Philip Reeves

Philip Reeves is an award-winning veteran international correspondent based in Islamabad, Pakistan. Previous to his current role, he covered Europe out of NPR's bureau in London.

Reeves has spent two decades working as a journalist overseas, reporting from a wide range of places including the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and Asia.

A member of the NPR team that won highly prestigious Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University and George Foster Peabody awards for coverage of the conflict in Iraq, Reeves has been honored several times by the South Asian Journalists Association.

In 2010, Reeves moved to London from New Delhi after a stint of more than seven years working in and around South Asia. He traveled widely in India, taking listeners on voyages along the Ganges River and the ancient Grand Trunk Road. He also made numerous trips to cover unrest and political turmoil in Pakistan.

Reeves joined NPR in 2004, after spending 17 years as a correspondent for the British daily newspaper, The Independent. During the early stages of his career, he worked for BBC radio and television after training on the Bath Chronicle newspaper in western Britain.

Over the years, Reeves has covered a wide range of stories - from the Waco siege, to the growth of the Internet, Boris Yeltsin's erratic presidency, the economic rise of India, and conflicts in Gaza and the West Bank, Chechnya, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

Graduating from Cambridge University, Reeves earned a degree in English literature. He and his wife have one daughter. His family originates from New Zealand.

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Middle East
7:01 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Despite Scars Of War, Karachi Holds Onto Its Chutzpah

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 12:17 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. When you hear us say Karachi, Pakistan, you might assume we're going to bring you're a story about terrorism or a bombing or a kidnapping - and you would often be right. It is the most violent city in all of Pakistan. But NPR's Philip Reeves found that isn't all there is to the city. In fact, there's often a gap between Karachi's reputation and the reality of the place, as he explains in this letter from Pakistan.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRAFFIC NOISE)

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Middle East
3:01 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

The Doctor At The Heart Of The U.S.-Pakistan Rift

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 5:56 pm

Prickly relations between the U.S. and Islamabad are becoming even thornier because of one issue: the case of Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden in 2011. Afridi is seen as a hero by many Americans, but that didn't deter Pakistan from jailing him for alleged militant ties. The U.S. Congress is withholding $33 million in aid to Pakistan until the doctor is freed. But Afridi's lawyer fears this tactic will antagonize Islamabad. He urgently wants Afridi freed, warning that the doctor is at severe risk of being killed by fellow prisoners.

Europe
2:20 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

The Shipping Forecast: From Britain's Seas Into Its Soul

Fisherman Teddy Head tells a story to a group of children while mending his nets in Hastings in 1952. The fishermen of Hastings are tightknit; fathers, brothers and sons work together in rugged boats no more than about 30 feet long. Some families in Hastings have worked this way for centuries.
Fred Morley Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 12:29 pm

It is a bizarre nightly ritual that is deeply embedded in the British way of life.

You switch off the TV, lock up the house, slip into bed, turn on your radio, and begin to listen to a mantra, delivered by a soothing, soporific voice.

"Viking, North Utsire, South Utsire, Forties, Cromarty, Forth, Tyne, Dogger ...." says the voice.

You are aware — vaguely — that these delicious words are names, and that those names refer to big blocks of sea around your island nation, stretching all the way up to Iceland and down to North Africa.

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Parallels
10:51 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Pakistan's Fearless Chief Justice Challenged The Powers That Were

Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry (center) is greeted by lawyers in Islamabad after the government announced it would reinstate him, in March 2009. Pakistan's longest-serving chief justice challenged the status quo and fought to chart a more assertive and independent course for the country's judiciary.
Anjum Naveed AP

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 1:41 pm

He defied a military dictator, sacked a prime minister, and persistently sought to call generals and intelligence chiefs to account.

He became a symbol of hope for an impoverished multitude, seeking to assert their rights in a land where these are frequently ignored and abused.

He was one of his country's best-known figures who was seen — though not usually heard — on his nation's television screens as frequently as celebrity actors and cricket stars.

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Media
3:07 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Prosecutors Press Case In 'News Of The World' Phone-Tapping Trial

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 4:00 pm

At the Old Bailey Courthouse in London Wednesday, the prosecution laid out the case against former journalists of the now-defunct British tabloid News of the World.

Business
2:38 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Financial Markets React Positively To U.S. Debt Deal

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 8:23 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And news that Washington has finally reached a deal, averting a potentially catastrophic debt default, is drawing a mixed reaction from the rest of the world.

