Steve Inskeep | WYPR

Steve Inskeep

Steve Inskeep is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.

Known for interviews with presidents and Congressional leaders, Inskeep has a passion for stories of the less famous: Pennsylvania truck drivers, Kentucky coal miners, U.S.-Mexico border detainees, Yemeni refugees, California firefighters, American soldiers.

Since joining Morning Edition in 2004, Inskeep has hosted the program from New Orleans, Detroit, San Francisco, Cairo, and Beijing; investigated Iraqi police in Baghdad; and received a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for "The Price of African Oil," on conflict in Nigeria. He has taken listeners on a 2,428-mile journey along the U.S.-Mexico border, and 2,700 miles across North Africa. He is a repeat visitor to Iran and has covered wars in Syria and Yemen.

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 Sept. 11 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 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 1830s.

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 Newshour. 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.

Writer and director Florian Zeller was very close to his grandmother. "She was like my mother in a way," he says. "She was very important in my life."

But when Zeller was 15, his grandmother started to experience dementia. It was "a painful process ... to suddenly be impotent," he says. "You know, you can love someone and you discover that love is not enough."

A new book takes a detailed look at an excruciating moment for Syria, the United States, and the world — the time in 2013 when the U.S. concluded that Syria's government had used chemical weapons in its long running civil war.

President Barack Obama, having warned Syria not to do that, held off on a military strike. The government agreed instead to give up chemical stockpiles, though the war went on, and continues to this day.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area has seen the coldest temperatures in a generation this week, with a record-setting 2 degrees below zero on Tuesday morning. Michael Evans is the newly elected mayor of Mansfield, Texas, a Dallas-Fort Worth suburb with a population of more than 70,000, which, like much of the rest of the state, has seen its share of power outages this week.

Evans says the severe cold isn't fully to blame for those outages.

After traveling to Wuhan, China, a team of researchers from the World Health Organization is readying a preliminary report on the origins of the coronavirus.

Wuhan is where the virus was first reported in December 2019.

The WHO team's main public conclusion so far is that it's "extremely unlikely" that the virus originated in a lab in Wuhan. The scientists think the virus most likely started in bats, then jumped to other animals, then to humans.

A big part of President Biden's coronavirus relief package is focused on children. The president says he wants to expand the federal child tax credit, which gives families money for each child they have — or at least reduces their taxes.

This change could help lift nearly 10 million children above the poverty line or get them closer to it, according to the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

President Biden is reviewing the U.S. government's response to domestic extremism, including threats that gained traction under President Donald Trump.

California lifted stay-at-home orders for all regions on Monday as the government said hospital intensive care unit capacity is expected to increase.

The stay-at-home orders applied to regions of the state where availability in ICUs had dropped below 15%. Southern California, the Bay Area and the San Joaquin Valley were still under the order when it was lifted.

As slow as the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines has been in the United States, some estimates say billions of people around the world won't be vaccinated for COVID-19 until 2022 or 2023.

Bloomberg has been publishing a map that shows the level of vaccine distribution in different countries and virtually the entire continent of Africa — more than 50 nations — is blank.

The night before their inauguration, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris stood near the Lincoln Memorial and marked more than 400,000 people killed by the coronavirus. On Wednesday, the Biden administration takes responsibility for fighting the pandemic.

Parler calls itself a "conservative microblogging alternative" to Twitter and "the world's premier free speech platform."

But it's been offline for five days, and possibly forever, after Amazon kicked Parler off of its Web hosting service.

Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska was in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday when rioters attacked. As Congress was preparing to reconvene, Sasse issued remarks saying that "lies have consequences" and that the attack on the Capitol was "the inevitable and ugly outcome of the President's addiction to constantly stoking division." And then Sasse voted to affirm the election results.

Jack Ma is one of the world's most successful business people. And, until recently, he was also quite talkative.

The founder of China's giant company Alibaba often turned up in interviews or at conferences. In 2017, he spoke at the World Economic Forum.

"Every day is uncertain. The only certain day was yesterday," he said.

The man who said every day is uncertain now faces an uncertain fate. And the man who so often spoke in public has not appeared in months. He recently missed scheduled TV appearances.

When a pro-Trump mob attacked the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, surprisingly few police stood in the way. Protests had been expected for days, but police appeared unprepared for an actual insurrection and not even prepared to keep all the doors locked. Video showed police calmly talking with attackers after they moved into the building.

Novelist Michael Farris Smith didn't really get The Great Gatsby when he first read it in high school. But when he read the novel again years later, he found himself identifying with the narrator, Nick Carraway; he was drawn to his detachment, his sense of hope.

