Ari Shapiro

Ari Shapiro is an NPR international correspondent based in London. An award-winning journalist, his reporting covers a wide range of topics and can be heard on all of NPR's national news programs, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Prior to his current post, Shapiro reported from the NPR Washington Desk as White House Correspondent during President Barack Obama's first and second terms, as Justice Correspondent during the George W. Bush administration and as a regular guest host on NPR's newsmagazines. He is also a frequent analyst on CNN, PBS, NBC and other television news outlets.

Shapiro's reporting has consistently won national accolades. The Columbia Journalism Review recognized him with a laurel for his investigation into disability benefits for injured American veterans. The American Bar Association awarded him the Silver Gavel for exposing the failures of Louisiana's detention system after Hurricane Katrina. He was the first recipient of the American Judges' Association American gavel Award, recognizing a body of work on U.S. courts and the American justice system. And at age 25, Shapiro won the Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize for an investigation of methamphetamine use and HIV transmission.

An occasional singer, Shapiro makes guest appearances with the "little orchestra" Pink Martini, whose recent albums feature several of his contributions. Since his debut at the Hollywood Bowl in 2009, Shapiro has performed live at many of the world's most storied venues, including Carnegie Hall in New York, L'Olympia in Paris, and Mount Lycabettus in Athens.

Shapiro graduated from Yale University magna cum laude and began his journalism career in the office of NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg.

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Parallels
12:35 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

It's Not Whisky, But Everyone In Scotland Drinks It By The Bottle

Irn Bru is a hugely popular Scottish soda that may even outsell Coca-Cola in Scotland. It also symbolizes local pride in a place that will vote on whether to break away from the United Kingdom next month.
Courtesy of Irn Bru

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 5:29 pm

For a visitor to Scotland, it can be difficult to understand the local passion for a neon orange soda that locals call "the brew." The drink is Irn Bru (pronounced "iron brew").

You can find it from McDonald's to corner stores and pubs across Scotland. It is such a powerful force that it may even outsell Coca-Cola here — making it one of the few places on the globe where Coke isn't the leading brand.

"This stuff runs in my blood," says Chris Young, as he walks through downtown Glasgow carrying a bottle.

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Europe
3:37 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Report Details 16 Years Of 'Horrific Abuse' Of Children In U.K. Town

Alexis Jay, author of a report released Tuesday that documents the abuse of 1,400 children in Rotherham, England, says local authorities were aware of the problem for years and did nothing.
Dave Higgens PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 6:07 pm

An investigation out on Tuesday documents the abuse of more than 1,400 children in Rotherham, England, and says local authorities were aware of the problem for years and did not respond.

Alexis Jay, who authored the report, used to be chief inspector of social work in Scotland.

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Parallels
12:30 am
Sat August 23, 2014

Scotland's Independence Vote And The Fate Of Britain's Nuclear Subs

A Trident submarine makes its way out from Faslane naval base in 2009. Scotland votes on whether it wants independence next month, raising questions about the future of Britain's naval base, including its nuclear subs.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 11:44 am

After 300 years in the United Kingdom, Scotland votes next month on whether to break the union, which raises many questions. One is particularly meaningful in the town of Helensburgh, in Western Scotland: What will happen to the U.K.'s nuclear weapons?

The Trident submarine program is based in Scotland, at Faslane naval base.

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Parallels
2:10 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

European Fighters Take On More Prominent Roles In The Islamic State

This image posted on a militant website shows ISIS fighters marching in Raqqa, Syria, where the extremist group trains recruits, including Westerners.
AP

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 7:18 pm

British authorities are trying to identify the masked man who executed American photojournalist James Foley in a video that has caused massive global reaction.

The man — who appears wearing all black, holding a knife, and wearing a gun holster — speaks in an accent that linguists say sounds like someone from East or South London. The video yields other clues to the man's identity, such as his height and the fact that he's left-handed.

