Martin Kaste

Martin Kaste is a correspondent on NPR's National desk. He covers law enforcement and privacy, as well as news from the Pacific Northwest.

In addition to general assignment reporting in the U.S., Kaste has contributed to NPR News coverage of major world events, including the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the 2011 uprising in Libya.

Kaste has reported on the government's warrant-less wiretapping practices as well as the data-collection and analysis that go on behind the scenes in social media and other new media. His privacy reporting was cited in the U.S. Supreme Court's 2012 United States v. Jones ruling concerning GPS tracking.

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

Prior to joining NPR in 2000, Kaste was a political reporter for Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul for seven years.

Kaste is a graduate of Carleton College, in Northfield, Minnesota.

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6:19am

Thu June 19, 2014
Business

With Loyal Customers In Mind, Amazon Unveils Fire Phone

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 7:50 am

At a gala party on Wednesday, Amazon launched its first smartphone. It is distinguished from other phones by the ease with which you can use it to buy things from Amazon.

6:38pm

Tue June 10, 2014
The Two-Way

In A Standoff With Montana Officials, The Justice Department Blinks

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 pm

The Justice Department announced Tuesday it has resolved a two-year-old standoff with the county attorney in Missoula, Mont., in what was originally a dispute over accusations that local prosecutors weren't doing enough to prosecute rape cases.

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10:01am

Tue June 3, 2014
Business

Seattle Ordinance Gradually Increases Minimum Wage To $15

The city council has approved a measure raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The wage will be phased in over a number of years. The measure takes effect on April 1, 2015.

6:00pm

Thu May 22, 2014
All Tech Considered

Can Cop-Worn Cameras Restore Faith In New Orleans Police?

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 2:23 pm

Lt. Travis St. Pierre, of the New Orleans Police Department, shows off a body-worn camera during a press conference in January.
Brett Duke The Times-Picayune/Landov

Body-worn video cameras are quickly becoming standard-issue for American police, especially at departments in the process of reform. And in New Orleans, the troubled police department is now requiring almost all officers to wear the cameras.

The city's police department has a dark history of corruption, racism and brutality. The low point may have been the Danziger Bridge episode, after Hurricane Katrina, when police shot unarmed people, then covered up the crime.

These days, the department is trying to rebuild the public's trust — which is where the body cameras come in.

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6:57pm

Wed May 21, 2014
Law

Invoking 'Castle Doctrine,' Mont. Man Pleads Not Guilty In Teen's Death

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 9:21 pm

German student Diren Dede was fatally shot after he entered the garage of Markus Kaarma in Montana last month. Dede was on a one-year high school exchange program to the U.S.
Oliver Hardt Getty Images

Montana resident Markus Kaarma pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of murdering a German exchange student last month. Kaarma shot the 17-year-old while the student was trespassing in his garage. The case has attracted international scrutiny to the contentious debate over how far Americans may go when defending their homes.

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5:13am

Thu May 1, 2014
Around the Nation

Seattle Proposal Would Raise City's Minimum Wage To $15 An Hour

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 3:24 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The minimum wage may go up anyway in Seattle. Politicians there want to raise the local minimum higher than current 7.25, and higher than President Obama's goal of 10.10. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: Seattle's current minimum wage, like all of Washington state's, is $9.19 per hour.] Seattle is seriously considering setting the minimum wage at $15.

Here's NPR's Martin Kaste.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Seattle - 15, 15, 15!

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4:00pm

Wed April 30, 2014
News

Botched Oklahoma Execution Mobilizes Death Penalty Opponents

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 6:18 pm

Oklahoma death row inmate Clayton Lockett's execution was botched on Tuesday, when a relatively new combination of drugs failed to work as expected. The incident, the second of its kind in recent months, is renewing questions of what constitutes "cruel and unusual punishment."

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5:42pm

Fri April 18, 2014
The Salt

In The Land Of Razor Clams, Dinner Hides Deep Within The Sand

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 1:49 pm

Clams this fresh taste like tender calamari.
Martin Kaste/NPR

As soon as you drive into town, it's pretty clear that Long Beach, Wash., is all about the razor clam. The first clue is the giant frying pan. It's 14 feet tall and a relic of the clam festivals of the 1940s. And then there's the clam statue that spits when you insert a quarter.

But if you really want to see how much people here love their clams, you'd have to be like Karen Harrell and get up before dawn and drive out onto the blustery beach to go clam digging.

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11:50am

Tue April 15, 2014
All Tech Considered

Apple Upgrade Tracks Customers Even When Marketing Apps Are Off

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 10:50 am

iPhone geotracking gets better. Or is it worse?
Patrick Kovarik AFP/Getty Images

The people who design marketing apps are celebrating a change in the way iBeacon works on iPhones. That's the Bluetooth-based system that lets a store track a customer's movements, and capitalize on them. For instance, if iBeacon detects you lingering in the shoe department, it might send you a digital coupon for socks.

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4:08pm

Wed April 2, 2014
News

Survey: Americans Skeptical Of Prison For Non-Violent Drug Crimes

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 12:22 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now to a new survey from the Pew Research Center that's found more evidence of a shift in public attitudes toward illegal drug use.

As NPR's Martin Kaste reports, the survey indicates growing public skepticism about prison terms for nonviolent drug offenders.

MARTIN KASTE, BYLINE: This shift has been going on for a while now. Previous polls already showed a new majority in favor of legalizing marijuana. But in this survey, you also see changing attitudes toward harder drugs.

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