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.



Tue December 23, 2014
The Salt

Record Number Of Britons Are Using Food Banks

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:26 pm

At the We Care food bank in Southeast London, customers pay 1 pound sterling, or about $1.60, for 10 items. The token payment is meant to ease customers' discomfort about having to use the food bank's services.
Ari Shapiro NPR

The United Kingdom is struggling with a situation that may sound familiar to Americans. The economy is expanding, unemployment is dropping, yet growing numbers of people don't have enough food to eat.

Six months ago, Peter Brogan was among those Britons going hungry. He'd lived a comfortable middle-class existence for the first 50 years of his life, with a house, a job and a relationship. Then the relationship fell apart, and so did his life. Between alcoholism and depression, he couldn't keep his head above water.

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Wed December 10, 2014
National Security

State Department Feared Torture Report Would Spark Fury. Where Is It?

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 6:23 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit


Mon December 8, 2014

U.S. Tech Firms See Green As They Set Up Shop In Low-Tax Ireland

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 8:54 am

The Apple campus in Cork, southern Ireland, employs 4,000 people — though its financial benefits are felt across the city. But Ireland's attractive tax laws — which have lured other industry leaders — are now under scrutiny.
Paul Faith AFP/Getty Images

Here's a fact that might surprise you: All of the top 10 U.S. companies that were born on the Internet — including Google, Amazon and eBay — have overseas corporate headquarters in Ireland.

The American tech sector is huge in Ireland. It's growing rapidly — and having a huge impact on life there.

But the tax system that's fueling the growth is also infuriating some people in the U.S. and Europe — and has Ireland reconsidering its tax code.

A City, And Country, Transformed

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Fri November 28, 2014

For Northern Ireland, Wounds From 'The Troubles' Are Still Raw

Originally published on Sat November 29, 2014 8:25 am

The remains of Brendan Megraw are carried to St. Oliver Plunkett Church in Belfast by his brothers Kieran (second left) and Sean (second right) on Nov. 14. The remains were found in a bog 36 years after Megrew was taken by the IRA. He was one of the many who died or disappeared during the decades-long Troubles between Protestant loyalists and Catholic republicans in Northern Ireland.
Liam McBurney PA Photos/Landov

Sixteen years ago, the Good Friday peace agreement ended the violent conflict in Northern Ireland by creating a power-sharing government. Around the world, people point to the agreement as a model for how to resolve ethnic conflicts.

And yet, political leaders in Northern Ireland are still struggling to bring Protestant and Catholic groups together. The fact that this is even an issue might surprise many people.

When I visited Belfast, I found a city still profoundly divided.

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Sat October 25, 2014
The Salt

Tracing A Gin-Soaked Trail In London

Originally published on Sat October 25, 2014 11:57 am

A depiction of "Gin Lane," filled with sins caused by drunken revelries.
William Hogarth/Wikimedia

In Scotland, some long-time whisky makers are switching over to gin. In Germany, people who distill traditional brandies are doing the same. The world is in the middle of a gin distillery boom, and it is coming to America.

One place to find the roots of this boom is London, where 250 distilleries once existed in the city limits alone.

For Charles Maxwell, this story is personal. "My great-great-grandfather was apprenticed in the city of London in the 1680s to learn how to make gin," Maxwell says. "And from that day to this, we've distilled gin in London."

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Fri October 17, 2014

Europe's Short-Term Economic Fixes Can't Solve Long-Term Problems

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 9:57 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit



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Wed October 1, 2014

Movement Against Female Genital Mutilation Gains Spotlight In U.K.

British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks with campaigners against female genital mutilation at the Girl Summit in London in July.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

In Washington Thursday, a group of experts from across the government will hold its first meeting to address the practice known as female genital mutilation. This is one issue where the U.K. is far ahead of the United States.

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Sat September 20, 2014

The Turmoil In Scotland, Expressed By Its Poets

Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 4:17 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit



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Wed September 17, 2014

For Scotland's 16-Year-Olds, The First Vote Will Be On Independence

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:03 pm

Scotland lowered the voting age to 16 for Thursday's referendum on whether to remain part of the United Kingdom or opt for independence. It was widely assumed the teenagers would overwhelmingly vote for independence, but that doesn't appear to be the case.
Scott Heppell AP

It's lunchtime at Drummond Community High School in Edinburgh. The kids are all wearing the uniform of a smart black blazer, white shirt and blue tie. Some 16- and 17-year-olds are here with their cheese sandwiches and their baked potatoes.

