Scott Neuman

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.

He brings to NPR years of experience as a journalist at a variety of news organizations based all over the world. He came to NPR from The Associated Press in Bangkok, Thailand, where he worked as an editor on the news agency's Asia Desk. Prior to that, Neuman worked in Hong Kong with The Wall Street Journal, where among other things he reported extensively from Pakistan in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He also spent time with the AP in New York, and in India as a bureau chief for United Press International.

A native Hoosier, Neuman's roots in public radio (and the Midwest) run deep. He started his career at member station WBNI in Fort Wayne, and worked later in Illinois for WNIU/WNIJ in DeKalb/Rockford and WILL in Champaign-Urbana.

Neuman is a graduate of Purdue University. He lives with his wife, Noi, on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.

Updated April 15, 2021 at 5:40 PM ET

President Biden is ordering a new round of economic sanctions on Russia — a response in part to Moscow's election meddling and a Kremlin-linked computer breach that penetrated numerous U.S. government networks.

Biden said Thursday that the United States isn't pushing for "a cycle of escalation and conflict" with Russia, but instead for both nations to manage tensions and work together when needed.

Updated April 13, 2021 at 2:11 PM ET

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday they are recommending a "pause" in the use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine out of an "abundance of caution" while a review of reports of rare, potentially dangerous blood clots is conducted.

A more easily spread coronavirus variant first identified in England last year has now become the dominant strain in the U.S., the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

The variant, known as B.1.1.7, spread quickly across the United Kingdom and Ireland beginning last fall, with the more infectious version of the coronavirus thwarting restrictions and lockdowns that had earlier helped keep the original strain in check.

Voters in Greenland have given an opposition party its first-ever chance to form a government after a campaign that sought to define the limits of development on the Arctic island.

The Inuit Ataqatigiit party won 37% of the vote, compared with 29% for the ruling social-democratic Siumut party, according to official results reported by Reuters. The vote totals should allow Inuit Ataqatigiit to grab 12 seats in the 31-member unicameral legislature, known as the Inatsisartut, meaning it will likely need to form a coalition with support from one of the smaller parties.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta are among about two dozen world leaders who have signed onto a letter calling for an international agreement to "dispel the temptations of isolationism and nationalism" as part of an effort to prepare for future pandemics.

However, given a lack of international coordination that has beset the current coronavirus pandemic and an ongoing tussle over vaccine deliveries to combat COVID-19, whether such a treaty could be reached or adhered to is an open question.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday announced an intensified coronavirus lockdown going into Easter, warning that new mutations raised the specter of a potentially deadly "third wave" of COVID-19 as Europe struggles in its vaccination campaign.

Speaking early Tuesday, Merkel said restrictions would be extended until April 18. She called on citizens to stay home and for shops to close for five days over the Easter holiday.

Residents of Beijing woke up to a choking orange hue in the air on Monday as strong winds whipped up dust from the Gobi Desert and deposited it across northern China. The country's weather bureau is calling it the worst such sandstorm in a decade.

In Beijing, morning commuters navigated cars and motorbikes through the haze, which NPR's Emily Feng describes as "Mars-like."

The thick cloud of dust also caused more than 400 flights at the capital's two main airports to be canceled, The Associated Press reports.

Chinese pharmaceutical makers are seeking market approval from Beijing for two new coronavirus vaccines – one that has shown 72% efficacy and another 69% efficacy in human Phase III trials.

The separate announcements on Wednesday come from Sinopharm for its second vaccine after the state-run company's first was approved for distribution in December, and from CanSino Biologics, Inc. (CanSinoBIO), for its first vaccine.

Updated at 7:06 p.m. ET

The Trump administration has cleared the way to open the country's largest national forest to more development and logging.

In a revised environmental impact study made public on Friday, the Department of Agriculture recommends granting a "full exemption" for the Tongass National Forest, which covers some 25,000 square miles in southeastern Alaska.

California will phase out the sale of all gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035 in a bid to lead the U.S. in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging the state's drivers to switch to electric cars.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Wednesday that amounts to the most aggressive clean-car policy in the United States. Although it bans the sale of new gas cars and trucks after the 15-year deadline, it will still allow such vehicles to be owned and sold on the used-car market.

Hurricane Laura, which hit the coast of Louisiana early Thursday as a Category 4 storm packing winds of 150 mph, is one of the most powerful storms in decades to hit the area.

How does it compare to other Gulf Coast hurricanes? That depends on how you define the question and how far back you go. Using 1900 as a starting point, here's a look at some of the most intense and destructive hurricanes in the last 120 years.

Most intense

The Dakota Access Pipeline may continue to pump crude oil through South Dakota after a federal appellate court on Tuesday temporarily blocked a shutdown ordered by a lower court that was to begin next month.

The word "slur" has a number of meanings in English, but the one that has concerned Scrabble aficionados and Hasbro, which owns the U.S. and Canadian trademark for the popular board game, means "a derogatory or insulting term applied to particular group of people."

On Wednesday, the North American Scrabble Players Association announced that derogatory language would be removed from the game's official word list.

Actor Tom Hanks announced on social media Thursday that he and his wife, fellow actor Rita Wilson, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus that has infected tens of thousands worldwide since December.

On Instagram and in a tweet on Thursday local time, Hanks, who is in Australia for preproduction on an as-yet untitled film about Elvis Presley, said he and Wilson "felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches."

