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
4:34 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 7:20 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 β€” 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
3:44 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 β€” 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 1:32 pm

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 β€” 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
4:07 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 Wed September 3, 2014 4:26 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 β€” nowhere more than in Sarajevo itself.

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History
3:23 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 10:57 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 β€” complete with bad aim, botched poisoning and a wrong turn on the road.

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Europe
4:44 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

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

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 7:10 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
4:35 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 8:37 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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Europe
2:27 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 6:24 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
1:30 pm
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 9:06 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
5:06 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 7:58 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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The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

To Win, Wear Red: Physicist Hawking Advises England's World Cup Squad

Physicist Stephen Hawking has revealed "England's World Cup Success Formula," which he says was derived by using general logistic regression analysis.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 12:52 pm

After a lifetime contemplating the mysteries of the universe, famed physicist Stephen Hawking is now considering a more mundane question: How can England win the World Cup?

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Parallels
2:38 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

World's Richest People Meet, Muse On How To Spread The Wealth

Prince Charles talks to Lynn Forester de Rothschild (left), organizer of the Conference on Inclusive Capitalism, and Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, before Tuesday's conference. The 250 corporate and financial leaders who attended control some $30 trillion, about a third of the world's investable assets.
WPA Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 9:53 am

Talk of economic mobility and the wealth gap is hardly new. From the Occupy movement to President Obama's re-election campaign, income inequality has been in the spotlight for years.

Even so, the "inclusive capitalism" conference in London on Tuesday broke new ground. Not because of the conversation, but because of the people having it.

The 250 people from around the world invited to attend this one-day conference do not represent "the 99 percent," or even the 1 percent. It's more like a tiny fraction of the 1 percent.

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The Two-Way
8:49 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Killed The Mockingbird? American Classics Cut From British Reading List

Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize winning novel To Kill A Mockingbird didn't make the cut in the U.K.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 12:56 pm

For decades, British students have grown up reading the American classics To Kill A Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men and The Crucible. Now, if students want to read those books, it will be on their own time. Harper Lee, John Steinbeck and Arthur Miller are out β€” perhaps replaced by the likes of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and George Eliot.

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Europe
7:49 am
Sat May 24, 2014

Anti-Immigrant Sentiment Helps Fuel Right-Wing EU Candidates

Originally published on Sat May 24, 2014 2:09 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Voters across Europe are going to the polls this weekend to choose representatives to Europe's Parliament in Brussels. These elections take place every five years, and they can be an important measure of the mood of voters on the continent. This year, right-wing parties are expected to do well, as NPR's Ari Shapiro reports.

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Europe
5:59 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Britain's Right-Wing Party Make Gains In EU Parliament Election

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 9:42 am

British voters went to the polls Thursday in European and local elections. The vote is key for the UK Independence Party, whose anti-Europe and anti-immigration views struck a chord with some Britons.

Parallels
10:45 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Hero Or Villain? Historical Ukrainian Figure Symbolizes Today's Feud

A Ukrainian nationalist carries a portrait of Stepan Bandera, founder of a Ukrainian rebel army that fought the Soviet Union in the 1930s and '40s. The rally was held on Jan. 1, 2013. While many Ukrainians see Bandera as a hero, many Russians view him as an ally of Hitler and a mass murderer.
Efrem Lukatsky AP

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 9:39 am

Let's start with the basics: Stepan Bandera was born in 1909 in what is now western Ukraine. In 1959, the Soviet Union's KGB poisoned Bandera with cyanide and he died in Munich, West Germany.

Between those two dates, black and white quickly fades to gray.

In western Ukraine, many see him as a freedom fighter who battled domination by the Soviet Union and other European powers before and during World War II. They see themselves as the heirs to Bandera's struggle.

