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.

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.

Team Obama reversed course late Monday when campaign manager Jim Messina urged donors to help pro-Obama superPACs raise supermoney, and said administration officials will be free to help with the fundraising.

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.

What do you do with a 1,000-foot wreck that's full of fuel and half-submerged on a rocky ledge in the middle of an Italian marine sanctuary? Remove it. Very carefully.

The wreck of the cruise liner Costa Concordia, which ran aground last week, is not unlike a car accident. The first order of business is determining whether it's worth repairing or it gets junked. Then there are the questions of how best to go about it — and who pays.

The power of the pardon can redress an overly harsh sentence or a wrongful conviction. It can also prove to be a political land mine.

Exhibit A: Outgoing Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour's sweeping 11th-hour orders granting clemency to more than 200 people, ranging from convicted murderers to the brother of NFL great Brett Favre, who had his record cleared in connection with a 1997 conviction on manslaughter charges.

Tuesday was an exciting night for Mitt Romney in New Hampshire. In mid-Ohio, not so much.

By about 9 a.m. Wednesday, the bankruptcy of a local barbecue restaurant chain was one of several stories ranked higher in the "most popular stories" list on The Columbus Dispatch's website than anything coming out of the GOP primary.

For many people, the election so far just hasn't been that interesting — and it might be even less so if Romney again rakes in the chips in South Carolina next week, adding to the perception that his nomination is virtually a done deal.

When it comes to unemployment reports in an election year, it's not just the data — it's also the spin.

Friday's jobs report could be seen as good news — at 8.5 percent, it's the lowest in three years. Good news for President Obama? Not according to Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, who lost no time in pointing out that the number is still above 8 percent — the figure that the president said would be the worst case under his 2009 stimulus package.

Iowa proved a road to victory for Mitt Romney, but it was a road to nowhere for Michele Bachmann.

"Last night, the people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice, and so I have decided to stand aside," Bachmann said Wednesday at a West Des Moines news conference. The Minnesota congresswoman decided to end her 2012 presidential bid after finishing sixth in Tuesday's caucuses in Iowa — the state where she was born and where, just five months ago, she won a Republican straw poll in Ames.

Congressional approval ratings are on the rocks, hovering in or near single digits for the first time since pollsters started measuring them. But just how bad is the current congressional stalemate?

Thomas Mann, senior fellow of governance studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington, is working on a book about Congress with a title that provides a succinct answer: It's Even Worse Than It Looks.

In modern history, Mann says, "there have been battles, delays, brinkmanship — but nothing quite like this."

When the head of the National Transportation Safety Board called for states to pass tough new laws banning drivers from using cellphones or hand-held devices, she said: "No call, no text, no update, is worth a human life."

While Tuesday's statement by NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman is undeniable, there are those who question the advisability of such a ban. Some state lawmakers and transportation experts say it could be difficult to enforce and that there's no real evidence yet that existing laws on hand-held devices have significantly reduced accident rates.

Iranian officials have crowed they are mining "priceless technological information" from a CIA spy drone that went down days ago inside Iran's borders, broadcasting triumphant images of what they said was the craft on state TV.

But many experts say the loss of the RQ-170 Sentinel drone — like the U-2 spy plane shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960 — may have more value as propaganda than as a treasure trove of technological secrets.

From phone alerts to text messages, from classroom message boards to outdoor sirens, from the university website to Twitter, the emergency response system at Virginia Tech got its toughest test Thursday since the 2007 rampage that killed 33 people on that campus.

Deadly suicide attacks in Afghanistan aimed at minority Shiite Muslims have experts wondering whether the war there could be taking a dangerous new sectarian turn.

Tuesday's twin attacks, in the capital of Kabul and the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, killed at least 60 Shiite worshippers as they celebrated Ashura, one of their sect's holiest days. It was the first such large-scale attack against Shiites in Afghanistan in more than a decade.

Not long ago, economists and others expressed concerns that China's economy was expanding too quickly. Now, the latest data are raising concerns about a slowdown — and the woes it could trigger.

With a sluggish U.S. economy and troubles in the eurozone, Chinese exports are taking a hit, causing a slowdown on shop floors in Shanghai and Shenzhen. Earlier this week, the Chinese Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, fell to its lowest level in nearly three years.

As American Airlines struggled to keep up with its rivals in recent years, it could at least boast something that competitors could not: The Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier had never gone bankrupt. Not anymore.

On Tuesday, American's parent, AMR Corp., filed for bankruptcy protection, citing $10 billion in loses over the past decade. In a statement, it said it took the step in hopes of bringing down costs and emerging more competitive.

