Steve Inskeep

Steve Inskeep is host of NPR's Morning Edition, the most widely heard radio news program in the United States. He co-hosts the program with Renee Montagne and David Greene.

Known for probing questions to everyone from presidents to warlords to musicians, Inskeep has a passion for stories of the less famous—like an American soldier who lost both feet in Afghanistan, or an Ethiopian woman's extraordinary journey to the United States.

Since joining Morning Edition in 2004, Inskeep has hosted the program from New Orleans, Detroit, Karachi, Cairo, Houston and Tehran; investigated Iraqi police in Baghdad; and received a 2006 Robert F. Kennedy journalism award for "The Price of African Oil," on conflict in Nigeria. In 2012 he traveled 2,700 miles across North Africa in the wake of the Arab Spring. In 2013 he reported from war-torn Syria, and on Iran's historic election. In 2014 he drove with colleagues 2,428 miles along the entire U.S.-Mexico border; the resulting radio series, "Borderland," won widespread attention, as did the acclaimed NPR online magazine of the same name.

Inskeep says Morning Edition works to "slow down the news," making sense of fast-moving events. A prime example came during the 2008 Presidential campaign, when Inskeep and NPR's Michele Norris conducted "The York Project," groundbreaking conversations about race, which received an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for excellence.

Inskeep was hired by NPR in 1996. His first full-time assignment was the 1996 presidential primary in New Hampshire. He went on to cover the Pentagon, the Senate, and the 2000 presidential campaign of George W. Bush. After the September 11, 2001, attacks, he covered the war in Afghanistan, turmoil in Pakistan, and the war in Iraq. In 2003, he received a National Headliner Award for investigating a military raid gone wrong in Afghanistan. He has twice been part of NPR News teams awarded the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for coverage of Iraq.

On days of bad news, Inskeep is inspired by the Langston Hughes book, Laughing to Keep From Crying. Of hosting Morning Edition during the 2008 financial crisis and Great Recession, he told Nuvo magazine when "the whole world seemed to be falling apart, it was especially important for me ... to be amused, even if I had to be cynically amused, about the things that were going wrong. Laughter is a sign that you're not defeated."

Inskeep is the author of Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi, a 2011 book on one of the world's great megacities. He is also author of Jacksonland, a forthcoming history of President Andrew Jackson's long-running conflict with John Ross, a Cherokee chief who resisted the removal of Indians from the eastern United States in the 1830's.

He has been a guest on numerous TV programs including ABC's This Week, NBC's Meet the Press, MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports, CNN's Inside Politics and the PBS Newhour. He has written for publications including The New York Times, Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic.

A native of Carmel, Indiana, Inskeep is a graduate of Morehead State University in Kentucky.

The Labor Department on Friday said the nation's unemployment rate fell to 7 percent, a five-year low, as U.S. employers added 203,000 jobs to payrolls in November. In October, the unemployment rate was 7.3 percent.

Tributes to Nelson Mandela have been pouring in from all over the world. South Africans are mourning the loss of the symbolic anti-apartheid leader. His leadership and legacy affected the entire African continent.

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This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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So there's a long history behind this conflict. There appears to be an agreement to hold off on the conflict, at least for a bit, and NPR's Anthony Kuhn is still with us. And Anthony, can you tell us, does it appear then that a crisis has been averted?

ANTHONY KUHN, BYLINE: Well, at least postponed. I mean, you know, they covered topics in their talks, Steve.

INSKEEP: The two leaders, right.

In this, the first week of December, the Obama administration says it has met its self-imposed deadline of fixing the troubled healthcare.gov web site. And it says people should be able to sign up for health insurance. So, is it fixed and when will we know for sure?

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Well, let's hear from some of the rest of the world. We're gonna go to China and India and to NPR correspondents in those countries, beginning with NPR's Anthony Kuhn in Beijing. Hi, Anthony.

ANTHONY KUHN, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

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Our colleague Anthony Kuhn has departed Tacloban, the city in the Philippines hardest hit by a typhoon. Anthony covered the early days of a disaster that left around 4,000 people dead and has displaced four million more. And now that he's in Manila, Anthony is going to try to help us get some perspective on what happened. He's on the line.

Hi, Anthony.

ANTHONY KUHN, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

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Okay. We all know about the partisan divide in this country - Democrats, Republicans - but there's another political divide. Part of the country is very engaged in the political process and part is not.

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Older Americans, richer Americans and better educated Americans are more likely to be politically engaged. Now researchers have found one more factor that seems to shape political engagement, the length of your commute. It comes to our attention as MORNING EDITION focuses on commuting.

A state-run news service says the government will make a big change to the policy designed to restrain population growth. That policy has also led to a relative shortfall of young people and especially of girls.

The official death toll from the typhoon is expected to keep rising — thousands are still missing. Aid continues to come into the Philippines from around the world, but its flow is being hampered by poor logistics. The central government is being blamed for not doing more.

