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.

Updated at 3:42 p.m. ET:

The number of "contact traces" for a man diagnosed with Ebola earlier this week in Dallas has risen to 100, officials say, as they add secondary contacts to a list of people being monitored for symptoms of the deadly virus.

Earlier today, Erikka Neros, a spokeswoman for the Dallas County Health and Human Services department, said the number of "contact traces" stood at about 80 because the 12 to 18 people who had been exposed directly to the patient then had contact with others.

An official from the Texas hospital where an Ebola patient is being treated says a nurse using a checklist for the disease learned that he had traveled from West Africa, but that the information was "not communicated" to doctors making the diagnosis.

Dr. Mark Lester, of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, told reporters at a news conference this afternoon that as a result of the miscommunication, the team of physicians evaluating the patient concluded at the time he was first examined at the hospital on Friday that he suffered from a "low-grade common viral disease."

Following word of the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as major news organizations have weighed in. While the development is a concern, the basic message seems to be this: Don't panic.

President Obama unveiled a new White House campaign aimed at combating campus sexual assault, saying such violence is "an affront to our basic humanity."

Harvard is set to receive $350 million — its largest-ever single donation — from a foundation run by a wealthy Hong Kong family led by alumnus and longtime benefactor Gerald L. Chan.

Two Ebola-related deaths have emerged in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the country's health ministry says. If confirmed, it would be the first time in the present outbreak that the disease has killed outside of a handful of West African nations.

But Congo Health Minister Felix Kabange Numbi insists that the two of eight fever victims that tested positive for Ebola are part of a separate outbreak from the one that has killed more than 1,400 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria.

Don't expect Secretary of State John Kerry to accept the ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge" anytime soon: Lawyers at the State Department have banned high-profile U.S. diplomats from participating in the fundraising phenomenon that has swept social media in recent weeks.

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET.

The Kenyan government has taken the step of closing its borders to travelers from West African countries affected by the growing Ebola outbreak.

The suspension applies to Kenyan ports of entry for people traveling from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, the country's Health Ministry says. It goes into effect Tuesday at midnight.

"This step is in line with the recognition of the extraordinary measures urgently required to contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa," the Health Ministry said in a statement.

The government in the West African nation of Guinea is denying reports that it has sealed its borders with neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone in response to the Ebola outbreak.

Guinea's health minister said Saturday that it had closed its borders with the two countries to prevent infected people from entering. State television in Guinea later said, however, that it had only instituted special health measures at border posts, according to the BBC.

The Philippines on Sunday welcomed its 100-millionth citizen — a baby girl named Chonalyn who was born at a hospital in the capital, Manila.

Juan Antonio Perez III, executive director of the Commission on Population, announced the official milestone after the birth at Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, which has one of the busiest maternity wards in the world. The 6-pound Chonalyn arrived shortly after midnight Manila time.

Retired Anglican bishop Desmond Tutu, who describes as "disgraceful" the way former South African President Nelson Mandela was treated in his last, enfeebled days, has thrown his support behind a British assisted-dying bill.

Citing an anthrax scare and other safety concerns, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has temporarily shut down two of its laboratories.

The announcement on Friday follows incidents in the past month that involved the possible exposure of dozens of lab workers to anthrax at facilities in Atlanta.

Marijuana use in the United States has gone up as the public perception of the drug's risk has gone down, according to a new United Nations report. The potency of the drug has also increased,

U.S. authorities increased to 86 people the number of CDC workers potentially exposed to live anthrax at three laboratories in Atlanta, with at least 52 of them taking antibiotics as a precaution.

The number who may have been infected is an increase from the 75 workers that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledged on Thursday.

The Associated Press says:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta says that as many as 75 of its workers may have been accidentally exposed to live anthrax bacteria this month because of a safety problem at one of its labs.

Member station WABE's Michell Eloy reports from Atlanta that the CDC says the possible exposure "occurred after researchers at a high-security lab failed to follow the correct procedure to deactivate the bacteria."

The inspector general of the Department of Veterans Affairs has affirmed that some 1,700 patients at the Phoenix VA hospital were put on unofficial wait lists and subjected to treatment delays of up to 115 days.

In an interim report released Wednesday, the inspector general's office reported it had "substantiated that significant delays in access to care negatively impacted the quality of care" at Phoenix HCS.

This post was updated at 5:45 p.m. ET.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki says he has accepted the resignation of the department's undersecretary for health, a day after both men testified before Congress about a growing controversy over delays in treatment.

