Rachel Martin

Rachel Martin is host of Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First, along with Steve Inskeep and David Greene.

Before taking on this role in December 2016, Martin was the host of Weekend Edition Sunday for four years. Martin also served as National Security Correspondent for NPR, where she covered both defense and intelligence issues. She traveled regularly to Iraq and Afghanistan with the Secretary of Defense, reporting on the U.S. wars and the effectiveness of the Pentagon's counterinsurgency strategy. Martin also reported extensively on the changing demographic of the U.S. military – from the debate over whether to allow women to fight in combat units – to the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. Her reporting on how the military is changing also took her to a U.S. Air Force base in New Mexico for a rare look at how the military trains drone pilots.

Martin was part of the team that launched NPR's experimental morning news show, The Bryant Park Project, based in New York — a two-hour daily multimedia program that she co-hosted with Alison Stewart and Mike Pesca.

In 2006-2007, Martin served as NPR's religion correspondent. Her piece on Islam in America was awarded "Best Radio Feature" by the Religion News Writers Association in 2007. As one of NPR's reporters assigned to cover the Virginia Tech massacre that same year, she was on the school's campus within hours of the shooting and on the ground in Blacksburg, Va., covering the investigation and emotional aftermath in the following days.

Based in Berlin, Germany, Martin worked as a NPR foreign correspondent from 2005-2006. During her time in Europe, she covered the London terrorist attacks, the federal elections in Germany, the 2006 World Cup and issues surrounding immigration and shifting cultural identities in Europe.

Her foreign reporting experience extends beyond Europe. Martin has also worked extensively in Afghanistan. She began reporting from there as a freelancer during the summer of 2003, covering the reconstruction effort in the wake of the U.S. invasion. In fall 2004, Martin returned for several months to cover Afghanistan's first democratic presidential election. She has reported widely on women's issues in Afghanistan, the fledgling political and governance system and the U.S.-NATO fight against the insurgency. She has also reported from Iraq, where she covered U.S. military operations and the strategic alliance between Sunni sheiks and the U.S. military in Anbar province.

Martin started her career at public radio station KQED in San Francisco, as a producer and reporter.

She holds an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, and a Master's degree in International Affairs from Columbia University.

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Let's get started in China this morning.

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All right. We will start there because that's where President Trump is. And he's on what the Chinese are calling his state visit-plus...

GREENE: Not just...

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You Tube

From Morning Edition this morning, California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris talks with NPR's Rachel Martin about how social media companies have responded to questions about Russian propaganda on their platforms.

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Rupi Kaur has been called the "pop star of poetry." She's 24; she emigrated from India to Canada when she was 4. And she's famous for the raw, minimalist poems she posts on Instagram for her 1.6 million followers.

It is almost impossible to walk the streets of Berlin without running into history. It's everywhere — the physical markers of conquest, division, horror, and reckoning. I was struck by it when I first came here in 2005 as NPR's Berlin correspondent and I am no less moved by it today.

Attica Locke's new novel Bluebird, Bluebird unfolds in rural East Texas along a stretch of U.S. highway 59. She describes it as "a thread on the map that ties together small towns like knots on a string."

During the Great Migration — the period during the 20th century when millions of African-Americans left the Southern U.S. — highway 59 was the road north: "That was the road to get out of Texas," Locke says.

Tori Amos is the kind of artist you might describe as a seeker. Since she started recording in the 1990s, Amos has used her songs to ask big questions about the world she observes. Time has made her powers of observation more acute, and on her new album, Native Invader, Amos takes stock of the present moment.

LCD Soundsystem is back. The New York indie band blended dance music and punk rock to critical acclaim in the 2000s. Six years ago, the band announced it was breaking up. The band's legendary farewell shows sold out New York's Madison Square Garden.

Emily Saliers is perhaps best known as one half of the Indigo Girls. She's been performing with Indigo Girls' other half — her musical partner, Amy Ray — for over 30 years. And while that collaboration is still going strong, Saliers is now trying something new: putting out her first solo record.

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Canada is about to celebrate a big birthday.

Saturday is Canada Day, a national holiday marking 150 years for the country that brought us hockey, the pacemaker, the band Rush — and comedian Mike Myers.

Although a longtime resident of the U.S., Myers remains proudly Canadian. The son of immigrants from Liverpool, England, he grew up in Scarborough, a suburb of Toronto. He even wrote a book about it titled Canada — a love letter to his homeland.


Interview Highlights

On what he loves about Canada

Journalist Alex Tizon carried a secret his whole life.

"She lived with my family for 56 years. She raised me and my siblings, and cooked and cleaned from dawn to dark — always without pay," Tizon writes in an upcoming cover story in The Atlantic. "I was 11, a typical American kid, before I realized she was my family's slave."

In March, President Trump called opioid abuse in the U.S. "a total epidemic," and issued an executive order creating a commission focused on combating the opioid crisis.

Writer Vaddey Ratner is used to processing pain through fiction. Her best-selling debut novel, In the Shadow of the Banyan, was based on her experiences as little girl in Cambodia, where she and her family endured the brutalities of the Khmer Rouge and their killing fields. Ratner and her mother escaped Cambodia, eventually settling in the U.S., but her father disappeared not long after the Khmer Rouge came to power and his fate is still unknown.

Remember Precious? The 2009 film earned six Oscar nominations, including a best actress nod for newcomer Gabourey Sidibe. Precious was Sidibe's first acting job, and audiences ached for her character, a teen who is physically and sexually abused by her family.

Before Precious, Sidibe had been in two school plays — in the chorus. Since then, she has gone on to make a career for herself in movies and TV shows, like Fox's Empire.

Ben Bernanke had to guard his public comments closely in his eight years as the world's most powerful central banker. His words could move global markets.

He hasn't had to be quite as circumspect since leaving the Federal Reserve chairmanship three years ago — and he's kind of enjoying that.

"It's been good! It's nice not to have those responsibilities anymore, and to have more flexibility, more time," he tells NPR.

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OK, for more on the politics of the pipeline, we're going to talk now with NPR White House correspondent Scott Horsley. He's on the line. Hi, Scott.

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

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The 2016 presidential campaign has in many ways become a question of character. Even though Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both have incredibly loyal supporters, the two candidates also inspire some intensely negative feelings among voters. Clinton and Trump are the two most unpopular candidates since modern polling began.

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We're going to turn now to NPR's John Burnett because he is out on the streets of Dallas getting the mood this morning on a grim Friday morning. John, what are you seeing? Where are you?

The armed standoff between anti-government militants and law enforcement in Oregon has lasted more than four weeks.

In 10 months, Americans will go to the polls to pick the next U.S. president. When they cast their ballots, those votes will likely hinge on how they feel about the issues most important to them.

But what are those issues?

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