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Shots - Health News
3:44 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Corruption In Ukraine Robs HIV Patients Of Crucial Medicine

The mask of this Kiev protester (at a 2012 demonstration demanding more funding for HIV treatment) reads "quarantine." There are enough drugs to treat only half the HIV patients in Ukraine.
Sergei Supinsky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 12:07 pm

I recently took a Ukrainian taxi from the airport to my hotel. The fare should have been $20. The cab driver was adamant that I pay $30. When I finally paid him $30, the driver gave me a receipt with a wink. He'd made it out for $40.

The driver got a cut by overcharging me, and assumed that I would take a cut by overcharging NPR (which I did not).

In Ukraine, corruption is a daily fact of life. It reaches into big business, law enforcement, education and even the smallest transactions between people on the street.

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It's All Politics
12:19 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

U.S. Spinmeisters Gear Up For Big Election ... Britain's Election

The leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, Ed Miliband, speaks to supporters earlier this month in London. His party and the ruling Conservative Party have both hired former advisers to President Obama in advance of Britain's national election next year.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 8:45 pm

In 2000, Jeff Shesol was nearing the end of his stint as a White House speechwriter for President Clinton. He went to the Democratic convention in Los Angeles, where he met a young staffer from Britain's Labour Party. They struck up a friendship.

"And so almost immediately after the Clinton administration had ended, I got a call to come over and begin writing speeches," Shesol says. "Before long, Labour was in the throes of its campaign, and I was stationed there along with them."

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Parallels
3:37 am
Wed May 7, 2014

In Ukraine's Corridors Of Power, An Effort To Toss Out The Old

An activist waves the Ukrainian national flag at Independence Square on April 6.
Valentyn Ogirenko Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 10:57 am

The first time I saw the word "lustration," I thought it was a case of bad translation from Ukrainian. In Kiev, a flyer advertised a talk by the head of parliament's "lustration" committee.

"What does this word mean in English?" I asked a press aide.

"I don't know the English word for it, but it will be an interesting speech," he replied.

And indeed, it was.

Weeks later, Sam Greene, director of the Russia Institute at King's College in London, explained to me that lustration actually is an English word.

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Europe
4:25 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Sinn Fein Leader's Questioning Dredges Memories Of 'Troubles'

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 6:35 pm

Gerry Adams, a leader of Sinn Fein, was questioned in Northern Ireland in connection with an infamous murder 42 years ago. The investigation threatens to impact the fragile peace agreement there.

World
5:18 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Leaflets Given To Donetsk Jews Made Waves Worldwide, But Not In Donetsk

An anti-fascist sign hangs on the barricade outside an occupied government building in Donetsk.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 7:13 pm

A development in Eastern Ukraine has set social media on fire and triggered outrage around the world.

In the city of Donetsk, someone distributed fliers ordering Jews to register with the separatists who have taken over government buildings.

Even though nobody in Ukraine believed the leaflet was real, the fliers hit a nerve.

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Europe
4:23 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Opposing Protests Pull Eastern Ukraine In Two Directions

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 8:06 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The deal struck in Geneva today aims to end the violence Ukraine has seen over the last few months. There were snipers shooting at protesters in Kiev's Independence Square. In eastern Ukraine, pro-Russian separatists forced their way through police barricades to overtake government buildings. But not every protest has been violent. Today, people who oppose the separatists staged a demonstration in the city of Donetsk, and NPR's Ari Shapiro was there.

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News
4:00 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Ukrainian Tanks Roll In β€” But Above Them Russian Flags Fly

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 8:20 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. We begin this hour with the latest from eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian military is continuing an operation to oust pro-Russian militants from occupied government buildings, but today, it experienced a setback. Ukraine's defense department confirms that some of its armored personnel carriers began flying the Russian flag. NPR's Ari Shapiro went to investigate.

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Europe
6:14 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Tank Movement Increases Tensions In Eastern Ukraine

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 4:33 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Tensions remain very high this morning in Eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russia demonstrators stormed the city hall in the city of Donetsk. And there are now reports this morning of several Ukrainian armored personnel carriers on the move in some cities flying Russian flags. To try and sort out what's going on, we have NPR's Ari Shapiro on the line. He is in the Eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk. Ari, good morning.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Hi, David.