NPR's Philip Reeves, in London, is watching the markets for us.

PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: We all know that, at times, the markets can be panicky and irrational. Yet, during this crisis, they held their nerve. Analysts say traders were always pretty confident there would be a last-minute deal. This time, they were right.

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Europe
2:57 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Skateboarders Mobilize As Art Center Tries To Reclaim Cavern

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:20 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

In medieval times, the south bank of the River Thames in London was full of seedy theaters, brothels and scoundrels. But centuries later, it has become one of the world's finest centers for the arts. Recent plans to expand the arts center has revealed a uniquely, contemporary conflict. As NPR's Philip Reeves reports, this conflict is reviving grassroots activism in Britain's capital.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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World
4:19 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

U.K. Lawmakers Vote Against Syria Strike

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 4:04 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Media
3:13 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

U.K. Detains Partner Of Journalist Who Talked With Snowden

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 4:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Religion
2:59 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Church Invested In Pay Day Loan Companies It Admonished

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 10:01 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. The Church of England's top bishop is in a little hot water. The archbishop of Canterbury is embroiled in a controversy about ethical investment. As NPR's Philip Reeves reports, it involves a company called Wonga.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Let us greet our newly installed archbishop with great gladness.

(APPLAUSE)

PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: Four months have elapsed since Justin Welby was enthroned as the 105th archbishop of Canterbury.

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Parallels
1:17 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Would Brits Throw Out Royals With Baby's Bathwater?

Cards depicting the 'royal baby' either as a boy or a girl, specially made by a games company as a publicity stunt are pictured, backdropped by members of the media waiting across the St. Mary's Hospital exclusive Lindo Wing in London on July 11, 2013.
Lefteris Pitarakis AP

"Royal Baby Fever" is gripping Britain.

So say the breathless TV pundits gathered from round the world to report the infant's arrival.

Is it true?

An Ipsos Mori poll published this week found the Royal Family's certainly enjoying a golden age, after rebounding from the disasters of the 1990s — including the death of Princess Diana.

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Parallels
12:15 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

That Blows: Cricket's Trumpet-Playing Superfan Silenced

Former England cricketer Geoffrey Boycott listens to Barmy Army trumpeter Billy Cooper during the second test between New Zealand and England at Basin Reserve on March 15 in Wellington, New Zealand. Cooper's trumpet will be silent at Trent Bridge, in Nottingham, England, because the ground doesn't allow musical instruments.
Gareth Copley Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 2:42 pm

The English national character is an eternal mystery. But from time to time we get a glimpse of some of its components. The story of Billy The Trumpet is one such occasion.

Billy is the embodiment of English eccentricity. He belongs to a boisterous ragtag band of sports fans called the Barmy Army. They're considered "barmy" for very good reason: These people follow England's national cricket team everywhere.

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Parallels
10:15 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Britons Bask In A Summer Of Good News

Britain's Andy Murray celebrates after defeating Novak Djokovic of Serbia at Wimbledon on Sunday in London. Murray was the first British man to win Wimbledon in 77 years.
Mike Hewitt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 2:10 pm

All news is bad news. Or so the saying goes. Many Brits firmly believe this — and use it as a branch to beat their journalists, one of the more despised species in these isles.

It is, of course, untrue. There's no better example of the media's appetite for good news than the tsunami of euphoria with which they've greeted Andy Murray's Wimbledon triumph on Sunday.

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Europe
1:01 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Thar He Blows: Trump Tussles With Scots Over Wind Turbines

Donald Trump plays a stroke as he officially opens his new Trump International Golf Links course in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, last July. Now, he is aggressively fighting Scottish plans to build 11 wind turbines off the coast overlooked by his golf course and other proposed projects.
Andy Buchanan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 7:52 am

A fierce legal battle is under way in Scotland, involving U.S. tycoon Donald Trump.

At the heart of the wrangle: wind.

Europe is leading the way in generating energy using wind. Huge turbines whir away on the hills and in the seas throughout the continent.

The roots of Trump's hatred for these turbines can be found, at least in part, in what was once a stretch of rolling dunes and grassland in northeastern Scotland, overlooking the North Sea.

He is spending hundreds of millions creating a resort there.

