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.

Amnesty International is urging Iranian authorities not to go ahead with the execution of a convicted drug smuggler after the man survived a botched hanging last week.

The 37-year-old man, identified as Alireza M, was found alive in a morgue after he was hanged at a jail in the northeast Iranian city of Bojnord.

A news release from Amnesty International says:

The crash of a turboprop in southern Laos that killed all 49 people aboard was caused by a violent storm that prompted the pilot to miss a runway and careen into the Mekong River, authorities say.

"Upon preparing to land at Pakse Airport the aircraft ran into extreme bad weather conditions and was reportedly crashed into the Mekong River," the Laos Ministry of Public Works and Transport said in a statement.

In one of the strangest moments of a strange few weeks on Capitol Hill, a House stenographer broke into a rant about God, the Constitution and Freemasonry as representatives cast their votes Wednesday on a deal to reopen the government.

"He will not be mocked," the stenographer, later identified as Dianne Reidy, yelled into the microphone at the chamber's rostrum. "The greatest deception here is that this is not one nation under God. It never was. It would not have been. The Constitution would not have been written by Freemasons. They go against God."

Hundreds of thousands of federal workers on furlough for two weeks are going back to work after Congress approved a late-night deal Wednesday to fund the government and stave off default.

A Lao Airlines flight from the capital, Vientiane, crashed into the Mekong River as it was landing. There was no word of survivors among the 49 passengers and crew, The Bangkok Post reports.

The twin-turbo ATR, with 44 passengers and five crew on board, hit the water short of a runway in Pakse, in Champassak province in southern Laos, the newspaper says.

Iran is planning a fresh round of talks on its nuclear program "in a few weeks" after a generally positive first round of multiparty meetings in Geneva aimed at defusing tensions with the West.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, commenting on his Facebook page, says the next meeting with the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany would also be held in Geneva.

New Jersey voters are choosing a new member of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, in a special election pitting Newark Mayor Cory Booker against Steve Lonegan.

Democrat Booker is favored in the polls to win the race to fill the vacancy left by the death of Frank Lautenberg in June. However, his Republican opponent, the former mayor of the northern New Jersey town of Bogota, has managed to close the gap a bit in the run-up to election day.

ABC7 reports:

Police have arrested a baggage handler in connection with a series of dry ice bombs, two of which exploded harmlessly at the Los Angeles International Airport in recent days.

Dicarlo Bennett, 28, an employee for the ground handling company Servisair, was booked on Tuesday for "possession of a destructive device near an aircraft," The Associated Press reports. He is being held on $1 million bail.

Update at 10:18 p.m.: House Approves Bill:

The crisis is over. With about two hours before the country reached the debt ceiling, the House has approved the bill and it is now it's way to the White House. We've posted separately on that development and we are putting this live blog to bed.

Our Original Post Continues:

The Washington Post has published new revelations about the National Security Agency's electronic snooping, indicating that the intelligence branch gathers millions of contact lists from personal email accounts and instant messaging around the world.

The new information is attributed by The Post to "senior intelligence officials and top-secret documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden."

This post was updated at 11:30 a.m.

Authorities in Los Angeles were investigating a dry ice bomb that went off at the city's international airport late Monday — the second blast in as many days. Two other devices were found unexploded.

Iran's proposal for easing the standoff over its nuclear program got seemingly positive initial reviews at Tuesday's start of multiparty talks in Geneva.

A spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the Iranian delegation had made a PowerPoint presentation outlining the plan at the beginning of the two-day session. The spokesman said the plan had been received with "cautious optimism" but gave no further details of the close-door meeting, describing the proceedings as "confidential."

(This post was last updated at 11:05 p.m. ET)

With a little more than a day to go before the nation potentially defaults on its debts, there's still no solid plan on the table in Washington.

There was a flurry of activity on Tuesday, but it produced little significant movement.

