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.

The history of jazz in the 20th century is well known, but the course of the genre in the 21st century is still being charted. According to Nate Chinen, music critic for NPR Music and WBGO, jazz in the new millennium has enjoyed a type of Renaissance thanks to some key players.

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Fallout from the election in Zimbabwe this week appears to be getting violent. Security forces in the capital city Harare have been confronting protesters. NPR's Eyder Peralta was there when the unrest broke out.

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Morning News Brief

Jun 18, 2018

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We begin about 40 miles outside El Paso, Texas, where the federal government is holding around 100 detained migrant boys in a desert tent encampment.

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Josiah Wise has face tattoos and a prominent septum piercing that almost touches his lips. Some days he wears bright blue makeup, or colors his facial hair neon pink. He has a collection of dolls and often carries one with him.

Equally eclectic is his musical background. He grew up singing in church choir, attended college for classical music, and now is finding his sound at a cross-section of gospel, R&B and avant-garde pop, performing under the name serpentwithfeet.

Moviegoers sitting down to see Incredibles 2 are in for a tasty treat in the form of an animated short called Bao. It tells the story of an empty nester who discovers joy — and sorrow — when a steamed bun she makes comes to life.

The story is pulled from the childhood of Domee Shi, who wrote and directed the Pixar film. Shi was born in China and raised in Toronto. She started working at Pixar as an intern in 2011, and now she's the first woman to direct a Pixar short.

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Morning News Brief

May 24, 2018

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So is this all about transparency, or are President Trump and his allies in Congress trying to back up the narrative of a witch hunt?

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What if Bucky Dent's long fly ball in the 1978 American League East playoff game hadn't cleared the Green Monster at Fenway Park? What if John Paxson had missed the 3-pointer at the end of game 6 in the 1993 NBA Finals? What if Carli Lloyd had been injured in the final of the 2015 Women's World Cup?

Sports fans are particularly good at asking what if questions. Sports, after all, are full of counterfactual possibilities replete with drama.

An unlikely literary hero is getting his turn in the spotlight. He's a little square, but full of personality --and he sprang from the imaginations of writer Mac Barnett and writer-illustrator Jon Klassen.

Barnett and Klassen are the award-winning, best-selling creators of a bunch of picture books, including Extra Yarn and Sam and Dave Dig a Hole.

We know more than we ever did before about how hard it can be for women trying to make it in Hollywood.

But Sandra Oh says she was prepared for anything the industry threw her way — sort of by accident. She had to face her toughest critics long ago — her parents — who absolutely did not want her to become an actor.

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Across the country today, thousands of students are walking out of their classrooms in protest against gun violence and the shooting death of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

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Dessa is kind of a science geek. She doesn't use those words to describe herself, but it's clear from the musician's recent projects that she is fascinated with how the brain works.

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A new film grapples with what, if anything, still unifies America. It's called "American Creed," and it's co-produced by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

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Morning News Brief

Feb 21, 2018

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One week after the school shooting in Florida, the renewed push for gun law changes is getting mixed results.

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After a record point drop on Monday, investors were nervous as the stock market opened this morning. Joining us now, NPR business reporter Jim Zarroli. Hey, Jim.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: Good morning.

How do you live after you've died? That's the weighty question behind The Afterlives, a new novel by Thomas Pierce, a former producer at NPR who has become an award-winning author.

The book's main character, Jim Byrd, suffers sudden cardiac arrest at age 30 — and survives.

Atia Abawi is used to looking at war through the eyes of a journalist. She's made a career in news covering Iraq and Afghanistan — the latter being the country her own family fled in the early 1980s.

Increasingly though, Abawi has turned to fiction.

"It was a way for me as a journalist to go beyond those 700 words or that two-minute clip," she says. "To give insight in a way that I couldn't as a journalist, to give the full story, a depth that the reader could take in and find a way to empathize more with the people who are struggling."

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Earlier today a strong earthquake in the Atlantic Ocean caused a tsunami warning in Alaska. Here's the voice of an officer from the Kodiak, Alaska, police force.

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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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Michigan Democrat John Conyers has announced his retirement. He spoke with Mildred Gaddis, a local Detroit radio host this morning.

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