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Parallels
10:56 am
Sun June 16, 2013

Violence Defies Pakistanis' Efforts To Define Their Nation

Pakistani security personnel inspect a burned-out bus on Sunday, a day after it was destroyed by a bomb attack in Quetta. The bus was carrying students from the region's only university for women. Fourteen women died.
Banaras Khan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 11:36 am

There is no more graphic example of the daunting challenges facing Pakistan's new prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, than the bloody events playing out in the west of his nation.

Just over a week after Sharif was sworn in for a third term, at least 24 people were killed in a day of violence that underscored the threat presented by violent militancy to the fabric of the Pakistani state.

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Islamabad Reservoir Cools Pakistanis

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 2:40 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Most people look forward to summer, but perhaps not in Pakistan. NPR's Philip Reeves has been out and about in its capital city, and sent us this letter from Islamabad.

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Parallels
1:47 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

Murder Case Appears To Buck Trend Of Pakistani Corruption

Shahrukh Jatoi, top center, convicted of killing 20-year-old Shahzeb Khan, is escorted by members of the police to an Anti-Terrorism court in Karachi, Pakistan, on Friday.
Shakil Adil AP

"There are times when one's faith is restored in the judicial system here, in Pakistan," writes a gentleman called Sajjid Khan, in an unusually optimistic letter published by one of his nation's leading newspapers The Daily Times.

Pakistanis generally take a bleak view of their system of law and order, which tends to be dysfunctional and corrupt. Khan was inspired to put pen to paper by a criminal case that seems to buck that trend.

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Parallels
12:02 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Riots In Sweden. That's Right. Sweden

Swedish firemen extinguish a burning car Tuesday after youths rioted for a third night in a row in the suburbs of Stockholm. The unrest began after police said they shot dead a 69-year-old man wielding a machete in an immigrant neighborhood.
Jonathan Nackstrand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 1:48 pm

Sweden is one of the wealthiest, most stable and smoothly running countries in the world.

Which would explain why the country's 9.5 million residents may be shocked by the events of the past few days.

For the past three nights, hundreds of youths have been rampaging through parts of the capital, Stockholm, torching cars, setting fires, and throwing rocks at police and fire trucks.

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The Two-Way
9:08 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Alex Ferguson: A Legendary Manager For An Iconic Franchise

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson celebrates after his team wins the English Premier League at Blackburn, England, on May 14, 2011.
Tim Hales AP

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 3:55 pm

The resignation of veteran Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson is an event causing ripples that go way beyond the island where the Scotsman spent his long and illustrious career.

Walk into a bar pretty much anywhere from Buenos Aires to Bangkok, mention Ferguson or his star-studded team of Red Devils, and you can be sure of a lively conversation — and perhaps a heated argument.

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The Two-Way
9:14 am
Wed April 10, 2013

For Some Britons, Thatcher's Death Provokes Celebrations

Margaret Thatcher provoked great divisions and her critics have spoken out following her death. These graffiti appeared in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Tuesday, a day after she died.
Peter Muhly AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 11:41 am

A young man is parading the streets of the city of Glasgow with a slogan daubed onto the back of his black leather jacket in big, freshly painted white letters. "We're havin' a party," it declares. "Thatcher's dead."

In what was the coal belt of northern England, a burly former miner lights up an enormous cigar and takes a satisfied puff. He says he's looking forward to a few celebratory drinks.

Hundreds of miles to the south, in Brixton, south London, a boisterous crowd prances around, joyously boozing and setting off fireworks under the wary gaze of police in riot gear.

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Remembrances
7:29 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Margaret Thatcher's Life And Legacy In Britain

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 8:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

On a Monday, it is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

Britain and the world are reflecting this morning on the life of Margaret Thatcher. The former British prime minister has died at the age of 87. Britain's current Prime Minister David Cameron remembered her this way.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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Europe
2:42 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Exiled Russian Oligarch's Death Launches British Probe

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 6:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And police in Britain are piecing together the final days in the life of a Russian oligarch named Boris Berezovsky. They hope this may shed light on his sudden death this last weekend. Berezovsky used to be one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in Russia. Then he fell out with the Kremlin and sought asylum in Britain. NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

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The Two-Way
10:22 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Britain Goes After Pot Growers With 'Scratch And Sniff' Cards

British police and the volunteer group Crimestoppers are sending out more than 200,000 of these cards with the scent of a cannabis plant.
Courtesy of Crimestoppers

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 11:05 am

For many years, across the world, the extraordinarily powerful noses of dogs have been successfully used to help detect crime.

