Scott Neuman | KERA News

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.

USS Enterprise, the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, is beginning the last deployment in her storied 50-year career on the frontlines of American sea power.

Known as the "Big E", she was among the vessels dispatched to the waters off Cuba during the October 1962 missile crisis with orders from President Kennedy to enforce an air and sea blockade of the island nation.

Syrian activists blamed pro-government militiamen for the latest killing of civilians in the city of Homs. At least a dozen people, including children, were killed, state media confirmed, saying instead that the perpetrators were "armed terrorists."

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 12 people were killed, but the Local Coordination Committee had a much higher figure – 45, according to The Associated Press.

The AP quoted the LCC and the Observatory as saying:

The White House will unveil a report today showing that U.S. dependence on foreign oil imports has dropped by more than two million barrels a day since President Obama took office.

The report shows U.S. imports at 8.4 million barrels a day last year from 11 million barrels a day in 2008. As a percent of all U.S. consumption, foreign imports went from 57 percent down to 45 percent in the same period, the report says.

The Taliban have vowed to avenge the deaths of 16 civilians in Afghanistan, allegedly shot by a U.S. soldier in a rampage through villages near Kandahar.

According to The Associated Press, the Afghan militia on its website called the attack a "blood-soaked and inhumane crime" and the attackers "sick-minded American savages." It promised to seek revenge "for every single martyr with the help of Allah."

William Johnson, a graphic designer by trade, recalls with much bitterness the long, grinding job hunt that followed his 2007 pink slip in Milwaukee.

"There were some people I emailed or called 10 or 15 times," he says. "After a few years of that, not hearing back from people ... slowly but surely I just sort of gave up."

There's been something wacky with the weather this winter, and many forecasters never saw it coming.

Among them was The Old Farmer's Almanac, the quirky, centuries-old mix of historical data, prognostications and folk wisdom. Millions of people consult the almanac, which uses a secret formula to come up with its annual, yearlong weather forecasts, even though meteorologists say it has a dubious track record.

Benom Plumb, a 31-year-old music industry executive from Nashville, thinks the country is on the wrong path, and that Ron Paul is the only candidate who can turn things around.

As for the other Republicans, Plumb doesn't mince words: Mitt Romney? Too slick. Rick Santorum? Too religious. Newt Gingrich? Untrustworthy. "They are all liars and cheaters, if you ask me," he says.

Greece: So, What Now?

Feb 21, 2012

Greece is looking more and more like one of those "troubled homeowners" we hear so much about.

It's underwater and struggling to cover debts worth far more than its gross domestic product. So nervous lenders are offering to write down some of those loans in hopes of sending Greece a lifeline and keeping Athens current on its payments.

In return, the country has agreed to put its balance sheet in order, a process that is going to be neither easy nor quick.

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch isn't backing down.

In an email to staff of the besieged Sun tabloid, where ten current and former senior staff have been arrested since November, the 81-year-old media tycoon promised to "build on the Sun's proud heritage by launching the Sun on Sunday very soon.

The email came as Murdoch visited the paper's U.K. headquarters for a meeting with staff. According to the BBC:

More horrific reports out of Homs only a day after the United Nations General Assembly called on President Bashar al-Assad's regime to end its shelling of the city.

Voice of America reports activists say:

... tank fire and artillery shelling hit four neighborhoods in the central protest city Friday which has spearheaded the 11-month uprising.

Both the House and Senate today voted to renew a payroll tax cut that benefits 160 million workers, as well as extending benefits to millions of unemployed Americans.

The Republican-controlled House voted 293-132, followed quickly by a simple majority vote in the Senate.

The measure now goes to President Obama, who is expected to sign it.

Workers would continue to receive the 2 percentage-point cut in the 6.2 percent Social Security payroll tax — as much as $2,200 for high-income earners.

The Associated Press reports:

If you thought privacy settings on your iPhone, iPad or Apple desktop were keeping others from tracking your travels across the Web, think again.

