Ari Shapiro http://kplu.org en Between Friends, Family And Country, Ukrainian Police Lie Low http://kplu.org/post/between-friends-family-and-country-ukrainian-police-lie-low <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onRu5am9Rx0</p> Sat, 12 Apr 2014 20:38:05 +0000 Ari Shapiro 15964 at http://kplu.org Between Friends, Family And Country, Ukrainian Police Lie Low Molotov Cocktails And Razor Wire: Inside An Occupied Building In Ukraine http://kplu.org/post/molotov-cocktails-and-razor-wire-inside-occupied-building-ukraine <em>In Ukraine's eastern city of Donetsk, activists who want to align the country more with Russia seized a regional administration building in the center of town last weekend. NPR correspondent Ari Shapiro went inside the building Friday and reports on what it was like:</em><p>Overnight, reports said pro-Russian protesters here in Donetsk had reinforced the barricade surrounding the 11-story government building that the demonstrators have occupied since Sunday. Fri, 11 Apr 2014 16:58:11 +0000 Ari Shapiro 15927 at http://kplu.org Molotov Cocktails And Razor Wire: Inside An Occupied Building In Ukraine God Save The Queen — And Donetsk, Too? http://kplu.org/post/god-save-queen-and-donetsk-too The eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk has been the center of a standoff since Sunday, with demonstrators pleading for the city to join Russia, while government leaders insist it will remain part of Ukraine.<p>In the midst of this tug-of-war, there's a third country that may have a claim on the city — though admittedly, a much looser one.<p>"God Save The Queen" isn't just the British national anthem, it's also the name of a campaign to bring Donetsk under the sheltering wing of Her Majesty's United Kingdom.<p>(You read that correctly: the UK. Thu, 10 Apr 2014 22:20:12 +0000 Ari Shapiro 15912 at http://kplu.org God Save The Queen — And Donetsk, Too? Ukrainian Protesters Seize Weapons, Raising The Stakes http://kplu.org/post/ukrainian-protesters-seize-weapons-raising-stakes The drive to Luhansk takes you past fields of corn and sunflowers that are just beginning to sprout. You pass the town of Yennakieva, where the ousted Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, was born. Eventually the fields give way to factories, and about 15 miles from the border with Russia, you hit the industrial city of Luhansk.<p>Police have blocked off the center of town. Wed, 09 Apr 2014 21:59:06 +0000 Ari Shapiro 15859 at http://kplu.org Ukrainian Protesters Seize Weapons, Raising The Stakes After 300 Years Of Marriage, Scotland Contemplates U.K. Divorce http://kplu.org/post/after-300-years-marriage-scotland-contemplates-uk-divorce Scotland has been part of the United Kingdom for more than 300 years. This fall, that could change. In mid-September, a referendum on independence will determine whether Scotland breaks off from England, Northern Ireland and Wales to become a sovereign nation.<p>Scotland's largest city, Glasgow, is ground zero in this debate. The East End of this city is poor and run down, with some of the worst health figures in Europe. Men here are expected to live into only their mid-50s, some 30 years less than in wealthy areas.<p>"You can just look around and see. Everybody's in the same boat. Tue, 18 Mar 2014 17:36:38 +0000 Ari Shapiro 14993 at http://kplu.org After 300 Years Of Marriage, Scotland Contemplates U.K. Divorce Britain's 'Tea Party' Pushes For Cutting Ties With European Union http://kplu.org/post/britains-tea-party-pushes-cutting-ties-european-union Torquay is a beach resort in the part of southwest Britain known as the English Riviera for its abundant sun (relative to the rest of the country, anyway). Agatha Christie was born here in 1890. By the mid-1970s, the TV show <em>Fawlty Towers</em> was emphasizing Toquay's shabby aspects over its glamour. And now, well, the town has seen better days.<p>This time of year, the wear on Torquay is evident. On a recent blustery afternoon, the pier was nearly empty and the tour boats were all tied up in the harbor. Jenny Vowden and her husband were out for a walk. Wed, 12 Mar 2014 16:57:31 +0000 Ari Shapiro 14744 at http://kplu.org Britain's 'Tea Party' Pushes For Cutting Ties With European Union Will Scotland Go Independent? A Primer On The Secession Vote http://kplu.org/post/will-scotland-go-independent-primer-secession-vote An intense campaign is underway for the future of the United Kingdom. On Sept. 18, the people of Scotland will vote on whether to become an independent country. Here are answers to a few key questions about the issue.<p><strong>1. Why would Scotland want to leave the U.K.?</strong><p>There are some reasons grounded in logic and others based in emotion.<p>Scotland wants more control over the oil and gas in the North Sea. Scots bristle at regulations from London. Wed, 05 Mar 2014 18:27:20 +0000 Ari Shapiro 14465 at http://kplu.org Will Scotland Go Independent? A Primer On The Secession Vote Why More Americans Are Renouncing U.S. Citizenship http://kplu.org/post/why-more-americans-are-renouncing-us-citizenship A few times a year, the Treasury Department publishes a long list of names announcing all of the Americans who have lately abandoned their U.S. citizenship.<p>According to the legal website <a href="http://intltax.typepad.com/intltax_blog/2014/02/2013-expatriations-increase-by-___.html" target="_blank">International Tax Blog</a>, the number hovered around 500 a decade ago. Last year, it hit a record high of nearly 3,000.