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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1:37am

Thu April 10, 2014
Parallels

In Ukraine's Rust Belt, A Mix Of Nostalgia And Nationalism

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 7:55 am

In the rundown Ukrainian town of Perewalsk, near the Russian border, 80-year-old Lida Vasilivna has just planted a garden. "Business just went belly up," she says about her town's hard times, after asking, "Are you gonna put this granny on TV?"
Ari Shapiro/NPR

To say that the town of Perewalsk in eastern Ukraine has fallen on hard times would be an enormous understatement. The small industrial town near the Russian border is a collection of concrete buildings with no windows, falling-down houses and empty, abandoned factories; there's a chemical smell in the air.

In the middle of this dystopian landscape, there's an even more unexpected sight: an 80-year-old woman in a bright purple coat and headscarf, happily digging with a shovel in the dirt.

She introduces herself as Lida Vasilivna.

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2:37pm

Wed April 9, 2014
Parallels

Ukrainian Protesters Seize Weapons, Raising The Stakes

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 4:48 pm

A pro-Russian activist speaks at the Security Services building, which was seized in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine. The standoff is one of three taking place in the region, and Luhansk is considered particularly volatile because the Security Services building contains many weapons.
Igor Golovniov AFP/Getty Images

The drive to Luhansk takes you past fields of corn and sunflowers that are just beginning to sprout. You pass the town of Yennakieva, where the ousted Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, was born. Eventually the fields give way to factories, and about 15 miles from the border with Russia, you hit the industrial city of Luhansk.

Police have blocked off the center of town. The last few blocks to the heart of the protest, at the occupied security services building, is a journey by foot, past graffiti that say, "Luhansk is a Russian City."

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1:40am

Wed April 9, 2014
Parallels

In Eastern Ukraine, Normality Rules Except At Ground Zero

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 6:02 am

Emir Gushinov (in green) says not many children are taking his pony rides in Donetsk nowadays. But he said that's not because of the unrest nearby. "The main reason is that it's not a holiday," he says.
Ari Shapiro/NPR

In the eastern city of Donetsk, protesters hung a huge banner declaring a government office building to be the "People's Republic of Donetsk."

These pro-Moscow activists want to pull away from Europe and align Ukraine more with Russia. The protests in Donetsk and elsewhere in eastern Ukraine are the focus of the ongoing crisis in the country and it has international repercussions that reach well beyond the country's borders.

Yet life in the rest of Donetsk is going on completely as normal.

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2:14pm

Tue April 8, 2014
News

In Eastern Ukraine, Demands For A Vote Boil Into Arrests

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 3:24 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. Secretary of State John Kerry accused Russia today of stirring unrest in eastern Ukraine. He says Russian special forces and agitators are behind the seizure of government buildings in the region. Thousands of Russian troops and armored vehicles are masked nearby just over Ukraine's border with Russia.

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11:31am

Mon April 7, 2014
Parallels

Ukraine's Winter Of Discontent Gives Way To Spring Of Austerity

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 5:29 pm

Two men play chess in Kiev's Independence Square on Feb. 11. Ukraine's economy is ailing, and the country is facing austerity measures in exchange for an IMF loan. Meanwhile, Russia says it will sharply increase gas prices.
Martin Bureau AFP/Getty Images

After a long winter of protests, Ukrainian activists overthrew their president in February. Now, Ukrainians are staring at the bill they have to pay.

The International Monetary Fund is demanding that Ukraine's new government implement austerity measures in exchange for loans. Russia is threatening to raise Ukraine's heating gas prices by 80 percent. Taken together, this could further squeeze ordinary Ukrainians, some of whom are already getting by with almost nothing.

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4:19pm

Sat April 5, 2014
Europe

Cleaning Around Barricades, Kiev Protesters Still Camping In Square

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

In the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, hundreds of people are still camped out in Independence Square known as the Maidan. They say they'll stay, at least through next month's presidential elections, to push for greater reform. In February, violent protests in the Maidan toppled the president and left dozens dead. Today, though, the cloud of black dust over the square was from dozens of brooms sweeping. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports.

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2:56pm

Wed March 26, 2014
World

In Brussels, Obama Seeks Broader Support For Ukraine

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 6:24 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. American solidarity with Europe was on display today as President Obama visited Brussels. Days after the Russian annexation of Crimea, the president met with leaders of NATO and the European Union, and he gave a speech to a concern hall packed with university students. In that speech, Obama stood firm on his response to the crisis in Ukraine.

NPR's Ari Shapiro is travelling with the president.

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3:04am

Wed March 26, 2014
Europe

Ukraine Crisis, NSA Eavesdropping Dominate Summit Discussions

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 5:39 am

President Obama is in Brussels for meetings with NATO and the European Union. Events on the sideline of Tuesday's nuclear summit at The Hague have eclipsed the nuclear agenda itself.

2:16pm

Tue March 25, 2014
News

At Nuclear Summit, Ukraine Questions Dominate The Day

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:28 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

President Obama wrapped up a two-day nuclear security summit in The Hague today. He's been operating on two tracks on this trip. At the summit, he's been urging countries to get rid of their nuclear material. On the sidelines, he's been organizing the global community to isolate Russia, following it's annexation of Crimea.

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2:33pm

Mon March 24, 2014
News

Crimea Casts Long Shadow In Amsterdam, Where G7 Leaders Meet

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 4:46 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

To the Netherlands now, where more than 50 world leaders are attending a major nuclear summit. That group includes President Obama who landed in Amsterdam this morning. The crisis in Ukraine hangs over this trip, as NPR's Ari Shapiro reports from The Hague.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Moments after Air Force One touched down, President Obama was walking through the cavernous hallways of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam's temple to fine art.

