High Plains Public Radio

Frank Langfitt

Frank Langfitt is NPR's London correspondent. He covers the UK and Ireland, as well as stories elsewhere in Europe. 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 also helped a Chinese-American NPR listener hunt for her missing sister in the mountains of Yunnan province.

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, D.C. He covered the 2008 financial crisis, the bankruptcy of General Motors and Chrysler and coalmine 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 home town of Philadelphia. Langfitt is a graduate of Princeton and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: This year, millions of people from northern England to American Midwest voted against globalization, but as the English city of Sunderland recently experienced, voting against free trade comes with risks. After Sunderland went for Brexit last summer, the city's biggest private employer, Nissan, threatened to stop investing there. NPR's Frank Langfitt has the story. FRANK LANGFITT, BYLINE: This was the scene in...

Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET In a break with diplomatic protocol, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has recommended that pro-Brexit politician Nigel Farage become the United Kingdom's ambassador in Washington, D.C. In a tweet Monday night, Trump said: "Many people would like to see @Nigel_Farage represent Great Britain as their Ambassador to the United States. He would do a great job!" The U.K. prime minister's office rejected the idea, pointing out that it already has an ambassador to the U.S.,...

On Monday in North Carolina, Donald Trump promised to pull off a "Brexit, Plus, Plus, Plus." He was referring to the surprise vote in June by people in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. Given the polls at the time in the U.S., pollsters in London saw that boast as a stretch — but early Wednesday morning, Trump delivered on that pledge. At the election party Tuesday night at the U.S. Embassy in London, most Britons were shocked by how well Trump was doing. Munching on burgers and...

Speaking in North Carolina on the final day of the presidential campaign, Republican nominee Donald Trump urged voters to go to the polls and deliver an Election Day upset. "It's going to be Brexit plus, plus, plus," he said Monday, referring to the surprise victory in last June's referendum in which the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Trump has drawn parallels between the U.K.'s landmark vote to split with the EU and the success of his unconventional, anti-establishment run...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: In this wildly unpredictable political year, here's another surprise - this one in Great Britain. There, a court ruled this morning that the government cannot begin the process of leaving the European Union, what's known as Brexit, without the approval of Parliament. To help make sense of this, we're going now to London and NPR's Frank Langfitt. Good morning. FRANK LANGFITT, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee. MONTAGNE...

Angela Gui is sitting on the floor of her living room, stuffing clothes into a suitcase. Amid her master's degree studies and a part-time job helping one of her professors at the University of Warwick in the English Midlands, the history student has carved out a few days to spend in Geneva for human rights training. "I think that's going to be really useful, because this is something I've been thrown into without any prior experience," says Gui, a soft-spoken 22-year-old who grew up in Sweden...

Daniel Brewer arrived in London on Sunday morning wearing a Jacksonville Jaguars onesie and face paint, complete with black whiskers, brown spots and a blue nose. He had come with fellow fans from the English city of Reading to cheer on the Jags as they took on the Indianapolis Colts beneath sunny skies at Wembley Stadium. "None of us naturally are Jags fans," Brewer confided. "We all have our own roots, but because they signed a contract, they've got our hearts." The Jags have signed to play...

Light streams in through the bay window of Mike Nelson's home in London's Chelsea neighborhood as he pitches it like a polished salesman. "It's a fantastic, six-bedroom house" says Nelson of his row home, which sits on a quiet street, lined with Japanese cherry trees in a section of town between Kensington Palace and the Thames. "It's got 3,100 square feet. It's over five stories and has a very nice, western-facing back garden and a roof terrace at the top." There's even a gray, marble...

The British pub is as much a part of the fabric of the United Kingdom as fish and chips and the queen, but each year hundreds close their doors for good. The reasons include the high price of beer, more people drinking at home and rising land prices. Now — in an apparent first — the London borough of Wandsworth has designated 120 pubs for protection , requiring owners who want to transform them into apartments or supermarkets to get local government approval first. Chris Cox has been watching...

The United Kingdom's planned split from the European Union is expected to take years, but it's already creating uncertainty for multinational companies operating in the U.K., including many American firms. Brexit also poses challenges to the U.S. government, as Washington ponders a future in which a key ally has less influence in Europe and likely becomes less relevant on the global stage. Even before the June referendum, American and other financial firms were looking beyond the City of...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: Ireland has been ordered by the EU to claw back a staggering $14.5 billion in what the European Commission deems unpaid taxes from Apple. Ireland has lured in multinationals like Apple with rock-bottom tax rates. Today, European regulators said the deal it gave Apple was illegal. Both the U.S. and Irish governments oppose that ruling. On the line to help explain all of this is NPR's Frank Langfitt in London....

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: And the world's oldest subway system, London's Tube, is running around the clock for the first time. UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: Please mind the gap between the train and the platform. MONTAGNE: On Friday and Saturday night, two much-used lines, the Central and Victoria, ran all night, ferrying tens of thousands of partiers and night-shift workers home. Officials have expanded the train schedule on weekends, called...

