Frank Langfitt

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It's a hard time to be a musician because of the pandemic. Now the U.K. has been cutting support to freelancers, a term that takes in a lot of musicians, who have protested as only they can. NPR's Frank Langfitt was there.

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How did a police killing in Minneapolis lead people thousands of miles away in England to pull down the statue of a 17th century slave trader?

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST AMBIENCE)

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After a quiet summer where life largely returned to normal, England now faces new restrictions designed to slow the spread of COVID-19.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in the House of Commons on Tuesday morning that pubs, bars and restaurants in England must close at 10 p.m. He also encouraged people who are able to work from home to do so, reversing a previous government position.

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Tomorrow night, people will sing this patriotic anthem, as they have for years, at the final evening of the Proms, a classical music festival in London.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RULE, BRITANNIA!")

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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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U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Robert Wood "Woody" Johnson IV told embassy staff in 2018 that his friend, President Trump, asked him to help get the British Open golf tournament held at one of the Trump family's golf resorts in Scotland.

U.S. Embassy staff have separately complained that Johnson made racist and sexist comments on the job.

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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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Across England today, thousands of pubs are reopening as the United Kingdom continues to emerge from the coronavirus lockdown.

UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: (Unintelligible).

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: Cheers. Cheers.

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Images of U.S. police shoving peaceful protesters have made an impression on people around the world. In London, as NPR's Frank Langfitt reports, many don't like what they've seen.

(SOUND OF CARS HONKING)

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

The widespread protests that began in the United States are now reverberating through Europe, leading to the removal of two statues in the United Kingdom and one in Belgium with racist, colonial legacies.

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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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And now let's go to London's Hyde Park, where thousands of people today have turned out for a rally in solidarity with the protests in America.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER: Say his name.

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About 1 in 5 adults in England believe the coronavirus is to some extent a hoax, according to research on conspiracy theories by the University of Oxford.

In addition, researchers found nearly 3 out of 5 adults in England believe the government is misleading them to some extent about the cause of the virus, and nearly 1 in 10 strongly agree that China developed the coronavirus to destroy the West — which is utterly false.

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