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.

Updated at 9 a.m. ET

New birth-rate 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.

A volcano south of the Philippine capital has sent a massive plume of ash and steam spewing miles into the sky and pushed red-hot lava out of its crater, prompting the evacuation of thousands of people and the closure of Manila's airport.

In a matter of hours on Sunday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised the alert level for Taal Volcano to Level 4 from Level 1 — with Level 5 being the highest. It warned that a larger "explosive eruption" could occur within hours or days.

A pair of massive bushfires in southeastern Australia has merged into a "megafire" engulfing some 2,300 square miles — a single blaze more than three times as large as any known fire in California.

Customs and Border Protection agents apprehended or refused entry to fewer people at the U.S.-Mexico border in December than in the previous month – the latest in a gradual downward trend since such enforcement actions reached a 13-year peak in May amid a Trump administration crackdown.

Buck Henry, who co-wrote the screenplay for the classic 1967 film The Graduate, co-directed 1978's Heaven Can Wait, and made regular appearances as a guest host on Saturday Night Live in the show's early years, has died. He was 89.

Henry died Wednesday in Los Angeles following a heart attack. Reports of his death were confirmed to NPR by a longtime friend.

San Diego's public school schools have filed suit against Juul Labs, Inc., the largest U.S. producer of e-cigarettes, accusing the company of deliberately marketing its vaping products to young people, effectively rolling back years of progress made by anti-smoking campaigns.

Iran's U.N. ambassador tells NPR that Tehran has no plans to step up a confrontation with the U.S. after it fired missiles at U.S. military bases in Iraq in "a measured, proportionate response" to the assassination of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

However, Majid Takht Ravanchi, speaking to Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep, says Iran is prepared for further action if the U.S. renews its aggression. He also denied the Trump administration's assertion that Soleimani, the commander of Iran's Quds Force, had been plotting an attack on U.S. persons or interests.

A clear majority of people living outside the U.S. do not trust President Trump to do the right thing in world affairs, with fewer than one-third expressing confidence in him — an opinion also reflected in attitudes toward America generally, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center.

However, the metrics have improved somewhat for the president since a similar survey two years ago, increasing to 29% expressing confidence from 22%.

Updated at 4:50 a.m. ET

A Ukraine International Airlines jetliner, reportedly carrying 176 passengers and crew, has crashed near Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport, according to Iran state television, which said all those aboard are dead. Iranian officials said they believe one of the plane's engines caught fire.

A stampede in south-central Iran at the funeral of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani has killed at least 32 people and injured scores, temporarily suspending the burial of the slain commander of the Quds Force who was killed last week in a U.S. airstrike.

Iranian television said the stampede took place in Kerman, Soleimani's hometown, where he was to have been buried following a two-day funeral in which his casket traveled to several cities, where hundreds of thousands of Iranians paid respects.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tells NPR that the U.S. "will pay" for a drone strike that killed the commander of the country's elite Quds Force, which he described as an act of "both terrorism and war."

Speaking with All Things Considered host Mary Louise Kelly in Tehran, Zarif said last week's assassination of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani was "a cowardly armed attack" that "amounts to war."

"[We] will respond according to our own timing and choice," he said.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

Venezuela is starting the year with a dramatic new twist to its political crisis.

On Sunday, allies of President Nicolás Maduro hijacked a session of the country's National Assembly while security forces locked out the body's president, Juan Guaidó, and his supporters. Meanwhile, inside the chamber, lawmakers allied to Maduro's government quickly selected a new head of the chamber.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET

Vast crowds thronged the streets of Tehran on Monday to pay respects to Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's elite Quds Force who was killed last week in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad.

In a eulogy, Soleimani's daughter appeared to threaten U.S. forces in the region, and the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, wept for the fallen general.

Venezuelan security forces on Sunday blocked opposition leader Juan Guaidó from a special session of the National Assembly, where he was expected to be reelected as the legislature's leader — an apparent bid by President Nicolás Maduro to outmaneuver the man who has staked a rival claim to the presidency.

In Guaidó's absence, supporters of Maduro elected one of their own to head the body. Hours later, however, a majority of National Assembly lawmakers met in emergency session elsewhere, reelecting Guaidó and accusing Maduro of attempting a "parliamentary coup."

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Iraq's Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said Friday he would step down following weeks of violent protests and a call for his ouster by the country's top Shia Muslim cleric.

"In response to this call, and in order to facilitate it as quickly as possible, I will present to parliament a demand (to accept) my resignation from the leadership of the current government," the prime minister said in a statement translated by Reuters.

Nearly a month ago, Abdul-Mahdi indicated his agreement in principle to resign, but didn't give an exact date.

SpaceX successfully launched 60 communications satellites on Monday using a single rocket.

It's the second time in less than a year that Elon Musk's company has made such a launch, marking a dramatic increase in the number of satellites in orbit.

Mercury is tiny. But it's a big deal for thousands of amateur astronomers in the Western hemisphere who will be watching the planet on Monday as it makes a transit across the disk of the sun.

It may not be as spectacular as the solar eclipse two years ago, or even the 2012 transit of Venus. But beauty is in the eyepiece of the beholder.

Fiat Chrysler and Groupe PSA, the owner of Peugeot, agreed on Thursday to combine forces to create the world's fourth-largest carmaker by production volume.

Fire swept through a train in Pakistan early Thursday, killing more than 65 people after a natural gas cylinder being used by a passenger to cook breakfast suddenly exploded, officials said.

Some of the deaths were caused as passengers leaped from the moving railway cars to escape the spreading flames, according to multiple railway officials.

A fire at Okinawa's Shuri Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a popular tourist attraction on the southern Japanese island, has destroyed a large portion of the historic compound.

Television video showed firefighters on Thursday trying to contain the blaze at the wooden castle. The compound's main, north and south buildings were destroyed in the fire.

"The cause of the fire has not been determined yet, but a security company alarm went off at around 2:30 in the morning," said Ryo Kochi, a spokesman with the Okinawa Prefectural Police.

Updated 8:12 a.m. ET

Christopher Anderson, a career foreign service officer in the State Department, will tell House impeachment investigators on Wednesday that President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani stood in the way of the White House strengthening ties with Ukraine, according to a copy of Anderson's opening statement obtained by NPR.

Actor and comedian John Witherspoon, whose first roles were on 1970s TV shows such as Barnaby Jones and The Richard Pryor Show but who was best known for his role as the crotchety dad in the Friday films, has died at 77.

Witherspoon's family confirmed his death in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

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