Relief workers are trying to get more food, water and medicine to survivors of Friday's typhoon in the central Philippines. Two more airports have opened in the region and the U.S. military is installing equipment so that relief flights can land at night. Tacloban was the worst hit city.

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We have two perspectives now on the destruction a typhoon left behind in the Philippines. The first is the view from the air. It comes from U.S. Marine Brigadier General Paul Kennedy, who is coordinating an American military effort to help typhoon survivors. Not long ago, General Kennedy stepped on board a helicopter for what he called reconnaissance. He flew over a wide strip of land struck by one of the strongest storms on record.

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Hours before a deadline to extend the federal debt limit, the stock market seems kind of comfortable. The Dow Jones Industrials are actually up this morning, amid some hope that Congress may agree on a measure to avoid default and also reopen the federal government.

This could be the last day the United States is assured of its borrowing authority. Congress could forestall this crisis by raising the debt ceiling, as it has roughly a hundred times before. But the debt ceiling is tied to the same confrontation that's kept much of the federal government shut down.

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Tens of thousands of freshman have just finished their first month in college. They've signed up for classes, met a bunch of other people and, if history is any guide, asked themselves a question: What am I doing here? Everyone else is smarter and better adjusted than I am. And for some, that question totally changes the college experience, may even cause them to drop out, which is why a researcher was determined to intervene. He told his story to NPR's Shankar Vedantam, who's here to tell it to us. Hi, Shankar.

Negotiators from the U.S. and five other world powers expect Iran to outline how it can guarantee its program is for peaceful purposes — and not aimed at producing nuclear weapons. In exchange, Iranians hope for relief from economic sanctions.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Later this morning, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics will be announced in Sweden. Unlike some other Nobel Prizes we've heard about in recent days, this one comes with an asterisk. And NPR's Robert Smith is covering the story. He's in New York. Hi, Robert.

ROBERT SMITH, BYLINE: Hey, it's good to be here.

INSKEEP: Why is there an asterisk over the Nobel Prize in Economics?

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And I'm Steve Inskeep. Let's sort out the talks over the partial government shutdown and the debt ceiling with NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson, who's on the line. Mara, good morning.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Good morning.

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It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

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And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. This year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry will be shared by three scientists who took chemistry inside the world of computing. This powerful technology is now used to develop drugs and perform all sorts of vital tasks in chemistry. The three winners were all born overseas but collaborated in the United States and elsewhere in the 1970s, where they started their work.

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So, we're in the second week of the government shutdown, and just over a week from now, federal borrowing authority expires, making it possible the federal government could fail to pay many of its legal obligations that Congress previously approved. At the center of both issues is House Speaker John Boehner, who last week accused Democrats of letting the shutdown continue because Democrats felt they were winning.

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: This isn't some damn game.

The United States military struck twice over the weekend in Africa. Commando raids in Somalia and Libya targeted terrorists. The mission in Libya resulted in the capture of a top al-Qaida operative. He was a key figure in bombings of two U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania back in 1998. The outcome in Somalia is not as clear.

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OK. This year's Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine will go to three scientists who have figured out how cells package up material - like hormones - and how they deliver those materials to other cells. This is one of the most basic functions for living cells and diseases can result when the machinery goes awry, so it's important to understand.

It must be draining to do eight interviews in a row, but Benjamin Netanyahu seemed energized by it. The Israeli prime minister walked into our meeting in a New York hotel room bantering and smiling. He commented on the shades (pulled down to avoid a backlit photo) and noticed a novel that our engineer had brought along. Netanyahu picked it up and looked it over — a novel by Joe Hill, the pen name for the son of Stephen King.

It's Day 2 of the partial shutdown of the federal government. Republicans do not seem ready to compromise on defunding the Affordable Care Act. There are no negotiations between the White House and Congress.

President Obama spoke with NPR in the Oval Office on Monday, as a visiting group of young people in suits got a tour of the Rose Garden outside the windows. The most striking part of our encounter in this moment of crisis was how familiar the atmosphere seemed.

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And I'm Steve Inskeep. This week's gathering of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly coincides with at least three world crises.

GREENE: One is the assault on a mall in Kenya. Another is Syria's war and the use of chemical weapons there. The third: the world confrontation with Iran and Iran's introduction of a new president.

In Nairobi, the military says it has rescued "most" of the remaining people trapped inside the high-end shopping mall. At least 68 people have been killed and 175 injured. The militant group al-Shabab from neighboring Somalia has claimed responsibility.

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And I'm Steve Inskeep.

The nation's top law enforcement officer says the criminal justice system is broken. Attorney General Eric Holder spoke to the Congressional Black Caucus yesterday.

ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER: Throughout this country, too many Americans are trapped and too many Americans are weakened by a vicious cycle of poverty, criminality and incarceration.

We're going look more closely at whether the United States is providing arms to Syria's rebels. The commander of the Free Syrian Army General told Morning Edition on Thursday that his group was not receiving weapons. But American officials contend they are providing weapons to the rebels.

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