<p>This was not a gradual change. It was a sudden spike. Thu, 20 Feb 2014 18:37:29 +0000 Ari Shapiro 13863 at http://kplu.org Why More Americans Are Renouncing U.S. Citizenship For U.S. Ambassador, Ties To Prague That Transcend Diplomacy http://kplu.org/post/us-ambassador-ties-prague-transcend-diplomacy The drive into Prague is like a journey into the past. As you approach, grand castles and cathedrals appear on the horizon and pull you into an old-world city that could be the setting for a fairy tale.<p>Three years ago, Norm Eisen made this journey in a motorcade. It was his first day as U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic. He was returning to the land where his mother, Frieda, had been born almost 90 years ago.<p>On his first night in Prague, after a whirlwind of formal greetings and arrival ceremonies, Eisen's wife and teenage daughter went to sleep. Tue, 18 Feb 2014 16:55:52 +0000 Ari Shapiro 13758 at http://kplu.org For U.S. Ambassador, Ties To Prague That Transcend Diplomacy In Damp Country, Record-Breaking Rains Flood Britain http://kplu.org/post/damp-country-record-breaking-rains-flood-britain Parts of England have been underwater for more than six weeks now, since storms began pummeling the west of Great Britain around Christmas. While many of those areas are still submerged, the situation keeps getting worse.<p>Now the floodwaters are lapping near Windsor Castle, as the Thames overflows its banks. Thousands of people have fled their homes, with more evacuating every day.<p>You needn't travel far from central London to find the misery: A 20-minute train ride from the city brings you to West Byfleet. Thu, 13 Feb 2014 19:59:12 +0000 Ari Shapiro 13620 at http://kplu.org In Damp Country, Record-Breaking Rains Flood Britain For Elephants And Rhinos, Poaching Trends Point In Wrong Direction http://kplu.org/post/elephants-and-rhinos-poaching-trends-point-wrong-direction South Africa has a stable government that makes wildlife protection a high priority. But even in that country, there's been a dramatic surge in poaching, particularly for rhinos.<p>A decade ago, fewer than 100 rhinos were killed in a year. Last year, it was more than 1,000, says Dan Ashe, director of the U.S. Wed, 12 Feb 2014 17:15:14 +0000 Ari Shapiro 13563 at http://kplu.org For Elephants And Rhinos, Poaching Trends Point In Wrong Direction British Satire: Still Current After 170 Years http://kplu.org/post/british-satire-still-current-after-170-years After three weeks in London, I'm finally starting to understand some local customs and mores. Yet I confess that political cartoons remain a challenge. They often reference obscure government ministers or historical practices in such an oblique way that I totally miss the joke.<p>So it was with some relief that I stumbled upon a cartoon over the weekend whose meaning was unambiguously clear. Mon, 27 Jan 2014 17:31:20 +0000 Ari Shapiro 12920 at http://kplu.org British Satire: Still Current After 170 Years From The Trenches To The Web: British WWI Diaries Digitized http://kplu.org/post/trenches-web-british-wwi-diaries-digitized On the outskirts of London, in a basement room of the British National Archives, a historian delicately turns pages that have the brittle feel of dead leaves. Each is covered in text — some typewritten, some in spidery handwriting from a pen that scratched across the page 100 years ago.<p>"Saturday, the 26th of September, 1914," reads one. "The most ghastly day of my life. And yet one of my proudest, because my regiment did its job and held on against heavy odds."<p>This diary was written at the start of World War I. It's one of 1.5 million pages in the archives' collection. Thu, 23 Jan 2014 18:25:05 +0000 Ari Shapiro 12815 at http://kplu.org From The Trenches To The Web: British WWI Diaries Digitized The 'Downton Abbey Law' Would Let British Women Inherit Titles http://kplu.org/post/downton-abbey-law-would-let-british-women-inherit-titles Centuries before the U.S. was colonized, the British were handing down estates and titles from father to son. Never from mother to daughter.<p>Then came the royal pregnancy last year. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, aka William and Kate, had a boy, George. But before the prince was born and his sex known, Parliament changed British law so a first-born girl could inherit the throne. And a group of female aristocrats began fighting to apply the principle more broadly.<p>There could hardly be a bigger megaphone for this issue than the global TV phenomenon, <em>Downton Abbey</em>. Wed, 15 Jan 2014 18:25:36 +0000 Ari Shapiro 12613 at http://kplu.org The 'Downton Abbey Law' Would Let British Women Inherit Titles President Obama's Rocky Year Falls Far Short Of Ambitions http://kplu.org/post/president-obamas-rocky-year-falls-far-short-ambitions President Obama heads to Hawaii on Friday. He goes there for Christmas every year and always talks about how good it is to get away from Washington. This year, that's likely to be especially true.<p>It's been a rough year for the president, starting with the very first hours of 2013.<p>One year ago, when the ball dropped on Times Square and people sang "Auld Lang Syne," Obama was supposed to be in Honolulu. Instead, he was in Washington as the country went over the so-called fiscal cliff.<p>Late at night on Jan. Thu, 19 Dec 2013 23:49:48 +0000 Ari Shapiro 11917 at http://kplu.org President Obama's Rocky Year Falls Far Short Of Ambitions