Ari Shapiro

Ari Shapiro has reported from above the Arctic Circle and aboard Air Force One. He has covered wars in Iraq, Ukraine, and Israel, and he has filed stories from five continents. (Sorry, Australia.)

As NPR's International Correspondent based in London, Shapiro travels the world covering a wide range of topics for NPR's national news programs. Starting in September, Shapiro will join Kelly McEvers, Audie Cornish and Robert Siegel as a weekday host of All Things Considered.

Shapiro joined NPR's international desk after four years as White House Correspondent during President Barack Obama's first and second terms. In 2012, Shapiro embedded with the presidential campaign of Republican Mitt Romney. He was NPR Justice Correspondent for five years during the George W. Bush Administration, covering one of the most tumultuous periods in the Department's history.

Shapiro is a frequent guest analyst on television news programs, and his reporting has been consistently recognized by his peers. The Columbia Journalism Review honored 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 for his 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 was born in Fargo, North Dakota, and grew up in Portland, Oregon. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Yale. He began his journalism career as an intern for NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg, who has also occasionally been known to sing in public.

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The Salt
3:29 pm
Mon August 3, 2015

Tired Of The Seoul-Sucking Rat Race, Koreans Flock To Farming

Not only did the family trade their urban life for one in a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains and trees, but they also earn $300,000 a year.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 8:52 am

Kim Pil-Gi left his construction job in Seoul, South Korea, three months ago. Now he happily spends his days handling grubs: squirming, writhing, beetle larvae, each one about as thick as a grown man's thumb. He sits at a tray, sorting them by size.

"At the construction company a lot of the time I'd wake up at 6 in the morning and work all night through to the next day," he says. "That was really hard for me."

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Parallels
12:15 pm
Sun August 2, 2015

In Seoul, Where Everything Moves Fast, There's Also Longing For The Past

Traditional architecture and modern skyscrapers overlap in central Seoul.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Sun August 2, 2015 6:28 am

Anytime I need to update a bunch of apps on my smartphone, I'm going to fly to South Korea to do it.

I'm only partly joking.

The Internet speeds are so fast here, they make me feel like the U.S. is living in the past.

And it's not just the Internet. The subways here are clean, and on time, with air conditioning and Wi-Fi.

Since I arrived in Seoul, I've lost track of the number of Americans who've told me, "Incheon in my favorite airport in the world."

Now, the journalistic cliché would be to say, "This didn't happen overnight!"

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Business
4:14 am
Wed July 29, 2015

South Koreans Bristle At Growing Dominance Of Family-Run Conglomerates

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 11:57 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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The Salt
1:42 am
Thu July 23, 2015

Buddhist Diet For A Clear Mind: Nuns Preserve Art Of Korean Temple Food

Iced tea made from local berries is served with melon and squares of sweet sticky rice topped with fruits and nuts. The nuns eat these sweets on head-shaving day, to replenish their energy.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Thu July 23, 2015 4:01 pm

Detox diets come and go, like any other fad. In South Korea, one popular diet has staying power. It has been around for at least 1,600 years, ever since the founding of the Jinkwansa temple in the mountains outside of Seoul.

This Buddhist monastery sits at the convergence of two streams, amid twisting leafy trees and soaring peaks. It's one of many temples in the countryside outside of South Korea's capital. Each temple has its own specialty. Jinkwansa is famous for two reasons.

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Arts & Life
2:57 pm
Wed July 22, 2015

The Story Of South Korea Told Through One Cartoonist

Originally published on Wed July 22, 2015 4:40 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Europe
3:04 am
Fri June 26, 2015

Kosovo: The Pros And Cons Of Being Europe's Newest Country

Originally published on Fri June 26, 2015 5:35 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Europe
3:23 pm
Wed June 24, 2015

After Kosovo Emerged From War, Foreign Extremists Radicalized Youth

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 6:01 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Parallels
3:09 am
Wed June 24, 2015

Bulgaria Steps Up Efforts Against Drug Trafficking Across Its Borders

A Bulgarian border policeman stands near a barbed wire wall on the border with Turkey in July 2014. Experts believe that about two-thirds of the heroin that enters Europe comes through Bulgaria, and that a third of that moves on to the United States.
Dimitar Dilkoff AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 6:58 am

As heroin addiction grows in the United States, the U.S. is focusing on the global supply chain, and officials believe one crucial link in it moves through Bulgaria, delivering most of the heroin that enters Europe — and some of what winds up on American streets.

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Parallels
2:39 pm
Mon June 22, 2015

Russia And The West Play Tug Of War; Serbia Feels Caught In The Middle

Serbian protesters hold a banner that reads: "Serbia-Russia, we don't need the European Commission" on March 21 in Belgrade. The marchers were from a Serbian nationalist organization opposed to the government, which has pursued closer ties with Western Europe.
Darko Vojinovic AP

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 8:32 pm

Serbia stands at a crossroads these days, pulled in one direction by Russia, a longtime ally, and tugged in another by Western Europe, which holds the promise of economic opportunities despite its current financial troubles.