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Fine Art
3:48 am
Sat August 16, 2014

A Sea Of Ceramic Poppies Honors Britain's WWI Dead

This installation at the Tower of London will ultimately feature 888,246 ceramic poppies, honoring the soldiers from Britain and the British colonies who died in World War I.
Rich Preston NPR

Originally published on Sat August 16, 2014 6:05 am

How do you memorialize an event that happened 100 years ago? Almost nobody is alive who witnessed the start of World War I. In England, at the Tower of London, an unusual artistic commemoration is blooming. Its name comes from a poem, written by an anonymous soldier in World War I: "The Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red."

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Parallels
2:00 am
Tue August 12, 2014

It's Sunrise In London And Time For A Rave

Revelers dance in their pajamas at Morning Gloryville in London in January. The nightclub, which holds a rave once a month beginning at 6:30 a.m., has inspired morning raves in a number of other cities around the world.
Andrew Winning Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 10:27 am

At 6:30 in the morning, not many people have dancing on their mind. Freshly brewed coffee, perhaps, or the papers. Maybe some public radio. But not a party.

On a street in East London, however, the sun is rising over the rooftops, and a line of people are waiting to get into a warehouse. Most were fast asleep an hour ago, but by now they're wearing fluorescent neon tights, brightly colored headbands and leggings. Some have decorated themselves with face paint.

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Middle East
2:01 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

In Gaza, A Glimmer Of Hope For Cease-Fire Is Snuffed Out Early

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 12:32 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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Theater
3:37 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Why Are Theater Tickets Cheaper On The West End Than On Broadway?

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 5:07 pm

It's a Wednesday afternoon in London and a bunch of kids are standing outside a West End theater, giddily unaware that their parents have just shelled out a lot of money for the experience they're about to have. A giant sign over their heads shows a silhouette of a girl standing on a swing, her hair flying behind her in the wind — it's a matinee performance of Matilda.

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Middle East
2:09 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

An Uneasy End To Ramadan In Gaza, Where Fighting Intensifies Once More

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 5:40 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

All Tech Considered
3:40 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Remixed And Retweeted

A Hamas supporter holds her mobile phone during a public rally in Gaza City in March.
Said Khatib AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 9:13 am

The deadly war in the Gaza Strip and Israel is being fought with rockets and guns. It's also being fought with tweets and viral videos.

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Middle East
2:19 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Israeli Forces Move Into Gaza, 'Terrorist Tunnels' In Cross Hairs

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 5:54 pm

NPR's Ari Shapiro reports on the latest news from the Gaza Strip, where Israel has undertaken a ground invasion against Hamas operatives. It's the first time in five years that the Israeli military has conducted a ground operation.

Middle East
2:19 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

On Two Sides, Two Funerals — While Death Toll Mounts In Gaza

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 6:02 pm

As the violence between Hamas and Israel continues, so too do the funerals that come in its wake. NPR correspondents Ari Shapiro and Emily Harris attended two such funerals today, in Tel Aviv and Gaza respectively, and they tell of what they learned there.

Middle East
2:21 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

A Brief Lull Shatters In Gaza, As Cease-Fire Falls Apart

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 5:23 pm

An attempt at a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas has broken down. Hamas rejected the terms of the cease-fire, and Israel renewed its campaign of air strikes on the Gaza Strip.

Parallels
1:40 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Israeli-Gaza Conflict Squeezes Palestinian Leader On All Sides

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has accused Israel of committing "genocide" against Palestinians, and he has also criticized Hamas for firing rockets on Israel.
Abbas Momani AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 7:28 am

While the Israel-Gaza conflict pits Israelis against Palestinians, it has also increased stress within the Palestinian leadership.

The Gaza Strip is run by Hamas, which the U.S. considers a terrorist group and favors a strategy of resistance. The West Bank is run by Fatah, which is more moderate and favors an olive-branch approach.

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Middle East
2:15 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Between Hamas And Israel, What Might An Endgame Look Like?

Israeli army flares fall into Gaza on Monday, the seventh day of the current fighting between Israel and Palestinians.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 6:17 pm

The last time Israel and Hamas fought each other was 2012. Back then, the conflict lasted eight days.

Tuesday marks the eighth day of the current conflict between Israel and Hamas, which raises the question: What might it take to bring this fight to a close?

