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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Parallels
3:54 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

The American Origins Of The Not-So-Traditional Celtic Knot Tattoo

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 6:31 pm

What is the most cliched tattoo you can think of? Chinese characters? A tribal armband?

How about a Celtic knot? Those interlocking lines that look like ropes or basket weaving.

Last week I was in Ireland and decided to investigate the roots of this trend.

I spoke with Kevin McNamara at the Dublin Ink tattoo parlor.

"It would be a weird week in the shop if I didn't do at least, like 40," he told me. "That's not a literal number, but yeah, it's nuts."

Without Celtic knots and shamrocks, McNamara said, he would never have learned how to tattoo.

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The Salt
5:36 am
Sat October 25, 2014

Tracing A Gin-Soaked Trail In London

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

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

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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Europe
5:10 pm
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 http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Fine Art
10:45 am
Sun October 12, 2014

On The National Mall, An American Portrait In Sand And Soil

The face in Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada's larger-than-life portrait is a composite of photos the artist took of young men from many racial backgrounds.
Tami Heilemann Department of the Interior

Originally published on Sun October 12, 2014 1:14 pm

Last month on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., trucks pulled up bearing thousands of tons of dark topsoil and sand. Volunteers arrived with shovels and rakes. Following an artist's instructions and guided by satellite coordinates, they laid out a design across 6 acres to create a work commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery.

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Parallels
6:14 pm
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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Europe
5:37 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

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

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

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

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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Parallels
4:10 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

European Fighters Take On More Prominent Roles In The Islamic State

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

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

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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Theater
5:24 pm
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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Middle East
4:21 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

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.

Middle East
4:11 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Among Israelis, Pressure Swells To Commence Ground War In Gaza

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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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Middle East
5:00 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Israel's Rocket Defense System Performs Well During Gaza Escalation

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 8:01 am

Israel's military says its rocket defense system, known as Iron Dome, has kept the country safe from Hamas rockets. The missile shield system may have its critics, but Israelis are still proud.

Parallels
5:05 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

On Opposite Sides Of Israeli-Gaza Border, Feeling The Same Fears

Several families share this one-room underground shelter in Ashkelon, Israel, not far from the border with Gaza. The children say they're afraid to go outside.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 10:39 pm

More than 50 Palestinians have been killed and 450 wounded in Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, rockets continue to fly toward Israel from Gaza, but so far, no Israelis have been reported killed.

For people living in and around the Gaza Strip, this conflict has turned daily routines upside down. Life is punctuated by sirens and explosions.

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Parallels
4:31 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

A Scottish Yarn: A Knit In Time Saves The Fabric Of Shetland Life

Ingrid Eunson sits at the spinning wheel in her home in the small town of Brae in Scotland's remote Shetland Islands. She knits yarn that she spins and dyes herself, traditions that her ancestors practiced for generations.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 7:20 pm

Drive around the Shetland Islands in the far north of Scotland, and at least one thing is immediately apparent: It's home to a lot of sheep. They're everywhere — wandering along the roadsides and on beaches.

In fact, there are some 400,000 of them in Shetland, where the ovine inhabitants outnumber the human ones 20 to 1.

So if you're invited to someone's home for dinner, lamb will likely be on the table. And if you're wearing a local scarf or mittens, chances are it was made out of Shetland wool.

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Parallels
4:35 am
Sun June 15, 2014

In London, An Underground Home For The World's Mosquitoes

Dr. James Logan, an entomologist, studies mosquitoes from around the world in an effort to make them less dangerous. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine keeps them in a cavern beneath the streets of London. The bowls contain mosquito larvae in water, while the boxes are where the adults live.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 8:37 am

You can't hear it over the noise of London's traffic. But it's there. That faint, whining hum. Right under my feet, thousands of mosquitoes are dining on human blood.

To visit them, you have to go through a sliding glass door into the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. This school started as a hospital on the Thames River, where doctors treated sailors returning from faraway places with strange parasites.

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Parallels
3:38 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

In A Sunny Britain, Would We Read Classics Like 'David Coppertone'?

On a glorious but rare day, a woman relaxes on a bench in the rose garden in Hyde Park on Monday in London, England. The book she's reading might have turned out much different if London were known for fair weather rather than fog.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 4:48 am

I'm not sure that cities like Miami and Rio de Janeiro truly appreciate the sun. They clearly enjoy the sun, what with their beach volleyball games and their fruity cocktails. But to really appreciate the sun, I think you have to live in a place that gets dark by 4 p.m. in the winter. A place where a typical summer day involves drizzle. A place, in short, like London.

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