Rachel Martin

Kate Bowler's new memoir, Everything Happens for a Reason And Other Lies I've Loved, is a funny, intimate portrait of living in that nether space between life and death. In it, she shares her experiences with incurable stage 4 cancer and gives advice on what not to say to those who are terminally ill.

Bowler is also the host of Everything Happens, a new podcast.

James Brown once said, "I've only got seventh grade education, but I have a doctorate in funk, and I like to put that to good use."

Imagine having one of the worst days of your professional life play out in front of 5 million people.

ABC News anchor Dan Harris doesn't have to. In 2004, he had a panic attack on live TV after years of working in war zones and using drugs to cope with the stress. But that mortifying moment led him to take up meditation.

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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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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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