Scott Neuman

Scott Neuman works as a Digital News writer and editor, handling breaking news and feature stories for NPR.org. Occasionally he can be heard on-air reporting on stories for Newscasts and has done several radio features since he joined NPR in April 2007, as an editor on the Continuous News Desk.

Neuman brings to NPR years of experience as an editor and reporter at a variety of news organizations and based all over the world. For three years in Bangkok, Thailand, he served as an Associated Press Asia-Pacific desk editor. From 2000-2004, Neuman worked as a Hong Kong-based Asia editor and correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. He spent the previous two years as the international desk editor at the AP, while living in New York.

As the United Press International's New Delhi-based correspondent and bureau chief, Neuman covered South Asia from 1995-1997. He worked for two years before that as a freelance radio reporter in India, filing stories for NPR, PRI and the Canadian Broadcasting System. In 1991, Neuman was a reporter at NPR Member station WILL in Champaign-Urbana, IL. He started his career working for two years as the operations director and classical music host at NPR member station WNIU/WNIJ in DeKalb/Rockford, IL.

Reporting from Pakistan immediately following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Neuman was part of the team that earned the Pulitzer Prize awarded to The Wall Street Journal for overall coverage of 9/11 and the aftermath. Neuman shared in several awards won by AP for coverage of the December 2004 Asian tsunami.

A graduate from Purdue University, Neuman earned a Bachelor's degree in communications and electronic journalism.

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The Two-Way
3:22 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

GOP Senators Block Democrats' Student Loan Bill

Senate Republicans gave a thumbs down to a Democratic plan that would have frozen interest rates for 7.4 million students taking out new federally subsidized Stafford loans.

The vote was 52-45. Sixty votes were needed to avoid a certain Republican filibuster and to move the bill toward debate.

From the Republican perspective, it wasn't the idea of keeping the rate at 3.4 percent rather than letting it double starting in July. The impasse was over how to fund the one-year rate freeze, which would cost the government $6 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

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Europe
4:10 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Four Possible Post-Election Moves For Greece, France

Greek newspapers on display at a newsstand in Athens on Monday after a stunning weekend election shake-up by parties opposed to further vital austerity cuts.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 4:14 pm

Europe's unsettled political climate after the weekend elections in France and Greece raise one obvious question: What's next?

The elections, in which French President Nicolas Sarkozy was defeated and Greece's major political parties struggled to form a governing coalition, have raised fears about the political and economic stability of the European Union. Some potential scenarios coming out of the elections:

Staying The Course

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Religion
1:48 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Nuns And The Vatican: A Clash Decades In Making

American nuns attend Mass at Sant'Apollinare in Rome. The umbrella group that represents the majority of the approximately 56,000 U.S. nuns plans to meet later this month to discuss its response to a Vatican reprimand.
Andrew Medichini AP

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 4:42 pm

When Harvard divinity professor Harvey Cox arranged to meet with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger at the Vatican in 1988, a group of nuns thought he was wasting his time.

"I was chatting and having dinner with a number of Dominican sisters who were staying there for a 30-day retreat," Cox says. "They were incredulous that I wanted to bother seeing Ratzinger. 'Why do you want to do that?' they asked. 'Who pays any attention to him?' "

Flash forward a few decades, and nuns are more than paying attention.

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Economy
8:44 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Is Moderate Growth Good For The Economy?

Growth will remain low and consumers will be cautious as long as unemployment stays high, economists say.
Scott Olson Getty Images

The U.S. economy hit the recession exit ramp nearly three years ago, but it's been lost on the back roads somewhere near Recoveryville ever since.

Growth rates have been modest at best compared with the 4-plus percent growth in the years well before the U.S. began slouching toward its worst post-World War II recession.

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Business
4:14 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

The Wal-Mart Dilemma: When Is A Payment A Bribe?

A shopper examines produce at a Wal-Mart store in Mexico City. Wal-Mart's expansion into Mexico has been a major success, but its business practices have raised new questions.
Daniel Aguilar Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 10:10 am

Allegations that Wal-Mart officials in Mexico paid local authorities to speed up permits to build new stores could result in a trial and a huge financial penalty under a U.S. anti-corruption law. But legal experts who spoke to NPR have their doubts it will ever come to that.

