Philip Reeves

Philip Reeves is an award-winning veteran international correspondent based in Islamabad, Pakistan. Previous to his current role, he covered Europe out of NPR's bureau in London.

Reeves has spent two decades working as a journalist overseas, reporting from a wide range of places including the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and Asia.

A member of the NPR team that won highly prestigious Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University and George Foster Peabody awards for coverage of the conflict in Iraq, Reeves has been honored several times by the South Asian Journalists Association.

In 2010, Reeves moved to London from New Delhi after a stint of more than seven years working in and around South Asia. He traveled widely in India, taking listeners on voyages along the Ganges River and the ancient Grand Trunk Road. He also made numerous trips to cover unrest and political turmoil in Pakistan.

Reeves joined NPR in 2004, after spending 17 years as a correspondent for the British daily newspaper, The Independent. During the early stages of his career, he worked for BBC radio and television after training on the Bath Chronicle newspaper in western Britain.

Over the years, Reeves has covered a wide range of stories - from the Waco siege, to the growth of the Internet, Boris Yeltsin's erratic presidency, the economic rise of India, and conflicts in Gaza and the West Bank, Chechnya, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

Graduating from Cambridge University, Reeves earned a degree in English literature. He and his wife have one daughter. His family originates from New Zealand.

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3:48pm

Wed May 22, 2013
Parallels

Riots In Sweden. That's Right. Sweden

Swedish firemen extinguish a burning car Tuesday after youths rioted for a third night in a row in the suburbs of Stockholm. The unrest began after police said they shot dead a 69-year-old man wielding a machete in an immigrant neighborhood.
Jonathan Nackstrand AFP/Getty Images

Sweden is one of the wealthiest, most stable and smoothly running countries in the world.

Which would explain why the country's 9.5 million residents may be shocked by the events of the past few days.

For the past three nights, hundreds of youths have been rampaging through parts of the capital, Stockholm, torching cars, setting fires, and throwing rocks at police and fire trucks.

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11:33am

Wed May 8, 2013
The Two-Way

Alex Ferguson: A Legendary Manager For An Iconic Franchise

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 5:55 pm

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson celebrates after his team wins the English Premier League at Blackburn, England, on May 14, 2011.
Tim Hales AP

The resignation of veteran Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson is an event causing ripples that go way beyond the island where the Scotsman spent his long and illustrious career.

Walk into a bar pretty much anywhere from Buenos Aires to Bangkok, mention Ferguson or his star-studded team of Red Devils, and you can be sure of a lively conversation — and perhaps a heated argument.

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11:14am

Wed April 10, 2013
The Two-Way

For Some Britons, Thatcher's Death Provokes Celebrations

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 1:41 pm

Margaret Thatcher provoked great divisions and her critics have spoken out following her death. These graffiti appeared in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Tuesday, a day after she died.
Peter Muhly AFP/Getty Images

A young man is parading the streets of the city of Glasgow with a slogan daubed onto the back of his black leather jacket in big, freshly painted white letters. "We're havin' a party," it declares. "Thatcher's dead."

In what was the coal belt of northern England, a burly former miner lights up an enormous cigar and takes a satisfied puff. He says he's looking forward to a few celebratory drinks.

Hundreds of miles to the south, in Brixton, south London, a boisterous crowd prances around, joyously boozing and setting off fireworks under the wary gaze of police in riot gear.

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9:03am

Mon April 8, 2013
Remembrances

Margaret Thatcher's Life And Legacy In Britain

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 10:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

On a Monday, it is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

Britain and the world are reflecting this morning on the life of Margaret Thatcher. The former British prime minister has died at the age of 87. Britain's current Prime Minister David Cameron remembered her this way.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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4:47am

Mon March 25, 2013
Europe

Exiled Russian Oligarch's Death Launches British Probe

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 8:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And police in Britain are piecing together the final days in the life of a Russian oligarch named Boris Berezovsky. They hope this may shed light on his sudden death this last weekend. Berezovsky used to be one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in Russia. Then he fell out with the Kremlin and sought asylum in Britain. NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

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11:35am

Fri March 22, 2013
The Two-Way

Britain Goes After Pot Growers With 'Scratch And Sniff' Cards

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 1:05 pm

British police and the volunteer group Crimestoppers are sending out more than 200,000 of these cards with the scent of a cannabis plant.
Courtesy of Crimestoppers

For many years, across the world, the extraordinarily powerful noses of dogs have been successfully used to help detect crime.

