89.1 WEMU

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.

A months-long analysis of alleged pieces of the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls that are on display at a privately funded museum in Washington, D.C., has revealed them to be clever forgeries, according to a team of researchers examining the fragments.

Updated at 5:52 p.m. ET

The European Union is locking down its borders, imposing a 30-day entry ban on nonessential travel for non-EU citizens to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the measure Tuesday night, saying people in the member nations can still move freely between those countries.

The ban went into effect immediately.

Updated at 9:11 p.m. ET

With the number of cases worldwide of the novel coronavirus surpassing 150,000, with some 6,000 deaths, governments across the globe continue their struggle to contain the pandemic. Their hope is to limit the number of new infections, while treating those individuals suffering from COVID-19 and isolating others whose symptoms are not as severe but who might spread the disease.

Here's a snapshot by region of what is happening as of midday Monday:

Europe

Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, the wife of Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, becoming the latest in a string of high-profile individuals to become infected with the potentially deadly pathogen.

In a statement on Thursday, the office of the prime minister said Grégoire Trudeau had begun experiencing a low-grade fever and other mild flu-like symptoms the previous day and was subsequently tested.

Carlos Cordeiro, the president of the U.S. Soccer Federation, announced late Thursday that he was stepping down as head of the governing body after a controversial court filing in a lawsuit over equal pay for the women's national team that appeared to disparage the athletic abilities of female players.

The resignation of Cordeiro, who had served as USSF president since 2018, is effective immediately. He is replaced by U.S. Soccer's vice president, Cindy Parlow Cone, a former pro player who will be the first woman to head the governing body.

Actor Tom Hanks announced on social media Thursday that he and his wife, fellow actor Rita Wilson, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus that has infected tens of thousands worldwide since December.

On Instagram and in a tweet on Thursday local time, Hanks, who is in Australia for preproduction on an as-yet untitled film about Elvis Presley, said he and Wilson "felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches."

Updated at 6:20 a.m. ET

The United Kingdom's health minister has been diagnosed with novel coronavirus infection – one of nearly 400 confirmed cases in that country, as Turkey on Wednesday announced its first case of the disease, which has now spread to some 110 countries.

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.

China reported 889 new cases of novel coronavirus infection on Friday, including more than 200 from a prison, and an additional 118 deaths – all but three in the province of Hubei, bringing the total deaths in the country to more than 2,200.

The latest count came as South Korea, with the highest number of cases outside China, reported another jump in infections to 204.

And residents clashed with police in a central Ukrainian town where evacuees from Wuhan, the Chinese province where the epidemic began, arrived for a two-week quarantine.

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.

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

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.

An indigenous-led anti-pipeline protest has shut down a vital cross-continent rail line in Canada, disrupting freight and passenger service and costing millions of dollars in lost revenue, officials say.

Passengers and crew aboard a cruise ship, who were denied entry at several Asian ports in recent days because of fears of coronavirus, cheered as they were finally allowed to disembark in Cambodia on Friday.

The MS Westerdam with nearly 1,500 passengers aboard had been rebuffed by Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines and the U.S. territory of Guam before ultimately being allowed to dock at the Cambodian port of Sihanoukville.

Updated at 4:37p.m. EST.

The U.S. Department of Education says it is opening an investigation into Yale and Harvard universities for failing to disclose hundreds of millions of dollars in gifts and contracts from foreign donors.

The two Ivy League schools have been singled out in a federal crackdown on institutions of higher learning for allegedly not reporting foreign donations of more than $250,000, as required by law under Section 117 of the Higher Education Act.

China's Hubei province expanded its criteria for identifying new coronavirus infections on Thursday, causing a dramatic spike in reported cases at the epicenter of the disease, as Beijing moved to purge provincial party officials amid criticism of their handling of the epidemic.

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.

China's government on Tuesday fired two senior health officials in Hubei province, the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic, placing Beijing in direct control of efforts there to contain its spread.

The move came on the same day the country reported 108 new deaths from the virus, the highest single-day number to date, representing about 10% of all fatalities since the outbreak began.

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.

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.

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."

China says it has launched an investigation into "issues" related to the death on Friday of a doctor whose early efforts to alert his colleagues to the dangers of a new coronavirus were quashed by authorities.

Meanwhile, President Trump spoke with China's leader Xi Jinping to discuss the coronavirus epidemic, which has rapidly gone global since it began in China in December.

Dr. Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist working in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the epidemic originated, died on Friday local time, weeks after he was hospitalized and treated for a coronavirus infection.

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.

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.

Updated at 7:58 p.m. ET

Hong Kong confirmed its first death from the novel coronavirus on Tuesday as health workers in the territory were on their second day of a walkout aimed at forcing closure of the border with mainland China — the epicenter of the epidemic.

A 39-year-old man who had visited Wuhan, China, where the virus first appeared, died at Hong Kong's Princess Margaret Hospital on Tuesday morning, the hospital confirmed.

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 5:50 p.m. ET

President Trump says his long-awaited Mideast peace plan unveiled Tuesday is a road map for a "realistic two-state solution" that envisions Jerusalem as Israel's "undivided capital."

Updated at 6:35 p.m. ET

Construction workers in China were scrambling to build a makeshift quarantine and treatment facility on the outskirts of Wuhan, the epicenter of a rapidly spreading new viral pneumonia that has killed 41 people and infected moe than 1,000 others in the country.

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."

Pages