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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Remembrances
7:03 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Margaret Thatcher's Life And Legacy In Britain

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 8:09 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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Music News
3:02 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Rolling Stones To Return To Hyde Park After 44 Years

Standing before a crowd 250,000 strong, Mick Jagger opened The Rolling Stones' 1969 concert at London's Hyde Park by reading a Percy Bysshe Shelley poem in tribute to late guitarist Brian Jones.
Chris Walter WireImage

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 7:05 am

This July, The Rolling Stones will play London's Hyde Park for the first time in 44 years. The band's last concert there — July 5, 1969 — turned out to be a defining moment in musical history, which those who were there will never forget. Mick Jagger hasn't.

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Europe
2:42 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Exiled Russian Oligarch's Death Launches British Probe

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 6:34 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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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Fri March 22, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 11:05 am

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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The Papal Succession
3:39 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Far Before Pope Francis, Jesuits Were Repressed By Some Roman Catholic Leaders

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 3:32 pm

Pope Francis' status as the first Jesuit marks a momentous milestone in history. Relations between Jesuits and the Vatican have seen deep crises in the 479 years since the order was founded as humble missionaries.

Their growing power and monopoly over education generated suspicion and hostility around Europe.

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Religion
2:55 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

First Day Of Catholic Cardinals' Conclave Rich In Ceremony

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 4:42 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

As night fell over Rome, thick black smoke drifted from the chimney on top of the Sistine Chapel. That means no new pope yet. Clearly, no candidate secured enough votes in the first ballot. That smoke signal completed a day that, as NPR's Philip Reeves reports, was rich in ceremony.

PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: The process of electing a pope is officially now under way.

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The Two-Way
5:37 am
Mon March 11, 2013

A Rough Guide To The Papal Conclave

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

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 6:34 pm

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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Religion
1:24 am
Tue February 26, 2013

The Hermit Pope Who Set The Precedent For Benedict XVI

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 7:15 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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Religion
3:01 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Senior Catholic Cleric Resigns After Allegations Of 'Inappropriate' Behavior

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 5:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

It was yet another turbulent day for the Vatican as Great Britain's most senior Roman Catholic cleric announced his resignation. That means he will not be taking part in the election of a new pope. Cardinal Keith O'Brien has been accused of behaving inappropriately toward several priests. His immediate departure comes as the pope himself prepares to retire. Benedict XVI stands down Thursday.

We're joined from London by NPR's Philip Reeves. Hi there, Philip.

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Pop Culture
3:24 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Celebrated British Writer Derides Kate Middleton As 'Shop-Window Mannequin'

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 4:42 pm

One of Britain's most celebrated authors has launched a withering attack on the Duchess of Cambridge, the pregnant wife of Prince William, branding her a "shop-window mannequin" with a plastic smile whose only role in life is to breed. Prime Minister David Cameron described award-winning writer Hilary Mantel as "misguided" after she likened the former Kate Middleton to a "machine made" doll, devoid of personality.

The Salt
5:47 am
Sat February 9, 2013

British Outrage Grows As Horsemeat Pops Up In More Foods

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

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 6:42 am

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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Europe
3:36 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Irish Government Confined Young Women In Workhouses

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 6:35 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Investigators in Ireland have been pursuing an excruciating question: It is how women came to be stuck in a modern day workhouse. That's a kind of forced labor camp we associate with some earlier age, yet these Irish facilities persisted almost until the end of the 20th century.

NPR's Philip Reeves reports on what an investigative panel calls secrecy, silence and shame.

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History
3:55 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Archaeologists Confirm Parking Lot Remains Are King Richard III

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 8:29 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

A few months ago, the British were told that a royal skeleton might have been located under what the Brits call a car park. And they were told the remains might belong to the 15th century King Richard III. Many were skeptical, but now they can believe it. Today, experts confirmed that the bones belong to Richard III, a monarch immortalized by William Shakespeare.

NPR's Philip Reeves tells us more.

