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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It's All Politics
2:20 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Bad To Worse: Iran Deal Strains Obama-Netanyahu Relationship

President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have had a rocky relationship.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 9:04 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is one of the most prominent critics of the U.S. deal with Iran. While President Obama calls the agreement a breakthrough, Netanyahu calls it a "historic mistake." It's far from the first time the Israeli and American leaders have clashed.

Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu took charge of their countries within a few months of each other. They were hardly a matched pair.

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Politics
3:00 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Obama Shifts To Foreign Policy Goals During Second Term

A breakthrough on Iran's nuclear program could shape history's view of President Obama.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 2:10 pm

The White House has been fighting to prevent the disastrous rollout of the health care law from defining President Obama's second term. While that struggle continues, another story is unfolding this week that could shape this president's legacy.

Diplomats from the U.S. and other countries are going to meet for a second round of negotiations on Iran's nuclear program, and a breakthrough there could shape history's view of Obama.

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It's All Politics
5:55 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

How Obama's Response To NSA Spying Has Evolved

President Obama's response to the NSA spying revelations has changed over the past five months.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 7:01 pm

A team of surveillance experts on Wednesday delivered preliminary recommendations to the White House on whether and how to amend U.S. spying policies.

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Politics
1:59 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Why Obama Shouldn't Worry About His Lousy Poll Numbers

President Obama walks with the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, on the South Lawn of the White House on Wednesday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 10:06 am

President Obama's poll numbers have hit just about the lowest point of his presidency.

They started sinking after the Obamacare website's miserable debut last month. Now, only around 40 percent of Americans think Obama is doing a good job. More than half disapprove of his performance. (A year ago, the numbers were the opposite.)

It seems obvious to say that a high approval rating helps a president, while a low approval rating hurts him. But here are five reasons Obama's numbers might not be as troublesome as they sound.

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It's All Politics
5:01 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Would The U.S. Be Better Off With A Parliament?

A view of the German Bundestag, or federal Parliament, in Berlin.
Michael Sohn AP

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 2:31 pm

There are many reasons for the gridlock in Washington. Some are recent developments, as the U.S. becomes more politically polarized. Others are structural, built into the American political system.

Regardless, the extreme paralysis that has recently become the norm in D.C. almost never happens in Western European democracies.

"You're asking: Do other democracies have this problem? And the answer is: Not many," says Jane Mansbridge, a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School.

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Politics
4:56 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Raids Project Presidential Power Amid Shutdown's Gridlock

President Obama arrives to speak about the government shutdown at the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Response Coordination Center on Monday.
Shawn Thew-Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 5:50 pm

The American system of government was built on gridlock. Yet even by that standard, this past week has demonstrated new levels of immobility.

So the special forces operations carried out in Libya and Somalia over the weekend were a bracing change. President Obama decided to do something — and it happened.

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The Government Shutdown
4:06 am
Fri October 4, 2013

For Obama And Boehner, No Sign Of Thaw In Frosty Relationship

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner take part in a ceremony to unveil a statue honoring the late civil rights activist Rosa Parks in the Capitol in February.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 10:13 am

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have had five years of fights and negotiations to learn how to work together.

The relationship has had ups and downs. Today it's as sour as it's ever been.

Even if they had a warm friendship, it might not be enough to solve the government shutdown. But the chilliness doesn't help.

'We Get Along Fine'

Their relationship has been a constant source of fascination in Washington. Interviewers ask the two men about it all the time. And they give pretty much the same response, year after year:

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It's All Politics
3:24 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Obama's Shift In Rhetoric Helping Democrats Stick Together

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid celebrate the open enrollment of the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday. During the government shutdown, the Democrats have been more unified than they have been in a long time.
Michael Reynolds EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 6:56 pm

President Obama has been railing against Republicans in Congress nearly every day this week.

"One faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government shut down major parts of the government," he said in the White House Rose Garden on Tuesday. "All because they didn't like one law."

He's expected to take that message on the road on Thursday, visiting a construction company in Maryland to talk about the impact of the shutdown on the economy.

