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.

If you find yourself a little confused by Ayad Akhtar's latest novel, Homeland Elegies, that's by design.

"I wanted to find a form that would express this confusion between fact and fiction which seems to increasingly become the texture of our reality or unreality," he says.

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Memorial Day and the Fourth of July taught us a lesson this year.

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Election Day is two months away, and both candidates will be on the campaign trail today.

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Let's start with the facts of a shooting in Portland, Ore.

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Katy Perry has had nine No. 1 songs since 2008, including "Teenage Dream," "California Gurls" and "Roar." She has this upbeat, candy-coated, not-quite-real human-with-real-human-problems persona. And then in 2017, she released an album called Witness that was supposed to show a more authentic Katy. Critics didn't love it; more importantly, a lot of her fans didn't either. Her response is her new record, Smile, which is out Aug. 28.

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RACHEL MARTIN, BYLINE: And at this point, Noel and I are going to take over the show for a few minutes because we have both been riveted, obsessed - shall I use that word? - by an...

NOEL KING, BYLINE: Oh, yeah.

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This was the message on the first night of the Democratic National Convention.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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So this week we are expecting to hear a lot more about what is going on at the U.S. Postal Service.

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A lot of summer camps had to close this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including Camp Aranu'tiq in New Hampshire, a camp for transgender and nonbinary children. Julie Be is a music therapist who has helped run the camp since it was founded in 2009 and also one half of the children's musical duo Ants on a Log, alongside Anya Rose. So the stuck-at-home campers would feel connected, Be and Rose put out an open call for songs that reflect the trans and nonbinary experience, use gender neutral pronouns or use humor to talk about gender.

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So you remember how when COVID-19 first emerged, there was a lot of talk about how maybe kids don't get the virus, or they're less likely to get it than adults?

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The United States is the first country in the world to surpass 5 million people diagnosed with COVID-19.

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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.

The Chicks — formerly known as the Dixie Chicks — is back with a new record called Gaslighter after 14 years. Why the long time gone? Martie Maguire, Emily Strayer and Natalie Maines say they wanted a break to raise their kids, among other things, but after a 2016 reunion tour, they felt the hunger again. Their new album is rooted in failed relationships, some good ones, anger and a lotta humor. Maguire says life experience never hurts writing.

Disclosure is a new documentary on Netflix about the history of transgender representation in Hollywood.

"People traversing gender expectations was a part of cinema as early as 1914, there was a film that featured a sex change," says actress Laverne Cox, who is the executive producer and a prominent voice in this eye-opening documentary.

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We're going to start today by looking back. In April, you'll remember, we watched in horror as New York state set a record. It was the epicenter of the pandemic. And this was the record - 12,000 cases per day.

Gina Prince-Bythewood directs intimate, romantic, independent films like Love and Basketball and Beyond the Lights. So she's not necessarily who you'd expect to helm the latest action-packed comic-book come to life.

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People in Texas may look a little different on the streets today.

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What happened to efforts to, quote, "flatten the curve" of coronavirus cases?

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In the 1970s and '80s, a string of violent, terrifying crimes went unsolved around California. The perpetrators got nicknames: The Visalia Ransacker. The East Area Rapist. The Original Night Stalker.

And then in 2013, true-crime writer Michelle McNamara connected the dots in a remarkable article for Los Angeles Magazine. She suspected they were all the same person, and she gave him a name of her own: the Golden State Killer.

The summer of 1968 looked like the summer of 2020. Americans were in the streets protesting racism, among other things. And a high school student in Palo Alto, Calif., got in on the action by enlisting the help of a jazz legend. Danny Scher came up with the idea to book Thelonious Monk to play his school's auditorium and now, a professional recording of this concert will be released publicly for the first time on July 31. The album is called Palo Alto.

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At this point, given what's happening in our country, a lot of parents want to talk to their kids about racism.

Some admit: They don't know how.

For thoughts on where to start, I talked to anti-racism scholar Ibram Kendi and children's author Renée Watson. I started by asking Kendi about a distinction he makes: Should parents should teach kids to be "not racist" or to be "anti-racist"?

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President Trump will sign an executive order on policing today.

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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.

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From Seattle to Atlanta, from New York to Dallas, this was the sound of the weekend just past.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST MONTAGE)

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS #1: (Chanting) I can't breathe. I can't breathe.

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