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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World
3:52 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 8:00 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
5:30 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Upcoming British Election May Determine Welfare State's Fate

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 10:46 pm

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

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Europe
8:01 am
Sat April 4, 2015

Colorful Fringe Candidates Vie For Prominence In UK Election

Originally published on Sat April 4, 2015 2:33 pm

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

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World
4:43 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

In Royal Goodbye, Hundreds Line Up To See King Richard III's Coffin

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 6:58 pm

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

Parallels
7:11 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 4:49 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
5:09 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 3:29 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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Europe
5:44 am
Mon March 16, 2015

British Teens On Their Way To Syria Are Returned Home

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 7:50 am

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

The Salt
5:24 am
Sun March 15, 2015

The Fate Of The World's Chocolate Depends On This Spot In Rural England

Rows of potted cocoa plants from around the world. Before a cocoa variety from one country can be planted in another, it first makes a pit stop here, at a quarantine center in rural England.
Courtesy of Dr. Andrew J. Daymond

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 1:49 pm

Walk into a row of greenhouses in rural Britain, and a late English-winter day transforms to a swampy, humid tropical afternoon. You could be in Latin America or sub-Saharan Africa, which is exactly how cocoa plants like it.

"It's all right this time of year. It gets a bit hot later on in the summer," says greenhouse technician Heather Lake as she fiddles with a tray of seedlings — a platter of delicate, spindly, baby cocoa plants.

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World
5:19 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

British Military Spending Cutbacks Spark Global Concern

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 8:00 pm

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

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It's All Politics
5:07 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

No Big Money Or TV Ads — What's With The U.K.'s Low-Key Election?

Conservative party Chairman Grant Shapps speaks to party supporters after canvassing in London on Saturday.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

In the U.K., national elections are less than two months away. In the U.S., the presidential election is more than a year away. But you could be forgiven for thinking it's the other way around.

America experiences a long, drawn-out election fever, while the U.K. hardly shows any symptoms at all. That is to say, almost none of the events most strongly associated with an American presidential campaign are part of a typical British national election.

Take political rallies, where the bleachers fill with thousands of flag-waving, screaming supporters.

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Parallels
12:55 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

The British Group With A Very Different Take On 'Jihadi John'

Mohammed Emwazi is a Kuwaiti-born Londoner believed to be "Jihadi John," the central figure in the beheading videos released by the self-declared Islamic State. A British group, Cage, was in contact with Emwazi several years ago and claims that his treatment by British security officials contributed to his radicalization.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 8:29 pm

Every day new details emerge about Mohammed Emwazi, believed to be the masked man with a British accent known as "Jihadi John" who appears in execution videos by the self-declared Islamic State. At the center of Emwazi's story is a divisive London-based organization called Cage.

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Religion
3:47 am
Tue March 3, 2015

In English Town, Muslims Lead Effort To Create Interfaith Haven

A Lego model of All Souls Church rests on the altar, which was retained when the Bolton, England, church was renovated into an interfaith community center. The model was built by children taking part in an after-school program there.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 5:49 pm

Inayat Omarji vividly remembers the worried reaction when he first looked into renovating the abandoned church in his neighborhood: "There's a bearded young Muslim chap involved in a church! Whoops! He's gonna turn it into a mosque!"

At the time, Omarji was head of the local council of mosques, but there already were three or four in his neighborhood in Bolton, England.

"What it needed is a place where people could meet, people can come to, people can socialize," he says.

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Parallels
10:19 am
Fri February 27, 2015

After 6,000 Years, Time For A Renovation At Iraq's Citadel

Construction workers at the Erbil Citadel, which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site last year.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Sat February 28, 2015 10:40 am

A map of the northern Iraqi city of Erbil looks like a dart board: circles, radiating outward from a central core. The bull's-eye sits high on a hill, crowned by ancient walls.

The Erbil Citadel has stood here for at least 6,000 years. It's one of the oldest — and possibly the oldest — continuously inhabited sites on Earth.

