NPR: 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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3:42am

Thu July 23, 2015
The Salt

Buddhist Diet For A Clear Mind: Nuns Preserve Art Of Korean Temple Food

Originally published on Thu July 23, 2015 6:01 pm

Iced tea made from local berries is served with melon and squares of sweet sticky rice topped with fruits and nuts. The nuns eat these sweets on head-shaving day, to replenish their energy.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Detox diets come and go, like any other fad. In South Korea, one popular diet has staying power. It has been around for at least 1,600 years, ever since the founding of the Jinkwansa temple in the mountains outside of Seoul.

This Buddhist monastery sits at the convergence of two streams, amid twisting leafy trees and soaring peaks. It's one of many temples in the countryside outside of South Korea's capital. Each temple has its own specialty. Jinkwansa is famous for two reasons.

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4:57pm

Wed July 22, 2015
Arts & Life

The Story Of South Korea Told Through One Cartoonist

Originally published on Wed July 22, 2015 6:40 pm

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

5:04am

Fri June 26, 2015
Europe

Kosovo: The Pros And Cons Of Being Europe's Newest Country

Originally published on Fri June 26, 2015 7:35 am

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

5:07pm

Wed June 24, 2015
Europe

After Kosovo Emerged From War, Foreign Extremists Radicalized Youth

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 8:01 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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5:09am

Wed June 24, 2015
Parallels

Bulgaria Steps Up Efforts Against Drug Trafficking Across Its Borders

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 8:58 am

A Bulgarian border policeman stands near a barbed wire wall on the border with Turkey in July 2014. Experts believe that about two-thirds of the heroin that enters Europe comes through Bulgaria, and that a third of that moves on to the United States.
Dimitar Dilkoff AFP/Getty Images

As heroin addiction grows in the United States, the U.S. is focusing on the global supply chain, and officials believe one crucial link in it moves through Bulgaria, delivering most of the heroin that enters Europe — and some of what winds up on American streets.

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3:36pm

Mon June 22, 2015
Parallels

Russia And The West Play Tug Of War; Serbia Feels Caught In The Middle

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 10:32 pm

Serbian protesters hold a banner that reads: "Serbia-Russia, we don't need the European Commission" on March 21 in Belgrade. The marchers were from a Serbian nationalist organization opposed to the government, which has pursued closer ties with Western Europe.
Darko Vojinovic AP

Serbia stands at a crossroads these days, pulled in one direction by Russia, a longtime ally, and tugged in another by Western Europe, which holds the promise of economic opportunities despite its current financial troubles.

Given the friction between Russia and the West these days, it's increasingly difficult for a small country like Serbia to have it both ways.

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5:31pm

Sat June 20, 2015
World

Europe's Migrant Crisis Spreads Ashore As Refugees Enter Bulgaria On Foot

Originally published on Sat June 20, 2015 6:42 pm

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

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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6:16am

Wed June 17, 2015
Europe

Migrants Set On Getting To Europe Try Crossing Between Turkey And Bulgaria

Originally published on Wed June 17, 2015 7:19 am

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

5:03am

Fri June 12, 2015
Parallels

In The Rolling Hills Of Galway, Spirit Of W.B. Yeats Lives On

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 7:30 am

Sister Mary de Lourdes Fahy transformed a one-room schoolhouse into the the Kiltartan Gregory Museum dedicated Yeats.
Rich Preston NPR

William Butler Yeats, one of the greatest poets of the 20th century, was born in Ireland 150 years ago this week, and across the country, the Irish are celebrating with public readings and festivals.

But his presence has never left rural County Galway, in far western Ireland, where Yeats spent many years, far from the big cities. And in turn, its landscape and spirit infuses so much of his poetry.

So it may not be surprising that a passionate nun in Galway has turned an old one-room schoolhouse on a country road into a small museum to Yeats.

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4:28am

Thu June 11, 2015
Parallels

Surrogate Parenting: A Worldwide Industry, Lacking Global Rules

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 8:58 am

Simon Clements, left, and Steve Williams with their 6-month-old daughter, Sophie, in London. The two British men began the process of finding a surrogate mother more than two years ago. While legal in the U.K., the practice of surrogacy is tightly restricted.
Ari Shapiro NPR

In the U.S., surrogate parenting is widely accepted. Although no official figures exist, experts believe perhaps a thousand American children are born every year through surrogacy.

A patchwork of state-to-state regulations governs the practice. But the bottom line is if you're an American in the market for a surrogate — and you have money to spend — you can do it.

Things are very different in other parts of the world.

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6:15pm

Thu May 28, 2015
The Salt

Cod Comeback: How The North Sea Fishery Bounced Back From The Brink

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 9:01 pm

Fish for sale in the fish market in Fraserburgh, Scotland.
Ari Shapiro/NPR

Cod love the icy cold waters of the North Sea — and British people love eating cod.

But a decade ago, it looked like people were eating the fish to the brink of collapse. Now the trend has turned around, and the cod are coming back.

We pick up this fish tale, which seems to be on its way to a happy ending, at an early morning fish auction in Fraserburgh, Scotland, where buyers and sellers are lined up alongside hundreds of boxes containing cod, hake, monkfish, sole and every other kind of fish you can imagine from the North Sea.

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4:37pm

Thu May 21, 2015
Politics

Irish Voters Prepare To Decide On Same-Sex Marriage

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:07 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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1:08pm

Tue May 19, 2015
Parallels

An English 'Family Business,' Dedicated To A 2,000-Year-Old Roman Fort

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 7:06 pm

Teams of volunteer archaeologists travel to Vindolanda during each excavation season. They painstakingly scrape and brush away at the soil to see what they can find.
Rich Preston NPR

The world is full of family-run businesses that get passed down through generations. A family business in northern England, near the border with Scotland, will carry you back in time 2,000 years.

