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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.

  • The Air Force says retiring the Cold War-era A-10 could help it balance its budget and focus on developing more versatile aircraft. But the military encounters resistance whenever it tries to mothball any weapon, and the case of the plane known as the Warthog is no exception.
  • The Combined Air and Space Operations Center is a minimalist concrete bunker in the blasted desert south of Doha, the capital. U.S. officials like to pretend the outpost isn't really there, but members of the media accompanying Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on a trip to the Middle East got a close look.
  • Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel returned to the Mideast on Monday after a weekend tour of Afghanistan and a stop in Pakistan. The trip focused on a planned security deal with Afghanistan and concerns among Gulf allies about a nuclear deal with Iran.
  • On Capitol Hill, another red-letter budget deadline is fast approaching. The Senate and House budget chairs are working toward an agreement on spending levels that they are supposed to be announced by the end of next week.
  • The United States military flew two B-52 bombers into air space that China recently designated as an air defense identification zone. The showdown is part of a larger dispute involving China and Japan and territorial rights in the East China Sea.
  • According to its semiannual Transparency Report, Google received 10,918 government orders from January to June of this year, compared with 4,287 in the same period three years ago.
  • In 2003, U.S. forces discovered a trove of Jewish documents in a flooded Baghdad basement. They tell the tale of a once-thriving Jewish community. The painstakingly restored documents will be exhibited in the U.S. before they are returned to Iraq. But some Jewish groups are trying to prevent that.
  • Several new developments put the NSA surveillance program into the spotlight this week. The U.S. had to explain why it eavesdrops on foreign leaders; The Washington Post reported that the NSA can tap directly into overseas servers of Google and Yahoo; and lawmakers have introduced legislation to rein in the program that allows NSA to gather phone data on Americans.
  • After the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the Pentagon said it would offer military IDs and extend the benefits that come with them to same-sex partners. But some states that don't recognize gay marriages have refused to issue the IDs to same-sex spouses of National Guard members.
  • The head of the NSA testified on Capitol Hill Tuesday. General Keith Alexander disputed news reports that the NSA collected the phone call data of citizens in France and Spain. The NSA is facing tough criticism over its extensive surveillance efforts, including the apparent monitoring of phone calls of the leaders of countries that are close U.S. allies. The NSA controversy has also prompted legislators to change the way the agency conducts surveillance. Two reforms aim to limit the NSA's ability to collect the phone records of U.S. persons in bulk.