Updated at 8:57 a.m. ET

Afghan forces, the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan and the Taliban militia will begin a seven-day "reduction in violence" across the country beginning Saturday midnight local time (2:30 p.m. ET Friday) — a possible prelude to a broader peace deal following two decades of war, according to U.S. and Afghan officials.

The quasi cease-fire was hammered out during protracted negotiations in Qatar that began in 2018. It could ultimately lead to a significant reduction of the approximately 12,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Updated at 9:45 a.m. ET

At least 10 people were killed by a gunman in western Germany late Wednesday at several locations, including two hookah lounges frequented by ethnic Kurdish customers. The suspected shooter, who was later found dead, left a letter and video claiming responsibility, according to multiple German news agencies.

The suspect had reportedly posted materials online that were vehemently anti-immigrant, prompting federal prosecutors to take over the case.

Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET

The Environmental Protection Agency is dramatically reducing the amount of U.S. waterways that get federal protection under the Clean Water Act — a move that is welcomed by many farmers, builders and mining companies but is opposed even by the agency's own science advisers.

The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences has placed its president and CEO, Deborah Dugan, on administrative leave in a major shakeup at the organization less than two weeks before this year's Grammy Awards ceremony.

A statement released by the Recording Academy's board of trustees referred to "a formal allegation of misconduct by a senior female member of the Recording Academy team" and said it had placed Dugan "on administrative leave, effective immediately."

A volcano south of the Philippine capital has sent a massive plume of ash and steam spewing miles into the sky and pushed red-hot lava out of its crater, prompting the evacuation of thousands of people and the closure of Manila's airport.

In a matter of hours on Sunday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised the alert level for Taal Volcano to Level 4 from Level 1 — with Level 5 being the highest. It warned that a larger "explosive eruption" could occur within hours or days.

Buck Henry, who co-wrote the screenplay for the classic 1967 film The Graduate, co-directed 1978's Heaven Can Wait, and made regular appearances as a guest host on Saturday Night Live in the show's early years, has died. He was 89.

Henry died Wednesday in Los Angeles following a heart attack. Reports of his death were confirmed to NPR by a longtime friend.

Iran's U.N. ambassador tells NPR that Tehran has no plans to step up a confrontation with the U.S. after it fired missiles at U.S. military bases in Iraq in "a measured, proportionate response" to the assassination of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

However, Majid Takht Ravanchi, speaking to Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep, says Iran is prepared for further action if the U.S. renews its aggression. He also denied the Trump administration's assertion that Soleimani, the commander of Iran's Quds Force, had been plotting an attack on U.S. persons or interests.

Actor and comedian John Witherspoon, whose first roles were on 1970s TV shows such as Barnaby Jones and The Richard Pryor Show but who was best known for his role as the crotchety dad in the Friday films, has died at 77.

Witherspoon's family confirmed his death in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Rip Taylor, the comedian who became a fixture of 1970s game shows with his outrageous antics, flamboyant style and signature confetti-throwing, has died at age 88.

His publicist, Harlan Boll, confirmed Taylor died Sunday in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Taylor's career spanned more than 40 years and encompassed Broadway, Las Vegas, film and television.

Born Charles Taylor in Washington, D.C., he got his start as a stand-up comic playing clubs in the Catskills after he'd served in the Army during the Korean War.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

Millions of young people raised their voices at protests around the world Friday in a massive display meant to demand urgent action on climate change. Scores of students missed school to take part, some joined by teachers and parents.

Some of the first rallies began in Australia, and then spread from Pacific islands to India and Turkey and across Europe, as students kicked off what organizers were calling a Global Climate Strike.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET

President Trump said Wednesday his administration is revoking a waiver that allowed California to set its own standards for automobile emissions — a move that could derail a years-long push to produce more fuel efficient cars.

In a series of tweets Wednesday, Trump said the action will result in vehicles that are safer and cheaper, and that "there will be very little difference in emissions between the California standard and the new U.S. standard."

Veteran journalist Cokie Roberts, who joined an upstart NPR in 1978 and left an indelible imprint on the growing network with her coverage of Washington politics before later going to ABC News, has died. She was 75.

Roberts died Tuesday because of complications from breast cancer, according to a family statement.

KFC is set to serve meatless chicken for the first time — testing the new menu items on Tuesday at a single restaurant in the Atlanta area.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has given the green light for a second time to a $5.5 billion pipeline expansion that has attracted strong opposition from environmentalists and some indigenous groups.

Trudeau, an ardent supporter of green energy, has found himself defending the 620-mile Trans Mountain pipeline expansion since his government first approved it in 2016. The project is meant to bring petroleum from oil sands near Edmonton, Alberta, to tanks in Burnaby near Vancouver on Canada's Pacific Coast.

There are few world leaders past or present we know less about than North Korea's reclusive, nuclear-armed bad boy, Kim Jong Un.

Even Stalin was arguably less opaque. While guarded and secretive, the brutal Soviet strongman was at least recognized as one of Lenin's henchmen before muscling his way to the top.

Pyotr Verzilov, a member of the Russian protest band Pussy Riot who fell seriously ill in Moscow two weeks ago, says he believes he was poisoned by agents working for the Kremlin.

Verzilov, speaking in an interview with the BBC after being released from a hospital in Berlin on Wednesday, blamed Russia's military intelligence service, the GRU, saying: "The poisoning was carried out so professionally that no other conclusion is possible."

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