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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.

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson says he's taking seriously a call by Islamist extremists for attacks on shopping malls in the West, including Minnesota's giant Mall of America.

In an interview on CNN's State of the Union program, Johnson said a video released by the Somali-based group al-Shabab "reflects [a] new phase" in which terrorist networks publicly call "for independent actors in their homelands to carry out attacks.

A U.S. Congressional delegation led by Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy is in Cuba to discuss greater cooperation after President Obama embarked on a historic thawing of relations between the two countries after a decades-long chill.

SpaceX has successfully launched another resupply mission to the International Space Station months after a competitor in the private space-launch business suffered a catastrophic lift-off that resulted in the unmanned rocket's destruction.

In what could prove a sneak peek at the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a strong critic of President Obama's decision to open relations with Cuba, appears to be stepping up an attack on fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul over his support of the policy shift.

NASA TV/AP

NASA's unmanned Orion spacecraft has successfully splashed down about 400 miles west of La Paz, Mexico, in the Pacific Ocean after a liftoff, two orbits and reentry that lasted just under 4 1/2 hours.

Orion, which could one day take astronauts to Mars, made a "bullseye splashdown" at 11:29 a.m. ET, mission control said, after the spacecraft enduring a searing 4,000 degree Fahrenheit re-entry before being gently lowered to the ocean surface under four giant red-and-white parachutes.

Update at 9:35 a.m. ET

NASA's Orion spacecraft, which could one day send astronauts to Mars, is stuck on terra firma for at least another day after the space agency's mission control was unable to satisfactorily resolve a number of issues before a 9:45 a.m. ET launch window closed.

Black Friday shopping at brick-and-mortar stores in the United States was down about 7 percent from a year ago, according to ShopperTrak, but more purchases on Thanksgiving Day nearly made up the difference. Meanwhile, online retailers recorded double-digit year-on-year increases in sales.

ShopperTrak says Friday store sales hit $9.1 billion, but that shoppers spent $3.2 billion on Thanksgiving — a 24 percent increase for sales on that day from over last year. Overall, it represented a 0.5 percent drop from last year.

Police in Ferguson, Mo., arrested 15 people overnight amid continued, though mostly peaceful, protests following a grand jury's decision earlier this week not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed black youth Michael Brown.

Small protests were also held in Oakland, Calif., Seattle and Chicago.

Those arrested in Ferguson — all but one residing out-of-state — were charged with disturbing the peace.

If you missed the total eclipse of the moon in April, you might have another chance: On Wednesday morning, the second of four lunar eclipses this year and next will occur.

NASA's MAVEN spacecraft conducted a 33-minute burn of its six main engines to ease into an orbit around Mars after a nearly yearlong, 442 million-mile voyage from Earth. The probe's mission is to study the red planet's atmosphere.

Associated Press

7/7: This post was updated at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The family of Tariq Abu Khdeir, the young man from Tampa reportedly beaten by Israeli police shortly after his cousin was kidnapped and killed, is scheduled to speak to reporters this afternoon. A press conference is scheduled for 4 p.m. today at the Tampa office of the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR Florida).

Atlanta-based SunTrust Mortgage Inc. has agreed to pay up to $320 million to resolve criminal allegations that it mishandled applications from homeowners seeking loan modifications under a federal program.

The deal with the Justice Department follows a similar settlement last month with SunTrust Mortgage over its mishandling of federally backed home loans.

John Ruthell Henry has received a lethal injection at Florida State Prison, becoming the third inmate to be put to death since the botched execution of an Oklahoma prisoner in April set off a flurry of legal challenges.

The Florida governor's office says Henry, 63, was pronounced dead at 7:43 p.m. ET after a last-minute appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was turned down.

He was convicted of fatally stabbing his wife, Suzanne Henry, and her 5-year-old son in 1985.

You might call it the ultimate long shot — a group of space enthusiasts trying to re-establish contact with a wayward satellite launched in 1978. Figuratively speaking, it's been off the radar for decades.

No more.