And that finger-pointing at Republicans is sure to be part of his speech again.

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It's All Politics
2:44 am
Sat September 28, 2013

In Washington's Fiscal Tango, Obama's Lacking A Dance Partner

President Obama speaks about the Affordable Care Act on Thursday in Largo, Md. In the latest fiscal fight with Republicans, the president is lacking a partner to make a deal with — or even to vilify.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 10:16 am

Top White House aides constantly refer to a "civil war" in the Republican Party.

They sometimes use the phrase with near delight, reveling in the tensions that threaten to pull apart the GOP. But for President Obama, the divided opposition creates a major problem: He has neither a partner to cut a deal with nor a high-profile adversary to vilify.

That situation stands in stark contrast to previous fiscal standoffs.

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It's All Politics
4:36 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Obama's Passing Up Chances To Turn On The Charm

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrive at last year's congressional picnic on the South Lawn of the White House. This year, the picnic — seen as a chance for lawmakers to socialize beyond party lines — was canceled.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 10:20 am

President Obama isn't known as a schmoozer like Bill Clinton or a back-slapper like George W. Bush. But he does know that a personal touch can woo allies and soften adversaries.

Right now, domestic and international crises are looming on all sides of the president. Although a little tenderness might come in handy, Obama is repeatedly passing up opportunities to wage a charm offensive.

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The Two-Way
7:25 pm
Sun September 15, 2013

White House Takes Stock Of Financial Crisis Five Years Later

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 1:20 pm

Five years ago this week, Lehman Brothers collapsed, and America's financial crisis began. On Monday morning, President Obama will mark the anniversary with a speech in the White House Rose Garden. The White House released a new report ahead of the address, assessing how the government's efforts to stabilize the economy turned out.

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The U.S. Response To Syria
2:40 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Syria Puts Obama's Multilateralist Philosophy To The Test

President Obama holds a press conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Friday on the sideline of the G-20 summit.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 12:11 am

President Obama has come home from the Group of 20 summit with essentially no more international support for a strike on Syria than when he left the U.S.

He spent the last three days in Sweden and Russia, lobbying U.S. allies on the sidelines and on the public stage, with little movement.

The conflict has presented perhaps the biggest challenge yet to Obama's multilateralist inclinations.

'A Hard Sell'

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National Security
8:14 am
Sun September 1, 2013

Obama's Sudden Shift On Syria

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 2:54 pm

Transcript

WADE GOODWYN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Wade Goodwyn. Rachel Martin is away. Syrians and the world have spent the last week bracing for a U.S. attack on Damascus that seemed to be imminent. Now, President Obama has surprised everyone by pushing the pause button and by announcing yesterday in the Rose Garden that he will go to Congress for approval. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports from the White House.

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Middle East
4:34 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Why Syria Is More Complicated Than Libya

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 6:23 pm

The Arab spring has brought large-scale protests and violence to at least half a dozen countries in the past three years. Until now, the U.S. has only intervened militarily in one of them — Libya.

Now, as President Obama considers a strike on Syria, here's a look at some of the differences between the two scenarios:

1. Syria's Not Standing Alone

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It's All Politics
1:59 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Future Historians: Good Luck Sifting Through Obama Video

President Obama is seen on a video camera as he delivers a speech in Youngstown, Ohio, in 2010. In addition to footage of official events, the White House now has thousands of hours of behind-the-scenes video that it will archive.
Jeff Swensen Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 11:43 am

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Politics
3:24 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Susan Rice's First Month On The Job Has Been A Doozy

Rice talks with Yousef Al Otaiba, the United Arab Emirates' ambassador to the United States, before the start of a dinner celebrating Ramadan at the White House last month.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 4:45 pm

People have been talking a lot lately about the National Security Agency. But there's another important "NSA" in the federal government — the president's national security adviser.

That person is a sort of funnel — gathering information from the military, the intelligence community, the State Department — and channeling it all to the president.