Now, in Britain, moves are under way to recruit humans to perform the same subtle work.

Police are encouraging the British to step out of their homes, raise their nostrils aloft, and see if they catch the whiff of wrongdoing wafting from the next-door neighbors.

Visitors to these crowded islands are often charmed by the small redbrick terraced houses that are in every town and city.

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7:37am

Mon March 11, 2013
The Two-Way

A Rough Guide To The Papal Conclave

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 8:34 pm

Cardinals gathered in Vatican City on Monday, a day before the papal selection process known as the conclave begins.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

The stage is now set for the opening act of one of the more spectacular and intriguing theatrical dramas on the planet: the election of a pope.

In Rome, TV camera crews have set up their positions on big platforms overlooking St. Peter's Square and the Vatican, where the secretive process will begin Tuesday.

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3:24am

Tue February 26, 2013
Religion

The Hermit Pope Who Set The Precedent For Benedict XVI

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 9:15 pm

Beneath a glass coffin, wearing a pontiff's miter and faded vestments of gold and purple, there lies a tiny man with a wax head.

This represents an Italian priest who, until this month, was the only pope in history to voluntarily resign.

His name is Celestine V.

Celestine became pope at 84, some seven centuries ago, after a long and self-punishing career as a hermit.

Though a celebrated spiritual leader, and founder of a new branch of the Benedictine order, his papacy lasted just over five months. It's widely viewed as an utter disaster.

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7:47am

Sat February 9, 2013
The Salt

British Outrage Grows As Horsemeat Pops Up In More Foods

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 8:42 am

Frozen-food company Findus recalled its beef lasagne meals earlier this week because they contain horsemeat.
Scott Heppell AP

They like riding them. They like racing them. They bet on them, hunt on them and patrol the streets on them.

But to most who live in the land of the Beefeater, the idea of eating a horse in peacetime is as generally repugnant as grilling one the queen's corgis and gobbling it up with ketchup and fries.

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3:41am

Mon January 21, 2013
Africa

Nightmare Details Emerge After Siege Ends In Algeria

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 10:01 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

President Obama took the oath for a second term yesterday, on January 20th, as the Constitution requires. The public ceremony takes place today at the Capitol, and we'll have live coverage all day long.

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5:25pm

Tue January 8, 2013
Europe

A Dash Of Olive Oil May Preserve British Cathedral

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 6:24 am

The stones of York Minster in northern England are decaying. Olive oil may be just the dressing the cathedral needs to preserve its Gothic architecture.
Nigel Roddis Reuters/Landov

The British have some stunning cathedrals, and York Minster, in the north of England, is one of the most magnificent of all.

Construction on it began 800 years ago, and a mere 2 1/2 centuries later, work was complete.

The result was one of Europe's largest Gothic cathedrals and one that's had a rough ride through history: It's been pillaged and looted, and damaged by devastating fires and lightning strikes.

Today, there's another threat: acid rain. As a result, the cathedral's stones are decaying.

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3:43pm

Wed January 2, 2013
Middle East

On Multiple Fronts, Russian Jews Reshape Israel

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 8:54 am

Russian-speaking Israelis mingle at the Soho nightclub in Tel Aviv. The club caters to the Russian-speaking immigrant community, featuring hired dancers and extravagant decorations rarely seen in informal Israel.
Oded Balilty AP

Many signs are in the Cyrillic alphabet. The men and women sitting in the cafes are speaking Russian. The shops sell vodka, black bread, pickled herring and Russian-brewed Baltika beer. You have to pinch yourself to remember where you are.

This scene, with all its echoes of the former Soviet Union, is not in St. Petersburg or Vladivostok, or anywhere else in that vast sweep of bleak northern lands. It is in Ashdod, Israel, a palm-lined, pastel-colored port city that sprawls along the mild shores of the Mediterranean.

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6:41am

Mon December 24, 2012
Europe

In Cornwall, Lisa Simpson Rivals Queen Elizabeth

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, while our politicians are consumed with the deficit deadline, many leaders around the world are taking a step back, putting quill to paper and carefully composing their Christmas messages. In Britain, particular attention will be paid to Queen Elizabeth's message, because this year she's celebrating 60 years on the throne.

NPR's Philip Reeves sent this letter, musing about what it meant to be British as 2012 comes to a close.

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6:47am

Sat December 8, 2012
Middle East

Young Gazans Brave Fear To Welcome Hamas Leader

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 9:14 am

Exiled Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal (left) and Gaza's Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh wave during a news conference upon Meshaal's arrival at Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday.
Suhaib Salem AP

Tens of thousands of people turned out for a mass rally in the Gaza Strip on Friday to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hamas, which governs Gaza. The guest of honor was the leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal.

