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.

An effort by China to express solidarity with an Asian neighbor that is also battling the deadly coronavirus pandemic has not gone exactly to plan.

Last week, the Chinese Embassy in Manila posted a music video titled Iisang Dagat, or "One Sea" in Tagalog, the language commonly spoken in the Philippines. The reference is to the South China Sea, which lies between China and the Philippine archipelago.

Japan will begin allowing dentists to take nose and throat swab samples to test patients for the novel coronavirus, according to The Japan Times.

Japan currently conducts about 9,000 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for the virus daily, and the move for dentists with special training to administer the tests is aimed at relieving the burden on doctors and boosting capacity in hopes of reaching Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's goal of 20,000 per day.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added several new symptoms to its existing list of symptoms for COVID-19.

The CDC has long said that fever, cough and shortness of breath are indications that someone might have the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. It has now added six more conditions that may come with the disease: chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell.

After spending weeks recovering from COVID-19, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was back on the job Monday, praising his country for its "grit and guts" in the face of the pandemic, but warning that any letup in efforts to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus risked "a new wave of death and disease."

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says that the island nation has defeated — for the present — the coronavirus as her government announced the lifting of some restrictions imposed to halt the spread of COVID-19.

"There is no widespread undetected community transmission in New Zealand. We have won that battle," Ardern said Monday. "But we must remain vigilant if we are to keep it that way."

Asked whether New Zealand had eliminated COVID-19, Ardern replied: "currently."

Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced Sunday that his country will soon begin the process of reopening its economy after undergoing the longest novel coronavirus lockdown anywhere to date.

In a nationwide television address, Conte said that beginning May 4, Italians would be allowed to use parks, visit relatives and attend funerals as part of a phased plan for lifting restrictions as the daily number of new COVID-19 cases trends downward from a peak of 6,557 on March 21.

As the world's 1.8 billion Muslims begin observing the holy month of Ramadan, traditionally a time of dawn-to-dusk fasting, festivities and communal prayer, an unprecedented global pandemic is changing the celebration this year in equally unprecedented ways.

The U.S. is calling on China to permanently shut down the country's wet markets, where the deadly coronavirus is thought to have first emerged late last year, as Australia urged an international scientific investigation of the health risks associated with them.

Updated at 10:46 a.m. ET

Tornadoes swept through parts of Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana early Wednesday evening, leaving at least six people dead and injuring more than two dozen others in their paths of destruction. The tornadoes were among a series of severe storms that bulldozed a route west to east across the South on Wednesday.

China, in a further bid to keep a backwash of coronavirus infections from its borders, will ban all nonresidents and outside vehicles from residential areas of the city of Harbin, a major industrial entrepôt located near the country's northeast border with Russia.

Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways will lay off dozens of U.S. cabin crew and other staff members in a cost-saving move aimed at shoring up its bottom line as its planes sit idle amid a sharp decrease in demand caused by the coronavirus.

The airline said Friday that it would cut 286 staff jobs located in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

"As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic which has virtually halted global travel, Cathay Pacific has made the difficult decision to close its US cabin crew bases," an airline spokeswoman said.

China has made a huge upward adjustment to its official count of COVID-19 victims in Wuhan — the city where the novel coronavirus was first identified in December — adding nearly 1,300 deaths.

The change comes on the same day that the worldwide number of confirmed infections topped 2 million for the first time since the start of the pandemic, with well over a quarter of those in the U.S. Some 145,000 have died across the globe, with more than 33,000 of the deaths in the U.S.

China's economy contracted by 6.8% in the first three months of 2020 from the same period a year ago — its biggest drop in nearly three decades, as the country's factory output and domestic spending ground to a halt amid the unprecedented shock of the coronavirus pandemic.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics of China on Friday showed that industrial output was down 8.4% from the year before and retail sales fell by a whopping 19% as the country has been on lockdown for weeks in an effort to contain the spread of the virus.

The Dominican Republic, which had been set to go to the polls in a first round of presidential elections in May, will postpone the vote until July due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the country's election commission announced.

After insisting less than a month ago that COVID-19 in Russia was "under control," President Vladimir Putin on Monday squarely acknowledged the opposite, with the largest day-to-day increase in cases to date and the head of the coronavirus task force warning that the country is "nowhere near" peak infections.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday that teams of National Guard personnel were being dispatched to dozens of nursing homes and assisted living facilities where COVID-19 cases have been found to test residents and staff for the virus.

DeSantis said the four-person National Guard "strike teams" have already been sent to 93 such long-term-care facilities, where a total of 962 positive cases have been discovered. But he said he wants to further expand testing.

