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.



Sun July 3, 2011

When Water Overpowers, Wind Farms Get Steamed

The Pacific Northwest is suffering from too much of a good thing — electricity. It was a snowy winter and a wet spring, and there's lots of water behind the dams on the Columbia River, creating an oversupply of hydropower. As a result, the region's new wind farms are being ordered to throttle back — and they're not happy.

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Wed June 29, 2011

Facebook's Newest Challenger: Google Plus

A screen shot of Google Plus.

Google is trying once again to challenge Facebook's domination of the social networking business. Its main social networking site "Orkut" is very popular in Brazil, but in the rest of the world, Google trails Facebook.

But the company has a new attempt to catch up.

The new social network is called Google Plus, and you're not allowed to join it. At least, not yet.

"It's small but growing," says Bradley Horowitz, who oversees Google's communications products and social applications.

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Thu June 23, 2011

Gray Wolf In Cross Hairs Again After Delisting

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 3:49 pm

In central Idaho, local hostility to wolves expresses itself on signs along the highway. Many residents don't like the wolves because the animals kill elk, livestock and pets.
Martin Kaste NPR

Conservation groups howled when Congress removed the Rocky Mountain gray wolf from the federal endangered species list. The "delisting" in most of the Northwest was attached to the budget deal in April between the White House and Congress.

The head of one environmental organization likened it to Congress throwing the wolf off Noah's Ark. But now that states like Idaho have full authority over the wolf's fate, they're eager to use it.

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Mon May 23, 2011
Middle East

Libyan Rebels Restore Old Weapons, Wait For New

At the rebels' outdoor machine shop, they rehabilitate antique automatic weapons and sometimes redesign them. Saleh Likhfayfe shows off the new "grip" welded onto a salvaged machine gun.
Martin Kaste NPR

Rebels in Libya say they need more outside help to finish their 3-month-old rebellion against the government of Moammar Gadhafi. The nightly bombings by NATO are holding Gadhafi's forces at bay, but the rebels say they need heavier weaponry to push deeper into Gadhafi-controlled territory.

At a rebel boot camp on the edge of Benghazi that used to be a Libyan army base, the buildings still bear the scorch marks that resulted from the recent change of management.

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Mon May 23, 2011
The Two-Way

With Lights, People In Eastern Libya Press For Help

Rebels were trying to keep the world's attention on Libya, with lights aimed at the news media and aid workers in Benghazi on Sunday night. Zintan is a town in western Libya — a region that rebels hope will also soon be out of the Gadhafi regime's control.
Jonathan Blakley NPR

As the revolt against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi drags into its fourth month, people in the rebel-controlled city of Benghazi are doing what they can to keep themselves motivated — and to keep the outside world, interested.

Sunday night, that meant a light show.

As dusk fell, people gathered in a plaza outside our hotel, holding up lights. They formed the outlines of a crescent and star — symbols of the rebel flag — while others spelled out the names of other Libyan cities; including that of Zintan, a town in the western mountains.

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