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.

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.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced Tuesday 39 new coronavirus cases in the state, including one young adult who attended a "coronavirus party," apparently held to flout social distancing guidelines.

"This is one that makes me mad, and it should make you mad," Beshear said of the case that occurred after the person attended a party of people in their 20s, who health officials say are as a group less vulnerable to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Updated at 2:20 a.m. ET

The Trump administration and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced early Wednesday that the White House and Senate had reached a deal for an unprecedented $2 trillion spending package aimed at propping up individuals, businesses and the nation's health care system amid the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic.

White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland made the announcement at about 1 a.m. ET.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we are done. We have a deal," Ueland said.

An Arizona man is dead and his wife was hospitalized after the couple ingested a form of chloroquine, a chemical that has been hailed recently by President Trump as a possible "game changer" in the fight against the novel coronavirus, according to the Phoenix hospital that treated the couple.

Banner Health hospital said in a statement that "the couple, both in their 60s, ingested chloroquine phosphate, an additive commonly used at aquariums to clean fish tanks." The aquarium additive the couple ingested is not the same as the medication that has been used to treat malaria.

Salt Lake City officials have announced tougher restrictions on families and friends meeting Mormon missionaries returning from abroad after many well wishers flouted official guidelines, thronging an airport parking lot over the weekend with welcome-home signs and balloons.

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.

President Trump has named Richard Grenell, the vocal and controversial U.S. ambassador to Germany, as the new acting director of national intelligence, replacing the current acting head of the nation's 17 spy agencies.

Grenell, who has been the U.S. envoy to Berlin since May 2018, is known to be fiercely loyal to Trump, but critics have noted that he has no background in intelligence and no top-level management experience.

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 9:45 a.m. ET

China's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday it is canceling the visas of three journalists working for The Wall Street Journal after what it said was a racist headline that appeared on an opinion piece about the coronavirus epidemic earlier this month.

Updated at 9:30 a.m. ET

At the direction of President Rodrigo Duterte, a fierce critic of the United States, the Philippines announced Tuesday that it would scrap a security pact that allows American forces to train there.

Duterte's foreign secretary, Teodoro Locsin Jr., tweeted Tuesday that the Visiting Forces Agreement with the U.S. would be terminated — a move that could have consequences for a counterinsurgency against Islamist extremists in the country's south.

Updated at 8:07 p.m. ET

The head of the World Health Organization is warning that a few cases of the novel coronavirus that have been spread by people who never traveled to China could be "the tip of the iceberg," as officials reported on Tuesday local time that the country's death toll had passed 1,000 from the new virus.

Meanwhile, Chinese authorities lashed out at Western media reports that Beijing was not fully cooperating with international health experts.

Heavily armed police and soldiers in El Salvador briefly occupied the country's parliament building on Sunday in a literal show of force supporting legislation to better equip them.

The Armed Forces and National Civil Police troops, carrying rifles and dressed in battle fatigues and tactical gear, entered the building after President Nayib Bukele failed to push through approval of a $109 million equipment loan.

President Trump on Thursday announced a successful U.S. counterterrorism operation that killed Qassim al-Rimi, the leader of a Yemen-based al-Qaida affiliate who claimed responsibility for last year's deadly shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida.

In a brief White House statement released late Thursday, the president said he had ordered the operation in Yemen "that successfully eliminated Qasim al-Rimi, a founder and leader of al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and a deputy to al-Qa'ida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri."

Updated at 8:37 p.m. ET

As the number of coronavirus cases in China jumped dramatically once again on Thursday — to more than 31,000 — other countries where the new strain of viral pneumonia has spread are stepping up efforts to limit the epidemic.

Health authorities in China on Friday reported 31,211 confirmed cases there, with 637 people having died from the virus, officially known as 2019-nCoV, that was first identified in December. Nearly 200 other cases have appeared outside of China and Hong Kong, with one additional death, in the Philippines.

After a string of inmate deaths in Mississippi that began late last year, the Justice Department announced Wednesday that it is opening a civil rights probe into the state's penitentiary system.

The department's civil rights division says it will examine conditions at four Mississippi prisons, including the state penitentiary at Parchman, the state's oldest, where a prison riot broke out on Dec. 29 after an inmate was killed. The all-male prison includes the state's death row.

Daniel arap Moi, who ruled Kenya for nearly a quarter century marked by repression and widespread corruption before he eventually yielded to multiparty democracy and allowed a peaceful transfer of power, has died at age 95.

His death was announced by current President Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of the country's founding father and first president, Jomo Kenyatta, whose death in office in 1978 paved the way for Moi's rise.

Updated at 9:45 p.m. ET

A powerful 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Jamaica, Cuba and the Cayman Islands on Tuesday, startling people as far away as Miami and prompting official tsunami alerts for a large area of the Caribbean that were later withdrawn.

The quake, initially reported as 7.3 magnitude before being upgraded, was centered 86 miles northwest of Montego Bay, Jamaica, and 87 miles west-southwest of Niquero, Cuba, at a depth of just 6 miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It struck at 2:10 p.m. ET.

Updated at 5:30 a.m. ET

The State Department has rejected a request from London to hand over a U.S. diplomat's wife who fled the U.K. last year after she was involved in a head-on car crash that killed a young British man.

According to local police, Anne Sacoolas was driving on the wrong side of the road when she hit 19-year-old Harry Dunn, riding a motorbike, on Aug. 27 in Northamptonshire, in central England.

A State Department spokesperson, who called it a "tragic" accident, said Sacoolas had "immunity from criminal jurisdiction."

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.

Updated at 9:32 p.m. ET

Three U.S. firefighters helping fight Australia's bushfires were killed Thursday when the C-130 tanker aircraft they were operating crashed south of the capital, Canberra.

"Tragically, there appears to be no survivors as a result of the crash down in the Snowy Monaro area," Shane Fitzsimmons, the Rural Fire Services Commissioner for New South Wales state, said at a news conference.

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."

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who admitted to lying to the FBI about contacts with Russia's ambassador to the U.S., wants to withdraw his 2-year-old guilty plea, saying federal prosecutors reneged on a promise to not ask for jail time at his upcoming sentencing.

Flynn, who held the post of national security adviser for less than a month, is the only Trump administration official to face criminal charges in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian election meddling. He was to be sentenced on Jan. 28.

Louisiana State University, led by its Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow, capped a perfect season defeating Clemson in a 42-25 game for the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Early on, defending champs Clemson, going in with a 29-game winning streak, managed a 10-point lead over LSU, a team hungry for its first title victory since 2007. But LSU stormed back and Burrow showed why he is the best player in college football, cleaving Clemson's rock-solid defense with five touchdowns, no interceptions and a record of 463 yards on 31 of 49 passes.

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.

Retired Pope Benedict XVI, who promised to remain silent when he resigned as head of the Roman Catholic Church seven years ago, has stepped back into the ongoing debate over priestly celibacy with a new book defending the traditionalist view.

The surprise move is seen as a rebuke to Pope Francis, who is weighing the possibility of a revolutionary move to relax the strict celibacy requirement for ordination in some South American countries where the shortage of priests is particularly acute.

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