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.

President Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping discussed the global response to the novel coronavirus in a phone call in which the two reportedly discussed easing tensions and pledged cooperation in the fight against the pandemic.

The leaders spoke after an extraordinary virtual G-20 meeting that was necessitated by social distancing protocols put in place to limit the spread of the potentially deadly virus.

South Africa started a three-week nationwide lockdown on Friday as the country reported its first deaths from COVID-19 and the number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus there neared 1,000, the highest on the continent.

At midnight Thursday, police and the military began enforcing an order forbidding all but essential movement. Before the deadline, there were long lines at supermarkets as people stocked up on supplies, according to the BBC.

Nurses and midwives in Australia say they've had to take extraordinary measures to stop people from stealing personal protective equipment, such as sanitizer and masks, and that some of them have even become targets of violence.

In a statement on its website, the New South Wales Nurses & Midwives' Association issued a plea to the community as the number of novel coronavirus cases in the country exceeded 2,800, with eight deaths, as of Thursday morning.

The head of the International Olympic Committee said Wednesday that it will take much effort to get the Tokyo Olympics back on track after a decision this week to postpone the Games due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"We want to organize the best Games possible," IOC President Thomas Bach said in a conference call with reporters, adding that "this postponement will require sacrifices and compromises from all parties."

"We are confident we can put a beautiful jigsaw puzzle together and in the end have a wonderful Olympic Games," he said.

Updated at 2:20 a.m. ET

The Trump administration and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced early Wednesday that the White House and Senate had reached a deal for an unprecedented $2 trillion spending package aimed at propping up individuals, businesses and the nation's health care system amid the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic.

White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland made the announcement at about 1 a.m. ET.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we are done. We have a deal," Ueland said.

Salt Lake City officials have announced tougher restrictions on families and friends meeting Mormon missionaries returning from abroad after many well wishers flouted official guidelines, thronging an airport parking lot over the weekend with welcome-home signs and balloons.

An Arizona man is dead and his wife was hospitalized after the couple ingested a form of chloroquine, a chemical that has been hailed recently by President Trump as a possible "game changer" in the fight against the novel coronavirus, according to the Phoenix hospital that treated the couple.

Banner Health hospital said in a statement that "the couple, both in their 60s, ingested chloroquine phosphate, an additive commonly used at aquariums to clean fish tanks." The aquarium additive the couple ingested is not the same as the medication that has been used to treat malaria.

Some two dozen residents and six staff members have tested positive for novel coronavirus at a nursing home north of Seattle, according to local reports.

As Senate Republicans try to push through a $1.8 trillion coronavirus relief bill this week, they are doing so without a handful of votes in the closely divided chamber: Sens. Rand Paul, Mitt Romney and Mike Lee.

U.S. and Mexican officials say that the two countries are working on an agreement to halt nonessential travel across their shared border while keeping vital trade links open as part of an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a tweet on Thursday referring to the disease caused by the virus, said he was working closely with his Mexican counterpart, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard, "on travel restrictions that balance protecting our citizens from further transmission of #COVID19."

Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered California's 40 million residents to stay at home indefinitely in the widest-ranging directive so far of any state as it grapples with a growing novel coronavirus epidemic that has killed 150 people nationwide.

The order late Thursday called on people to remain in their homes with exceptions only for essential travel. The move follows similar restrictions issued earlier this week for the San Francisco Bay Area.

China, the country on the frontlines of the novel coronavirus pandemic that has infected 81,000 people there, marked a milestone on Thursday: for the first time since December, it has no new domestic cases to report.

At the same time, China's National Health Commission announced 34 new cases contracted elsewhere and imported from abroad to the country's mainland, while Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous territory, reported 25 new imported cases.

Amazon says that a worker at its delivery station in Queens, New York, has tested positive for novel coronavirus and that the facility is being temporarily shut down so that it can be disinfected.

President Trump says the U.S. has reached an agreement with Canada to limit nonessential travel across their mutual border, as governments and people around the world grapple with the growing novel coronavirus pandemic that has upended daily life and sent shockwaves through the global economy.

Developments in the past 24 hours came as the worldwide total of confirmed infections from the virus was set to top 200,000, with some 8,000 dead from the resulting COVID-19 disease.

Here's a look at developments by region:

Europe

Updated at 5:52 p.m. ET

The European Union is locking down its borders, imposing a 30-day entry ban on nonessential travel for non-EU citizens to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the measure Tuesday night, saying people in the member nations can still move freely between those countries.

The ban went into effect immediately.

Updated at 9:11 p.m. ET

With the number of cases worldwide of the novel coronavirus surpassing 150,000, with some 6,000 deaths, governments across the globe continue their struggle to contain the pandemic. Their hope is to limit the number of new infections, while treating those individuals suffering from COVID-19 and isolating others whose symptoms are not as severe but who might spread the disease.

