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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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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Hearing ALA.NI sing for just a moment feels like being transported back in time. On her debut album, You & I, the British-born, Paris-based singer's voice evokes greats like Billie Holiday and Judy Garland. But ALA.NI is not one for blindly indulging nostalgia: She's just staying true to the music she's always loved.

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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."

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.

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Readers may remember Emma Donoghue for her blockbuster novel Room — the one about a happy little boy growing up in horrifying conditions: Born into captivity. Mom abducted.

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Kwame Alexander believes that wonder lies between the lines of poems.

His new book Out of Wonder, is a collection of original poems for children written in the style of some of the world's most famous poets — Rumi, Robert Frost, Pablo Neruda, Maya Angelou. The poems were written by Alexander, Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth and illustrated by Ekua Holmes.

There are three aims for the book — to encourage kids to read poetry, to introduce them to great poets, and to inspire them to write poems of their own.

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There is no cold like a Wyoming cold.

You'd think a ballet troupe from Russia might be able to take that cold but even the Moscow ballet couldn't move through it.

The traveling troupe was in Casper performing the Nutcracker, but when the temperature plunged to 31 degrees below zero, the dancers couldn't start their tour bus.

The group cancelled one of their shows as a result. After their sugar plums have finally defrosted, they'll dance in the warmer climes of Denver this weekend.

A dad in Mexico who planned an epic party for his daughter Rubi's 15th birthday.

He made a video talking about the festivities - three bands, a horse race and at the end, he said, "everyone is cordially invited!"

The video went viral and more than a million people said they would come to Rubi's party. It spawned all kinds of internet memes.

Rubi's favorite? The one about Donald Trump allowing undocumented Mexican migrants in the U.S. to return to Mexico so they can go to her party.

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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.

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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It used to be a given: When your kids reached school age, they'd strap on their backpacks and head for the neighborhood elementary school. Or, you'd pay a hefty tuition to send them to private school.

In the last two decades, a third option has emerged. Today, there are more than 6,000 charter schools in the country. And lately, they've been the subject of passionate and often acrimonious debate about the right way to fix public education in America.

Taliban forces stormed the Afghan city of Kunduz on Monday; after several days of fighting, Afghan forces claimed to have retaken the city.

It's a phrase you hear everywhere now: work-life balance. How can women and men navigate the demands of a career and a family?

In 2010, Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg started telling working moms to "lean in."

Thousands of migrants fleeing war in their home countries have have made it into Germany and to Berlin.

Once they arrive here, they begin the waiting game.

Germany is expecting at least 800,000 migrants this year alone, and Germans are struggling with the changes they bring.

At Berlin's main processing center for migrants, at a social service ministry, people are handed a number on a slip of paper. They crowd around a digital screen in the ministry courtyard to watch for their number to flash, indicating they can go inside to begin the asylum process.

In cities with high crime rates, like Newark, N.J., figuring out the right balance of police engagement is especially hard.

In 2013, Newark had 40 homicides per 100,000 residents, the third-highest homicide rate in the country.

Last fall, the new mayor, Ras Baraka, announced a plan to tackle the crime and neglect that have plagued the city's worst neighborhoods. He started by focusing on two of the toughest: Clinton Hill and the Lower West Ward. I asked him in January how he'll know the program is working.

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