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Larry Abramson 2010

Larry Abramson

Larry Abramson is NPR's National Security Correspondent. He covers the Pentagon, as well as issues relating to the thousands of vets returning home from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Prior to his current role, Abramson was NPR's Education Correspondent covering a wide variety of issues related to education, from federal policy to testing to instructional techniques in the classroom. His reporting focused on the impact of for-profit colleges and universities, and on the role of technology in the classroom. He made a number of trips to New Orleans to chart the progress of school reform there since Hurricane Katrina. Abramson also covers a variety of news stories beyond the education beat.

In 2006, Abramson returned to the education beat after spending nine years covering national security and technology issues for NPR. Since 9/11, Abramson has covered telecommunications regulation, computer privacy, legal issues in cyberspace, and legal issues related to the war on terrorism.

During the late 1990s, Abramson was involved in several special projects related to education. He followed the efforts of a school in Fairfax County, Virginia, to include severely disabled students in regular classroom settings. He joined the National Desk reporting staff in 1997.

For seven years prior to his position as a reporter on the National Desk, Abramson was senior editor for NPR's National Desk. His department was responsible for approximately 25 staff reporters across the United States, five editors in Washington, and news bureaus in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. The National Desk also coordinated domestic news coverage with news departments at many of NPR's member stations. The desk doubled in size during Abramson's tenure. He oversaw the development of specialized beats in general business, high-technology, workplace issues, small business, education, and criminal justice.

Abramson joined NPR in 1985 as a production assistant with Morning Edition. He moved to the National Desk, where he served for two years as Western editor. From there, he became the deputy science editor with NPR's Science Unit, where he helped win a duPont-Columbia Award as editor of a special series on Black Americans and AIDS.

Prior to his work at NPR, Abramson was a freelance reporter in San Francisco and worked with Voice of America in California and in Washington, D.C.

He has a master's degree in comparative literature from the University of California at Berkeley. Abramson also studied overseas at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and at the Free University in Berlin, Germany.

  • Years of war have overtaxed Gaza's hospitals, making it tough for kidney patients to get good treatment. Thanks to help from British doctors, Gaza surgeons are now being trained to perform kidney transplants. They hope to help ease the huge demand for dialysis, but transplants have their own cost.
  • Soldiers around the world will stop what they're doing Thursday to take part in suicide prevention training. The "stand down" is part of the Army's response to an alarming suicide rate — on average, one a day.
  • Four Connecticut librarians spoke bitterly Tuesday about a months' long gag order they were subjected to after the FBI requested patrons' records under the Patriot Act. The librarians decried their inability to participate in congressional debate on how to rewrite the act.
  • A federal jury in Alexandria, Va., sentences Zacarias Moussaoui to spend the rest of his life in prison on charges that he was a conspirator in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Moussaoui, who confessed to being part of al-Qaida, is the only person charged in the United States in connection to the attacks.
  • It is now up to a jury whether Zacarias Moussaoui is executed or is sentenced to life in prison. Family members of Sept. 11 victims are divided over Moussaoui's fate. The jury continues considering Moussaoui's fate Tuesday after deliberating for three hours Monday.
  • The jury has begun deliberations in the death penalty trial of confessed al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui. The prosecution has argued that because Moussaoui played a role in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, he should receive the death penalty.
  • Lawyers for al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui question a psychologist about the confessed terrorist's mental state. Moussaoui's defense team is trying to repair damage done by their client last week, when he told the jury weighing the death penalty that he would attack America if he could.
  • The jury deciding the fate of Zacarias Moussaoui hears cockpit and air traffic control tapes from United Flight 93 before it crashed in Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001. It was the final day of presentation for federal prosecutors.
  • The Zacarias Moussaoui sentencing trial continues with testimony from the families of World Trade Center attack victims. The prosecutors also presented evidence of suffering from the Pentagon attack. The government is trying to convince the jury to vote for the death penalty for Moussaoui.
  • Defendant Zacarias Moussaoui repeatedly interrupts efforts to select a jury during the first day of his sentencing trial. Moussaoui has pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the Sept. 11 attacks. The jurors will determine whether Moussaoui receives the death penalty.