Ari Shapiro

Ari Shapiro reports on the White House for NPR with a focus on national security and legal affairs. His stories appear on all of NPR's newsmagazines, including All Things Considered and Morning Edition, where he is also a frequent guest host. Shapiro began covering the White House in 2010 after five years as NPR's Justice Correspondent, during which time his coverage of Justice Department policies and controversies chronicled one of the most tumultuous periods in the department's history.

The first NPR reporter to be promoted to correspondent before age 30, Shapiro has been recognized with several journalism prizes, including The American Bar Association's Silver Gavel for his coverage of prisoners lost in Louisiana's detention system after Hurricane Katrina; The Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize for his investigation of methamphetamine use and HIV transmission; the Columbia Journalism Review's "laurel" recognition of his investigation into disability benefits for injured veterans; and the American Judges' Association's American Gavel for a body of work reporting on courts and the justice system. He has appeared as a guest analyst on television news programs including The NewsHourThe Rachel Maddow Show and CNN Newsroom.

Shapiro is based in Washington, D.C., where, as NPR's Justice Correspondent, he covered some of the most significant court cases in recent history, including Supreme Court rulings on Guantanamo detainees, the perjury trial of top White House official Lewis "Scooter" Libby and the fraud trial of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens. He has also broken stories about the government's evolving approach to counterterrorism, detention and interrogation policies. He investigated abuses of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison and covered the legal proceedings against American soldiers accused of those abuses.

Before covering the Justice Department, Shapiro was NPR's regional reporter in Atlanta and then in Miami. In 2003, he was an NPR reporting fellow at WBUR in Boston.

Shapiro is a magna cum laude graduate of Yale. He began his journalism career in 2001 in the office of NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg. Shapiro was born in Fargo, North Dakota, and grew up in Portland, Oregon.

 

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2:32pm

Tue November 25, 2014
Parallels

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

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 4:17 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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3:36am

Sat October 25, 2014
The Salt

Tracing A Gin-Soaked Trail In London

Originally published on Sat October 25, 2014 9:57 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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10:39am

Sun October 12, 2014
Animals

American Intruder Lurks In Scottish Streams, Clawed And Hungry

Originally published on Sun October 12, 2014 11:14 am

In the northwestern United States, this crayfish would be just a friendly bit of local fauna. But in Scotland, it's an invasive species wreaking havoc on trout streams.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Forget Nessie: there's another insidious creature living in the waters of Scotland.

The story starts in the streams and lakes of the northwestern United States, where North American signal crayfish are a familiar sight. Turn over a rock and you may well encounter one.

But in Scottish streams and lochs, these creatures are intruders.

In the United States, we often hear about invasive Asian carp, zebra mussels or snakehead fish from China that take over American waterways. It's a two-way street: American species are causing chaos in other parts of the world, too.

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8:45am

Sun October 12, 2014
Fine Art

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

Originally published on Sun October 12, 2014 11:14 am

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

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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5:51am

Sun October 12, 2014
Music News

The Royal Shakespeare Company Releases Music From Its Archive

Originally published on Sun October 12, 2014 11:14 am

The Royal Shakespeare Company is releasing albums of the music commissioned for its productions of many of the plays in this first collected edition of William Shakespeare's works.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

For more than a century, the Royal Shakespeare Company in England has hired composers to write original music for its productions. That sheet music has sat in a vault for decades — until now.

The company has started releasing albums that combine music from its contemporary productions with much older works.

Bruce O'Neill, head of music for the Royal Shakespeare Company, describes the archive as "a bit like a bank vault."

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