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.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, host: President Obama is in Honolulu this morning, where's hosting world leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, or APEC. It's the first stop on a nine-day tour that will also take Mr. Obama to Australia and Indonesia. NPR's Ari Shapiro is traveling with the president.

ARI SHAPIRO: These are familiar stomping grounds for President Obama. He brings his family to Hawaii every Christmas, and as he told a friendly crowd of business leaders yesterday morning:

President Obama flies to Honolulu on Friday to begin the third Asia trip of his presidency. He'll visit Hawaii, Australia and Indonesia in a nine-day trip that's meant to reaffirm a fundamental shift in America's foreign policy.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has described this reorientation as "America's Pacific Century."

Herman Cain and Mitt Romney, the two current front-runners in the Republican presidential race, spoke in Washington on Friday at a conference for the conservative group Americans for Prosperity.

Their speeches came as a new Washington Post-ABC poll found they're running almost even among Republican voters. And on Friday, the two candidates underscored the differences in their appeal to activists.

In the coming months, the Obama administration will decide whether to approve the Keystone pipeline, which would carry tar sands oil from Canada through the U.S. down to the Gulf of Mexico.

Environmental advocates will try to encircle the White House on Sunday in a show of solidarity against the project. Steady protests have made this one of the most high-profile environmental decisions of the Obama presidency.

White House spokesman Jay Carney often tries to distance the president from the decision-making process over the pipeline.

U.S. stocks had one of their best days in weeks Thursday: The Dow jumped nearly 3 percent and prices in Europe went through the roof. The surge came after the announcement that European leaders finally agreed on a comprehensive plan to tackle their debt problems. Does the rally mean investors think the crisis is over?

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Turnout was huge in Tunisia's first democratic election, with almost 90 percent of the population casting their votes. The official results will be announced this afternoon in the capital, Tunis, but there are already signs that the moderate Muslim party has done very well. Eleanor Beardsley joins us from Tunis.

Good morning, Eleanor.

ELEANOR BEARDSLEY, BYLINE: Good morning, Ari.

SHAPIRO: Tell us about this party that seems to be in the lead.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Afghanistan yesterday on an unannounced visit to encourage the country's leadership to keep up reconciliation efforts with the Taliban. Today she's meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Over the last few years, during factory tours across the country, Obama has driven an electric vehicle and coerced a New York Times reporter aboard a high-tech scooter.

So it was a safe bet that when he and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak found a brand new subcompact Chevy Sonic car on their tour of a General Motors plant, the two world leaders would climb in.

President Obama had a rare bipartisan economic success this week when Congress passed three trade deals.

Obama is going to Detroit on Friday with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak to take a victory lap. But some important parts of Obama's base are not fans of these deals — with South Korea, Panama and Colombia — which could have political consequences for the president.

Friday's event is at a General Motors plant. The auto industry and its workers are big fans of the free-trade deal with South Korea, so they're sure to give the world leaders a warm welcome.

Ever since President Obama proposed his $447 billion jobs bill in a joint address to Congress last month, he has been campaigning for it nonstop. He has whipped up crowds all across America who chant: "Pass this bill!"

It contains a variety of measures to fight unemployment — everything from tax breaks for businesses to extended benefits for the jobless. But despite the campaigning, the Senate is expected to kill the proposal Tuesday on a procedural vote.

Jonathan Cowan of the centrist Democratic group Third Way says that's no big deal — it was always a long shot.

There is a tradition of Republican presidential candidates laying out their foreign-policy views at The Citadel.

John McCain did it four years ago; George W. Bush did it eight years before that. On Friday, it was Mitt Romney's turn to speak at the South Carolina military academy.

First in a series

In the late 1970s, recently out of Harvard Business School, Mitt Romney went to work for the Boston consulting firm Bain & Co. He was successful, but he says his dream was always to run his own business.

In 1984, he got the chance.

The firm's founder asked Romney to start an investment fund called Bain Capital. The company would put money into small or struggling businesses, help them grow, and then Bain would cash out.

President Obama continued his tour in support of his jobs bill Thursday. The latest stop: Cincinnati, at the base of the double-decker Brent Spence Bridge.