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Africa
1:41 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Nightmare Details Emerge After Siege Ends In Algeria

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 8:01 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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Europe
3:11 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Police: Rush Hour Helicopter Crash In London Could Have Been Much Worse

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 5:16 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Investigators are trying to figure out why a helicopter crashed in Central London today. Two people were killed including the pilot. Yet the death toll could have been much, much worse. As NPR's Philip Reeves reports, the aircraft came down in the heart of the British capital during rush hour.

(SOUNDBITE OF SIRENS WAILING)

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Europe
2:38 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Police: BBC Entertainer Jimmy Savile Committed More Than 200 Sex Crimes

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 7:56 pm

A British police report released Friday found the late entertainer Jimmy Savile committed more than 200 sex crimes, "unprecedented in the UK." The report summarized a three-month investigation into charges against Savile, who died in 2011.

Europe
3:08 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

A Dash Of Olive Oil May Preserve British Cathedral

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

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 4:24 am

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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Middle East
1:58 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

On Multiple Fronts, Russian Jews Reshape Israel

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

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

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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Europe
4:25 am
Mon December 24, 2012

In Cornwall, Lisa Simpson Rivals Queen Elizabeth

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 4:41 am

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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Media
2:42 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

More Allegations Emerge Against BBC In Jimmy Savile Scandal

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 3:43 pm

A celebrity who was a serial rapist and molester operated at the BBC for years, was revered, and knighted. After he died, the BBC bungled its own efforts to investigate and expose him.

Middle East
2:24 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Hamas Leader Visits Gaza Strip Fro The First Time

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 7:14 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We go overseas now to the Gaza Strip, where the leader of Hamas visited today for the first time. Palestinians are still cleaning up after last month's ferocious week-long fight with Israel. Khaled Mashaal's visit to the Hamas-ruled strip is being seen as both symbolic and politically significant. NPR's Philip Reeves is in Gaza and reports the Hamas leader got a hero's welcome.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Foreign language spoken)

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Middle East
2:57 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Israeli Settlement Plan

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:19 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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Middle East
3:04 am
Fri November 30, 2012

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

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:41 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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Middle East
5:43 am
Thu November 29, 2012

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

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:38 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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Middle East
2:41 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

What Will It Take To Make The Gaza Cease-Fire Hold?

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:38 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now to the fragile truce between Israel and Hamas. The fighting may have stopped but a lot of work needs to be done for the cease-fire to last. In Cairo, talks are underway mediated by Egypt, on key issues such as easing the blockade of Gaza.

NPR's Philip Reeves reports those talks are being followed closely by people on land and sea.

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Middle East
3:16 am
Mon November 26, 2012

The Role Of Gaza's Children In Hamas-Fatah Rivalry

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:34 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And now let's move a little bit to the east. The ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip seems to be holding for now, which means both sides can turn their attention to the most innocent victims of the conflict: children. A lot of psychological damage gets done to small children when missiles and rockets fly. And in Gaza, they also suffered a big physical toll. Palestinian officials say at least 40 children were killed, and 10 times that number were injured.

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Middle East
3:20 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Israelis Have Mixed Reaction To Cease-Fire

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 8:00 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. After more than a week of fighting and at least 145 dead, Israel and Hamas agreed today to a cease fire. The Egyptian government took the lead in negotiating that agreement with help from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

SIEGEL: Clinton held talks today not only in Cairo, but also in Jerusalem and Ramallah. And she said the cease fire was just the start of the process.

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Health Care
2:57 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

Woman Who Was Denied Abortion Dies In Ireland

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 9:55 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We turn now to Ireland and a controversy over a young Indian woman there, who died after being refused an abortion in a hospital.

As NPR's Philip Reeves reports, her case is reigniting debate over the near total ban on abortions in Ireland.

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World
12:44 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Pakistan Fears Afghan Spillover Of Chaos, Refugees

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

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 6:21 pm

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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Religion
3:09 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Church Of England Names New Top Cleric

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 10:17 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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