The Cherokee Nation is using its first doses of coronavirus vaccine to preserve culture in addition to saving lives.

Cherokees, based in eastern Oklahoma, have directed some of their early doses of vaccine to frontline medical workers and the elderly — and have reserved some doses for Cherokee language speakers. The Cherokee Nation has had more than 11,000 positive cases of COVID-19 and 63 deaths, including at least 20 Cherokee speakers.

President-elect Joe Biden's choice for White House press secretary says she will restore a tradition. Unlike her immediate predecessors in the Trump administration, Jen Psaki plans to take questions from reporters each day.

Psaki has played similar roles before. She was the spokesperson for the State Department when John Kerry was secretary of state, then President Barack Obama's communications director, and she now speaks for Biden.

Christopher Krebs, the former top cybersecurity official in the U.S., says Russia is to blame for a massive breach that's affected the State Department, the Pentagon, the Treasury Department, the Department of Homeland Security and other departments and agencies.

"I understand it is, in fact, the Russians," Krebs told Steve Inskeep on Morning Edition.

As chief of critical care at Houston's United Memorial Medical Center, Dr. Joseph Varon is at the center of managing care for patients with the coronavirus. He's worked every day for the last 272 days.

"No days off," he told NPR's Morning Edition.

It's been a grueling pace at Varon's hospital for months.

John Kerry is looking to resume climate diplomacy that was disrupted under President Trump.

The former secretary of state is one of several Obama administration officials appointed by President-elect Biden. Their goals include restoring what had been seen as the normal functions of the U.S. government when they were last in it.

Despite Joe Biden's victory, congressional Democrats are upset.

Bolstered by President Trump's unpopularity and the pandemic, polls had showed Democrats possibly taking control of the Senate, expanding their majority in the House of Representatives and Biden winning convincingly in several swing states.

But Democrats didn't gain a majority in the Senate. They lost a handful of seats in the House. And though Biden won the popular vote, it was a close contest in several battleground states.

Tom Ricks spent decades as a journalist, including covering the U.S. military for newspapers and writing books about the war in Iraq.

Then he decided to take a step back, moving to an island in Maine where he's been reading the words of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and others.

He says it's important to read the works of these founders, "because we still live in the house they designed."

Ricks has written a book called First Principles: What America's Founders Learned from the Greeks and Romans and How That Shaped Our Country.

As the election nears, many are thinking about how much has changed during President Trump's administration.

Carlos Lozada, a Washington Post writer who took it upon himself to read scores of books from the past four years, has some ideas on the topic. He has now written his own book called What Were We Thinking? A Brief Intellectual History of the Trump Era.

Coronavirus cases appear headed for a new surge in the U.S., which could eclipse the explosion of cases in July.

Much of the new surge is driven by cases in the Midwest and Great Plains states.

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, says "it was all sadly somewhat predictable."

Tanisha Long expects to be busy in the run up to the 2020 election.

For the next six weeks, Long, who founded an unofficial Black Lives Matter chapter for Pittsburgh and Southwestern Pennsylvania, plans to make get-out-the vote videos, host mail-in voting webinars and work to enfranchise eligible incarcerated people in order to turn out voters she says "no one's talking to anymore."

Updated at 4:37 p.m. ET

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the pace of jobs growth is rising faster than many people expected, but it may take years before the economy has fully recovered.

Update at 4:30 p.m. ET: White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah responded to NPR's request for comment on Elizabeth Neumann's charges that the White House has not addressed the threat of domestic extremism, particularly what Neumann referred to as "right-wing extremism."

In an email, Farah dismissed Neumann's concerns as those of a "disgruntled employee."

Looking for a snapshot of coronavirus outbreaks in U.S. schools? The National Education Association has just launched a tracker of cases in public K-12 schools.

The tracker is broken down by state and shows schools and counties with known cases and suspected cases and deaths, as well as whether those infected were students or staff. It also includes links to the local news reports so users know where the virus data comes from.

What forces propel young people to give up everything to join a violent extremist movement like the so-called Islamic State? That's the question that drove Fatima Bhutto to write the novel The Runaways.

With less than 100 days until the 2020 presidential election, Ohio's 18 electoral votes are in play.

The state went for President Trump in 2016, and Ashtabula County is one reason why.

What does it mean to be a Christian man?

The scholar Kristin Kobes Du Mez says the answer matters a lot. It influences how millions of Americans shape their lives and their politics. It even affects why so many white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump.

Her book — Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation — which explores the past and present of Christian manhood, takes its title from a Christian song by the Gaither Vocal Band called "Jesus and John Wayne."

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