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 hostage standoff on a bus in western Ukraine ended Tuesday after a bizarre demand from the captor was met when the country's president publicly recommended a 15-year-old animal rights documentary narrated by Joaquin Phoenix.

Just before the end of the 12-hour standoff in Lutsk, a city located some 250 miles west of Kyiv, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy posted a video clip to his Facebook page stating: "Everyone should watch the 2005 film Earthlings."

The post has since been deleted.

European Union leaders emerged from five days of intense talks with a landmark 750 billion euro ($858 billion) plan to rescue the bloc's economies amid the ongoing assault of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Exhausted heads of state and government finally voted unanimously in Brussels early Tuesday to jointly issue debt to be disbursed through grants and loans to member nations as they face their worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Two government ministers in Brazil have tested positive for the coronavirus as the country – second only to the U.S. in the number of infections – surpassed 80,000 deaths from the disease.

Citizenship Minister Onyx Lorenzoni, a close ally of President Jair Bolsonaro, and Education Minister Milton Ribeiro announced separately their diagnoses on social media.

In a tweet, Lorenzoni said he had begun feeling COVID-19 symptoms on Thursday night and had received confirmation that he was infected on Monday.

European Union leaders were going into their first face-to-face meeting in months on Friday, hoping to hammer out details of a 1.85 trillion euro ($2.1 trillion) EU budget and coronavirus recovery plan amid a global pandemic that has touched off the worst recession in the bloc's history.

The urgency of the crisis has caused the leaders of the 27-nation grouping to abandon a series of video conference summits in favor of looking one another in the eyes — albeit from across a large room.

Australia's New South Wales state is implementing restrictions on "high-risk activities" such as singing in choirs and dancing at nightclubs and bars amid concern of a fresh outbreak of COVID-19 that has spilled over from a neighboring state.

The launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, the long-awaited — and long-delayed — successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, has been pushed back yet another seven months, NASA said Thursday citing, in part, delays from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The nearly $10 billion project, which scientists hope will see back to the time when the first galaxies were formed following the Big Bang, had been scheduled to launch next March from French Guiana atop an Ariane 5 rocket, but the space agency said it is now aiming for an Oct. 31, 2021, launch date.

Updated at 10:15 a.m. ET

The United States has executed Wesley Purkey in its second federal execution this week after a 17-year hiatus. Purkey, 68, was executed via lethal injection on Thursday morning in Terre Haute, Ind.

The Supreme Court early Thursday denied appeals to stay Purkey's execution, clearing the way for it to proceed.

Purkey, who was on death row at the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, was convicted of the 1998 kidnapping and killing of 16-year-old Jennifer Long.

The southern Australian state of Victoria has set a one-day record for coronavirus infections, prompting officials to order a clampdown on nonurgent surgeries to free up beds for COVID-19 patients.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is overruling local government mandates requiring people to wear masks in public to stop the spread of COVID-19, insisting that the state's less-stringent guidelines take precedence.

Kemp on Wednesday extended the state's COVID-19 restrictions, which strongly encourage the wearing of masks, but stopped short of requiring them in public, calling such a measure "a bridge too far."

Air Force combat veteran MJ Hegar will face Republican incumbent Sen. John Cornyn after winning her Democratic primary runoff in Texas, while Maine's Democratic speaker of the House, Sara Gideon, has secured the right to challenge her state's vulnerable Republican Sen. Susan Collins in November.

China on Wednesday promised to retaliate against "U.S. institutions and individuals" after President Trump signed legislation and an executive order sanctioning Beijing for imposing a sweeping new national security law on Hong Kong.

Trump on Tuesday signed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which approves sanctions on Chinese officials and banks, as well as an executive order ending Hong Kong's preferential trade treatment.

The Dakota Access Pipeline may continue to pump crude oil through South Dakota after a federal appellate court on Tuesday temporarily blocked a shutdown ordered by a lower court that was to begin next month.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., said Tuesday that she would lift a hold on more than 1,100 senior military promotions after the Department of Defense assured her that it did not block the promotion of Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman — a key witness in the impeachment inquiry of President Trump.

Duckworth, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and combat veteran, put the hold on promotions earlier this month, demanding written confirmation from Defense Secretary Mark Esper that the former National Security Council aide had been recommended for advancement to full colonel.

France has agreed to give its health care workers a pay raise in thanks for their efforts to contain COVID-19.

After seven weeks of negotiations between the French government and unions, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced the agreement to provide $8.5 billion (7.5 billion euros) in raises, averaging about $208 (183 euros) a month for nurses and health care workers.

Australia is seeing a new surge in coronavirus cases.

The chief health officer for Victoria state, where the city of Melbourne is located, announced 270 new cases on Tuesday, following an increase of 177 on Monday.

Brett Sutton said 28 of the new cases had been linked to a known outbreak but that the rest were still being investigated.

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