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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.

Iran has eagerly opened its doors to foreign investment now that a nuclear deal has cleared the way. So why is Iran still holding prisoner an Iranian-American businessman? This is one of the contradictions of the moment in Iran, where economic sanctions were lifted weeks ago. During seven days in the country, producer Emily Ochsenschlager and I found ourselves sitting next to British and German businessmen at hotel breakfast buffets. We met a builder eager for foreign investment to finish the...

Last year, an Iranian economist named Mohammad Mehdi Behkish was extremely optimistic about prospects for a nuclear deal that would end many economic sanctions on his country. "Personally, I would say it can't be that there would not be a deal," he told me when I met him in Tehran. The alternative, he said, was disaster. Behkish leads Iran's International Chamber of Commerce . When I met him again this month in his Tehran office, he sounded even more optimistic. "We are actually in a new...

Saeed Laylaz has had an eventful seven years. When I first met him at his home in early 2009, he was a businessman, writer and former government official. He recognized some of the flaws in Iran's Islamic republic, but spoke optimistically about his country's direction. Soon afterward, he went to prison for his political views. Eventually, I heard he'd been freed. When visiting Tehran earlier this month, I heard he was even working again. So I went to find him. He was one of several...

What does the lifting of economic sanctions against Iran, as part of a nuclear deal, mean for one Iranian?

We met a carpet weaver in the ancient city of Shiraz. She spends her days on the floor of a little room. Working swiftly by hand, she ties knots with little bits of wool — orange, green, white and two shades of red. Wool threads stretch across a steel frame like strings on a harp. Her clothes — loose, and flowing, and colorful — identify her as part of a traditional nomadic...

Just ahead of Valentine's Day, we visited the tomb of a poet who wrote often of love. The 14th century Persian poet Hafez is buried in Shiraz, the city where he lived almost 700 years ago. He remains venerated in Iran, even though he wrote of romance and other topics that are not obviously embraced in the modern-day Islamic Republic. One of his lines: "Oh Cup-bearer, set my glass afire with the light of wine!" We reached the tomb of Hafez — the pen name for the man born Khwaja Shamsuddīn...

We've been talking with a Sunni Muslim who lives in Shiite-dominated Iran. He's a member of one of the two great sects of Islam, which are increasingly seen in conflict. His story suggests just how perilous that conflict could be. Last month, a crowd in Tehran attacked the embassy of Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia. They were protesting Saudi Arabia's execution of a Saudi Shiite cleric who had criticized the Saudi government. The Iranian torching of the Saudi Embassy became another episode in...

Ebrahim Pourfaraj wants to build the biggest hotel in all of Iran. He's already started his project in the far north Tehran, a wealthy zone where the city climbs up the slopes of the snow-capped Alborz Mountains. You get out of the car, carefully stepping over the little mountain stream that flows in a channel beside the curb. After stepping through a construction trailer, you emerge on a steel-mesh platform looking over the edge of an enormous hole. The sheer scale is amazing. Construction...

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush provoked much reaction on social media this morning with a theory of Donald Trump's rise. Bush says President Obama paved the way for it. The former Florida governor made the remark in a year-ending interview with NPR News. Bush is trying to recover after Trump knocked him out of front-runner status in the drive for the party's nomination. Trump, who publicly questioned the authenticity of Obama's birth certificate during the latest election, started...

Britain rarely drops a bomb on Syria unless Michael Fallon approves it first. British forces began bombing ISIS targets in Syria this month. And Fallon, a civilian who serves as secretary of state for defense, tells NPR that he insists on personally signing off before Royal Air Force Tornado warplanes strike a target. Fallon's remarks on Morning Edition underscore how Western powers are struggling to damage ISIS without causing the kind of civilian deaths that would undermine the legitimacy...

President Obama's administration contends that refugees are not the true source of U.S. security concerns. Jeh Johnson, the secretary of Homeland Security, tells NPR that the real concern may be a person traveling as an ordinary tourist from Europe. Johnson's department is tightening the visa waiver program , under which visitors from 38 countries, including much of Europe, may travel to the United States without applying for visas. Administration and congressional leaders in both parties...

Cecile Richards is walking a fine line: She paints the shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic as one of many attacks linked to "hateful rhetoric." She doesn't specifically say that rhetoric motivated the attack Friday in Colorado Springs. The president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America spoke with NPR on Monday morning about the attack that left three people dead: a mother of two children, an Iraq war veteran, a police officer. Richards spoke of an "incredible escalation of...

Michigan's Rick Snyder was the first governor to urge a pause in admitting Syrian refugees into the United States. He triggered a national debate about refugee resettlement, and insists now that he only wants answers. The Republican has described himself as "the most pro-immigration governor in the country," but he argues the caution he wants the U.S. to show doesn't conflict with the compassion thinks should be shown to refugees. More than two dozen governors have followed in Snyder's lead...

Did Vladimir Putin just trick himself into solving Syria's war? A leading U.S. diplomat contends the answer is yes. Russia, he says, has so badly mangled its intervention in Syria that it may have little choice but to favor settling the conflict. The diplomat, Tony Blinken, tells me that's the only honorable way for Russia to get out. Listen here: Blinken, the deputy secretary of state, has an office down the hall from John Kerry. He was previously President Obama's deputy national security...