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The Two-Way
11:23 am
Fri April 20, 2012

George Zimmerman To Be Released On $150,000 Bond

Defense attorney Mark O'Mara (left) stands with his client, George Zimmerman, at a hearing related to second-degree murder charges in the killing of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla.
Pool Getty Images

UPDATE at 11:10 a.m. EST:

Judge Kenneth Lester says George Zimmerman can go free as he awaits trial if he posts a $150,000 bail.

Lester said as a condition of his release, Zimmerman would be electronically monitored, could have no contact with Trayvon Martin's family and would be prohibited from possessing firearms or using alcohol. He will also be on a curfew and have to check in every three days.

The judge said once he is assured that security measures have been met, Zimmerman will be freed.

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The Two-Way
11:22 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Airliner Crashes Near Pakistani Capital With 127 Aboard

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 11:55 am

UPDATE at 11:50 a.m. EST:

The Associated Press quotes Defense Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhar as saying the 737-200 went down in a farm field of a relatively unpopulated area just a few miles from the international airport in Islamabad.

Mukhar said it was unlikely that anyone had survived.

Pakistani television showed wreckage of the plane, including parts that appeared to be the engine and the wing up against a small building, AP says.

UPDATE at 11:00 a.m. EST:

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Thu April 19, 2012

U.N. Chief: Syria Violating Cease-Fire Amid Apparent Deal On Observers

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 12:31 pm

In a letter to the United Nations Security Council, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says the Syrian government is not living up to its end of the bargain on a week-old cease-fire deal.

Ban says the government has failed to keep its pledge to withdraw troops and heavy weapons from cities, but adds that he still thinks there is "opportunity for progress."

The Secretary General's letter comes as the U.N. and Syria apparently worked out details of an observer mission to monitor the shaky deal meant to end more than a year of bloodshed that has killed an estimated 9,000 people.

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Around the Nation
12:12 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

War Of The Worlds: When Science, Politics Collide

In 1925, people lined up to buy anti-evolution books in Dayton, Tenn., where the "monkey trial" of teacher John T. Scopes took place. Tennessee recently enacted a law encouraging teachers to question accepted science on evolution and other issues.
Topical Press Agency Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 7:36 pm

Roger Cone is a microbiologist, not a politician. He struggles with a basic truth: For all the scientific acceptance of evolution, many Americans simply don't believe it is factually accurate.

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Technology
4:15 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

It's Called 'As Hard As Rocket Science' For A Reason

An Atlas missile is launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., in October 1964. Cape Canaveral has been the site of numerous launch failures as the United States developed missile and rocket technology.
Fox Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 8:14 am

North Korea this week quite literally demonstrated an old truism, with the world as an anxious witness. It turns out that reaching space is, as the saying goes, as tough as rocket science.

The much hyped launch of the Unha-3 rocket, which North Korea said was meant to place a satellite into orbit to celebrate the centenary of the country's "Great Leader" Kim Il Sung, apparently failed Friday shortly after launch. It was the fourth time North Korea had tried and failed to do it, adding to the growing worldwide history of failed rocket launches.

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The Two-Way
11:16 am
Mon April 9, 2012

North Korean Satellite Readies For Launch Amid Reports Of New Nuke Test

A rocket that North Korea says is slated to put the country's first-ever satellite into orbit has been moved to a launchpad for possible blastoff as early as this week, amid reports that the secretive regime is also planning a fresh nuclear test.

The Unha-3 rocket is sitting astride a gantry at the Sohae Satellite Station at Tongchang-ri, along the country's northwest coast, according to the BBC. Pyongyang says it could launch sometime between April 12-16.

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The Two-Way
10:14 am
Mon April 9, 2012

Author Reveals A Softer Side To CBS Newsman Mike Wallace

Originally published on Mon April 9, 2012 1:20 pm

Remembrances of legendary CBS newsman and long-time 60 Minutes co-host Mike Wallace were still pouring in after his death over the weekend. Wallace died at age 93.

Jeff Fager, the chairman of CBS News and 60 Minutes executive producer, said of the famously hard-nosed interviewer that "He loved the fact that if he showed up for an interview, it made people nervous."

