Katty Kay, BBC World News

Katty Kay Presenter, BBC World News

This is the place for my take on what's happening in the corridors of power in Washington and beyond

Low-key Hagel in a high-key world

If Chuck Hagel's time as secretary of defence is being described as low key - the events he has overseen as head of the US military have been anything but.

When I interviewed him in Romania earlier this year, the threat of Russia destabilising Europe felt real and pressing.

We met on board a US warship which had been dispatched to the Black Sea as a direct sign of US interest in the region.

Few people then thought the summer would bring another urgent crisis in the form of Islamic State. I don't think our interview even touched on Iraq.

But in the past few months, Mr Hagel has been in charge of coordinating America's military re-entry into the region.

Read full article Low-key Hagel in a high-key world

US mid-terms: Southern Democrats run from Obama to survive

Louisiana is hot, humid and poor - in roughly that order - and all three facts are unmissable.

This poverty has become an issue in the mid-term election race that pits Mary Landrieu, a Democrat who's already been senator for 18 years, against Republican Congressman Bill Cassidy.

Read full article US mid-terms: Southern Democrats run from Obama to survive

Leon Panetta on world's 'dangerous threats'

  • 13 October 2014
  • From the section Africa

For a man who has taken a hatchet to the Obama Administration, Leon Panetta wields a disarmingly broad smile.

In the course of our 10-minute interview, the former Secretary of Defense accuses US President Barack Obama of not doing enough to keep US forces in Iraq, of failing to lead for the past two years and of sending the wrong message to the world.

Read full article Leon Panetta on world's 'dangerous threats'

Ebola outbreak: Liberia 'close to collapse' - ambassador

  • 7 October 2014
  • From the section Africa

The Liberian ambassador in Washington fears his country could be close to collapse from the Ebola outbreak there.

Jeremiah Sulunteh is very frank about the stress this virus is placing on an already fragile nation. Even before this outbreak, Liberia's healthcare system was woefully inadequate.

Read full article Ebola outbreak: Liberia 'close to collapse' - ambassador

Christine Lagarde downbeat on global economy

The only thing cheerful about the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today was the colour of her scarf.

But even the flash of bright turquoise couldn't make up for what Christine Lagarde called the storm clouds surrounding the global economy.

Read full article Christine Lagarde downbeat on global economy

Will crime cripple Rio's Olympic ambitions?

Navigating the morning rush hour on a skateboard is ambitious. Doing it with a surf board under your arm may just be suicidal. By juggling the Pope, Carnival, the World Cup and the Olympics all in the space of just three years, Rio de Janeiro is perhaps similarly crazy.

But, to stretch the analogy just a little too far, my skateboarding surfer carried off his challenging commute to the beach with a lot of style and, as far I could see, only the odd wobble. So, can Rio pull off the same trick?

Read full article Will crime cripple Rio's Olympic ambitions?

State of the Union: Obama tinkers around the edges

  • 29 January 2014
  • From the section Magazine
President Barack Obama delivers the 2014 State of the Union address
This was Mr Obama's last best chance to reset his presidency - and it is unclear he managed a major shift

Tonight, President Barack Obama promised a "year of action".

But if this speech is any guide, it should more accurately be called a "year of quite small, tinkering around the edges, do what I can it in a very difficult environment, and, oh and by the way, my time is running out, actions".

Read full article State of the Union: Obama tinkers around the edges

Katty added analysis to:

State of the Union: Obama promises action on inequality

Gone is the audacity of hope. This State of the Union address didn't promise big changes on anything - there was no transformation on offer here.

But this address had the virtue at least of touching on bread-and-butter issues that genuinely affect millions of Americans - savings plans for workers who don't have them, health insurance, training schemes and the minimum wage, just to name a few. For poorer Americans improvements in any of those would make a huge difference.

Read full article State of the Union: Obama promises action on inequality

State of the Union: Time's running out

Obama speaks at the State of the Union in 2013
In 2013, Obama pushed for reforms that never came on guns, immigration and climate change

As Barack Obama prepares to give his annual address to the US , the BBC's Katty Kay looks at obstacles in the way of his agenda

Washington can be a cold, cruel city, as anyone who is living here this freezing January is well aware. And as he heads into his sixth State of the Union address, no-one is feeling the chill more than Barack Obama.

Read full article State of the Union: Time's running out

100 Women: How US mothers are the new breadwinners

  • 16 October 2013
  • From the section Magazine

Seventy years ago Rosie the Riveter bared her impressive biceps and summoned American women into the workforce. Called to duty in the service of a country at war, women responded in the millions.

In the decades that followed, women's professional fortunes rose. Today they are chief executives and senators, doctors and lawyers, astronauts and engineers. They are also earners.

Read full article 100 Women: How US mothers are the new breadwinners

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About Katty

Katty's career with the BBC began in Zimbabwe in 1990 where she filed radio reports for the Africa Service of BBC World Service radio.

She went on to work as a BBC correspondent in London, and later Tokyo.

She settled in Washington in 1996 where she took some time out of broadcast journalism to join The Times Washington bureau before returning to the BBC in 2002.

From Washington, Katty has covered sex scandals in the Clinton administration, three Presidential elections as well as wars in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.

She was at the Pentagon just 20 minutes after a hijacked plane flew into the building on 11 September 2001 - one of her most vivid journalistic memories is of interviewing soldiers still visibly shaking from the attack.

She is the co-author of the New York Times best seller Womenomics.

Katty grew up all over the Middle East, where her father was posted as a British diplomat.

She studied modern languages at Oxford and is a fluent French and Italian speaker with some "rusty Japanese".

Katty juggles her journalism with raising four children with her husband, a consultant.

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