Rachel Martin

Rachel Martin is a host of Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.

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.

Updated May 4, 2021 at 1:11 PM ET

Facebook's independent Oversight Board on Wednesday is expected to announce its biggest decision yet: whether to uphold or reverse Facebook's indefinite ban on former President Donald Trump.

In her new book, Persist, Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren returns to the call for transformational change that was her rallying cry in the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries. It's a book, she tells NPR's Morning Edition, she has been unwittingly writing her whole life.

"I've been writing it through every battle, through every fall, every stumble, everything I got wrong and had to come back and try to fix later on," she says.

Much has been written about how the pandemic came to be, but not so well known are the details about how it was able to spread so quickly in the United States.

Author Michael Lewis has written a new book, The Premonition, that fills in those blanks. And it is a sweeping indictment of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Early in his presidency, Joe Biden signed an executive order that aimed to reunite kids who'd been separated from their parents at the border.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Renee Ekwoge can't remember the last conversation she had with her father. They stopped talking regularly months ago, after she moved nearly 1,000 miles away for a new job last summer.

"The last time I saw my dad, he was painting my house," Ekwoge says. "He came and helped paint all weekend. It was nice when we lived closer and had ways to hang out that didn't include nonsense videos."

Those "nonsense videos" are about conspiracy theories. They've become a major focus for her father — on topics like COVID-19 and Sept. 11, 2001. He watches them on YouTube.

The murder conviction of Derek Chauvin could represent "a huge paradigm shift," if three other Minneapolis officers charged in George Floyd's death are also convicted, says Nekima Levy Armstrong, a civil rights attorney and activist in Minneapolis.

Former presidents typically try not to wade into politics — and former President George W. Bush has made a point of sticking to that unspoken rule.

In office, he pushed for immigration reform. But he hasn't discussed the matter in a significant way since he left office — until now.

He's doing it in a new book of portraits called Out of Many, One. It features the stories of 43 immigrants — athletes and public servants, business leaders, educators.

In a conversation with NPR, former President Bush talks about his art and immigration.

The number of migrants crossing into the United States in March was higher than in any other month in at least 15 years.

Eight minutes and 46 seconds. That's the amount of time that former police officer Derek Chauvin was believed to have held his knee on George Floyd's neck.

In the aftermath of Floyd's death, 8:46 became part of the rallying cry in protests around the world. It appeared on signs. People chanted it. They held vigils and stayed quiet for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to mark Floyd's death.

Morning Edition Song Project is the series where songwriters are asked to write an original song about the COVID era. The newest addition is brought by Michael League. He plays all kinds of instruments; he's a producer, too — and the lead of the jazz-fusion group Snarky Puppy.

You might know her as the host of NPR Music's web series, Amplify with Lara Downes, or by her work as a concert pianist – through each, Downes' goal has been to elevate the work of Black artists. Her new project, Rising Sun Music, is something of a combination: Downes will release a mini-album every month, for as long as she can keep it up, to highlight overlooked and forgotten compositions by Black artists in the classical music tradition.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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There are many parenting books out there. But NPR's Michaeleen Doucleff says all the parenting books that she read after becoming a mom left a lot out.

"I'm trained as a scientist. I spent seven years as a chemist and I really believed that the parenting advice we got today was backed by really stringent scientific research," she says. "And when I started looking at the studies as a scientist, I was really, really let down."

She couldn't find answers to the trouble that she was having with her young daughter, Rosy.

Central to the new documentary Black Art: In the Absence of Light is a pivotal art exhibition that debuted in 1976.

"Two Centuries of Black American Art" was the first major show by a Black curator to look at the history of art produced by African Americans. Covering the period between 1750 and 1950, it featured 200 works and 63 artists, with painting, sculpture, drawing, graphics, crafts and decorative arts.

Jared Stacy is still processing his decision to leave Spotswood Baptist Church in Fredericksburg, Va., last year. Until November, he was ministering to young parishioners in their 20s and 30s.