"Today, I accepted the resignation of Dr. Robert Petzel, undersecretary for health in the Department of Veterans Affairs," Shinseki said in a statement cited by Reuters.

Minnesota has approved the sale and use of medical marijuana and Gov. Mark Dayton has said he will sign the legislation.

The state is poised to become the 22nd to legalize the drug for medical purposes.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki tells NPR that he's determined to get to the bottom of allegations that veterans may have died at a Phoenix VA hospital while waiting for care.

The accusations of extended delays in providing health care at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system surfaced last month. The facility reportedly kept two lists of veterans waiting for care, one it shared with Washington and another, secret list of wait times that sometimes lasted more than a year.

The Marshall Islands, the Pacific chain where the U.S. carried out dozens of nuclear tests in the late 1940s and 1950s, has filed suit in the Hague against Washington and the governments of eight other countries it says have not lived up to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

President Obama says that enrollment under the Affordable Care Act has reached 8 million after the March 31 sign-up deadline was extended by two weeks.

"This thing is working," he told reporters at a White House briefing on Thursday.

The president said that 35 percent of those signing up through the federal government's website were under the age of 35. The need for younger, healthier individuals to enroll in the program is considered vital to the success of Obamacare.

Another 940,000 people signed up for health insurance in February under the Affordable Care Act, bringing the total to 4.2 million since the troubled HealthCare.gov website was launched, the Department of Health and Human Services reports. The number is still well short of the administration's goal for March 31, when open enrollment ends.

To reach 6 million sign ups under the ACA, as the White House had hoped for, another 1.8 million people would need to enroll by the end of the month.

As The Associated Press reports:

If there's a merit badge for business savvy, 13-year-old Girl Scout Danielle Lei might well deserve one.

Danielle, who set up her table of Girl Scout cookies outside The Green Cross medical marijuana dispensary in San Francisco earlier this week, sold a whopping 117 boxes in a single day. She appears to have tapped into a niche market fueled by the drug's well-known propensity to stimulate appetite.

According to a Facebook page for The Green Cross, Danielle had "to call for back-up Girl Scout Cookies" after 45 minutes.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who has spent months fending off critics of the Affordable Care Act rollout, is touting the more than 2 million people who have signed up for coverage despite the troubled HealthCare.gov website.

A judge has extended life support for a 13-year-old girl who was declared brain dead after complications from a tonsillectomy operation earlier this month.

The order, issued by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo, grants the family's eleventh-hour appeal to keep Jahi McMath on a ventilator at least until Jan. 7. Another judge had ruled that Children's Hospital of Oakland, where McMath has been a patient since the Dec. 9 surgery, could shut off the breathing machine after 5 p.m. ET on Monday.

Michelle Snyder, the official who oversaw the creation of the problem-plagued HealthCare.gov website, is retiring.

In a statement on Monday, Marilyn Tavenner, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, announced Snyder's departure from the agency, saying she had originally planned to retire at the end of 2012 but had stayed on at Tavenner's request to help "with the challenges facing CMS in 2013."

McDonald's has decided to shut down a website aimed at providing work and life advice to its employees after it was reported that it had urged workers not to eat the very fast food they are hired to produce.

The Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald's said Thursday that information on its McResources Line site had been taken out of context thus generating "unwarranted scrutiny and inappropriate commentary," according to a McDonald's spokeswoman.

The teenage daughter of New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio released a video on Tuesday discussing her struggle with clinical depression and substance abuse.

In the nearly five-minute video, Chiara de Blasio acknowledges that she drank alcohol and smoked marijuana, but says she's now clean after being treated at an outpatient center.

"Getting sober is always a positive thing," she says, encouraging others in her situation to also get help.

A midnight deadline to sign up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act that starts Jan. 1 has been extended by a day in what the White House describes as an effort to accommodate people in different time zones.

The deadline that had been midnight on Dec. 23 has been pushed to Christmas Eve at midnight.

The Washington Post reports:

New York's City Council has approved extending the city's strict smoking ban to include electronic cigarettes, which emit a vapor.

The measure was pushed by outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg and backed by public health advocates in the city. It comes just weeks after New York became the first major city to raise the age for buying tobacco to 21.

Earlier this month, New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said that "more research is needed on electronic cigarettes," but that "waiting to act could jeopardize the progress we have made over the last few years."

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