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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.

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."

The International Court of Justice in The Hague has ordered Myanmar to prevent a genocide of the country's remaining Rohingya Muslims — the target of a brutal army crackdown that led to the deaths of tens of thousands.

Presiding Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, reading the unanimous opinion of the 17-judge panel, said the United Nations court "is of the opinion that the Rohingya in Myanmar remain extremely vulnerable" after the 2017 crackdown in the country's western Rakhine state.

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.

Updated at 5:35 p.m. ET

A newly identified strain of coronavirus has killed at least 17 people in China and caused hundreds of confirmed infections, the Hubei provincial government said Wednesday, citing the latest figures from hard-hit Wuhan and other cities.

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

Scientists in the Philippines are defending their assessment of a volcano that has been spewing ash for more than a week after a local official demanded that they change their "opinion" of the danger it poses and urged people to defy authorities and return to their homes.

The vice mayor of the town of Talisay, located within a 9-mile zone around the Taal Volcano that has been subject to evacuation, criticized the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philvolcs), questioning the science of predicting volcanoes.

Updated at 9 a.m. ET

New birthrate figures show that China has so far failed to reverse the effects of its longtime one-child policy — a change that policymakers say is necessary to forestall the long-term economic consequences of an aging and shrinking population.

The National Bureau of Statistics of China released the new data on Friday, the same day it announced that the country's GDP growth has fallen to its lowest level in nearly 30 years.

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."

Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET

A volcano that has thrown a blanket of ash over much of the Philippines' main island of Luzon in recent days is somewhat quieter, but tremors continued and authorities warned people that a deadly new eruption was still possible.

Updated at 6:10 a.m. ET

Mass evacuations continued Wednesday in the Philippines under the shadow of a volcanic plume that blotted out the sun and spread ash across much of the country's most populous island.

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.

The Philippines remained on alert Tuesday as authorities declared a "calamity zone" around Taal Volcano, which began spewing ash and lava over the weekend. They warned of indications that it could be on the cusp of a new, more powerful eruption.

Authorities said they feared the possibility of an event similar to the massive 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, which killed hundreds and blanketed large swaths of the countryside, causing massive mudslides and large-scale economic hardship.

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.

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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