Former first lady Nancy Reagan called him "an old school journalist and one of the most astute people I've met."

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The Two-Way
9:16 am
Mon April 9, 2012

Top Stories: Tulsa Shooting Suspects Face Charges; Syria Cease-Fire

Originally published on Mon April 9, 2012 11:28 am

Good morning.

Our early headlines:

Tulsa Shooting Suspects Set For Arraignment

Syria Cease-Fire Appears On Brink Of Collapse

Some of the other stories in the news today:

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The Two-Way
8:46 am
Mon April 9, 2012

Syria Cease-Fire Appears On Brink Of Collapse

Saying it is "outraged" by reports of Syrian troops firing into a refugee camp across the border in Turkey, the U.S. State Department this afternoon said it strongly condemns the latest actions by the regime of President Bashar Assad and that things are getting worse in that country — not better, as had been hoped for when the regime agreed to a plan for a cease-fire that is supposed to begin Tuesday.

"Based on what we're seeing today, we are not hopeful" about the prospects for a cease-fire, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland added.

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Some Go Far For Their Mega Millions Tickets

Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

With $540 million (wait — it just went up to $640 million!) on the line, it's not surprising that Alabama resident Lance Larka is willing to drive across the state line for a chance to win the record Mega Millions jackpot.

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Election 2012
11:20 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Just How Independent Are Independent Voters?

Voters cast ballots in Dearborn, Mich. Some political analysts say truly independent voters account for just 10 percent to 15 percent of the electorate.
Paul Sancya AP

Lester Wilson doesn't think of himself as a Republican or a Democrat. He's not a card-carrying Libertarian or Green, either.

The one group he does belong to is the 40 percent of Americans who identify as independents — a group now larger than any single political party, according to a recent Gallup survey.

"I like my independent status. I think voting for just one party is a betrayal of my civic duty," says the 38-year-old maintenance worker from Asheville, N.C.

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Law
2:05 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

Shooting Renews Debate On Vigilance Vs. Action

A neighborhood watch sign stands outside The Retreat at Twin Lakes, the gated community in Sanford, Fla., where Trayvon Martin was shot by George Zimmerman on Feb. 26.
Roberto Gonzalez Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 3:29 pm

Neighborhood watch programs have long been the eyes and ears of local law enforcement, keeping tabs on suspicious behavior. But the recent shooting death of an unarmed Florida teenager by a watch volunteer may incite debate over how to balance vigilance and action.

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Education
1:25 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Violence In Schools: How Big A Problem Is It?

Students at Gardena High School in Gardena, Calif., lined up for a security check before school in January 2011.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 10:45 am

When an Ohio high school student killed three classmates in a shooting rampage several weeks ago, it once again brought a national spotlight to a problem widely believed to be epidemic in schools.

The reality, experts say, is exactly the opposite: Violent crime in schools has decreased significantly since the early 1990s.

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The Two-Way
2:20 pm
Mon March 12, 2012

Priest 'Placed On Leave' After Denying Communion To Lesbian

The Gaithersburg, Md., priest who refused to give Communion to a lesbian parishioner during a funeral mass for the woman's mother has been has been placed on leave, according to NBC Channel 4 news.

A letter from an archdiocese official says that Rev. Marcel Guarnizo was placed on leave for engaging in intimidating behavior. The archdiocese had previously apologized for Guarnizo's behavior.

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The Two-Way
10:32 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Aging U.S. Carrier Enterprise Heads For Final Deployment

USS Enterprise, the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, is beginning the last deployment in her storied 50-year career on the frontlines of American sea power.

Known as the "Big E", she was among the vessels dispatched to the waters off Cuba during the October 1962 missile crisis with orders from President Kennedy to enforce an air and sea blockade of the island nation.

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The Two-Way
9:06 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Syrian Militia Blamed In Latest Killing

A Syrian woman walks along a street in the town of Rastan outside of Homs on March 11, 2012.
AFP/Getty Images

Syrian activists blamed pro-government militiamen for the latest killing of civilians in the city of Homs. At least a dozen people, including children, were killed, state media confirmed, saying instead that the perpetrators were "armed terrorists."

