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.

The U.S. Navy says two of its carrier-based fighter/attack jets have crashed in the western Pacific Ocean. One pilot has been rescued and search efforts were continuing for the second.

Update at 8:45 a.m. ET

Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia separatists conducted a 3 a.m. prisoner swap, exchanging dozens of captured fighters as part of a shaky cease-fire that is now entering its second week.

It comes as new European Union sanctions go into effect against Moscow for its role in the conflict that has engulfed eastern Ukraine and threatened to split the former Soviet satellite.

Regarding the prisoner swap, The Associated Press says:

Update at 7:05 a.m. ET

A judge in South Africa handed down a verdict of culpable homicide against double-amputee Olympic and Paralympic runner Oscar Pistorius in the shooting death of his girlfriend. The conviction carries a maximum of 15 years in prison.

House Speaker John Boehner, commenting on President Obama's strategy to defeat Islamic State militants, says Congress has received a request for authorization to train Syrian rebels and "we ought to give the president what he's asking for."

Al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front rebels in Syria released 45 U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji today two weeks after they were captured.

"We can confirm they have been released" and would cross at Quneitra and be moved to the Israeli-controlled part of the Golan Heights, U.N. Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq said Thursday.

The peacekeepers, reported to be "in good condition," were handed over to the U.N. Disengagement Observer Force, or UNDOF, the United Nations says.

Remember the giant hole in the Earth's ozone layer? Scientists say it's shrinking a little, thanks in part to the elimination of chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, beginning in the 1980s.

For the first time in 35 years, scientists have confirmed a statistically significant increase in the amount of ozone, which shields us from skin cancer and protects crops from sun damage.

Update at 10:40 a.m. ET

On the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden gathered on the White House lawn to observe a moment of silence.

Oscar Pistorius, the South African double-amputee Olympian accused in the shooting death of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, has been acquitted of the most serious charge of premeditated murder.

But South African Judge Thokozile Masipa has yet to announce her final verdict in the jury-less trial, although she has hinted that culpable homicide would be a "competent verdict."

As tears streamed down Pistorius' face, Masipa told the court in Pretoria that the athlete did not plan to kill Steenkamp on the night he fatally shot her through a closed bathroom door.

President Obama's prime-time speech outlining his plan to broaden a U.S.-led offensive against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria prompted generally cautious support from the editorial pages of major newspapers across the country this morning.

As we reported last night, Obama told the nation: "Our objective is clear: We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy."

Vladmir Putin, whose annexation of Crimea and involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine have drawn plenty of comparisons in the West to his Cold War predecessors, is not going to calm any nerves with his latest pronouncement: Russia has begun development of new nuclear weapons.

Speaking at a Kremlin meeting on weapons modernization plans, Russia's president said the West had been "warned many times that we would have to take corresponding countermeasures to ensure our security" in light of U.S. missile defense plans.

British Prime Minister David Cameron says he'd be "heartbroken" if Scotland voted to separate from the United Kingdom in an upcoming referendum, calling on independence-minded Scots to look at the future consequences of separation.

"I would be heartbroken ... if this family of nations is torn apart," Cameron told an invited audience at the Edinburgh headquarters of the Scottish Widows insurance firm.

Update at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The Office of Personnel Management is severing its ties with a private contractor that provides many of the security background checks for the U.S. government after the company was hit by a cyberattack last month that compromised the files of thousands of federal workers.

The OPM said late Tuesday that "following a careful and comprehensive review," it had decided not to renew its contracts with Falls Church, Va.-based USIS.

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko is offering greater autonomy to parts of the country's rebellious east in a bid to quell a months-long conflict with pro-Russia separatists, but he reiterated that there would be no concessions on sovereignty.

As President Obama prepares to address the nation to outline his plan for combating the spread of the Islamic State militant group, Secretary of State John Kerry is in Iraq for talks on the crisis with the newly installed government in Baghdad.

The president will deliver his televised speech at 9 p.m. ET. (Check back later for details on NPR's coverage of the speech.)

A federal court in Miami has added four years to a sentence handed down in 2007 for Jose Padilla, who was convicted of conspiracy and supporting al-Qaida.

The Associated Press says: "The new sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke, who originally gave Padilla more than 17 years in prison. She also previously gave Padilla, a U.S. citizen and Muslim convert, credit for the more than three years he was held without charge as an enemy combatant at a South Carolina Navy brig."

One of two ships lost more than 160 years ago in an ill-fated expedition to the Northwest Passage led by British Capt. Sir John Franklin has been found by Canadian archaeologists, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today.