For the last couple of millennia, Vindolanda was hidden underground. This ancient Roman fort was buried beneath trees, then fields where oblivious farmers planted crops and grazed their sheep for centuries. Under the farmer's plow, the ruined city sat undisturbed — mostly.

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3:25am

Tue May 19, 2015
Parallels

Conservative, Catholic Ireland Votes On Same-Sex Marriage

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 5:17 pm

A campaign poster in Dublin encourages voters to say no to same-sex marriage ahead of a referendum in Dublin on Friday.
Paul Faith AFP/Getty Images

Ireland could make history this week. Same-sex marriage is legal in about 17 countries around the world. In all of those countries, the decision was made by the legislature or the courts. Ireland appears poised to become the first country to legalize same-sex marriage through a national popular vote set for Friday.

In Dublin, it is impossible to miss the debate. Nearly every lamppost carries a big poster, or several.

"YES: Equality for everybody," reads one showing a diverse group of smiling people.

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6:02pm

Thu May 7, 2015
Politics

Polls Close In Tight British Election, Show Lead For Conservative Party

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 6:22 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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3:13pm

Tue May 5, 2015
Parallels

London's Dominance Becomes A British Election Issue

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 7:32 pm

Nearly every country in the world has its major hub city, often the capital, with smaller cities feeding into it. The United Kingdom takes this structure to a whole new level. London is one of the richest cities in the world, and its population is the size of the next six British cities combined.

A global hub, London completely dominates the political, cultural and economic life of the U.K. to an extent rarely seen elsewhere. The U.K. has struggled with this imbalance for decades. This Thursday's election is highlighting the divide.

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5:02am

Tue May 5, 2015
Europe

Skeletal Horse On Trafalgar Square's 4th Plinth Is Art And A Stock Ticker

Originally published on Mon June 1, 2015 7:38 pm

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This next story will test the ability of the British to keep calm and carry on.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

London is the home of a new work of art. It is part of a competition.

INSKEEP: It's outdoors.

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3:23am

Mon May 4, 2015
Parallels

A Novel Dutch Lawsuit Demands Government Cut Carbon Emissions

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 2:37 pm

Much of the Netherlands is below sea level, including Amsterdam. Urgenda argues that any rise in the sea level could have a huge impact on the country.
Ari Shapiro NPR

A lawsuit in the Netherlands is taking an unusual approach to climate change. So unusual, in fact, that experts around the world are watching it closely, wondering whether it might spark a major shift in environmentalists' efforts to limit carbon emissions.

If that happens, it won't be the first time that Marjam Minnesma has turned the status quo on its head.

She's founder and director of a Dutch environmental organization called Urgenda, an abbreviation for "urgent agenda."

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5:16am

Sat April 18, 2015
Parallels

From Losers To Possible Kingmakers, A Scottish Party Comes Back Strong

Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 10:59 am

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's first minister and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), delivers a speech in Glasgow, Scotland, on March 28. After its loss at the polls last year on the issue of Scottish independence, the party has quadrupled its membership and is on the ascendant.
Russell Cheyne Reuters/Landov

Political life is full of comeback stories, but few are quite as dramatic as the boomerang that Scottish nationalists have experienced over the last six months.

Last September, the Scottish National Party lost a vote on whether to break away from the United Kingdom.

Now, membership in the SNP has quadrupled, and that unexpected turn of events means that this party, dismissed as a loser last fall, could determine who becomes the next prime minister after British elections in a few weeks.

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3:59am

Thu April 16, 2015
Parallels

Islanders Pushed Out For U.S. Base Hope For End To 40-Year Exile

Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 12:17 pm

Chagossians weep at the grave of their parents on Peros Banos Island April 10, 2006. Fifteen elders are allowed to visit once a year.
AFP/Getty Images

One of the most important U.S. military bases in the world sits in the middle of the Indian Ocean on an atoll called Diego Garcia. It's the largest of the Chagos Islands, a British territory far from any mainland that is spread out across hundreds of miles. Thousands of people, called Chagossians, used to live on Diego Garcia.

The U.S. military moved in in the 1970s only after the British government forced the entire Chagossian population to leave.

For more than 40 years, the islanders have been fighting to return. Now, it seems they have a growing chance.

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8:21am

Wed April 15, 2015
Europe

European Union Accuses Google Of Abusing Its Market Dominance

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 12:34 pm

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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4:45pm

Mon April 13, 2015
Europe

At 800 And Aging Well, The Magna Carta Is Still A Big Draw

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 8:44 am

Two original Magna Carta manuscripts from 1215 are on display at the British Library in London.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

The British Library is now showing original manuscripts of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, the first time they've come to the United Kingdom.

But those documents are not the main event at this exhibition. It's the Magna Carta, issued by King John in 1215 — more than 500 years before the American documents, as library curator Julian Harrison notes.

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3:52am

Mon April 13, 2015
World

Britain Backs Away From World Stage In Lead-Up To Elections

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 8:00 am

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

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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4:21pm

Tue April 7, 2015
Europe

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/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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8:01am

Sat April 4, 2015
Europe

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/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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7:11am

Sat March 21, 2015
Parallels

On Libel And The Law, U.S. And U.K. Go Separate Ways

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 4:49 pm

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

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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5:09pm

Thu March 19, 2015
Parallels

Why Russia's Economic Slump Has Been Good For London

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 3:29 am

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

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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5:24am

Sun March 15, 2015
The Salt

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

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

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

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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12:55pm

Wed March 4, 2015
Parallels

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

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

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

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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3:47am

Tue March 3, 2015
Religion

In English Town, Muslims Lead Effort To Create Interfaith Haven

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

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

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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