Google Inc. and some advertising companies have been bypassing the privacy settings of millions of people using Safari, the default Apple-supplied browser, The Wall Street Journal reports.

In a story today by Julia Angwin and Jennifer Valentino-Devries, the WSJ said:

Libyans celebrated the first anniversary of the popular uprising that ousted long-time dictator Moammar Gaddafi today, but some of the very militias responsible for toppling the government have turned to terrorizing the population.

On Morning Edition today, a couple of reports highlighting the run-up to the Feb. 28 Michigan primary, which is shaping up to be a close match between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, who has gained considerable momentum from wins elsewhere in the Midwest last week.

NPR's Don Gonyea reports from Michigan that Santorum's committment to conservative family values is having some resonance there.

German President Chritian Wulff has resigned amid questions about possible corruption, a move that leaves Chancellor Angela Merkel - already under pressure from the eurozone debt crisis - scrambling for a replacement.

Wulff stepped down from the largely ceremonial post two months after the German newpaper Bild published a story alleging that while he was premier of Lower Saxony, he had failed to disclose his links to powerful businessman Egon Geerkens.

We've had nearly a monthlong lull in the Republican presidential debates, but brace yourself — they'll be back soon enough.

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. media empire appears to be under siege.

Five more journalists at The Sun were arrested over the weekend as part of a U.K. investigation into alleged bribery of police officials and others by the British tabloid. Four current and former Sun journalists were arrested last month.

President Obama has unveiled a spending plan that aims to trim $4 trillion from the deficit over the next decade, while boosting spending to programs to stimulate the still-ailing U.S. economy.

"At a time when our economy is growing and creating jobs at a faster pace, our job is to keep things on track," Obama told an audience at a Northern Virginia community college. "I am proposing some difficult cuts that, frankly, I wouldn't be proposing if I didn't have to."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wasted no time in pointing the finger at Iran for the explosion of a diplomat's vehicle in India and an alleged attempted car bombing in Georgia.

It could be weeks before anyone knows exactly how singer Whitney Houston died, but that didn't stop fellow superstars at last night's Grammys from honoring her life and accomplishments.

LL Cool J, Bonnie Raitt and Stevie Wonder were among the performers who mourned Houston, 48, whose body was found Saturday in a bathtub in her Beverly Hills hotel room.

Jennifer Hudson paid tribute to Houston with the late singer's signature "I Will Always Love You."

Spin Magazine wrote:

It was the calm after the storm in Athens today after a night of riots sparked by a new round of painful austerity measures.

The $26 billion deal Thursday reached by the federal government, most states and the nation's largest banks to compensate homeowners for abusive foreclosure practices was hailed as a landmark agreement. But it's unlikely to end the mortgage mess that has depressed property values and left millions of homeowners owing more than their homes are worth, analysts say.

The late conservative writer William F. Buckley Jr. once said that "idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive."

That seems to be the political calculation being made by President Obama and his campaign team when it comes to opposing superPACs.

In election season, conventional wisdom holds that a costly, drawn-out primary fight hurts a nominee in the general election.

It's a notion that appeals to common sense. After all, the thinking goes, if a boxer endures nine rounds with a formidable challenger and immediately steps back into the ring with a well-rested heavyweight, that can't be good.

Mitt Romney has filed his tax returns — to the voters. And to no one's surprise, the former Massachusetts governor, private equity firm exec and GOP presidential contender makes a tidy sum.

A few weeks ago, Mike Wendlinger bought himself a Christmas present — a Nook Simple Touch e-book reader. And when he did, he joined a wave of Americans who have combined to make e-readers and their more powerful bretheren, tablet computers, into genuine mass market devices.

The arrests of four executives of Megaupload, a major Internet file-sharing site, have triggered an online backlash, and raised fresh questions about electronic piracy and copyright violations. What's behind the controversy? NPR asked two experts to help clarify the facts behind the arrests.

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