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 12 people were killed, but the Local Coordination Committee had a much higher figure – 45, according to The Associated Press.

The AP quoted the LCC and the Observatory as saying:

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The Two-Way
8:20 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Report Shows Drop In U.S. Oil Imports

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 7:53 am

The White House will unveil a report today showing that U.S. dependence on foreign oil imports has dropped by more than two million barrels a day since President Obama took office.

The report shows U.S. imports at 8.4 million barrels a day last year from 11 million barrels a day in 2008. As a percent of all U.S. consumption, foreign imports went from 57 percent down to 45 percent in the same period, the report says.

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The Two-Way
7:11 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Taliban Vow Revenge For Alleged U.S. Attack On Civilians

U.S. soldiers keep watch at the entrance of a military base near Alkozai village.
JangirAFP Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:57 am

The Taliban have vowed to avenge the deaths of 16 civilians in Afghanistan, allegedly shot by a U.S. soldier in a rampage through villages near Kandahar.

According to The Associated Press, the Afghan militia on its website called the attack a "blood-soaked and inhumane crime" and the attackers "sick-minded American savages." It promised to seek revenge "for every single martyr with the help of Allah."

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Economy
9:17 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Will Improving Economy Bring Surge Of Job Seekers?

People waited in line to get into a job fair in Independence, Ohio, in November.
Tony Dejak AP

William Johnson, a graphic designer by trade, recalls with much bitterness the long, grinding job hunt that followed his 2007 pink slip in Milwaukee.

"There were some people I emailed or called 10 or 15 times," he says. "After a few years of that, not hearing back from people ... slowly but surely I just sort of gave up."

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Around the Nation
1:28 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Decoding The Allure Of The Almanac

An unusually warm winter has caused many flowers and trees to begin blooming early in the northeast.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

There's been something wacky with the weather this winter, and many forecasters never saw it coming.

Among them was the Old Farmer's Almanac, the quirky, centuries-old mix of historical data, prognostications and folk wisdom. Millions of people consult the quirky, centuries-old almanac, which uses a secret formula to come up with its annual, year-long weather forecasts, even though meteorologists say it has a dubious track record.

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Presidential Race
3:44 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

For Loyalists, Is It Ron Paul Or Nothing?

Fans of GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul show their support outside the Mesa Arts Center before Wednesday night's Republican debate in Mesa, Ariz.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 23, 2012 4:31 pm

Benom Plumb, a 31-year-old music industry executive from Nashville, thinks the country is on the wrong path, and that Ron Paul is the only candidate who can turn things around.

As for the other Republicans, Plumb doesn't mince words: Mitt Romney? Too slick. Rick Santorum? Too religious. Newt Gingrich? Untrustworthy. "They are all liars and cheaters, if you ask me," he says.

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The Two-Way
2:28 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Greece: So, What Now?

Restoration work on the pillars of the Parthenon atop Athens' Acropolis is symbolic of Europe's recent negotiations to save Greece from default.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 4:06 pm

Greece is looking more and more like one of those "troubled homeowners" we hear so much about.

It's underwater and struggling to cover debts worth far more than its gross domestic product. So nervous lenders are offering to write down some of those loans in hopes of sending Greece a lifeline and keeping Athens current on its payments.

In return, the country has agreed to put its balance sheet in order, a process that is going to be neither easy nor quick.

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The Two-Way
1:54 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Murdoch Promises Sunday Edition At Besieged Sun Tabloid

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch isn't backing down.

In an email to staff of the besieged Sun tabloid, where ten current and former senior staff have been arrested since November, the 81-year-old media tycoon promised to "build on the Sun's proud heritage by launching the Sun on Sunday very soon.

The email came as Murdoch visited the paper's U.K. headquarters for a meeting with staff. According to the BBC:

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The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Syrian Troops Step Up Homs Shelling After U.N. Resolution

More horrific reports out of Homs only a day after the United Nations General Assembly called on President Bashar al-Assad's regime to end its shelling of the city.

Voice of America reports activists say:

... tank fire and artillery shelling hit four neighborhoods in the central protest city Friday which has spearheaded the 11-month uprising.

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