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Code Switch
8:54 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Obama Warms To Speaking Personally About Race

President Obama speaks about the George Zimmerman acquittal nearly a week after the ruling.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 12:46 pm

On race, Barack Obama often says he is not president of black America, but of the United States of America. Though he has not avoided the subject during his time in office, he tends not to seek out opportunities to discuss racial issues.

"He wanted to address them in a time and a way that accomplished specific objectives," says Joshua Dubois, who ran the White House's faith-based initiatives during Obama's first term.

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The Salt
4:22 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Help! My Egg Yolks Are Freakishly White

The white egg yolk at left, seen next to a yellow yolk, may seem strange, but it's just a result of the chicken feed used, scientists say.
Junko Kimura Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 9:19 am

Dear Salt,

I recently joined President Obama on his trip through Africa, and I brought a mystery home with me. I wonder if you can help me solve it.

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It's All Politics
2:05 am
Mon July 15, 2013

In Second Term, Obama Takes Softer Tone Toward Bushes

President Obama applauds as former first lady Barbara Bush and former President George W. Bush help President George H.W. Bush stand at the opening ceremony of the George W. Bush Presidential Library on April 25 in Dallas. Former first lady Laura Bush looks on.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 4:10 am

Former President George H.W. Bush will visit the White House on Monday, along with his wife, former first lady Barbara Bush, to celebrate a milestone for Points of Light, a volunteer service organization that got its start during the first Bush administration.

During President Obama's first term, he didn't see much of the Bushes. He met with the former presidents — father, son or both — a total of just five times in four years.

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Africa
3:45 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Obama Announces Trade Africa Initiative

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 7:36 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And farther south on the African continent, President Obama is wrapping up a three-country tour. He's in Tanzania now, on the coast of the Indian Ocean. NPR's Ari Shapiro is travelling with the president and reports on Obama's first day in the Tanzanian city of Dar es Salaam.

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Politics
2:44 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Mandela's Condition Clouds Obama's S. Africa Visit

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary. President Obama is in Johannesburg, South Africa this morning. It's his second stop on a three-country tour of Africa. NPR's Ari Shapiro is traveling with the president. He joins us now. Good morning, Ari.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Good morning, Lynn.

NEARY: The president held a press conference with the current South African president Jacob Zuma this morning. Tell us about that.

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Africa
3:33 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Obama: Time For A Mutually Beneficial Alliance With Africa

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 6:13 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

On a Friday, this is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Good morning.

President Obama's trip through Africa is turning out to be political and also personal. The Obama family is visiting three countries in vastly different regions of the continent.

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Africa
4:40 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Obama's Africa Trip To Focus On Democracy, Investment

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 10:13 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

President Obama flew home from Europe less than a week ago, and this morning, he is headed back overseas. This time, Air Force One is bound for Africa. It's a weeklong journey that will take the president and his family to three countries covering vastly different regions. This is Obama's first extended trip to the continent as president.

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It's All Politics
4:20 am
Sat June 22, 2013

Presents From The President: What Obama Gives His Friends

President Obama meets with speechwriter Jon Favreau in the Oval Office in 2009.
Pete Souza White House via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 8:59 pm

Between his trip to Europe last week and his travels to Africa next week, President Obama is doing a lot of gift exchanges with foreign leaders.

In the past, he has gotten mixed reviews. Four years ago, he was panned for giving the queen of England an iPod. Other presents have gone over better. But the president does not personally select these gifts — a staffer does.

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News
4:25 am
Sat June 8, 2013

NSA Scandal Looms Over Obama's Talks With China's Xi

President Obama walks with Chinese President Xi Jinping at a retreat on Friday in Rancho Mirage, Calif., where the two leaders are meeting for talks.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 4:39 am

President Obama always intended to talk about spying this weekend. But not like this.

He's getting to know China's new leader at a sprawling estate in the Southern California desert this weekend, but domestic controversies have followed him there.

The president veered off his talking points Friday to spend more than 10 minutes defending a pair of massive surveillance operations that the media recently disclosed.

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