They get to cast ballots Thursday in what looks to be a close vote on whether Scotland will become independent or remain part of the United Kingdom.

Here's what some of them are saying:

"Scotland will be a richer country if there's a 'yes' vote" for independence, says Calum Preston. "It's just a fact."

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Tue September 16, 2014

Will Scotland Vote To Cut The Cord?

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 1:03 pm

A tourist wears a poncho decorated with the national flag of Scotland to shelter from the weather in Scotland's capital, Edinburgh, on Monday.
Matt Dunham AP

It's pouring in Edinburgh, and the fog is so thick you can barely see to the end of the block.

People walking through the city center duck out of the rain into a little stone alcove to talk about the subject on everyone's mind — Thursday's big vote on whether Scotland will become an independent country.

The latest polls show the race is extremely tight.

In the Edinburgh rain, a striking number of voters have recently changed their minds. Michael Constantine says he and his parents all switched sides.

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Tue September 9, 2014

Behind Every Good Whisky Is A Trusty Distillery Cat

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 11:42 am

Elijah, the Woodford Reserve Distillery mascot cat in Versailles, Ky., in 2013. He kept the workplace mouse-free for more than 20 years before dying this summer, the distillery said.
Charles Bertram Lexington Herald-Leader

Editor's Note: The Glenturret distillery announced Wednesday that Peat the kitten was killed. It was found on the side of the road near the distillery and was presumably hit by a car. The accident took place on Monday, the day before this story aired and was published online, but the distillery did not make the announcement until Wednesday.

As the great poet T.S. Eliot once said:

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Sat September 6, 2014

Russia Rips Up NATO's Rulebook

Originally published on Sat September 6, 2014 11:28 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit



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Fri September 5, 2014

At NATO Summit, U.S. And Europe Ready New Sanctions Against Russia

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 8:39 pm

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Thu September 4, 2014

World Leaders Descend On Wales To Help Decide NATO's Way Forward

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 6:51 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit



I'm Melissa Block.


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Wed September 3, 2014

From Estonia, Obama Talks Tough On Islamic State And Russia

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 7:04 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit


Wed August 27, 2014

It's Not Whisky, But Everyone In Scotland Drinks It By The Bottle

Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 11:10 am

Irn Bru is a hugely popular Scottish soda that may even outsell Coca-Cola in Scotland. It also symbolizes local pride in a place that will vote on whether to break away from the United Kingdom next month.
Courtesy of Irn Bru

For a visitor to Scotland, it can be difficult to understand the local passion for a neon orange soda that locals call "the brew." The drink is Irn Bru (pronounced "iron brew").

You can find it from McDonald's to corner stores and pubs across Scotland. It is such a powerful force that it may even outsell Coca-Cola here — making it one of the few places on the globe where Coke isn't the leading brand.

"This stuff runs in my blood," says Chris Young, as he walks through downtown Glasgow carrying a bottle.

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Tue August 26, 2014

Report Details 16 Years Of 'Horrific Abuse' Of Children In U.K. Town

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 8:07 pm

Alexis Jay, author of a report released Tuesday that documents the abuse of 1,400 children in Rotherham, England, says local authorities were aware of the problem for years and did nothing.
Dave Higgens PA Photos/Landov

An investigation out on Tuesday documents the abuse of more than 1,400 children in Rotherham, England, and says local authorities were aware of the problem for years and did not respond.

Alexis Jay, who authored the report, used to be chief inspector of social work in Scotland.

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Sat August 23, 2014

Scotland's Independence Vote And The Fate Of Britain's Nuclear Subs

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 7:24 am

A Trident submarine makes its way out from Faslane naval base in 2009. Scotland votes on whether it wants independence next month, raising questions about the future of Britain's naval base, including its nuclear subs.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

After 300 years in the United Kingdom, Scotland votes next month on whether to break the union, which raises many questions. One is particularly meaningful in the town of Helensburgh, in Western Scotland: What will happen to the U.K.'s nuclear weapons?

The Trident submarine program is based in Scotland, at Faslane naval base.

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Thu August 21, 2014

European Fighters Take On More Prominent Roles In The Islamic State

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 9:18 pm

This image posted on a militant website shows ISIS fighters marching in Raqqa, Syria, where the extremist group trains recruits, including Westerners.

British authorities are trying to identify the masked man who executed American photojournalist James Foley in a video that has caused massive global reaction.

