Noel King | WAMC

Noel King

Noel King is a host of Morning Edition and Up First.

Previously, as a correspondent at Planet Money, Noel's reporting centered 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.

Noel 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.

Indian Americans — a small but possibly pivotal voting bloc — are overwhelmingly voting for Joe Biden this election, according to a new survey.

Both Joe Biden and President Trump's campaigns have been courting Indian American voters this year. Indian Americans are about 1% of the U.S. population and make up .82% of all eligible voters in the U.S. — but are large enough in numbers to make a decisive difference in certain swing states.

At only 25, trap star Lil Baby is one of the most popular musicians alive. His most recent album, My Turn, spent weeks at No. 1, and over the past few years he's had four dozen songs chart on the Billboard Hot 100, putting him in a dead heat with Paul McCartney and Prince.

Back in early April as the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged New York, John J. Lennon was sure he would contract the coronavirus.

As a prisoner at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, N.Y., social distancing was impossible, he says. Making calls on prison phones, Lennon says, meant being "chest to shoulders" with nearly two dozen inmates. "It was a death-trap situation to use the phone," he says.

Millions of Americans are facing the threat of eviction as a federal moratorium that has protected renters during the pandemic is set to expire Friday.

That eviction moratorium, coupled with unemployment assistance established in the CARES Act, has helped some renters stay in their homes.

When slavery ended, the disenfranchisement of African Americans did not. Discrimination continued in jobs, housing, education — barriers that have contributed to the staggering economic inequality that persists in the country today.

In a new book, economist William Darity Jr. makes the case for reparations as an answer to closing the racial wealth gap.

From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the 21st Century, written by Darity and his wife, A. Kirsten Mullen, offers a roadmap on how to implement reparations for descendants of enslaved people.

There's something about the video of the George Floyd killing that makes it very specific to the Twin Cities.

The video shows a white police officer and a black male victim — a familiar dynamic in similar videos and killings seen nationwide — but there's a third identifiable person: an Asian American officer seen running interference with the crowd and standing watch. He's now-former Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao, a Hmong American — which is how you know this isn't "any" city. It's Minneapolis.

The best thing about being 17, according to Shawn Richardson, is freedom.

"I'm able to go out more with my friends," he says. "I can do things solo."

Shawn is a rising high school senior in Minneapolis. School is fine, but what he really loves is track. His friend timed him running the 100-meter dash in 10.71 seconds.

The track season was canceled because of COVID-19. But if he can run that time officially, he will have the school record. Distance running isn't his thing. Shawn is a sprinter.

"It's like gathering energy and then just letting it go," he says.

Ray Dalio is known for making lucrative predictions. His hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, is the largest in the world. But Dalio, a billionaire himself and one of the world's most successful investors, says capitalism is broken.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic hit, Dalio had warned that the wealth gap represented a "national emergency." The outbreak, he says, is only exacerbating the disparities between the rich and the poor.

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The U.S. government has charged Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro with drug trafficking. Attorney General Bill Barr announced the charges earlier this morning. Here he is.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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When NPR host Scott Simon was in his late teens, he took a job in an assisted living facility in Chicago, working with people who had developmental disabilities.

"It was more formative in my life, I think, than most any war I've covered, any political campaign I've covered, any reportorial experience I've had," Simon says. "It really opened my eyes into seeing the world differently."

Simon has wanted to tell this story for years, and so he drew on the experiences he had back then to write a new mystery for young readers called Sunnyside Plaza.

It was the elephant in the room. Over 20 years after parodying NPR hosts in her recurring sketch, "The Delicious Dish," former Saturday Night Live cast member Ana Gasteyer sat down for an interview with NPR host Noel King.

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President Trump is abruptly reimposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from Brazil and Argentina.

Trump announced the move in a pair of tweets Monday, saying he was acting in response to "massive devaluation" of the two countries' currencies. Brazil and Argentina had been exempted from Trump's 25% tariff on imported steel and his 10% tariff on imported aluminum since May of last year.

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When you hear a big idea from a presidential candidate, do you ever want to ask: How would that work?

Two undecided voters John Zeitler, a 48-year-old attorney for an insurance company, and Hetal Jani, 36, who runs a nonprofit focused on education and mentorship, wanted to know more about the "freedom dividend" proposal from first-time presidential candidate Andrew Yang.

Hungary's government is pushing back against European Union assertions that it is putting democracy in danger, says Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto.

The fierce loyalist of hard-line, right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban is also calling the U.S. intention to restart Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in the country an "insult."

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

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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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