The Air Force two-star general in charge of the country's land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles has been relieved of his command for what's being described as questionable behavior during a temporary duty assignment.

Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, who led the 20th Air Force, headquartered at Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., has been dismissed, according to a statement issued by the Air Force Global Strike Command.

Human Rights Watch has accused Islamist Syrian rebels of slaughtering nearly 200 unarmed civilians belonging to the minority Alawite sect and kidnapping hundreds more during an offensive against pro-regime villages.

The New York-based group issued a 105-page report on Friday outlining the atrocities it says were committed on Aug. 4 in more than a dozen villages in Latakia province.

Good morning, here are our early stories:

-- Chemical Weapons Watchdog Gets Nobel Peace Prize

-- No Deal Yet, But Maybe An Opening

And here are more early headlines:

Syria's Rebels Executed Civilians, Say Human Rights Watch (BBC)

It's groundhog day — again — in Washington. Friday is playing out a lot like Thursday — that is, a lot of sound and fury, but very little clarity about what it all signifies.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, a watchdog group that is overseeing efforts in Syria to eliminate its chemical stockpile, has won the Nobel Peace Prize.

The group, based in The Hague, Netherlands, was formed in 1997. "Since then the OPCW has, through inspections, destruction and by other means, sought the implementation of the convention. 189 states have acceded to the convention to date," the Nobel committee said.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew urged lawmakers on Thursday to raise the government's borrowing limit or face the prospect of causing lasting damage to the U.S. economy.

This post was last updated at 7:19 p.m. ET.

After an hour-long meeting with President Obama, Republicans said they have agreed to keep talking, in hopes of bridging a gulf that has already led to a government shutdown and is threatening the first default in U.S. history.

Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, who was shot last year by Taliban militants for her advocacy of girls' education, has been awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought by European lawmakers.

It's Day 10 of the partial federal government shutdown, and the big news is a meeting between President Obama and a select group of House Republicans.

Libya's Prime Minister Ali Zeidan was abducted Thursday by gunmen reportedly affiliated with former rebels. Hours later, he was suddenly freed.

Government spokesman Mohammed Kaabar said Zeidan has been "set free" and was on his way to the office, according to the LANA news agency.

Update At 8:50 a.m. ET. Reuters, which originally reported that Zeidan had tweeted that he was fine after his release, has withdrawn the story, saying the Twitter account was fake.

An undercover New York City police officer has been arrested and charged in connection with the beating of an SUV driver last month by a group of motorcyclists. The attack was videotaped and went viral on YouTube.

Wojciech Braszczok, 32, was part of the motorcycle rally on Sept. 29. As The Associated Press says, the rally "began with a reckless motorcycle group ride on a Manhattan highway ... [and ended when] one motorcyclist was run over, and the SUV driver was dragged from behind the wheel and beaten on a street."

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki warned lawmakers on Wednesday that the partial government shutdown means that about 3.8 million veterans will not receive disability compensation next month.

Shinseki, in testimony before the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, said pensions to more than half a million vets or surviving spouses will also be derailed if the stalemate over a temporary spending measure drags on into late October.

The Associated Press reports:

Hundreds of Boston school bus drivers are back on the job following a one-day strike that sent parents scrambling to find ways to get their kids to and from school.

The drivers' union said Wednesday that it had agreed to return to work after the company contracted by the school to run bus services, Veolia Transportation Inc., agreed to a meeting with the union. About 600 drivers had walked off the job.

Boston.com says:

Update at 4:39 p.m. ET. Recalibrating Assistance:

The State Department says the U.S. is "recalibrating" the assistance it provides Egypt.

One thing is certain: None of the key players in the federal spending impasse is very happy right now.

President Obama is expected to meet with House Democrats on Wednesday and other caucuses in the coming days, The Associated Press reports, amid hope that a deal can be made soon.

Here's a rundown of Wednesday's Morning Edition coverage on the partial government shutdown, which is bumping up against the debate over raising the debt ceiling.

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