The stories coming from this region these days are primarily ones of destruction and war. But here, in the Citadel, there's a different narrative, that of a plan to rebuild, restore and revitalize this ancient site.

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World
4:16 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Story Of Missing Schoolgirls Captivates Britain

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 7:16 pm

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

Parallels
4:23 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Brutal ISIS Tactics Create New Levels Of Trauma Among Iraqis

An Iraqi child who fled fighting between the so-called Islamic State and Kurdish peshmerga is among the some 3,000 people living at the Baharka camp, near Irbil, the capital of the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq, on Jan. 16.
Safin Hamed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 3:47 pm

At a camp for displaced people in northern Iraq, you pass rows of tents to reach the clinic run by the International Medical Corps. They have medicines to treat all kinds of problems: diabetes shots, vaccines, heart pills.

But it's harder to cure what's afflicting one woman in particular.

"The pain inside of me is so deep," she says. "I just cry every day."

Militants from the group that calls itself the Islamic State kidnapped the woman's adult son in June, and she doesn't know his fate.

Her husband expresses the loss in more destructive ways.

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The Salt
5:18 pm
Sun February 22, 2015

Lamb Dumplings, Lentils And A Bittersweet Taste Of Home

Traditional desserts, like these served in 2010 at the original Naranj restaurant in Damascus, offer sweet, familiar flavors at the restaurant's various locations in the Middle East. A platter like this shows up at the end of every meal at Naranj, and all the pastries are made in-house.
Jan Smith Flickr

Originally published on Sun February 22, 2015 7:22 pm

For people living in a new country, a taste of home can be a powerful emotional experience.

All the more so when you've left your country because of war.

Iraq has taken in about a quarter-million people fleeing Syria's civil war. In the northern Iraqi city of Irbil, one of Syria's most famous restaurants is re-creating the tastes of Damascus.

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Parallels
8:01 am
Sun February 22, 2015

Iraqi Kurds: We're Ready To Fight For Mosul

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters take positions on the outskirts of Mosul on Jan. 26. The U.S. military says an offensive to drive the Islamic State out of Mosul is expected around April or May.
Azad Lashkari Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 3:44 pm

American military officials announced that they are planning an operation in April or May to free Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul, from the group that calls itself the Islamic State, or ISIS. The extremist group has controlled the city since June, and the Pentagon says up to 25,000 Iraqi troops will take part in an offensive to reclaim the city.

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Parallels
1:33 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

From A Mountain, Kurds Keep Watch On ISIS In Mosul

Training at a new camp near the front line, a mix of Arabs and Kurds prepare for an assault on Mosul in upcoming months. The men will wear balaclavas to conceal their identities while they fight, because they have family in Mosul and don't want to put their relatives at risk.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 10:43 pm

Imagine standing on top of a mountain, looking down at your home in the valley below, and being unable to go there — even for a visit.

That's the situation for some Iraqi Kurds from the city of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city. The group that calls itself the Islamic State, or ISIS, controls Mosul, flying its flags over the outskirts of the strategic northern Iraqi town.

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Iraq
4:00 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

Just 55 Miles From ISIS Control, American Expats Carry On Life As Usual

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 1:15 pm

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

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Parallels
4:17 am
Mon February 16, 2015

Not A Group House, Not A Commune: Europe Experiments With Co-Housing

Alfafar, a suburb of Valencia, Spain, is suffering from a poor economy and high unemployment. A quarter of homes are abandoned. Here, a cafe is still open on the ground floor of an abandoned municipal building in Alfafar's Orba neighborhood, but upper floors used to house shops. A pair of Spanish architects hopes to revitalize the high-density housing in this working-class area.
Lauren Frayer NPR

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 5:03 pm

This is the latest story from the NPR Cities Project.

In an abandoned building near Spain's Mediterranean coast, someone softly strums a guitar. Chord progressions echo through empty halls.

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