Here's a snapshot by region of what is happening as of midday Monday:

Europe

Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, the wife of Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, becoming the latest in a string of high-profile individuals to become infected with the potentially deadly pathogen.

In a statement on Thursday, the office of the prime minister said Grégoire Trudeau had begun experiencing a low-grade fever and other mild flu-like symptoms the previous day and was subsequently tested.

Actor Tom Hanks announced on social media Thursday that he and his wife, fellow actor Rita Wilson, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus that has infected tens of thousands worldwide since December.

On Instagram and in a tweet on Thursday local time, Hanks, who is in Australia for preproduction on an as-yet untitled film about Elvis Presley, said he and Wilson "felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches."

Updated at 6:20 a.m. ET

The United Kingdom's health minister has been diagnosed with novel coronavirus infection – one of nearly 400 confirmed cases in that country, as Turkey on Wednesday announced its first case of the disease, which has now spread to some 110 countries.

Jamie Dimon, the head of JPMorgan Chase & Co., is "recovering well" from emergency heart surgery, the bank announced on Thursday.

Dimon, 63, who is the longest-serving head of a major U.S. bank, experienced "an acute aortic dissection," and underwent surgery to repair it on Thursday morning, JPMorgan co-Presidents Daniel Pinto and Gordon Smith said in a company memo.

China reported 889 new cases of novel coronavirus infection on Friday, including more than 200 from a prison, and an additional 118 deaths – all but three in the province of Hubei, bringing the total deaths in the country to more than 2,200.

The latest count came as South Korea, with the highest number of cases outside China, reported another jump in infections to 204.

And residents clashed with police in a central Ukrainian town where evacuees from Wuhan, the Chinese province where the epidemic began, arrived for a two-week quarantine.

Passengers and crew aboard a cruise ship, who were denied entry at several Asian ports in recent days because of fears of coronavirus, cheered as they were finally allowed to disembark in Cambodia on Friday.

The MS Westerdam with nearly 1,500 passengers aboard had been rebuffed by Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines and the U.S. territory of Guam before ultimately being allowed to dock at the Cambodian port of Sihanoukville.

China's Hubei province expanded its criteria for identifying new coronavirus infections on Thursday, causing a dramatic spike in reported cases at the epicenter of the disease, as Beijing moved to purge provincial party officials amid criticism of their handling of the epidemic.

China's government on Tuesday fired two senior health officials in Hubei province, the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic, placing Beijing in direct control of efforts there to contain its spread.

The move came on the same day the country reported 108 new deaths from the virus, the highest single-day number to date, representing about 10% of all fatalities since the outbreak began.

Updated at 8:07 p.m. ET

The head of the World Health Organization is warning that a few cases of the novel coronavirus that have been spread by people who never traveled to China could be "the tip of the iceberg," as officials reported on Tuesday local time that the country's death toll had passed 1,000 from the new virus.

Meanwhile, Chinese authorities lashed out at Western media reports that Beijing was not fully cooperating with international health experts.

China says it has launched an investigation into "issues" related to the death on Friday of a doctor whose early efforts to alert his colleagues to the dangers of a new coronavirus were quashed by authorities.

Meanwhile, President Trump spoke with China's leader Xi Jinping to discuss the coronavirus epidemic, which has rapidly gone global since it began in China in December.

Dr. Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist working in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the epidemic originated, died on Friday local time, weeks after he was hospitalized and treated for a coronavirus infection.

Updated at 8:37 p.m. ET

As the number of coronavirus cases in China jumped dramatically once again on Thursday — to more than 31,000 — other countries where the new strain of viral pneumonia has spread are stepping up efforts to limit the epidemic.

Health authorities in China on Friday reported 31,211 confirmed cases there, with 637 people having died from the virus, officially known as 2019-nCoV, that was first identified in December. Nearly 200 other cases have appeared outside of China and Hong Kong, with one additional death, in the Philippines.

Updated at 7:58 p.m. ET

Hong Kong confirmed its first death from the novel coronavirus on Tuesday as health workers in the territory were on their second day of a walkout aimed at forcing closure of the border with mainland China — the epicenter of the epidemic.

A 39-year-old man who had visited Wuhan, China, where the virus first appeared, died at Hong Kong's Princess Margaret Hospital on Tuesday morning, the hospital confirmed.

Updated at 6:35 p.m. ET

Construction workers in China were scrambling to build a makeshift quarantine and treatment facility on the outskirts of Wuhan, the epicenter of a rapidly spreading new viral pneumonia that has killed 41 people and infected moe than 1,000 others in the country.

Updated at 5:35 p.m. ET

A newly identified strain of coronavirus has killed at least 17 people in China and caused hundreds of confirmed infections, the Hubei provincial government said Wednesday, citing the latest figures from hard-hit Wuhan and other cities.

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