Given the friction between Russia and the West these days, it's increasingly difficult for a small country like Serbia to have it both ways.

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World
3:31 pm
Sat June 20, 2015

Europe's Migrant Crisis Spreads Ashore As Refugees Enter Bulgaria On Foot

Originally published on Sat June 20, 2015 4:42 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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Europe
4:16 am
Wed June 17, 2015

Migrants Set On Getting To Europe Try Crossing Between Turkey And Bulgaria

Originally published on Wed June 17, 2015 5:19 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Europe
2:43 pm
Fri June 12, 2015

In A One-Room Schoolhouse, Irish Family Keeps Legacy Of W.B. Yeats Alive

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 6:55 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Parallels
3:03 am
Fri June 12, 2015

In The Rolling Hills Of Galway, Spirit Of W.B. Yeats Lives On

Sister Mary de Lourdes Fahy transformed a one-room schoolhouse into the the Kiltartan Gregory Museum dedicated Yeats.
Rich Preston NPR

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 5:30 am

William Butler Yeats, one of the greatest poets of the 20th century, was born in Ireland 150 years ago this week, and across the country, the Irish are celebrating with public readings and festivals.

But his presence has never left rural County Galway, in far western Ireland, where Yeats spent many years, far from the big cities. And in turn, its landscape and spirit infuses so much of his poetry.

So it may not be surprising that a passionate nun in Galway has turned an old one-room schoolhouse on a country road into a small museum to Yeats.

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Parallels
3:02 am
Thu June 11, 2015

Surrogate Parenting: A Worldwide Industry, Lacking Global Rules

Simon Clements, left, and Steve Williams with their 6-month-old daughter, Sophie, in London. The two British men began the process of finding a surrogate mother more than two years ago. While legal in the U.K., the practice of surrogacy is tightly restricted.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 6:58 am

In the U.S., surrogate parenting is widely accepted. Although no official figures exist, experts believe perhaps a thousand American children are born every year through surrogacy.

A patchwork of state-to-state regulations governs the practice. But the bottom line is if you're an American in the market for a surrogate — and you have money to spend — you can do it.

Things are very different in other parts of the world.

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The Salt
4:15 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Cod Comeback: How The North Sea Fishery Bounced Back From The Brink

Fish for sale in the fish market in Fraserburgh, Scotland.
Ari Shapiro/NPR

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 7:01 pm

Cod love the icy cold waters of the North Sea — and British people love eating cod.

But a decade ago, it looked like people were eating the fish to the brink of collapse. Now the trend has turned around, and the cod are coming back.

We pick up this fish tale, which seems to be on its way to a happy ending, at an early morning fish auction in Fraserburgh, Scotland, where buyers and sellers are lined up alongside hundreds of boxes containing cod, hake, monkfish, sole and every other kind of fish you can imagine from the North Sea.

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Sports
4:10 am
Thu May 28, 2015

After Arrests, Calls For Soccer's Governing Body To Be Overhauled

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 7:41 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Parallels
11:08 am
Tue May 19, 2015

An English 'Family Business,' Dedicated To A 2,000-Year-Old Roman Fort

Teams of volunteer archaeologists travel to Vindolanda during each excavation season. They painstakingly scrape and brush away at the soil to see what they can find.
Rich Preston NPR

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 5:06 pm

The world is full of family-run businesses that get passed down through generations. A family business in northern England, near the border with Scotland, will carry you back in time 2,000 years.

For the last couple of millennia, Vindolanda was hidden underground. This ancient Roman fort was buried beneath trees, then fields where oblivious farmers planted crops and grazed their sheep for centuries. Under the farmer's plow, the ruined city sat undisturbed — mostly.

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Parallels
1:25 am
Tue May 19, 2015

Conservative, Catholic Ireland Votes On Same-Sex Marriage

A campaign poster in Dublin encourages voters to say no to same-sex marriage ahead of a referendum in Dublin on Friday.
Paul Faith AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 3:17 pm

Ireland could make history this week. Same-sex marriage is legal in about 17 countries around the world. In all of those countries, the decision was made by the legislature or the courts. Ireland appears poised to become the first country to legalize same-sex marriage through a national popular vote set for Friday.

In Dublin, it is impossible to miss the debate. Nearly every lamppost carries a big poster, or several.

"YES: Equality for everybody," reads one showing a diverse group of smiling people.

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Politics
4:22 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Polls Close In Tight British Election, Show Lead For Conservative Party

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Parallels
1:13 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

London's Dominance Becomes A British Election Issue

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 5:32 pm

Nearly every country in the world has its major hub city, often the capital, with smaller cities feeding into it. The United Kingdom takes this structure to a whole new level. London is one of the richest cities in the world, and its population is the size of the next six British cities combined.

A global hub, London completely dominates the political, cultural and economic life of the U.K. to an extent rarely seen elsewhere. The U.K. has struggled with this imbalance for decades. This Thursday's election is highlighting the divide.

