Frank Langfitt

Frank Langfitt is NPR's London correspondent. He covers the UK and Ireland, as well as stories elsewhere in Europe.

Langfitt arrived in London in June, 2016. A week later, the UK voted for Brexit. He's been busy ever since, covering the political battles over just how the United Kingdom will leave the European Union. Langfitt also frequently appears on the BBC, where he tries to explain American politics, which is not easy.

Previously, Langfitt spent five years as an NPR correspondent covering China. Based in Shanghai, he drove a free taxi around the city for a series on a changing China as seen through the eyes of ordinary people. As part of the series, Langfitt drove passengers back to the countryside for Chinese New Year and served as a wedding chauffeur. He has expanded his reporting into a book, The Shanghai Free Taxi: Journeys with the Hustlers and Rebels of the New China (Public Affairs, Hachette), which is out in June 2019.

While in China, Langfitt also reported on the government's infamous black jails — secret detention centers — as well as his own travails taking China's driver's test, which he failed three times.

Before moving to Shanghai, Langfitt was NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi. He reported from Sudan, covered the civil war in Somalia, and interviewed imprisoned Somali pirates, who insisted they were just misunderstood fishermen. During the Arab Spring, Langfitt covered the uprising and crushing of the reform movement in Bahrain.

Prior to Africa, Langfitt was NPR's labor correspondent based in Washington, DC. He covered the 2008 financial crisis, the bankruptcy of General Motors and Chrysler, and coal mine disasters in West Virginia.

In 2008, Langfitt also covered the Beijing Olympics as a member of NPR's team, which won an Edward R. Murrow Award for sports reporting. Langfitt's print and visual journalism have also been honored by the Overseas Press Association and the White House News Photographers Association.

Before coming to NPR, Langfitt spent five years as a correspondent in Beijing for The Baltimore Sun, covering a swath of Asia from East Timor to the Khyber Pass.

Langfitt spent his early years in journalism stringing for the Philadelphia Inquirer and living in Hazard, Kentucky, where he covered the state's Appalachian coalfields for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Prior to becoming a reporter, Langfitt dug latrines in Mexico and drove a taxi in his hometown of Philadelphia. Langfitt is a graduate of Princeton and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard.

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The United Kingdom is America's closest ally. The countries have fought wars together and helped build the liberal international order. But now America's old friend is at increasing risk of breaking apart.

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American tourists who have been fully vaccinated will be allowed to visit the European Union this summer, according to officials in Brussels.

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, said she expects all 27 EU member states will accept travelers who've received COVID-19 vaccines that the European Medicines Agency has approved. That would include the three vaccines that have been authorized for use in the United States — Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer-BioNTech.

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Whisky is one of Scotland's greatest exports, but the pandemic and a trade dispute with the U.S. over airplanes are affecting that. NPR's Frank Langfitt went to the Scottish Highlands.

(SOUNDBITE OF WATER FLOWING)

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The model train company Hornby has seen a big increase of sales because families are spending more time at home. Prior to the pandemic, it was described as a "company in chaos."

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The pandemic has damaged countless businesses, but in the U.K...

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This is a notable day in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. This morning, the U.K. government started giving people the new COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer.

NPR London correspondent Frank Langfitt is on the line. What's happening there, Frank?

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We travel next to England, where millions of students try to return to classrooms this week, months after the pandemic shut schools down. Shifting messages from the British government has left many confused. NPR's Frank Langfitt reports.

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The British government will spend nearly $2 billion to help rescue the nation's theater, museum and arts sectors. Sunday's announcement came as more than 1,000 theaters remain shuttered across the country because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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The death of George Floyd and the protests here in the United States continue to reverberate around the world.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

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With pubs shuttered across the United Kingdom, a brewery in the northeast of England is giving away free beer on Fridays. In return, it's asking recipients to donate to the country's health care workers.

When the British government announced a lockdown in late March, the country's tens of thousands of pubs were forced to shut down, leaving Northumberland's Alnwick Brewery Company with 80 casks of ale, stout and IPA it had brewed for the Easter holiday.

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is ending his sick leave. He's back at work at No. 10 Downing Street in London after three weeks away with COVID-19, including time in intensive care. Johnson is urging his fellow citizens to continue a lockdown.

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Authorities around the world have issued their own guidelines and rules designed to contain the spread of the coronavirus. And as they've sought to enforce these rules, some efforts have sparked backlash and concerns about privacy.

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Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus. Here he is.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Some other news now - Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, tested positive for coronavirus; the prince's royal office says so. NPR's Frank Langfitt is on the line from London. Hi there, Frank.

FRANK LANGFITT, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

Eric Tucker's paintings have an effect on people. You can see it in their expressions as they stroll through a new exhibition, Eric Tucker: The Unseen Artist, at the Warrington Museum and Art Gallery.

"Happy. Really happy," says Chris Bury. "He's got the character straightaway."

"I'm wandering round here with a smile on me face because I just think they're wonderful," says Phil Lord. And Colin Okell adds, "A lot of them depict a society that's gone."

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