Martin Kaste

NPR's Martin Kaste covers the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and western Canada, and occasionally roams farther afield. Kaste's reports and features can be heard on all of NPR's news programs and newscasts.

Politics is a big part of Kaste's beat, and he's followed the career of Alaska's Sarah Palin since well before the day she was picked as John McCain's running mate.

He also specializes in privacy issues, focusing on the government's wireless wiretapping practices, and the data-collection and analysis that goes on behind the scenes in social media and other new media.

Before moving to the West Coast, Kaste spent five years as NPR's South America reporter. He covered the drug wars in Colombia, the financial meltdown in Argentina, the rise of Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, and the fall of Haiti's president Jean Bertrand Aristide. All told, Kaste covered the overthrow of five presidents in five years.

Kaste joined NPR fulltime in February 2000, after working in St. Paul as a political reporter for Minnesota Public Radio, which he joined in 1993. He's a graduate of Carleton College.



Mon May 9, 2011
Middle East

After Deadly Clashes, Egypt's Christians On Edge

In Egypt, the army is guarding two Christian churches that were burned over the weekend in an outburst of violence between Coptic Christians and Muslims. The clashes in Cairo left at least a dozen dead and hundreds injured.

The Copts make up about 10 percent of the country's population, and many say they feel more vulnerable to attacks by Muslims since the fall of Hosni Mubarak in February.

'A Sense Of Shock'

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Mon May 9, 2011
Middle East

Sectarian Clashes Hurt Egypt's Transition

Relations between Egypt's Muslims and Christians have degenerated to a new low. Riots left 12 people dead and a church burned.


Sun May 1, 2011
The Spark

Years Ago, Sarah Palin Was Recruited As A Moderate

Originally published on Thu May 5, 2011 12:56 pm

Sarah Palin (center) stands with the Wasilla, Alaska, City Council for a portrait in 1998. In 1992, then-Mayor John Stein recruited Palin as a moderate counterweight to the growing anti-government, anti-tax movement. By 1996, Palin challenged Stein in the race for mayor — and won.
Heath Family AP

NPR has been profiling some of the Republicans who are considering a presidential run in 2012, to find out what first sparked their interest in politics. Read more of those profiles.

Whether Sarah Palin will enter the 2012 presidential race is the political junkie's favorite guessing game — and Palin hasn't said much to end the speculation.

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Tue April 26, 2011
Conflict In Libya

U.S. Professor Reflects On Return Home To Libya

The rebels in Libya are short of many things these days — weapons, money, even Cabinet ministers.

In the largely improvised scramble to set up an alternative to leader Moammar Gadhafi's regime, the rebels are leaning heavily on a small number of people. One of them is Ali Tarhouni, a University of Washington economics professor who abruptly left his family and students to join an uncertain Libyan revolution.

Tarhouni is not an easy man to sit down with these days; it would be an exaggeration to call him a one-man Cabinet, but sometimes it seems that way.

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Mon April 25, 2011

Tim Pawlenty: The Young Reaganite Comes Of Age

There are at least a dozen Republicans considering a run for the White House in 2012. Over the next two weeks, NPR will be profiling some of them to find out what first sparked their interest in politics.

You may not be ready yet, but in Iowa, they're already thinking about 2012.

In the tiny town of Fayette, the local Republican Party is holding a fundraising lunch. It's a small event — but not too small for Tim Pawlenty.

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Thu April 21, 2011

Apple's iPhone 4 Tracks Where It's Been

Two computer researchers say the new iPhone quietly keeps track of everywhere you take it — even if you turn off the GPS function. The iPhone 4 is constantly recording its location relative to nearby cell phone towers and WiFi signals. In other words, it's all the information needed for a detailed map of everywhere the phone's owner has been.