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News
4:04 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Ukraine's Army Launches Campaign Against Eastern Militants

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 5:29 pm

Ukraine's army began a "special operation" in the east of the country Tuesday, moving against pro-Russian militants who are occupying government offices across the region.

Parallels
6:03 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Ukrainian Jews Celebrate Passover In Uncertain Times

Many Jews protested in Kiev's Independence Square and see a thread connecting ancient Egypt to modern-day Ukraine. "We started our liberation 3,000 years ago, and we still are in the process," says Rabbi Alexander Duchovny.
Peter Klaunzer EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 8:02 pm

At Passover celebrations around the world tonight, the youngest child will sing a song in Hebrew. "Why," the youngster will ask, "is this night different from all other nights?"

Adults in Ukraine can ask a similar question this year: What makes this Passover different from all others? It's a question Rabbi Alexander Duchovny has been thinking about a lot. "Passover is z'man cheruteinu, time of our liberty β€” time of freedom," he says. "And especially for Ukrainian Jewry, and for Ukrainians, this is a time of liberty."

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News
4:01 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Defiant Of Deadline, Pro-Moscow Occupiers Persist

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 6:42 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. In eastern Ukraine, people are bracing for possible war. The government gave a deadline of this morning for pro-Russian separatists to lay down their weapons. Instead, the demonstrators took over still more government buildings in eastern Ukrainian cities. Ukraine's president has promised to send in the army to retake this region near the Russian border.

NPR's Ari Shapiro reports from the city of Donetsk.

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Europe
10:34 am
Sat April 12, 2014

Between Friends, Family And Country, Ukrainian Police Lie Low

Pro-Russian activists sit at a barricade at the regional administration building in Donetsk on Wednesday. Police have been conspicuously absent at Eastern Ukraine protest sites.
Efrem Lukatsky AP

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 1:33 pm

At occupied government buildings in eastern Ukraine, there is plenty of razor wire, sandbags and Molotov cocktails.

One thing is conspicuously absent, though β€” law enforcement.

When protests in Eastern Ukraine started on Sunday, police were everywhere.

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News
4:30 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

The Ukrainian Prime Minister's Visit, As Seen From Behind Barricades

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 8:13 pm

Ukraine's interim prime minister visited Donetsk Friday in an effort to reduce tensions in the east of the country. Pro-Moscow militants among the area's largely Russian-speaking population have seized two government buildings in the region and are demanding referendums on the area's future. NPR's Ari Shapiro has been behind the barricades at one of the occupations.

The Two-Way
7:18 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Molotov Cocktails And Razor Wire: Inside An Occupied Building In Ukraine

Pro-Russian protesters surround a barricade made by used tires and barbed wire Friday in Donetsk, Ukraine. Pro-Russian protesters took control of the government building and have held it since Sunday.
The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 12, 2014 1:36 am

In Ukraine's eastern city of Donetsk, activists who want to align the country more with Russia seized a regional administration building in the center of town last weekend. NPR correspondent Ari Shapiro went inside the building Friday and reports on what it was like:

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Parallels
5:04 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

God Save The Queen β€” And Donetsk, Too?

The online "God Save The Queen" campaign that started as a joke called for Donetsk to hold a referendum on whether to join Great Britain. Eventually, it was shut down: for being anti-Russian.
Novosti Donbassa

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 3:16 am

The eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk has been the center of a standoff since Sunday, with demonstrators pleading for the city to join Russia, while government leaders insist it will remain part of Ukraine.

In the midst of this tug-of-war, there's a third country that may have a claim on the city β€” though admittedly, a much looser one.

"God Save The Queen" isn't just the British national anthem, it's also the name of a campaign to bring Donetsk under the sheltering wing of Her Majesty's United Kingdom.

(You read that correctly: the UK. Stay with us here.)

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