This is Meshaal's first-ever trip to Gaza, and it's been seen as a political milestone in Hamas' attempt to gain wider acceptance in the region.

Gaza is a small, very crowded strip of land that is full of young people. Roughly 1.7 million people live here, and about half are under the age of 18.

Young People, Politically Minded

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4:57am

Mon December 3, 2012
Middle East

Israeli Settlement Plan

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:19 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

For years the United States has urged the Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate a peace accord based on a two-state solution. Well, there are growing concerns within the international community that the chances of that ever happening are dimming.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Palestinians angered Israel last week by securing a symbolically important vote at the United Nations General Assembly, upgrading their status from a non-member entity to a non-member state. Israel responded with reprisals.

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5:04am

Fri November 30, 2012
Middle East

U.N.'s Palestine Vote: Symbolic Or Game-Changer?

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:41 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And a very different emotion on the West Bank, where Palestinians are reveling today in their new status as a non-member observer state in the United Nations. What that change means depends on who's talking. NPR's Philip Reeves was in the West Bank city of Ramallah, as the vote was announced.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC, CROWD CHATTER)

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7:43am

Thu November 29, 2012
Middle East

Palestinians' Abbas Goes To U.N. Seeking New Status

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:38 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

The United States is strongly against it. So even more strongly is Israel, but this will not deter the Palestinians from going to the United Nations today to secure a vote formally upgrading Palestine's U.N. status. There's little doubt the vote will pass easily, securing what the Palestinian leadership considers a significant diplomatic victory.

NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

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4:13pm

Fri November 23, 2012
Middle East

Fragile Israel-Hamas Cease-Fire Holds

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 10:06 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The cease-fire between Israel and Hamas is only two days old, and already both sides claim it's been violated. At issue are the circumstances surrounding the killing today of a Palestinian by the Israeli military. NPR's Philip Reeves reports from Gaza City.

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2:44pm

Tue November 13, 2012
World

Pakistan Fears Afghan Spillover Of Chaos, Refugees

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 8:21 pm

An Afghan refugee girl walks back to her home in a slum on the outskirts of the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, in August. She is one of an estimated 1.7 million mostly Afghan refugees in Pakistan.
Muhammed Muheisen AP

Burhan Khan can't remember exactly when he fled from Afghanistan to Pakistan. He thinks it was about 30 years ago.

"Because there was war. There was killing, there was murdering, there was firing, and they wanted to kill me, and they wanted to kill my children, so I had to come here," he says.

It was the final phase of the Cold War, and CIA-armed Afghan guerrillas were fighting to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan.

Khan and his family wound up where they are today, in a mud hovel on a patch of wasteland outside Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.

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11:18am

Sat October 27, 2012
World

Reporter's Notebook: Celebrating In Pakistan

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Muslims around the world are celebrating the holy festival of Eid this weekend. That includes almost all of the people of Pakistan. NPR's Philip Reeves is in that country, and sent us this postcard.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRAFFIC NOISES)

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4:58am

Tue October 23, 2012
Asia

Malala Isn't Alone: Another Pakistani Girl's Dream

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 8:18 pm

Pakistani security personnel stand guard in front of a burnt-out school following an attack by the Pakistani Taliban in the northwestern district of Upper Dir in June 2011. The Taliban have destroyed many schools in northwestern Pakistan.
AFP Getty Images

Stop someone in the street. Ask them about the case of Malala Yousafzai. They will likely know — after the worldwide publicity given to her story — that Malala is the Pakistani teenager who was shot for demanding the right of girls to go to school.

They will surely know, too, that the people who shot Malala in the head from close range were the Pakistani Taliban. They will probably view Malala as the heroine she clearly is. And the Taliban will be seen as the violent fanatics that they surely are.

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2:58pm

Thu October 11, 2012
Asia

A Shooting Foreshadowed By Taliban Threats

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 4:00 pm

Malala Yousafzai is treated in a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, after she was shot on Tuesday.
ISPR EPA/Landov

A 15-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl remains in critical condition after being shot in the head for defying the Taliban and championing the right of girls to go to school. Malala Yousafzai rose to prominence during the recent war in Pakistan's Swat Valley by writing a blog under a pen name. NPR's Philip Reeves reported on that war — and twice met Malala's father. Reeves sent this account of the tough world in which Malala spent her childhood.