Now, in Britain, moves are under way to recruit humans to perform the same subtle work.

Police are encouraging the British to step out of their homes, raise their nostrils aloft, and see if they catch the whiff of wrongdoing wafting from the next-door neighbors.

Visitors to these crowded islands are often charmed by the small redbrick terraced houses that are in every town and city.

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The Two-Way
5:37 am
Mon March 11, 2013

A Rough Guide To The Papal Conclave

Cardinals gathered in Vatican City on Monday, a day before the papal selection process known as the conclave begins.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 6:34 pm

The stage is now set for the opening act of one of the more spectacular and intriguing theatrical dramas on the planet: the election of a pope.

In Rome, TV camera crews have set up their positions on big platforms overlooking St. Peter's Square and the Vatican, where the secretive process will begin Tuesday.

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Religion
1:24 am
Tue February 26, 2013

The Hermit Pope Who Set The Precedent For Benedict XVI

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 7:15 pm

Beneath a glass coffin, wearing a pontiff's miter and faded vestments of gold and purple, there lies a tiny man with a wax head.

This represents an Italian priest who, until this month, was the only pope in history to voluntarily resign.

His name is Celestine V.

Celestine became pope at 84, some seven centuries ago, after a long and self-punishing career as a hermit.

Though a celebrated spiritual leader, and founder of a new branch of the Benedictine order, his papacy lasted just over five months. It's widely viewed as an utter disaster.

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The Salt
5:47 am
Sat February 9, 2013

British Outrage Grows As Horsemeat Pops Up In More Foods

Frozen-food company Findus recalled its beef lasagne meals earlier this week because they contain horsemeat.
Scott Heppell AP

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 6:42 am

They like riding them. They like racing them. They bet on them, hunt on them and patrol the streets on them.

But to most who live in the land of the Beefeater, the idea of eating a horse in peacetime is as generally repugnant as grilling one the queen's corgis and gobbling it up with ketchup and fries.

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Africa
1:41 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Nightmare Details Emerge After Siege Ends In Algeria

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 8:01 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

President Obama took the oath for a second term yesterday, on January 20th, as the Constitution requires. The public ceremony takes place today at the Capitol, and we'll have live coverage all day long.

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Europe
3:08 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

A Dash Of Olive Oil May Preserve British Cathedral

The stones of York Minster in northern England are decaying. Olive oil may be just the dressing the cathedral needs to preserve its Gothic architecture.
Nigel Roddis Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 4:24 am

The British have some stunning cathedrals, and York Minster, in the north of England, is one of the most magnificent of all.

Construction on it began 800 years ago, and a mere 2 1/2 centuries later, work was complete.

The result was one of Europe's largest Gothic cathedrals and one that's had a rough ride through history: It's been pillaged and looted, and damaged by devastating fires and lightning strikes.

Today, there's another threat: acid rain. As a result, the cathedral's stones are decaying.

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Middle East
1:58 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

On Multiple Fronts, Russian Jews Reshape Israel

Russian-speaking Israelis mingle at the Soho nightclub in Tel Aviv. The club caters to the Russian-speaking immigrant community, featuring hired dancers and extravagant decorations rarely seen in informal Israel.
Oded Balilty AP

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 6:54 am

Many signs are in the Cyrillic alphabet. The men and women sitting in the cafes are speaking Russian. The shops sell vodka, black bread, pickled herring and Russian-brewed Baltika beer. You have to pinch yourself to remember where you are.

This scene, with all its echoes of the former Soviet Union, is not in St. Petersburg or Vladivostok, or anywhere else in that vast sweep of bleak northern lands. It is in Ashdod, Israel, a palm-lined, pastel-colored port city that sprawls along the mild shores of the Mediterranean.

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Europe
4:41 am
Mon December 24, 2012

In Cornwall, Lisa Simpson Rivals Queen Elizabeth

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, while our politicians are consumed with the deficit deadline, many leaders around the world are taking a step back, putting quill to paper and carefully composing their Christmas messages. In Britain, particular attention will be paid to Queen Elizabeth's message, because this year she's celebrating 60 years on the throne.

NPR's Philip Reeves sent this letter, musing about what it meant to be British as 2012 comes to a close.

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