PRIME MINISTER MARK RUTTE: (Foreign language spoken)

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10:27am

Mon March 24, 2014
Parallels

Which Artwork Is A Metaphor For The Current Global Condition?

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 1:41 pm

President Obama and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte shake hands in front of Rembrandt's Night Watch after speaking to the press following meetings at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam on Monday. Which artwork in the museum best captures the current global mood?
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

President Obama is doing serious work in Europe this week, meeting with the G-7, NATO and the EU to discuss Russia's actions in Ukraine. He's also joining leaders from more than 50 countries in The Hague to talk about keeping nuclear weapons away from terrorists. But before the intense negotiations got underway, he launched this trip with a bit of culture.

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3:09am

Fri March 21, 2014
World

Obama Heads To The Hague For Nuclear Summit

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 5:45 am

President Obama goes to The Hague for a nuclear security summit Monday. Although the crisis in Ukraine is overshadowing the event, there is a packed agenda independent of the tensions with Russia. This is the third time world leaders have met to discuss how to keep nuclear materials out of terrorists' hands.

3:17am

Tue March 18, 2014
Parallels

After 300 Years Of Marriage, Scotland Contemplates U.K. Divorce

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 8:22 am

Pro-independence campaigners attend a rally In Edinburgh, Scotland, in September.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

Scotland has been part of the United Kingdom for more than 300 years. This fall, that could change. In mid-September, a referendum on independence will determine whether Scotland breaks off from England, Northern Ireland and Wales to become a sovereign nation.

Scotland's largest city, Glasgow, is ground zero in this debate. The East End of this city is poor and run down, with some of the worst health figures in Europe. Men here are expected to live into only their mid-50s, some 30 years less than in wealthy areas.

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2:06pm

Fri March 14, 2014
News

With Russian Minister, Kerry Kicks A Soccer Ball And Talks Ukraine

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:33 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meet in London Friday for talks about the crisis in Ukraine.

3:02am

Wed March 5, 2014
Europe

Will Scotland Go Independent? A Primer On The Secession Vote

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 9:06 am

A bakery in Edinburgh recently launched an independence referendum poll using Yes, No and Undecided cupcakes.
Andrew Milligan PA Photos/Landov

An intense campaign is underway for the future of the United Kingdom. On Sept. 18, the people of Scotland will vote on whether to become an independent country. Here are answers to a few key questions about the issue.

1. Why would Scotland want to leave the U.K.?

There are some reasons grounded in logic and others based in emotion.

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1:42am

Thu February 20, 2014
Parallels

Why More Americans Are Renouncing U.S. Citizenship

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 6:32 am

A case against the Swiss bank UBS in 2008 led Congress to create more regulations for foreign banks holding American money. Rather than comply, many banks opted to stop serving American account-holders.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

A few times a year, the Treasury Department publishes a long list of names announcing all of the Americans who have lately abandoned their U.S. citizenship.

According to the legal website International Tax Blog, the number hovered around 500 a decade ago. Last year, it hit a record high of nearly 3,000.

This was not a gradual change. It was a sudden spike. It's a story of dominoes falling, one after another, leading to an unexpected outcome.

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10:06am

Tue February 18, 2014
Parallels

For U.S. Ambassador, Ties To Prague That Transcend Diplomacy

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 6:18 am

Norm Eisen, the U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic, poses at his official residence in Prague in October 2013. Eisen's mother was born and raised in what was Czechoslovakia and was sent by the Nazis to the Auschwitz concentration camp, which she survived.
Filip Singer The Washington Post/Getty Images

The drive into Prague is like a journey into the past. As you approach, grand castles and cathedrals appear on the horizon and pull you into an old-world city that could be the setting for a fairy tale.

Three years ago, Norm Eisen made this journey in a motorcade. It was his first day as U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic. He was returning to the land where his mother, Frieda, had been born almost 90 years ago.

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3:18am

Tue February 18, 2014
Arts & Life

Classical Music Piece Enhances Roald Dahl's 'Dirty Beasts'

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 9:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The children's author Roald Dahl died almost 25 years ago, and yet, today you can find more musical adaptations of his work than ever.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

"Matilda" is a hit on Broadway. A musical version of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is running in London's West End.

GREENE: Over the weekend, the London Philharmonic Orchestra debuted the newest adaptation of Dahl's work, a classical piece for children based on a collection of poems called "Dirty Beasts."

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12:51pm

Thu February 13, 2014
Parallels

In Damp Country, Record-Breaking Rains Flood Britain

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 7:15 am

Priscilla Smithers and her four children have arranged chairs around a few air mattresses to create a space for themselves, after fleeing their home.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Parts of England have been underwater for more than six weeks now, since storms began pummeling the west of Great Britain around Christmas. While many of those areas are still submerged, the situation keeps getting worse.

Now the floodwaters are lapping near Windsor Castle, as the Thames overflows its banks. Thousands of people have fled their homes, with more evacuating every day.

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1:34am

Wed February 12, 2014
Parallels

For Elephants And Rhinos, Poaching Trends Point In Wrong Direction

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 2:48 pm

Two adult white rhinos stand in an enclosure at South Africa's Entabeni Safari Conservancy in 2012. Entabeni is one of the world's only dedicated orphanages for rhino calves whose parents were poached for their horns — a trend that is rising.
Stephane De Sakutin AFP/Getty Images

South Africa has a stable government that makes wildlife protection a high priority. But even in that country, there's been a dramatic surge in poaching, particularly for rhinos.

A decade ago, fewer than 100 rhinos were killed in a year. Last year, it was more than 1,000, says Dan Ashe, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

"When you're talking about something that is more valuable than gold, and it is easily accessible, you're going to create the atmosphere where people are going to take advantage of that," he says.

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