Both Israel and Hamas say they are unwilling to sign on to a straightforward, put-down-your-weapons, bare-bones ceasefire. They say quiet for quiet, calm for calm, is not enough.

They want more.

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Middle East
2:11 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Among Israelis, Pressure Swells To Commence Ground War In Gaza

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 6:21 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

As we mentioned, no Israelis have been killed by rocket fire, but one strike today did cause severe injuries and damage. Around 8:30 in the morning local time, a rocket struck a gas station in Ashdod. One man was sent to the hospital seriously wounded. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports this increases the internal pressure on Israel to stage a ground invasion.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: A taxi driver Avram Ayash, comes to this gas station every day. This morning he watched the place go up in flames.

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Middle East
3:00 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Israel's Rocket Defense System Performs Well During Gaza Escalation

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 6:01 am

Israel's military says its rocket defense system, known as Iron Dome, has kept the country safe from Hamas rockets. The missile shield system may have its critics, but Israelis are still proud.

Parallels
3:39 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

On Opposite Sides Of Israeli-Gaza Border, Feeling The Same Fears

Several families share this one-room underground shelter in Ashkelon, Israel, not far from the border with Gaza. The children say they're afraid to go outside.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 8:39 pm

More than 50 Palestinians have been killed and 450 wounded in Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, rockets continue to fly toward Israel from Gaza, but so far, no Israelis have been reported killed.

For people living in and around the Gaza Strip, this conflict has turned daily routines upside down. Life is punctuated by sirens and explosions.

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Crime In The City
1:33 am
Tue July 8, 2014

For One Crime Writer, Peaceful Shetland Is A Perfect Place For Murder

Old stone houses abut the harbor in Lerwick, Shetland's largest town. Outsiders are known here as "soothmoothers," because they arrive on the ferry through the south mouth of the Bressay Sound.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 7:51 am

Crime writer Ann Cleeves puts it best in her novel Dead Water: "Shetland didn't do pretty. It did wild and bleak and dramatic."

The Shetland Islands are a damp and rocky place, with endless miles of green and gray. Humanity seems to cling to the land here like a few tenacious barnacles. "I love the idea of long, low horizons with secrets hidden underneath," Cleeves says.

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Middle East
2:19 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

In Jerusalem, And Caught In A Crossfire Of Thrown Stones

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 5:56 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Parallels
3:18 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

A Scottish Yarn: A Knit In Time Saves The Fabric Of Shetland Life

Ingrid Eunson sits at the spinning wheel in her home in the small town of Brae in Scotland's remote Shetland Islands. She knits yarn that she spins and dyes herself, traditions that her ancestors practiced for generations.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 5:20 pm

Drive around the Shetland Islands in the far north of Scotland, and at least one thing is immediately apparent: It's home to a lot of sheep. They're everywhere — wandering along the roadsides and on beaches.

In fact, there are some 400,000 of them in Shetland, where the ovine inhabitants outnumber the human ones 20 to 1.

So if you're invited to someone's home for dinner, lamb will likely be on the table. And if you're wearing a local scarf or mittens, chances are it was made out of Shetland wool.

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Parallels
1:43 am
Mon June 30, 2014

In Shetland, Oil Shapes Debate Over Scottish Independence

Scotland's offshore oil platforms in the North Sea generate significant wealth for the nation — especially for the Shetland Islands, where oil tanker traffic boosts the local economy.
Andy Buchanan - WPA Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 11:32 am

In September, Scotland will vote on whether to break away from the United Kingdom and declare independence.

So far, the debate has been largely about money: One poll says most voters would switch their vote if it meant an extra 500 pounds, or around $800 dollars.

North Sea oil and gas are central to this economic debate — nowhere more so than in the remote Shetland Islands, many miles from the Scottish mainland, where tankers carrying North Sea oil come ashore. The oil has transformed both the local and national economy.

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Parallels
1:52 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

The Shifting Legacy Of The Man Who Shot Franz Ferdinand

Nineteen-year-old Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip fired the shots that killed the heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and his wife, Sophie, during a visit to Sarajevo on June 28, 1914. Depending on whom you ask, he's either a hero or a terrorist.
Historical Archives Sarajevo AP

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 4:33 pm

A hundred years ago Saturday, Gavrilo Princip shot the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. That event triggered World War I, charting the course for the 20th century. Today, the legacy of the Bosnian Serb nationalist remains the subject of intense debate — nowhere more than in Sarajevo itself.

