Noel King

Noel King is host of Morning Edition and Up First, along with Steve Inskeep, Rachel Martin, and David Greene, and correspondent for Planet Money.

At Planet Money, her reporting centers on economic questions that don't have simple answers. Her stories have explored what is owed to victims of police brutality who were coerced into false confessions, how institutions that benefited from slavery are atoning to the descendants of enslaved Americans, and why a giant Chinese conglomerate invested millions of dollars in her small, rural hometown. Her favorite part of the job is finding complex, and often conflicted, people at the center of these stories.

While at NPR, she has also served as a fill-in host for Weekend All Things Considered and 1A from NPR Member station WAMU.

Before coming to NPR, she was a senior reporter and fill-in host for Marketplace. At Marketplace, she investigated the causes and consequences of inequality. She spent five months embedded in a pop-up news bureau examining gentrification in an L.A. neighborhood, listened in as low-income and wealthy residents of a single street in New Orleans negotiated the best way to live side-by-side, and wandered through Baltimore in search of the legacy of a $100 million federal job-creation effort.

Noel got her start in radio when she moved to Sudan a few months after graduating from college, at the height of the Darfur conflict. From 2004 to 2007, she was a freelancer for Voice of America based in Khartoum. Her reporting took her to the far reaches of the divided country. From 2007 - 2008, she was based in Kigali, covering Rwanda's economic and social transformation, and entrenched conflicts in the the Democratic Republic of Congo. From 2011 to 2013, she was based in Cairo, reporting on Egypt's uprising and its aftermath for PRI's The World, the CBC, and the BBC.

Noel was part of the team that launched The Takeaway, a live news show from WNYC and PRI. During her tenure as managing producer, the show's coverage of race in America won an RTDNA UNITY Award. She also served as a fill-in host of the program.

She graduated from Brown University with a degree in American Civilization, and is a proud native of Kerhonkson, NY.

Samantha Power has been many things: an activist, a war correspondent, an author and a policymaker.

She served on President Obama's National Security Council, and later, she was his ambassador to the United Nations.

In her new memoir, The Education of an Idealist, she describes how she went from working outside the system – as a fierce and idealistic defender of human rights — to moving inside, as a diplomat who must, above all else, be ... diplomatic.


Interview Highlights

On her sense of danger and risk

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There are some fresh signs that the U.S. economy is slowing in the monthly jobs report out this morning from the Labor Department. Employers added only 130,000 jobs in August. Now, that's less than forecasters had expected, and it's a sharp slowdown from where we were this time last year. NPR's Scott Horsley is with me now in studio.

Hey, Scott.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Noel.

KING: So this report comes at the end of a week where there were some mixed signals about the economy. What do we think it's telling us?

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One trillion dollars of red ink is a whole lot of red ink.

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In Italy, Giuseppe Conte has resigned as prime minister of a coalition government after only about 14 months in power. His resignation throws Italy into a state of political uncertainty. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli is on the line from Italy. Hi, Sylvia.

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Attorney General William Barr is effectively clearing the way to resume capital punishment in the federal prison system. In an announcement this morning, the Justice Department says it wants to resume executions as early as this December.

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Former special counsel Robert Mueller is speaking before the House Judiciary Committee right now.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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What can Robert Mueller add to the 448 pages of his written report?

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Montana Gov. Steve Bullock entered the Democratic primary in May, months after many of his competitors. He has an excuse.

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For thousands of migrants, their journey to the United States has been derailed in northern Mexico border cities under a U.S. program called Migrant Protection Protocols. With shelters overflowing and work unavailable, they create a home wherever they can.

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Is the United States moving toward a war with Iran?

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That option remains on the table according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Here's what he said to CBS News yesterday.

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At age 32, Elaine Welteroth has become what we now call an "influencer."

She was the first black beauty director at a Condé Nast magazine. It was Teen Vogue; she was 25. She leveraged that to become its editor-in-chief. And under her watch, Teen Vogue became known for taking on really tough topics: civil rights, abortion and lots and lots of politics.

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay says she receives a couple dozen tweets a day from people asking her to make a movie from their life story. But this #wishfulthinking tweet from Raymond Santana caught her eye:

Santana was one of five teens arrested for the 1989 assault and rape of a white woman in New York's Central Park. The boys were pressured into false confessions and convicted. All served time. A murderer who was already serving a life sentence later confessed to the rape.

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper warned his party of straying too far to the left as it selects a nominee to face President Trump in next year's election.

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Today House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meets her fellow Democrats. That includes some who are ready for impeachment proceedings, which Pelosi is not.

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The following states have something in common. Mississippi, Ohio, Georgia, Iowa, Alabama, Kentucky, Arkansas and Utah all have recently passed laws that, in various ways, restrict when a woman can have an abortion.

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This is the first part in our series on Marxism and capitalism in Chile. You can find the second episode here.

Chile is one of the wealthiest, most stable economies in South America. But to understand how Chile got here--how it became the envy of neighboring countries --you have to know the story of a group of Chilean students who came to study economics at the University of Chicago. A group that came to be known as the Chicago Boys.

Four new dollar stores will open in the U.S. every single day of 2019. That's a new dollar store every six hours. There are more dollar stores than there are Walmarts, McDonald's and CVS stores combined. And they are setting up in places no one else will go... tiny towns, urban areas, poor communities.

Today on the show, we go to a town that decided there were too many dollar stores. And talk to a woman on a mission to ban them.

If you've ever signed up for anything online, you've probably taken a CAPTCHA test. Maybe you deciphered some scrambled letters and numbers. Maybe you clicked on a bunch of pictures of stop signs. Or maybe you just clicked a box that said "I am not a robot."

These tests are one of the annoyances we put up with to do stuff on the Internet. But the story of CAPTCHA is shockingly interesting. It includes the rise of artificial intelligence, the quest to digitize millions of old books and newspapers, and a shady underworld of human beings paid to solve thousands of CAPTCHAs a day.

This is the second part in our series on Marxism and capitalism in Chile. You can find the first episode here.

In the early seventies, Chile, under Marxist President Salvador Allende, was plagued by inflation, shortages, and a crushing deficit. After a violent coup in 1973, the economy became the military's problem.

In the years before 1951, the Federal Reserve took orders from the Treasury, and by extension, from the President. The President would request that interest rates remain low, and the Fed would oblige.

But this became a problem. Low interest rates are great for people to borrow money to buy stuff, and for businesses to grow and hire people. But low interest rates also drive up inflation. And a big part of the Federal Reserve's job is to keep inflation low.

We're back for our annual tradition: Channeling another year's worth of jealousy and self-loathing into a whole episode just for you. Happy Valentine's Day!

Here at Planet Money, we spend a lot of time digging around for stories and new ideas. So when we come across something that we think brilliantly explains our economy--we're often like, "Why the heck didn't we come up with that?!"

DAWN is a survivor. You can hear it when she tells her story and you can hear it when she sings her songs.

The singer-songwriter-producer, f.k.a. D∆WN or Dawn Richard, first rose to notoriety as a member of Diddy's R&B group Danity Kane. The group dropped its debut album in August of 2006, one year after Hurricane Katrina hit DAWN's hometown of New Orleans. She still remembers being stranded on a highway with her family when Katrina hit.

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