A NATO airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers over the weekend has brought U.S.-Pakistani ties to a new level of strain, but experts say it's unlikely to produce a permanent rift in the relationship.

Barely a month ago, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Islamabad hoping to cement greater Pakistani cooperation to eliminate Taliban safe havens inside its territory. After Saturday's attack, that kind of cooperation appeared to be on indefinite hold.

When the bipartisan supercommittee on the federal debt was formed four months ago, there was more than a little skepticism that the 12-member group could come up with $1.2 trillion in savings and avoid a severe round of automatic government budget cuts.

On Monday, with the deadline fast approaching and no plan in sight, it looked like the skeptics were on the verge of being proved right.

It's hard to miss the irony: Leon Panetta, as President Clinton's budget guru, backed billions of dollars in Pentagon cuts. Now, as secretary of defense, he's warning that the U.S. could become a "paper tiger" if his department's budget is further reduced.

Moammar Gadhafi proved true to his word that he would remain in Libya and "die as a martyr," though his final hours were an ignominious end for a man who long ruled from a fortress-like compound in the heart of Tripoli.

His last moments were reportedly spent holed up in a culvert under a road in his hometown of Sirte as loyalist forces waged a losing battle to keep control of the city.

The Justice Department said Tuesday it had foiled a plot directed by elements in the Iranian government who sought to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S.

Attorney General Eric Holder said two men, Manssor Arbabsiar and Gholam Shakuri, have been accused in connection with the alleged plot. Authorities said they had planned a bombing to kill the Saudi ambassador, Adel al-Jubeir.

The three women who won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize were lauded for their courage in standing up to the violence and brutality of oppressive regimes in Liberia and Yemen.

The five-member Nobel Committee in Norway announced Friday that it would split the coveted award three ways, honoring Africa's first democratically elected female president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; Liberian campaigner Leymah Gbowee; and Yemeni democracy activist Tawakkul Karman.

Visionary. Uncompromising. Intuitive. Risk-taking. Steve Jobs — the man who helped build a company and used it to transform multiple industries and popular culture — could have been lifted from the pages of a college textbook on how to be a successful CEO.

He was "the most incredible businessperson in the world," Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak told CBS News on Thursday, a day after Jobs' death.

When Dave Barnes drove 600 miles from Maryland to Indiana last week for his 50th high school reunion, he was surprised by the price of gas — in a good way.

Barnes, 68, says he filled up his Dodge Challenger in Indianapolis for as little as $3.15 a gallon. It was a far cry from the cross-country motorcycle trip he took this summer.

"When I took the trip in June, I was seeing $3.60 a gallon in most places and as high as $4 a gallon in California," he says.

Anwar al-Awlaki was born in New Mexico, educated in Colorado and spent years as a cleric in San Diego and suburban Washington, D.C. But in the past several years, he became a master al-Qaida propagandist whose sermons inspired jihadists worldwide before his death Friday by a U.S. missile on a desert road in northern Yemen.

Awlaki's journey from a childhood in Las Cruces, N.M., to the Arabian Peninsula placed him in the cross hairs of U.S. intelligence after he was linked to the failed "underwear bomber," the Fort Hood shooter and the foiled plot to bomb New York's Times Square.

Alabama's toughest-in-the-nation law on illegal immigration went into effect Thursday, a day after a federal judge upheld some of its key provisions, but the court battle over the issue appears far from over.

State law enforcement can now question and detain without bond people they suspect may be in the country illegally, and public schools are required to verify students' immigration status.

If you're afraid of heights, this is definitely not your dream job.

Tuesday, five engineers began a series of rappelling operations down the face of the Washington Monument to assess damage caused by the Aug. 23 earthquake that shook the nation's capital. The five belong to a special "difficult access team" from Northbrook, Ill.-based Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc., or WJE.

The two American men who stepped out of an Iranian prison Wednesday after spending more than two years in custody may have a tiny Persian Gulf nation to thank for greasing the wheels of their release.

Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, both 29, had been accused of espionage along with fellow American Sarah Shourd and sentenced to eight years in prison. They were freed in exchange for $1 million and flown to Oman.

"Hacktivists" are hitting the streets.

The cyberguerrilla group Anonymous — known for high-profile computer attacks on corporate and government targets — is urging its followers to come out from behind their PCs on Saturday and occupy Wall Street.

The aim: an Arab Spring-style protest over the "abuse and corruption of corporations, banks and governments."

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