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.

It's been a great year! Or, has it?

You might be asking yourself that as you scroll through your Facebook feed trying to ignore that "Year in Review" app that randomly gathers your photos and scotches them together into a presumed personal narrative of 2014.

But not everyone is thanking Facebook for the memories.

The newest galaxy to be discovered is actually very old – and very small. And it's right in our neighborhood of the universe.

Although Kks3 is only 7 million light years away (about 2.5 times farther than our nearest large galaxy, Andromeda) at just 1/10,000 the stellar mass of our the Milky Way, it is tiny by galactic standards and incredibly easy to miss. About 2/3rds of the "dwarf spheroidal galaxy" is made up of star material formed 12 billion years ago, just a billion years and some change after the Big Bang.

A military operation involving Pakistani airstrikes and ground troops has killed 39 Islamist militants, including several top commanders near the Afghan border, the military says. It comes a day after the country's security forces said they'd killed the alleged organizer of a deadly assault on a school last week that killed 149 people, mostly children.

A Pakistani statement related by The Associated Press said an underground tunnel system and a large underground cache of weapons and ammunition had been destroyed in the operation in North Waziristan.

The AP says:

Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

Police from around the country are gathering at the Christ Tabernacle Church in Queens today to honor a fallen comrade, Officer Rafael Ramos, who was fatally shot in an unprovoked attack one week ago along with his partner, Wenjian Liu.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Vice President Joe Biden are in attendance at the funeral, which followed a wake for Ramos on Friday that was attended by hundreds.

Top al-Shabab leader Zakariye Ismail Ahmed Hersi, for whose capture the U.S. has offered $3 million, has turned himself in, an intelligence official in Somalia says, according to The Associated Press.

The AP says: "The intelligence officer says he turned himself in to Somali police in the Gedo region. The officer said Hersi may have surrendered because he had a falling out with those loyal to Ahmed Abdi Godane, al-Shabab's top leader who was killed in a U.S. airstrike earlier this year."

Updated at 9:35 a.m. ET

North Korea is blaming the United States for Internet outages experienced by the Asian nation last week, accusing President Obama of being "reckless in words and deeds" and comparing the U.S. to "children with runny noses."

NPR's Carrie Kahn reports that the body of a kidnapped Catholic priest has been discovered after he was seized in the southern state of Guerrero earlier this week.

Updated at 7:50 p.m. ET

Hundreds of police officers gathered in New York Friday for the wake of officer Rafael Ramos, one of two patrolmen who were killed last weekend. The gunman's motive may have included revenge for the deaths of two unarmed black men at the hands of authorities.

USA Today reports:

Two Saudi women arrested nearly a month ago for flouting a ban on female drivers have had their cases referred to a court established to try terrorists, according to The Associated Press.

Using driver's licenses obtained in the United Arab Emirates, Loujain al-Hathloul, 25, and Maysa al-Amoudi, 33, were arrested after crossing into Saudi Arabia, where women are officially banned from driving. The arrests took place on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, respectively.

A key round of negotiations aimed at ending the fighting in eastern Ukraine has been unexpectedly called off.

Belarusian officials, who were set to host the continuation of talks in their capital, Minsk, starting today, had no immediate comment on the reason for the cancellation.

As the BBC writes:

"The latest talks also included Russia and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

If you can't get your new Sony PlayStation or Microsoft Xbox online today, you can blame the Lizard Squad – or (indirectly) North Korea. Or maybe neither.

The Lizard Squad purports to be a group of hackers now claiming responsibility for a denial of service attack on the two game consoles' online sites.

The African Union has condemned an assault on the organization's main base in Somalia by al-Shabab extremists that killed three AU soldiers and a civilian contractor.

AMISOM, the AU mission in Somalia, issued a statement Thursday saying that the four had been killed in a gunfight as soldiers tried to repel the attack by eight militant gunmen.

The father of a Jordanian pilot taken by militants of the self-declared Islamic State is urging his release.

As we reported on Wednesday, Jordan said Flight Lt. Moaz al-Kaseasbeh was captured by ISIS after his plane crashed over northern Syria.

Sierra Leone, the country hardest-hit by an ongoing Ebola outbreak, has imposed a lockdown in the country's north in an effort to contain the spread of the deadly virus.

The BBC quotes local officials as saying that shops, markets and non-Ebola related travel would be shut down. Many public Christmas celebrations had already been banned, according to Reuters.