But in the four years since he had joined the church as a pastor, Stacy had found himself increasingly up against an invisible, powerful force taking hold of members of his congregation: conspiracy theories, disinformation and lies.

Stacy has seen the real consequences of these lies build up over the years; he says it has tainted the name of his faith.

Kev Marcus and Wil Baptiste — two artists from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. — met 25 years ago, in a high school orchestra class. Growing up, neither one had had much exposure to classical music; both said their parents were more likely to listen to reggae or calypso. Classical music felt like it was supposed to be for other people, which had the effect of drawing them even closer to it. Today, they play as a duo, with Marcus on violin and Baptiste on viola.

Robin Wright is not afraid to go to the most painful parts of the human experience. Her latest film, Land, follows a woman named Edee after the deaths of her husband and young son. Her grief pushes her away from the world and she escapes to a small, abandoned cabin on the side of a mountain in Wyoming.

"We toyed with the word 'survival' ... " explains Wright, the film's director and star. "It's not so much that she wants to die. She wants to erase herself — the self that she was with her family — because it'll never be the same."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MY WORLD IS EMPTY WITHOUT YOU")

THE SUPREMES: (Singing) My world is empty without you, babe.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

There's a feeling that young adults living through this pandemic might find especially familiar — being ready to come into your own, and then suddenly having to put your life on pause.

The Biden administration says the federal government needs to do a better job of acknowledging the ways that communities of color are blocked from fair and equal access to housing.

"Today the average Black family has just one-tenth the wealth of the average white family, while the gap between white and Black in home ownership is now larger than it was in 1960," Susan Rice, head of the White House Domestic Policy Council, said in a news briefing Tuesday.

"I just remember being very scared."

That's how Lydia, a 39-year-old mother of three in Canada, describes feeling when she was pregnant in 2008 with her daughter and had questions about vaccinating. She worried it might cause more harm than good.

"I remember feeling some trepidation and saying to my husband, 'We can't undo this once we do it,' " she says. NPR is not using Lydia's full name because she's worried about backlash from a community she once believed in — people opposed to vaccines.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Filmmaker Ken Burns has spent his career documenting American history, and he always considered three major crises in the nation's past: the Civil War, the Depression and World War II.

Then came the unprecedented "perfect storm" of 2020 — and Burns thinks we may be living through America's fourth great crisis, and perhaps the worst one yet.

The Flint, Mich., water crisis resulted in charges Wednesday against former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who is now facing two counts of willful neglect of duty.

As fallout continues from the deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol, Ed Stetzer, head of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College in Illinois, has a message for his fellow evangelicals: It's time for a reckoning.

Evangelicals, he says, should look at how their own behaviors and actions may have helped fuel the insurrection. White evangelicals overwhelmingly supported President Trump in the 2020 election.

Iowa is one of several states, mostly in the Midwest, where coronavirus cases in nursing homes are rising faster than in nursing homes nationally.

While national cases in nursing home residents and staff rose by 8% between September and October, the numbers in Iowa more than doubled in that time, according to the AARP.

In the 1970s, there were few singer-songwriters more beloved than Cat Stevens. A lot has changed since his landmark album Tea for the Tillerman. For one, he's a grandfather. For two, he's not even Cat Stevens anymore: He's gone by Yusuf Islam, or simply Yusuf, since his conversion to the Muslim faith later that decade.

It was Memorial Day, May 25th, 2020. The coronavirus had locked down the country for weeks. Tens of thousands had died. Millions were out of work. And in Minneapolis, a 46-year-old Black man named George Floyd went to buy a pack of cigarettes.

Floyd's stop ended with a police officer's knee dug into his neck for nearly nine minutes. Floyd begged for his life, called for his mother and repeatedly told the police, "I can't breathe." His cries went unanswered and he died in police custody.

"In a battle for facts, in a battle for truth, journalism is activism," says Philippine journalist Maria Ressa.

Ressa, who is internationally known and lauded for standing up to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's escalating attacks on the press, tells NPR that circumstances in the Philippines have forced her to evolve as a journalist.

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