Rachel Martin

Sleater-Kinney got a new beginning a few years ago. In 2006, the trio — guitarists Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein and drummer Janet Weiss — announced a hiatus, after half a dozen albums that had made it one of the most respected and beloved rock bands around.

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The writer Ibram X. Kendi has made a name for himself by tackling one of the most important — and one of the most sensitive — topics in America today.

His 2017 book, Stamped From the Beginning, is a history of racist ideas in America, and his new book is called How to Be an Antiracist. It starts with a moment in Kendi's own life: He was a high school senior taking part in an oratorical contest honoring Martin Luther King Jr., delivering a speech that ultimately won him first place.

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Syrian filmmaker and journalist Waad al-Kateab says she will always remember a mother shouting at her: "Film me! Film me! Let the world see what's happening!" At the woman's side was a dead infant — not older than a year, Kateab recalls. She was "trying to tell him that she brought him milk during the siege," Kateab tells NPR.

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Jesse Eisenberg built his career playing quick-witted intellectuals — but he gets more physical in his new movie, The Art of Self-Defense. The film, written and directed by Riley Stearns, stars Eisenberg as Casey Davies, a socially stunted man who seeks out a martial arts class-turned-cult after getting mugged.

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg got a really big boost to his campaign recently, announcing a staggering $24.8 million fundraising haul over the past three months.

But that hasn't changed one of the toughest realities his candidacy faces: support among black voters that barely registers in the polls.

Mo Willems feels like he's going back to second grade. The acclaimed children's author is the first ever Education Artist-in-Residence at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and even with all his awards and bestsellers, he says it's pretty scary.

"I get to be really, really terrified in all kinds of new different ways," Willems says — but that doesn't mean he's not having fun. "There are all these sandboxes that I don't usually get to play in."

We know how the story ends: Roger Ailes, a titan of American media — the mastermind who built Fox News — was forced to step down in 2016, in the wake of sexual harassment accusations. He died a year later at age 77.

What is the president actually allowed to do under the U.S. Constitution?

It's a question that's comes up from time to time at NPR, and when it does, we've turned to experts such as Kim Wehle, now a law professor and CBS News legal commentator. Now, she's written a book about it. It's called How to Read the Constitution — and Why.

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As a third-generation Jehovah's Witness, Amber Scorah believed she had the answer to life's biggest questions. The answer was Armageddon, and it predetermined everything.

"If the world is ending, why would you go to college?" Scorah says in an interview. "Why would you get a career?"

So, she didn't. Instead, like every other member of the church, she dedicated her life to spreading the word.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has not been shy about framing his candidacy to become the 2020 Democratic nominee for president around global climate change.

In his policy proposal he says that defeating climate change is the "defining challenge of our time," and that it is incumbent upon the next president of the United States to make that challenge a priority.

Amy Poehler's newest film is based on an actual girls' trip with her friends to California wine country. Except her friends — both in the movie and in real life — are fellow Saturday Night Live alumni such as Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer, Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Paula Pell and Emily Spivey.

"I'm lucky to have some of the funniest people in the world be my actual friends," Poehler says in an interview. "And so I tried to quickly exploit that as fast as I could."

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It looks like a landslide victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India. Votes are still being counted today after elections that lasted six weeks. NPR's Lauren Frayer has been following all of it, and she joins us live from Mumbai.

National attention is turning to issues that have been central to Kirsten Gillibrand's years of public service: equality and reproductive rights.

Ani DiFranco grew up in a house with no walls. "It was like a brick carriage house there. Inside there was just one room on the first floor and one room on the second floor. So it was an intimate house for a non-intimate family."

DiFranco's deep craving for intimacy led her to writing music. And the things DiFranco wanted to write were exactly what a generation of women coming of age in the '90s wanted to hear. DiFranco relives those early years in her new memoir, No Walls and the Recurring Dream.

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With surprisingly good job numbers this morning - unemployment has fallen to the lowest level in almost 50 years. Employers added 263,000 new jobs last month. That's more than analysts had been expecting. And it's another sign that the U.S. economy keeps moving along after almost a decade of economic growth. NPR economics correspondent Scott Horsley is with us this morning. Hi, Scott.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Rachel.

MARTIN: Pretty encouraging jobs numbers here - what do they tell us?

Workers with a steady paycheck already know that wages have been stubbornly slow to rise. Meanwhile, those who get health insurance through a job have seen their deductibles shoot up. In fact, says Noam Levey, a health care reporter for the Los Angeles Times, deductibles have, on average, quadrupled over the last dozen years. As a result, even some people who have health insurance are having trouble affording medical care.

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The attorney general, William Barr, is testifying this morning before the Senate Judiciary Committee. It's his first appearance before Congress since the release of the special counsel's report.

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