London police have arrested a man on suspicion of murder after they say he knifed a woman to death and injured five other people in central London overnight. The woman who was killed was an American citizen, and the injured include American, Australian, Israeli and British citizens, the BBC's Russell Newlove reports. Police don't believe that the nationalities of the victims motivated the attack. Police say the initial investigation suggests mental health was a significant factor in the...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR .

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

When Maggie Ranage woke up to the results of last month's vote to leave the European Union, she couldn't believe it. "I just thought, 'Are they nuts? This is bonkers!' " says the Scot, who teaches art and English as a second language at the University of Glasgow. In 2014, during Scotland's independence referendum, Ranage voted to remain in the U.K. She thought Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland would be "better together," as a campaign slogan at the time promised. But the Brexit...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

When American Erik Bidenkap arrived in London from the U.S. six weeks ago, he thought he was leaving behind the toxic politics of the U.S. presidential race. Bidenkap said he was hoping for a more intellectual, perhaps even philosophical, discussion of the question U.K. citizens will decide Thursday: whether to leave the European Union. "I expected there would be more civility, politeness, I guess," Bidenkap said over pints at a pub near his apartment in London's Notting Hill section. "I...

Tony Thompson hopes the United Kingdom votes on Thursday to leave the European Union. Standing in a green smock behind his meat counter in the town of Romford, a short train ride from central London, the 58-year-old butcher explains why in four words. "Got to stop immigration," says Thompson. "It's only an island. You can only get so many people on an island, can't you?" Thompson says immigration has cost him. He had a butcher shop in London's famed East End, but over time, his white, British...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR .

One recent afternoon, I was walking up Nanjing West Road, Shanghai's traditional shopping street, when I ran into a crowd of protesters being chased off by a plainclothes cop wielding a bullhorn and a line of uniformed police. Demonstrations like this in the heart of the city are rare and sensitive for the government, which fears political unrest as China's economic growth continues to slow. I asked a fleeing protester what had happened. "Don't walk alongside me," pleaded the woman, named...

It's 9:30 on a Thursday night and Chinese and foreign jazz fans descend on the JZ Club in Shanghai's former French Concession. Glasses clink and the splashing sound of cymbals ripple through a cabaret setting bathed in soft red light. Andrew Field, an American historian, says clubs like JZ represent a return to Shanghai's cosmopolitan past. "You will see Chinese musicians playing with Western musicians or African musicians," says Field, who works at nearby Duke Kunshan University. "Jazz...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: China used to have a booming economy. Now money is rushing out of that country. Last year, Chinese people and businesses sent an estimated $1 trillion overseas, and that's forced China's government to spend a fortune, trying to prop up the value of the currency, the renminbi. What's happening? What does it mean for the rest of us? NPR's Frank Langfitt is on the line from Shanghai to help explain. Good...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID GREENE, HOST: Now to a story in Asia that we're following closely this morning - China has deployed advanced surface-to-air missiles on a disputed island in the South China Sea. That has been confirmed for the first time by the Pentagon and also Taiwan's military. The U.S. Admiral in charge of the Pacific is calling this move a, quote, "clear indication of militarization." Let's turn to NPR's Frank Langfitt, who's...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3Iy-PKwwlA Men driving mountains of Styrofoam on the back of three-wheeled, motorized scooters are a common sight in Shanghai, but the one captured on this video is the biggest I or any of my friends have ever seen. He must be on his way to a recycling transfer station to sell his haul. How he manages to make that right turn without any apparent peripheral vision is yet another miracle of Shanghai's chaotic traffic. I've tried to interview Styrofoam men in the...

Grave robbers in central China pilfered a cemetery in Henan province last week, stole ashes from several grave sites and held them hostage. The robbers ripped open tombs at the Hongshan Cemetery in Xinyan City, according to the news website ifeng.com , where they spirited away ash-filled urns and left notes with phone numbers. A woman calling herself only "Mrs. Liu," came to visit the tomb of her husband to find his ashes missing. When she called one of the numbers written on the notes left...

In a landmark moment, the presidents of China and Taiwan held an 80-second handshake ahead of a historic meeting in Singapore on Saturday. The handshake marked the first time that the two sides of the Chinese Civil War have come together since the Communists won the war in 1949, forcing the losing Nationalists to begin running their government from Taipei. "History has left us with many problems which we need to deal with practically," Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou said following the hour...

When you drive the new expressway to the airport in the Chinese city of Luliang, you are as likely to come across a stray dog as another vehicle. When I recently drove it, a farmer was riding in a three-wheel flatbed truck and heading in the wrong direction. But it didn't matter. There was no oncoming traffic. That's because the city's $160 million airport, which opened in 2014, gets at most five flights a day and as few as three. Officials began building the airport when this coal town was...

Pages