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Europe
3:02 am
Tue May 5, 2015

Skeletal Horse On Trafalgar Square's 4th Plinth Is Art And A Stock Ticker

Originally published on Mon June 1, 2015 5:38 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This next story will test the ability of the British to keep calm and carry on.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

London is the home of a new work of art. It is part of a competition.

INSKEEP: It's outdoors.

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Parallels
1:23 am
Mon May 4, 2015

A Novel Dutch Lawsuit Demands Government Cut Carbon Emissions

Much of the Netherlands is below sea level, including Amsterdam. Urgenda argues that any rise in the sea level could have a huge impact on the country.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 12:37 pm

A lawsuit in the Netherlands is taking an unusual approach to climate change. So unusual, in fact, that experts around the world are watching it closely, wondering whether it might spark a major shift in environmentalists' efforts to limit carbon emissions.

If that happens, it won't be the first time that Marjam Minnesma has turned the status quo on its head.

She's founder and director of a Dutch environmental organization called Urgenda, an abbreviation for "urgent agenda."

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Parallels
3:16 am
Sat April 18, 2015

From Losers To Possible Kingmakers, A Scottish Party Comes Back Strong

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's first minister and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), delivers a speech in Glasgow, Scotland, on March 28. After its loss at the polls last year on the issue of Scottish independence, the party has quadrupled its membership and is on the ascendant.
Russell Cheyne Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 8:59 am

Political life is full of comeback stories, but few are quite as dramatic as the boomerang that Scottish nationalists have experienced over the last six months.

Last September, the Scottish National Party lost a vote on whether to break away from the United Kingdom.

Now, membership in the SNP has quadrupled, and that unexpected turn of events means that this party, dismissed as a loser last fall, could determine who becomes the next prime minister after British elections in a few weeks.

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Parallels
1:59 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Islanders Pushed Out For U.S. Base Hope For End To 40-Year Exile

Chagossians weep at the grave of their parents on Peros Banos Island April 10, 2006. Fifteen elders are allowed to visit once a year.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 10:17 am

One of the most important U.S. military bases in the world sits in the middle of the Indian Ocean on an atoll called Diego Garcia. It's the largest of the Chagos Islands, a British territory far from any mainland that is spread out across hundreds of miles. Thousands of people, called Chagossians, used to live on Diego Garcia.

The U.S. military moved in in the 1970s only after the British government forced the entire Chagossian population to leave.

For more than 40 years, the islanders have been fighting to return. Now, it seems they have a growing chance.

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Europe
6:21 am
Wed April 15, 2015

European Union Accuses Google Of Abusing Its Market Dominance

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 10:34 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Europe
2:25 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

At 800 And Aging Well, The Magna Carta Is Still A Big Draw

Two original Magna Carta manuscripts from 1215 are on display at the British Library in London.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 6:44 am

The British Library is now showing original manuscripts of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, the first time they've come to the United Kingdom.

But those documents are not the main event at this exhibition. It's the Magna Carta, issued by King John in 1215 — more than 500 years before the American documents, as library curator Julian Harrison notes.

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World
1:52 am
Mon April 13, 2015

Britain Backs Away From World Stage In Lead-Up To Elections

British Prime Minister David Cameron delivers a speech on April 12, 2015 in Cheltenham, England. Britain goes to the polls in a general election on May 7. But campaign slogans and speeches — from Cameron and his rivals — won't carry many references to international affairs.
WPA Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 6:00 am

In war and in diplomacy, Great Britain has always been a global leader. Next to the United States, it had the largest footprint in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade.

But now, something has changed. The United Kingdom is pulling back from the world stage.

Take recent meetings of European leaders, for example. This may be the most unstable time in Europe since the end of the Cold War, as Russia has seized Crimea and is supporting a war in Eastern Ukraine.

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Europe
6:01 am
Sat April 4, 2015

Colorful Fringe Candidates Vie For Prominence In UK Election

Originally published on Sat April 4, 2015 12:33 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Parallels
5:11 am
Sat March 21, 2015

On Libel And The Law, U.S. And U.K. Go Separate Ways

A statue of the scales of justice stands above the Old Bailey, the courthouse where many high-profile libel cases are tried, in London. The U.K. is a popular place for libel cases to be filed because of laws that make it difficult for journalists or the media to prevail.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 2:49 pm

This Sunday, HBO is airing the documentary Going Clear, about the Church of Scientology, to strong reviews. The nonfiction book on which the film is based was short-listed for the National Book Award.

Yet there have been serious challenges to releasing the film and the book in the U.K. That's because Britain does not have the same free speech protections as the United States.

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Parallels
3:09 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Why Russia's Economic Slump Has Been Good For London

The view west from London's newest skyscraper looks over the River Thames and St. Paul's Cathedral. Russians have flocked to the English property and banking sectors as the economy crumbles back home.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 1:29 am

One year ago, the U.S. and Europe started imposing sanctions against Russia to punish it for seizing part of Ukraine. At the time, many British analysts feared the sanctions would hurt London, because of England's close economic ties to Russia.

A year later, with Russia's economy in recession, London is thriving. And this may not be despite the crisis in Russia; London may be doing well partly because of Moscow's economic turmoil.

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