"The initial contact was a tone followed by specific commands," project organizer Keith Cowing told NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce by email. "We learned a lot simply by being able to talk to it and get it to do things.

"May not sound like much but that was a huge unknown," he adds.

NASA's Administrator Charles Bolden says that Russia's plan to end cooperation on the International Space Station after 2020 will not have an impact on the success of the orbital platform.

Tropical storms are migrating out of the tropics, reaching their peak intensity in higher latitudes, where larger populations are concentrated, a new NOAA-led study published in the journal Nature says.

Some of you might remember the music video rendition of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" that Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield shot aboard the International Space Station. That was a year ago, and the YouTube video he made, which is now approaching 23 million views, is set to come down Tuesday as the licensing agreement on the iconic song expires.

Extreme rainfall in much of the East and parts of the South is causing major problems, with Florida's Panhandle and southern Alabama — which got more than 2 feet of rain in 24 hours — bearing the brunt of the onslaught.

The torrential rains followed close on the heels of a rash of deadly tornadoes that battered a broad swath of the country earlier this week, killing dozens of people.

An apparent gas explosion at a jail in Pensacola, Fla., has killed at least two inmates and injured more than 100 people, including some corrections officers, according to local reports. But it's not clear yet whether the incident at the Escambia County Jail has anything to do with the extensive flooding in the region.

The weather system that spawned tornadoes that killed at least 35 people this week throughout the South and Midwest is dumping heavy rain, triggering fears of major flooding.

This post was updated at 6:15 p.m. ET.

A second day of tornadoes has caused devastation in the South, killing more than a dozen people in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. Some 50 twisters were reported in the region in a 24-hour period from Monday into Tuesday, according to meteorologists.

Two of the most advanced maritime surveillance aircraft are being pressed into service to search for possible wreckage from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

The Deep South has been shaken up this winter in more ways than one: First, there was the unusual ice and snow and the ensuing power outages. And now, an earthquake.

The late-night 4.1 temblor, with an epicenter about 150 miles northwest of Charleston, was not strong enough to do any damage, but it did rattle folks in both South Carolina and Georgia.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey says the quake struck at 10:23 p.m. ET Friday night.

Punxsutawney Phil, the "prognosticator of prognosticators" saw his shadow after being roused from hibernation just long enough to make his annual prediction.

That means ... six more weeks of winter.

The famous groundhog's handler, Bill Deely, made the pronouncement atop Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, at about 7:25 a.m. ET.

As The Associated Press reports:

Punxsutawney Phil, the weather forecasting groundhog, will be rudely rustled from his winter slumber Sunday morning to answer the question of the day: shadow or no shadow? Six more weeks of winter or an early spring?

Why this fascination with Phil? Well, scientifically speaking, long-range forecasting is at best a crapshoot.

A committee tasked by the White House with reviewing U.S. electronic surveillance has come up with 46 proposed changes to National Security Agency spying practices. Here are arguments for and against five recommendations that President Obama may take up in a speech announcing policy changes Friday:


Limit Access To Bulk Telephone Data

The White House has approved NASA's call for four more years for the International Space Station, ensuring that the orbiting science laboratory will keep going for another decade, according to documents obtained by The Orlando Sentinel.

The newspaper writes:

NASA has decided to go ahead with a series of spacewalks to fix a broken cooling system aboard the International Space Station.

The decision was made Tuesday by station managers. They said the extra-vehicular activity should take place as soon as possible to replace a coolant pump that contains a bad valve.

The Associated Press says:

"The spacewalks are taking priority over the launch of a supply ship from Virginia. The delivery had been scheduled for this week, but is now delayed until January."

Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston, considered a Heisman Trophy front-runner, will not be charged with rape, the state attorney, Willie Meggs, announced Thursday after an investigation into the allegations.

Freshman Winston, who led his team to the national polls, has been facing allegations that he assaulted a female FSU student in December 2012, prior to his college career.

Winston's attorney, Tim Jansen of Tallahassee, has contended that his client had consensual sex with the woman.

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