The man — who appears wearing all black, holding a knife, and wearing a gun holster — speaks in an accent that linguists say sounds like someone from East or South London. The video yields other clues to the man's identity, such as his height and the fact that he's left-handed.

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Tue August 12, 2014

It's Sunrise In London And Time For A Rave

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 12:40 pm

Revelers dance in their pajamas at Morning Gloryville in London in January. The nightclub, which holds a rave once a month beginning at 6:30 a.m., has inspired morning raves in a number of other cities around the world.
Andrew Winning Reuters/Landov

At 6:30 in the morning, not many people have dancing on their mind. Freshly brewed coffee, perhaps, or the papers. Maybe some public radio. But not a party.

On a street in East London, however, the sun is rising over the rooftops, and a line of people are waiting to get into a warehouse. Most were fast asleep an hour ago, but by now they're wearing fluorescent neon tights, brightly colored headbands and leggings. Some have decorated themselves with face paint.

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Fri August 1, 2014
Middle East

In Gaza, A Glimmer Of Hope For Cease-Fire Is Snuffed Out Early

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 2:32 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit



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Wed July 30, 2014

Why Are Theater Tickets Cheaper On The West End Than On Broadway?

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 7:07 pm

It's a Wednesday afternoon in London and a bunch of kids are standing outside a West End theater, giddily unaware that their parents have just shelled out a lot of money for the experience they're about to have. A giant sign over their heads shows a silhouette of a girl standing on a swing, her hair flying behind her in the wind — it's a matinee performance of Matilda.

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Mon July 28, 2014
Middle East

An Uneasy End To Ramadan In Gaza, Where Fighting Intensifies Once More

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 7:40 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit


Sat July 19, 2014
All Tech Considered

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Remixed And Retweeted

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 11:13 am

A Hamas supporter holds her mobile phone during a public rally in Gaza City in March.
Said Khatib AFP/Getty Images

The deadly war in the Gaza Strip and Israel is being fought with rockets and guns. It's also being fought with tweets and viral videos.

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Fri July 18, 2014
Middle East

Israeli Forces Move Into Gaza, 'Terrorist Tunnels' In Cross Hairs

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 7:54 pm

NPR's Ari Shapiro reports on the latest news from the Gaza Strip, where Israel has undertaken a ground invasion against Hamas operatives. It's the first time in five years that the Israeli military has conducted a ground operation.


Wed July 16, 2014
Middle East

On Two Sides, Two Funerals — While Death Toll Mounts In Gaza

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 1:00 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit



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


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Tue July 15, 2014
Middle East

A Brief Lull Shatters In Gaza, As Cease-Fire Falls Apart

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 7:23 pm

An attempt at a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas has broken down. Hamas rejected the terms of the cease-fire, and Israel renewed its campaign of air strikes on the Gaza Strip.


Tue July 15, 2014

Israeli-Gaza Conflict Squeezes Palestinian Leader On All Sides

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 9:28 am

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has accused Israel of committing "genocide" against Palestinians, and he has also criticized Hamas for firing rockets on Israel.
Abbas Momani AFP/Getty Images

While the Israel-Gaza conflict pits Israelis against Palestinians, it has also increased stress within the Palestinian leadership.

The Gaza Strip is run by Hamas, which the U.S. considers a terrorist group and favors a strategy of resistance. The West Bank is run by Fatah, which is more moderate and favors an olive-branch approach.

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Mon July 14, 2014
Middle East

Between Hamas And Israel, What Might An Endgame Look Like?

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 8:17 pm

Israeli army flares fall into Gaza on Monday, the seventh day of the current fighting between Israel and Palestinians.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

The last time Israel and Hamas fought each other was 2012. Back then, the conflict lasted eight days.

Tuesday marks the eighth day of the current conflict between Israel and Hamas, which raises the question: What might it take to bring this fight to a close?

Both Israel and Hamas say they are unwilling to sign on to a straightforward, put-down-your-weapons, bare-bones ceasefire. They say quiet for quiet, calm for calm, is not enough.

They want more.

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Fri July 11, 2014
Middle East

Among Israelis, Pressure Swells To Commence Ground War In Gaza

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 8:21 pm



As we mentioned, no Israelis have been killed by rocket fire, but one strike today did cause severe injuries and damage. Around 8:30 in the morning local time, a rocket struck a gas station in Ashdod. One man was sent to the hospital seriously wounded. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports this increases the internal pressure on Israel to stage a ground invasion.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: A taxi driver Avram Ayash, comes to this gas station every day. This morning he watched the place go up in flames.

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