The bridge sits on one of the busiest trucking routes in the country, and it's considered functionally obsolete.

Gerardo Claudio lives in Augusta, Ga., and works all over the U.S. He spends about three weeks on the road every month, which gives him a good look at the nation's infrastructure.

"The roads are in real, real awful condition, should I say," says Claudio, who was in Cincinnati on Thursday.

Palestinians say they still plan to seek recognition of their statehood from the U.N. Security Council this week, throwing more than a wrench into the diplomatic works for the Obama administration.

President Obama has promised to veto the move in the Security Council. That puts the U.S. on sound footing with Israel, but on a collision course with European and Middle Eastern allies who support the Palestinians' bid.

President Obama flies to New York on Monday for an annual presidential tradition that this year could become a diplomatic disaster.

It's the meeting of the U.N. General Assembly, when world leaders gather to address the world's problems. The Palestinians plan to ask the U.N. to recognize them as an independent state this week, which puts Obama on a collision course with some of America's closest allies.

President Obama plans to take his job creation message to the American people in the coming weeks. Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the country. A group of people, who are employed, watched Obama's speech, and most of them are not convinced his plan would create good long-term jobs.

Organized labor is traditionally one of the strongest sources of money and organizing power for Democrats, but lately union leaders have strongly criticized President Obama.

While Libya's ultimate fate is still unclear, the past week has marked a decisive change. In a speech to the American Legion in Minneapolis Tuesday, President Obama praised "our brave forces who helped the Libyan people finally break free from the grip of Moammar Gadhafi."

The last five months brought a great deal of controversy and criticism to the White House's handling of Libya. Now the administration is claiming some vindication.

The memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., opened on the National Mall this week. NPR's Ari Shapiro introduces us to one man for whom this moment caps a long family story.

President Obama is getting criticized from all sides lately, and the African-American community is no exception. In an op-ed piece in Friday's New York Times, Princeton professor Cornel West condemned the president for ignoring homeowners, workers and poor people and, instead, giving "us bailouts for banks, record profits for Wall Street and giant budget cuts on the backs of the vulnerable."

Gov. Rick Perry made a splash the size of Texas into the Republican presidential field this week. He plunged in with events in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, demonstrating each step of the way that he's not shying away from controversy, or attention.

On Monday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Perry showed he is more than happy to attack even the chairman of the Federal Reserve.

"If this guy prints more money between now and the election," Perry said, "I don't know what y'all would do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas.

On a balmy August evening in Concord, N.H., the smells of summer float through the air: cooking meat, freshly cut grass and bug spray. A few hundred Ron Paul supporters have gathered under a white tent to hear their candidate speak at the opening of his state campaign headquarters.

They're excited about the Texas congressman's close second-place finish at the Republican presidential straw poll in Ames, Iowa. They're also a little frustrated that it hasn't been getting more attention.

"The Beast" has a new big brother.

"The Beast" is the nickname for the hulking limousine that carries the leader of the free world. Next to the new bus that the Secret Service debuted today for President Obama's Midwestern tour, though, the Beast looks downright puny.

When Air Force One arrived in Saint Paul, Minn., the vehicle was waiting at the bottom of the stairs. It has pitch black windows, Washington, D.C. tags, and communications equipment sprouting off the top like weeds.

Call it "Beast Bus,"or perhaps, "Mega-Beast."

President Obama likes to say that the American economy is facing headwinds: turmoil in Europe, the Arab spring and the tsunami in Japan. His reelection campaign is facing headwinds too: 9 percent unemployment, a U.S. credit downgrade, and a presidential approval rating slipping toward 40 percent.

Despite those daunting numbers, the President plans to convince Americans that he deserves another four years.

During the 2010 midterm campaign, Obama often told audiences that Republicans drove the economy into a ditch, and now they want the keys to the car back.

On Monday morning, U.S. markets opened for the first time since Standard & Poor's downgraded America's credit rating. Stocks went over the edge like an Olympic diver.

A few hours later, President Obama stepped in front of a microphone at the White House to proclaim his confidence in the U.S.

"No matter what some agency may say, we've always been and always will be a AAA country," he said.

He left the podium, and the financial plunge continued.

So, does having the biggest megaphone in the country do the president any good?

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