Jay Inslee says he won't join the growing list of governors who say they don't want Syrian refugees within their state borders. In an interview with NPR's Morning Edition, the governor of Washington state publicly welcomed refugees, citing the inscription on the Statue of Liberty, warning fellow governors against "fear," and insisting that background checks minimize whatever risk the refugees may pose. Inslee, a Democrat, said refugees already receive far more screening than visitors on ...

Republican Sen. John McCain critiqued President Obama's strategy against ISIS today, casting doubt on claims that a political settlement may be near in Syria. He also responded to Obama, who yesterday challenged critics of his administration's strategy. "If folks want to pop off and have opinions about what they think they would do, present a specific plan," the president said, sparking an Internet sensation. Morning Edition played the president's remark to McCain, who has been one of the...

Sen. Marco Rubio clarified his view on the 11 million immigrants, who are in the United States illegally. The day after a presidential debate, which exposed a continuing divide in the Republican Party on immigration, Rubio told NPR on Wednesday that he favors a path to citizenship for some, though the prospect would be very distant. "If you haven't been here very long, or you're a criminal, you will be deported," Rubio told NPR's Morning Edition . "Otherwise, you will have to come forward,...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep, with a hoped-for advance in auto safety. Volvo says it's working on technology to detect kangaroos. The car company already deploys radar and cameras that can detect people or cyclists and the system automatically hits the brakes. But kangaroos move quickly and erratically and take a special effort to detect. Engineers are studying this problem in Australia, which...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep. Back in 1962, Bill Steinfelt discovered a painting. The painting showed Batman, his cape tucked in front of his face. And it was called "A Sinister Figure Lurks In The Dark." To buy the painting from the unknown artist, Mr. Steinfelt traded comic books. Now the painting is worth a bit more. It was made by Mel Ramos, who went on to become a well-known artist. And Batman just sold...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. It's never too late to say you're sorry. More than 50 years ago, in 1962, Grove City College fired Larry Gara from his teaching job. They said he was a communist and a bad teacher. Decades later, a researcher found Gara's case and persuaded the college to apologize. He was actually a pacifist who'd gone to jail for refusing to register for the draft. Gara says he never...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: The makers of processed meat are not happy. They are responding to research saying that meat products correlate with a higher risk of cancer. And yes, that includes bacon. The study comes from a panel of researchers at the World Health Organization who reviewed more than 800 different studies to come up with their own conclusion. NPR's Yuki Noguchi is covering this story. Hi, Yuki. YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: We're also tracking violence in Jerusalem and elsewhere. Numerous Palestinians have killed Israelis on the streets, and the response of Israel's security forces has left many Palestinians dead. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Palestinian and Jordanian leaders over the weekend. And Jordan's King Abdullah made a proposal, a proposal that Israel's leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, says he likes. NPR's...

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says there isn't much time. Congress and the White House face two big deadlines to fund the government. It will be an intricate maneuver to meet both deadlines even as congressional leadership changes. And in an interview with NPR, Lew described behind-the-scenes negotiations meant to avert a last-minute crisis. "There are conversations going on at a staff level," Lew told NPR's Steve Inskeep, "and I think the key is for Democrats and Republicans [in Congress] to...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: Let's hear what it's like to live beneath Russian jets and bombs in Syria's war. We've seen Russia's intervention in terms of geopolitics and photos at the U.N. Vladimir Putin, Syria's ally, maneuvers against President Obama. STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: For a different view, we called on a Syrian-American journalist. Rasha Elass lived for years in Damascus and got out last year. This week, we asked her to...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Unhappy Republican lawmakers whose pressure prompted House Speaker John Boehner to resign want a voice in who replaces him. Boehner's number two wants the job. That's Kevin McCarthy, the House majority leader. First, though, he has to campaign in an election one week from today. The results of that campaign may affect how, or whether, Congress functions. NPR's Sue Davis is covering this story. She's in...

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

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

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: The U.S. military has ended its ground combat role in Afghanistan. The Afghan Taliban have not. And yesterday, the Taliban captured Kunduz. That's a major city in the north of Afghanistan, and it marks the first time the Taliban have held a major city since losing control of that country back in 2001. New York Times journalist Mujib Mashal is covering this story from Kabul. Welcome to the program....

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: Let's talk through scenarios for the future, a future that includes the nuclear deal with Iran. President Obama offered one plausible scenario on NPR last year. He said Iran should seize the chance to normalize relations with the world. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST) BARACK OBAMA: Because if they do, there's incredible talent and resources and sophistication inside of Iran, and it would be a very...

Is the Iranian nuclear deal just a nuclear deal? Is it something bigger that will transform Iran and the broader Middle East? Or is it a slow-motion nightmare? Nobody can know today, of course — and yet it's important to game out the possibilities. What you think of this deal, with terms lasting a decade or more, depends heavily on what scenarios you think are most likely in the future. President Obama has offered an optimistic scenario: Iran never gets the bomb and seizes an opportunity to...

The leader of Iran's legislature has definite views on his country's nuclear deal with world powers. Ali Larijani says the agreement is good enough. He adds that United States' reading of that deal, particularly when it comes to sanctions, is not good at all. And he's hoping that the agreement brings change in his country — though not as much as many Iranians would want. The lawmaker expressed those views to NPR during a visit to New York. While he is not one of the clerics who hold ultimate...

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