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.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The U.S. unemployment rate dipped below 6 percent for the first time since July 2008, with nonfarm payrolls adding 248,000 new jobs in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

Fierce fighting has been reported today near the border between Syria and Turkey as militants with the self-declared Islamic State step up their efforts to capture the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani.

Kurdish fighters defending the town have warned of a likely massacre if the extremist group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, succeeds in seizing the encircled settlement.

Reuters reports:

Updated at 12:55 p.m. ET

Hong Kong's main democracy groups called off planned talks with the territory's government after several hundred pro-Beijing demonstrators attacked activists who have staged a week of protests calling for greater freedom.

Occupy Central, one of the main groups organizing protests against Beijing's effort to tightly control the selection of Hong Kong's leader, tweeted today:

Update, 10 p.m. ET: Officials at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital now say Thomas Eric Duncan wasn't honest with them either. When asked if he had been around anyone who had been ill, Duncan told them he had not.

As we wrote Wednesday, Duncan's neighbors in the Liberian capital, Monrovia, believe he was infected while helping a pregnant woman with Ebola to a hospital.

Fighting has resumed in eastern Ukraine as pro-Russian separatists have broken a much-violated nearly month-long truce in order to launch a military push to capture the government-held airport in Donetsk.

Reuters reports that the renewed fighting, which began on Wednesday, has escalated. Al-Jazeera reports "thick black smoke" over the airport on Thursday.

Updated at 3:42 p.m. ET:

The number of "contact traces" for a man diagnosed with Ebola earlier this week in Dallas has risen to 100, officials say, as they add secondary contacts to a list of people being monitored for symptoms of the deadly virus.

Earlier today, Erikka Neros, a spokeswoman for the Dallas County Health and Human Services department, said the number of "contact traces" stood at about 80 because the 12 to 18 people who had been exposed directly to the patient then had contact with others.

Updated at 8:40 a.m. ET

A United Nations report out today lists what it describes as a "staggering array" of possible war crimes and crimes against humanity by the self-declared Islamic State in Iraq, including mass executions, the kidnapping of women and girls to use as sex slaves and the use of child soldiers.

It also points to shelling and airstrikes by Iraqi security forces that killed civilians and "may have violated the principles of distinction and proportionality under international humanitarian law."

Updated at 5:28 p.m. ET

Hong Kong's leader said today that his government has agreed to hold a dialogue with pro-democracy student activists to discuss reforms, but that such a discussion must take place within the context of Chinese law. He also renewed warnings to protesters not to occupy government buildings.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying appeared at a news conference with Chief Secretary Carrie Lam less than half an hour before a deadline set by student activists for his resignation.

An official from the Texas hospital where an Ebola patient is being treated says a nurse using a checklist for the disease learned that he had traveled from West Africa, but that the information was "not communicated" to doctors making the diagnosis.

Dr. Mark Lester, of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, told reporters at a news conference this afternoon that as a result of the miscommunication, the team of physicians evaluating the patient concluded at the time he was first examined at the hospital on Friday that he suffered from a "low-grade common viral disease."

Following word of the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as major news organizations have weighed in. While the development is a concern, the basic message seems to be this: Don't panic.

Updated at 12:50 p.m. ET

The number of dead from a volcanic eruption in Japan has climbed to nearly 50 after more victims were recovered from Mt. Ontake, which unexpectedly spewed toxic gas last week as people hiked near the 10,000-foot summit.

The Japan Times says:

"Precarious conditions at the summit have made the search an on-off effort, and other bodies may still be undiscovered.

A human rights group reports that Islamic State militants in a Kurdish area of northern Syria have beheaded seven men and three women as part of an apparent campaign to quell resistance to the group.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the 10 people, including four Syrian rebels, were detained and then beheaded on Tuesday, about 8 miles west of the city of Kobani, a Kurdish town near the Turkish border that has been under siege from the Islamist group for weeks.

A deadline set by Hong Kong's pro-democracy demonstrators for the territory's leader to step down has passed without his resignation, triggering a new phase to the protests that have brought parts of the Asian financial hub to a standstill.

Protesters, who took to the streets by the tens of thousands last week to demand the open election of Hong Kong's next leader, heckled the territory's Beijing-appointed chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, during a flag-raising ceremony to mark China's National Day.

Update at 1:50 p.m. ET

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson faced a tough inquiry by lawmakers today as she appeared before a House committee to answer questions about the Sept. 19 White House security breach in which a man with a knife entered the executive mansion.

Two container ships, the German-flagged MV Colombo Express and the Singapore-flagged MV Maersk Tanjong, collided on Monday at the north end of the Suez Canal, delaying traffic.

Update at 9:55 a.m. ET

Afghanistan has signed a pact with the U.S. to allow about 10,000 troops to remain in the country after the end of the year, when most American forces are to be withdrawn.