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6:50am

Wed October 10, 2012
Asia

Pakistani Girl Activist Wounded In Taliban Attack

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 9:59 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This week has brought one of the most disturbing images to emerge from years of conflict, in Pakistan. A 15-year-old girl lies in a hospital bed, with a bullet wound in her head. This is her punishment. She had the courage to demand the right for girls to get an education, and because she criticized violent Islamist militants who aim to stop girls, like her, from doing that. From Islamabad, NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

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3:07am

Mon October 8, 2012
World

Piecing Together 'The World's Largest Jigsaw Puzzle'

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 4:35 am

Roland Jahn, a former East German dissident, is now Germany's federal commissioner of the Stasi archives. His agency is painstakingly piecing together the shredded documents of the former East German secret police. Jahn is shown here in March 2011 at a former Stasi prison at Berlin-Hohenschoenhausen.
Johannes Eisele AFP/Getty Images

When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, East Germany's secret police, the Stasi, frantically tore up millions of files gathered during decades of spying on its own citizens.

More than two decades later, the vast array of secret papers collected by the Stasi is still in huge demand. So far this year, 70,000 people have applied for access to the Stasi archives.

Many are young Germans — some searching for information about relatives, others just eager to know more about their country's past.

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3:35am

Fri September 21, 2012
Europe

A Stiletto, A Lamppost And The Soul Of Berlin

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 10:09 pm

Berlin's lampposts bristle with fliers and notices, and Berliners read them avidly. For one resident, the lamps were a natural place to turn when she lost a beloved shoe.
Esme Nicholson NPR

Something horrible has happened in Berlin.

You won't see it on TV or in the newspaper, but I know about it. So do my neighbors.

That's because there's a lamppost on our street, festooned with a note that reads, "A HORRIBLE ACCIDENT HAS HAPPENED." And naturally, once you see a note like that, you have to find out more.

As it turns out, the note was written by 29-year-old Maira Becke. But before I reveal her calamity, I must first explain the significance of lamp posts here in Berlin.

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5:02pm

Wed September 12, 2012
Europe

Germany Clears Next Big Step For Eurozone Recovery

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 5:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Europe's debt crisis has caused havoc, toppling governments, breaking banks, leaving a multitude of young people without jobs. Now there's a glimmer of hope.

As NPR's Philip Reeves reports, today, Germany's highest court cleared the way for the next big step in the eurozone's grand plan to save itself.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Foreign language spoken)

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3:33pm

Mon August 13, 2012
The Torch

Winners And Losers From London's Summer Olympics, 'The Crying Games'

Sir Chris Hoy of Great Britain cries as he celebrates winning the men's keirin track cycling final. In shedding Olympic tears, Hoy was far from alone in Britain.
Pascal Le Segretain Getty Images

The London 2012 Olympics were billed as the Social Games, with Twitter, Facebook and other services making it an immersive experience. But it might be remembered as "The Crying Games," for the swelling of emotions many Britons experienced. We run down some of the Olympics' winners and losers:

The Losers

The Stiff Upper Lip

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7:32am

Sat August 4, 2012
Europe

Olympics Sets Off British Tears

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 11:43 am

Transcript

SUSAN STAMBERG, HOST:

You find out so much about a country, you know, when it's hosting the Olympics. It's almost as if the games lay bare a nation's soul. NPR's Philip Reeves says that is what's happening in Britain. He's finding the experience unnerving, as he explains, in this letter from the Olympics.

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10:54am

Fri August 3, 2012
The Torch

Olympics Energize Britain's Patriots, Even (Perhaps) In Scotland

Great Britain, By Jingo!: Fans cheer Team GB at a rowing event in Windsor, England.
Quinn Rooney Getty Images

Any claim the British have to their fabled "stiff upper lip" is being destroyed by these Olympic Games. The Brits' lips are wobbling like jellies; their tears are flowing faster than the summer rain; their crowds are cheering themselves hoarse.

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10:13am

Thu August 2, 2012
The Torch

Boris Gets Left Hanging, But The Joke's Rarely On London's Savvy Mayor

A still image taken from an eyewitness video shows London's Mayor Boris Johnson hanging from a zipline, after losing his momentum.
YouTube

Some Londoners may not be much interested in sports - but one image from these Olympic Games will surely remain with them, long after the cheers and crowds have faded away. It is the spectacle of their mayor, Boris Johnson, brandishing a Union flag in either hand, dangling helplessly from a zip wire 20 feet above the ground.

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