A vigil and a march in Berkeley, Mo., were largely peaceful overnight after confrontations between police and protesters Tuesday in the wake of the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old black man by a white police officer.

Antonio Martin was shot and killed on Tuesday after police say he pointed a gun at the officer.

Pope Francis, in his Christmas Day blessing in St. Peter's Square, denounced the "brutal persecution" of religious and ethnic minorities and condemned conflicts in Ukraine, Libya and elsewhere.

It was his second "Urbi et Orbi" ("to the city and to the world") message since becoming pope last year, the pontiff also lamented the deadly Taliban attack on a school in Pakistan that killed 149 people, mostly children, and the deaths of thousands due to Ebola in West Africa.

"Truly there are so many tears this Christmas," he said.

The gunman who killed two officers in a Brooklyn neighborhood of New York on Saturday told passersby moments before the shooting to "watch what I am about to do," a senior police official says.

Kurdish fighters, supported by coalition warplanes, pushed into the town of Sinjar in northern Iraq, days after breaking a siege of a mountain where ethnic Yazidis had been trapped for months by Islamist extremists.

Massoud Barzani, an Iraqi Kurdish leader claimed his peshmerga forces had already taken a "large area" of the town of Sinjar, which has been held since August by fighters of the so-called Islamic State.

In what could prove a sneak peek at the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a strong critic of President Obama's decision to open relations with Cuba, appears to be stepping up an attack on fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul over his support of the policy shift.

Updated at 12:20 p.m. ET

Tunisians are going to the polls today to choose a president in a runoff election that represents a choice between the country's interim leader, swept to power in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring revolution, or a candidate with ties to the ousted regime.

Updated at 1:30 p.m. ET

President Obama told CNN that he doesn't consider North Korea's hack of Sony Pictures an act of war, but instead a case of "cyber-vandalism." But he stands by his criticism of the movie studio for pulling the satirical film The Interview because its plot angers Pyongyang.

The gunman who ambushed and killed two New York City police officers in their patrol car before committing suicide reportedly posted messages on social media suggesting the assault was revenge for deaths of two unarmed black men at the hands of authorities.

Remember when we told you earlier this month that a gas station in Oklahoma City had lowered its price for regular unleaded to $1.99 a gallon?

Lowell Steward, one of the famed World War II Tuskegee Airmen, has died at age 95 at a hospital in Ventura, Calif., his family says.

Steward, a Los Angeles native who flew 143 missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross among other awards, died on Wednesday.

The number of people who have died from the worst-ever outbreak of Ebola has crossed the 7,000 mark, the World Health Organization reports, after it recorded another 392 deaths from its previous total of 6,900 earlier this week.

The total number of infected, nearly all of them in West Africa, is at 19,031, up from 18,569 in the previous report. More than 99 percent of all infections and deaths have occurred in three countries — Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Updated at 10:45 a.m. ET

The United States has released four Afghan detainees from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who were returned to Afghanistan — the latest in a series of releases of inmates in recent weeks.

Reuters says: "The men were flown to Kabul overnight aboard a U.S. military plane and released to Afghan authorities, the first such transfer of its kind to the war-torn country since 2009, a U.S. official said."

Russia, battered by the falling price of oil, its chief export, and a tumbling ruble, lashed out against the U.S. and EU for new sanctions that President Vladimir Putin says already account for "25 to 30 percent" of his country's eroding currency.

North Korea, which denies that it had anything to do with a hack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, now wants to help the U.S. root out the real culprit. But true to form for Pyongyang, the dubious offer comes tinged with a threat of "serious" consequences should Washington decline.

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued new national standards designating coal ash — a nearly ubiquitous byproduct of coal-fired power plants that contains arsenic and lead — as nonhazardous waste.

NPR's Christopher Joyce reports that coal-fired power plants produce more than 130 million tons of the coal ash each year, and they have long stored millions of tons of it in giant ponds.

But many of those ponds have failed in recent years, allowing contaminated water to get into rivers and streams, and ultimately into drinking water.

Jeff Williams, Apple's senior vice president for operations, has responded to a BBC report that workers at Asian suppliers for the iPhone 6 are mistreated and overworked, saying he's "deeply offended" by the accusations.

In an email to some 5,000 Apple staff in the United Kingdom, Williams hit back at the British broadcaster's Panorama program, which sent in undercover reporters to observe conditions at the Pegatron factory, near Shanghai, where iPhones are assembled.

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