The country's newly inaugurated president, Ashraf Ghani, signed the Bilateral Security Agreement, or BSA, which would leave in place the U.S. troops and a few others from NATO allies to bolster Afghan forces.

Updated at 8:30 a.m. ET

Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying is appealing to pro-democracy demonstrators who've brought parts of the Asian financial hub to a standstill in recent days to halt their campaign "immediately" because, he says, Beijing won't accede to their demands. But protesters have promised to announce a new phase of civil disobedience if reforms aren't forthcoming.

Some might say a group of Swedish scientists have "got a lot of nerve," running a 17-year secret contest to hide as many Bob Dylan lyrics as possible in their scholarly articles. The attitude of others, no doubt: "Don't think twice, it's all right."

"Hold me accountable" is the message from Afghanistan's new president, Ashraf Ghani, who took the oath of office today, succeeding Hamid Karzai, a leader many accused of lacking accountability.

Ghani's accession to leadership in Afghanistan follows a protracted dispute with his rival in the presidential vote, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, who accused his opponent of vote fraud but later agreed to a power-sharing arrangement.

Masses of pro-democracy protesters continue to pack the streets in Hong Kong, defying police who have responded with tear gas. The demonstrators are angry that Beijing has insisted on vetting all candidates for the territory's next chief executive.

Here's a closer look at the issue and what's at stake:

A Brief History Of Hong Kong

Thousands of pro-democracy protesters, wearing surgical masks and holding umbrellas to ward off tear gas lobbed by police, have continued to throng Hong Kong's Central business district and other areas of the city, calling on Beijing to make good on a promise to allow the former British colony to choose its next leader.

Organized mainly by a group calling itself "Occupy Central," the mass protest and the police pushback is being described as the worst unrest in the southern Chinese business hub since it was handed back to China in 1997.

Updated at 8:08 p.m. ET

Flights in and out of Chicago's two airports came to a halt Friday morning after a fire at an air traffic control facility.

As of early Friday afternoon at least some of the flights had begun taking off and landing, reports NPR's David Schaper in Chicago.

The Associated Press says: "The fire started in the basement of the Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center in Aurora, about 40 miles west of downtown Chicago, city of Aurora spokesman Dan Ferrelli said in an emailed statement."

Thailand's coup leader turned prime minister is not happy with the daily fare of infidelity and violence that is a staple of the country's television soap operas — and he's prepared to write the scripts himself if that's what it takes.

Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, the army chief who staged a coup in May against the elected government, says he wants scripts that encourage harmony in society.

Hours after Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson released a video apology to the family of Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old fatally shot by a white police officer, clashes erupted briefly amid protests calling for Jackson's resignation.

Hungary has "indefinitely" cut off its supply of natural gas to Ukraine, a move that Kiev's state gas firm has described as "unexpected and unexplained."

Russia's ITAR-TASS news agency cites Hungary's gas operator, FGSZ Ltd., saying that the pipeline cutoff "was made to meet the growing domestic demand."

State media in China say that a violent clash in the country's restive Xinjiang region over the weekend was much more deadly than first reported: At least 50 people died Sunday, including 40 "rioters" with about as many wounded during an "organized and serious" terrorist attack.

Earlier this week, state media had reported two died in the incident that took place at two police stations, as well as a shop and a produce market, in Luntai county. Since the mid-2000s, separatists in China's Xinjiang autonomous region have stepped up a violent campaign against Beijing.

Updated at 12:25 p.m. ET

The British Parliament has voted to approve the U.K.'s participation in U.S.-led airstrikes against the self-declared Islamic State in Iraq after Prime Minister David Cameron told MPs that the extremists pose a "clear and proven" threat to British lives.

The 524-to-43 vote in Parliament came after a lengthy debate that followed the latest U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria on targets of the hard-line Islamist group, also known as ISIS or ISIL. The strikes hit oil installations for a second consecutive day.

President Obama urged the international community to join the United States in trying to stop the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, saying the disease could kill hundreds of thousands of people in the coming months if it is left unchecked.

"If this epidemic is not stopped, this disease could cause a humanitarian catastrophe across the region," Obama said at a U.N. meeting in New York. "In an era when regional crises can quickly become global threats, stopping Ebola is in the interests of the entire world."

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson, who was at the center of the controversy surrounding the fatal police shooting in August of unarmed black teen Michael Brown, released a video today in which he apologized to the family of the victim.

The Justice Department says it has begun a review of police department procedures in Beavercreek, Ohio, after a grand jury decided not to indict officers in the fatal shooting of a black man in a Wal-Mart store.

The DOJ promised a "thorough and independent" investigation, and said it would take action if civil rights laws were violated.

The shooting, which took place on Aug. 5 as attention was focused on events in Ferguson, Mo., occurred when a 911 caller reported a man waving what appeared to be a rifle.

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