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History
1:23 am
Fri June 27, 2014

A Century Ago In Sarajevo: A Plot, A Farce And A Fateful Shot

The Austro-Hungarian archduke and his wife, Sophie, board a car just prior to his assassination in Sarajevo.
AP

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 8:57 am

The shot that killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was fired a hundred years ago this weekend.

The assassination in Sarajevo, on June 28, 1914, triggered World War I and changed the course of the 20th century. The consequences of that act were devastating. But the beginning of the story sounds almost like a farce — complete with bad aim, botched poisoning and a wrong turn on the road.

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Europe
2:20 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

A Century From Archduke's Death, Spotlight Turns Back To Bosnia

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 5:10 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

People from around the world are in Sarajevo this week to mark 100 years since the gunshot that changed history. On June 28, 1914, a young assassin killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand, triggering the First World War. Bosnia is hosting concerts, conferences and art exhibitions to mark the centenary. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports from Sarajevo on what locals make of the big commemoration.

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Parallels
2:35 am
Sun June 15, 2014

In London, An Underground Home For The World's Mosquitoes

Dr. James Logan, an entomologist, studies mosquitoes from around the world in an effort to make them less dangerous. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine keeps them in a cavern beneath the streets of London. The bowls contain mosquito larvae in water, while the boxes are where the adults live.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 6:37 am

You can't hear it over the noise of London's traffic. But it's there. That faint, whining hum. Right under my feet, thousands of mosquitoes are dining on human blood.

To visit them, you have to go through a sliding glass door into the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. This school started as a hospital on the Thames River, where doctors treated sailors returning from faraway places with strange parasites.

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Parallels
1:38 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

In A Sunny Britain, Would We Read Classics Like 'David Coppertone'?

On a glorious but rare day, a woman relaxes on a bench in the rose garden in Hyde Park on Monday in London, England. The book she's reading might have turned out much different if London were known for fair weather rather than fog.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 2:48 am

I'm not sure that cities like Miami and Rio de Janeiro truly appreciate the sun. They clearly enjoy the sun, what with their beach volleyball games and their fruity cocktails. But to really appreciate the sun, I think you have to live in a place that gets dark by 4 p.m. in the winter. A place where a typical summer day involves drizzle. A place, in short, like London.

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Europe
12:49 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Across Europe, Anti-Uber Protests Clog City Streets

A taxi precedes demonstrators during a protest against Uber in Barcelona on Wednesday. A conventional taxi license in Spain can cost 137,000 euros ($185,400), making competition from services like Uber a major financial issue.
Josep Lago AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 4:24 pm

In capital cities across Europe, taxi drivers took to the streets without passengers Wednesday afternoon. They slowed to a snail's pace in what Parisians called "Operation Escargot." Horns blared around Trafalgar Square in London. In Berlin, taxis massed at the Central Station. All to protest the smartphone app Uber.

"We've opened Frankfurt last week, we've opened Lille in France, which is our third city this week. We opened Barcelona a couple weeks ago, and there's many more cities to go," Uber's Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty says.

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Parallels
11:30 am
Tue June 10, 2014

A London Summit Tackles A Problem As Old As War Itself

Actress Angelina Jolie and British Foreign Secretary William Hague brought together representatives from more than 100 countries for the London conference on sexual violence in conflicts.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:06 pm

For centuries, governments around the world have often treated sexual violence as an unpreventable fact of war. Books from the Bible to the Iliad talk about rape and pillaging as an inevitable part of conflict. Now that attitude is beginning to change.

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Theater
2:56 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

In Leap From Page To Stage, UK's Take On 'Catch-22' Gets It Right

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 5:58 pm

Catch-22 is widely considered a great novel; until now, it has been a disaster as a play. Though Joseph Heller adapted his work for the stage decades ago, every production had been a failure. Now, however, a new production of his play seems to have broken the curse: It is touring the UK and receiving strong reviews.

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