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.

It might seem counterintuitive that Amazon is doing a deal with New Jersey to build two distribution centers in exchange for collecting sales tax on purchases made in the Garden State starting July 1, 2013.

After all, the free lunch enjoyed by many consumers as they shop tax-free online is one of the huge draws, right?

"It was a bad strategy. It was badly executed."

The words of JPMorgan Chase's CEO, Jamie Dimon, as he admitted late yesterday that the investment bank — or, more precisely, a single "rogue trader" working for the bank, had lost some $2 billion in the last six weeks in risky hedge-fund trades.

The news has sent chills through the markets. Shares of JPMorgan Chase, the largest U.S. bank, lost 7 percent in after-hours trading and British bank Barclays lost 2.9 percent, while more than 2 percent was shaved from Royal Bank of Scotland.

Russia's newly reinstalled President Vladimir Putin will be too busy with affairs at home to make a planned visit to the United States this month, where he was to have a high-profile tête-à-tête with President Obama and attend the G8 summit.

In his place, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who swapped places with Putin in recent elections, will go to the global economic summit.

Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng says his family is being hounded by local authorities in his Shandong, his home province, with his brother and sister-in-law placed under house arrest and his nephew detained.

Chen's flight last month from house arrest and his request for refuge from U.S. diplomats has caused considerable embarrassment for Chinese authorities and threatened to damage U.S.-Sino relations. Since then, Beijing has agreed in a face-saving move to allow the blind, self-taught legal activist and his immediate family to study in the United States.

A pair of powerful explosions ripped through Syria's capital, killing at least 50 people in the deadliest attack in the country's 14-month uprising. Some 170 people were wounded, according to state television.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but local TV reports called the attacks "terrorist bombings".

The explosions damaged a military intelligence building and left blood and human remains in the streets, according to The Associated Press.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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:

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.

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.

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 — now a larger chunk of voters 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.

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.

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.

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.

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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