It could be the HMS Erebus or the HMS Terror — researchers aren't sure yet, but they believe one of the two appears in this sonar image:

"This is truly a historic moment for Canada," the prime minister said of the discovery.

We reported on Monday that a meteor, thought possibly to be a chunk of an Earth-passing asteroid, was the cause of a 40-foot crater outside the international airport in the Nicaraguan capital.

But astronomers and NASA scientists are now casting doubt on that possibility. The biggest mystery is that no one so far has reported seeing a flash of light in the sky that would be expected to accompany such a meteor strike.

An initial investigation by Dutch experts appears to support the long-held theory of what happened to MH17 over eastern Ukraine: The Malaysian airliner was brought down by multiple "high-energy objects from outside the aircraft."

Although the preliminary technical report by the Dutch Safety Board did not directly say the objects were surface-to-air missiles, it left little room to conclude otherwise.

Harvard is set to receive $350 million — its largest-ever single donation — from a foundation run by a wealthy Hong Kong family led by alumnus and longtime benefactor Gerald L. Chan.

Updated at 11:45 p.m. ET

There was an unexpected crash landing near the international airport in the Nicaraguan capital over the weekend, but luckily no one was hurt: A small meteor, thought to have broken off from an Earth-passing asteroid, left a 40-foot-wide crater.

The meteorite — which experts say may have disintegrated on impact — smashed through a wooded area outside the airport in Managua, leaving a 16-foot-deep hole.

Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby is calling on the organization's members for a "comprehensive confrontation" of Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria in apparent support of U.S. plans to build a coalition to stop the militants.

Elaraby said a "clear and firm decision for a comprehensive confrontation" was needed to confront the "cancerous and terrorist" groups in the region.

Updated at 1:00 p.m. ET

Ukraine's president, on a visit to embattled Mariupol in the country's east, proclaimed "this city was, is and will be Ukrainian."

Petro Poroshenko, in a fiery speech in the city, which has been surrounded for days by pro-Russia separatists, also said that 1,200 Ukrainian POWs had been handed over under the terms of a cease-fire that went into effect on Friday.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their second child.

The BBC reports:

"Kensington Palace said the Queen and members of both families were delighted with the news.

"The palace said that — as when she was pregnant with Prince George — the duchess was suffering from very acute morning sickness and was being treated by doctors at Kensington Palace."

The Coast Guard says it has called off a search for the pilot of a single-engine prop plane that drifted into restricted airspace over Washington, D.C., forcing fighter jets to scramble an intercept. The apparently unconscious pilot of the small aircraft later ran out of fuel and plunged into the Atlantic Ocean.

On Saturday, a pair of F-16s were dispatched to escort the Cirrus SR22. When the fighters approached, one of the F-16 pilots observed a person at the controls of the propeller-driven plane who appeared to be unconscious.

The sinkhole that swallowed up eight cars at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kent., in February quickly became a favorite exhibit for museum visitors, but that's not enough to head off a decision to fill in the 60-foot wide, 40-foot-deep orifice in the floor.

Reuters reports:

Islamic militiamen in the Libyan capital have reportedly seized part of the U.S. embassy compound, which was evacuated more than a month ago amid concerns over the safety of diplomatic staff.

Pro-democracy activists have taken to the streets in Hong Kong to protest China's rejection of pleas that the territory hold an open election for its next chief executive three years from now.

As NPR's Frank Langfitt reports, the protesters say they will attempt to paralyze the city's financial district with protests after an announcement that gives the territory a vote in 2017, but only from a group of candidates hand-picked by a pro-Beijing committee.

Update at 10:35 a.m. ET

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for "meaningful talks" to end the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine, reiterating that the Kremlin, which is said to have allowed thousands of its soldiers to join the rebels, views the situation as an internal dispute.

"Substantive, meaningful talks should begin immediately ... related to the issues of society's political organization and statehood in southeastern Ukraine to protect legitimate interests of people living there," Tass quoted Putin as saying.

Iraqi security forces backed by Shiite militias and U.S. airstrikes have reportedly entered the northern town of Amerli, where Islamic State militants have laid siege to the town for weeks, prompting fears of a sectarian massacre.

Reuters and BBC report that Iraqi Army and volunteer fighters entered the town on Sunday after defeating the Sunni rebels, also known as ISIS or ISIL, east of the city. The Islamic State, which claims to enforce a pure version of Islam, has apparently targeted Amerli because of its large Shiite Turkmen population, seen by them as apostates.

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