations between Iran and six world powers — the United States, France, Germany, the U.K., China and Russia. It lengthened the time that Iran would need for "nuclear breakout," ensuring that it could not rush to build a nuclear bomb undetected.

President Obama has set a goal this year of taking in 10,000 Syrian refugees who have fled the devastating civil war in that country. This would be a large increase from previous years.

The latest State Department reports say just over 2,800 have come so far this year. Some activists describe it as a relatively slow start, but they say the Obama administration could reach its goal by year's end.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made a startling admission Thursday, saying he bowed to pressure over a report that blasted Saudi Arabia for child casualties that have resulted from its bombing campaign in Yemen.

Ban called it one of the most difficult choices he had to face. The U.N. report on children in armed conflict worldwide describes, in Ban's words, "the horrors no child should have to face."

Syrian President Bashar Assad is sounding rather confident these days. In his first major address in the past two months, he promised that his troops will reclaim "every inch" of Syrian territory.

"We have no other choice but to be victorious," Assad told Syria's parliament on Tuesday. He also lashed out at rebels, blaming them for the failure of peace talks backed by the United Nations.

It should be a fairly routine matter for a press freedom organization to get the credentials to attend meetings at the United Nations, an international body whose charter calls for the respect of human rights and basic freedoms.

Instead, the Committee to Protect Journalists found itself in what it calls a "Kafka-esque" process, deferred for years — and on Thursday, blocked by 10 countries, including Russia and China, which CPJ calls the biggest jailer of journalists in the world.

Secretary of State John Kerry has negotiated himself into the odd position of explaining to Western banks how they can do business in Iran.

As he tries to keep the Iran nuclear agreement on track in the final year of the Obama administration, Kerry has become personally involved in trying to help Iran get economic benefits out of the deal. That's no easy task and one that critics say is letting Iran off the hook.

Randy Berry has seen dramatic changes during his more than 20 years at the State Department.

When he moved from a post in Nepal to New Zealand years ago, he had to pay for his husband's plane ticket because such spousal benefits were not covered for gay and lesbian couples.

"Those days are gone," Berry says in an interview at his State Department office.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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