Some nonessential workers in Spain, one of the countries hardest-hit by the novel coronavirus, will return to work this week as part of an easing of restrictions imposed a month ago in an effort to stem the COVID-19 pandemic.

The move allows some businesses that can't operate remotely, such as construction and manufacturing, to reopen, even as the majority of the country's population remains in a lockdown that began on March 14.

Bars, shops and public spaces are also set to remain closed for at least another two weeks.

China is reporting its highest number of new coronavirus cases in more than five weeks, saying most of them originated abroad.

Officials said Monday that mainland China had 169 new confirmed cases of infection, with 61 of them described as "asymptomatic" COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. The government said 98 of the cases were "imported" by people arriving from abroad. The total figure represents the highest number of new cases since March 6.

Japan's Hokkaido prefecture, which accounted for the country's highest number of coronavirus infections as the pandemic initially swept through Asia, has seen a sudden uptick in cases, causing government officials there to declare a state of emergency less than a month after lifting a similar order.

The governor of Hokkaido, the country's northernmost main island and the largest prefecture by size, made the announcement Sunday following nearly a week of double-digit increases in cases in the prefecture, according to Kyodo news service.

Russian officials on Thursday reported 1,459 new cases of the novel coronavirus in a single day, a record for the country, which has now surpassed 10,000 cases.

The national coronavirus crisis response center said the death toll for the day had risen by 13. In total, 76 people have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, according to official tallies in Russia.

Dozens of inmates at the Monroe Correctional Complex in Washington state have staged a brief protest after several fellow prisoners tested positive for the novel coronavirus in recent days.

In a statement issued late Wednesday, the Department of Corrections Washington State said that around 6 p.m. local time more than 100 men at the prison's minimum-security unit "began engaging in a demonstration in the recreation yard."

The French navy's flagship, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, is returning to home port after dozens of crew members showed signs of COVID-19, the armed services ministry announced Wednesday.

In a statement, the ministry said "around forty sailors are today under close medical observation. They are showing symptoms consistent with possible COVID-19 infection."

"The first cases showed symptoms recently," the ministry said. "There are no signs of aggravated cases among the patients."

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent a second night in intensive care at a hospital in London, where he is being treated for COVID-19 after testing positive for the novel coronavirus last month.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, the United Kingdom recorded its highest single-day death toll to date from the disease — 786.

U.K. Cabinet Minister Michael Gove also said Tuesday that he would begin self-isolating after a family member experienced COVID-19 symptoms.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is preparing to declare modern Japan's first-ever state of emergency in response to a sudden increase in novel coronavirus cases in the capital, Tokyo, and several of the country's other major cities.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, citing a sharp rise in domestic violence amid global coronavirus lockdowns, called on governments around the world to make addressing the issue a key part of their response to the pandemic.

Speaking late Sunday, Guterres said "violence is not confined to the battlefield."

"For many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be safest — in their own homes," he said, appealing "for peace at home — and in homes — around the world."

President Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping discussed the global response to the novel coronavirus in a phone call in which the two reportedly discussed easing tensions and pledged cooperation in the fight against the pandemic.

The leaders spoke after an extraordinary virtual G-20 meeting that was necessitated by social distancing protocols put in place to limit the spread of the potentially deadly virus.

South Africa started a three-week nationwide lockdown on Friday as the country reported its first deaths from COVID-19 and the number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus there neared 1,000, the highest on the continent.

At midnight Thursday, police and the military began enforcing an order forbidding all but essential movement. Before the deadline, there were long lines at supermarkets as people stocked up on supplies, according to the BBC.

A federal judge has ordered the release of 10 people held by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in New Jersey county jails where COVID-19 has been confirmed, citing chronic medical conditions of the detainees that make them particularly vulnerable to the disease.

Those ordered freed range in age from 31 to 56 years of age and have medical conditions including diabetes, heart disease and obesity, and some with past histories that include pneumonia and smoking. Five were being held at Bergen County Jail, three at Hudson County Jail and the other two at Essex County Jail.

Nurses and midwives in Australia say they've had to take extraordinary measures to stop people from stealing personal protective equipment, such as sanitizer and masks, and that some of them have even become targets of violence.

In a statement on its website, the New South Wales Nurses & Midwives' Association issued a plea to the community as the number of novel coronavirus cases in the country exceeded 2,800, with eight deaths, as of Thursday morning.

The head of the International Olympic Committee said Wednesday that it will take much effort to get the Tokyo Olympics back on track after a decision this week to postpone the Games due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"We want to organize the best Games possible," IOC President Thomas Bach said in a conference call with reporters, adding that "this postponement will require sacrifices and compromises from all parties."

"We are confident we can put a beautiful jigsaw puzzle together and in the end have a wonderful Olympic Games," he said.

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