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.

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4:08pm

Tue August 6, 2013
Research News

Study: Rising Military Suicide Rate Not Linked To Deployment

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 7:25 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A new study out today finds that the rising number of suicides in the military is not caused by deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. The paper says mental health and alcohol abuse are much stronger indicators that a service member will commit suicide. As NPR's Larry Abramson reports, that finding runs smack into other evidence that says there is a connection.

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5:25am

Tue July 30, 2013
Politics

Calls Grow For Overhaul Of Government Surveillance Programs

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 7:46 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's turn now to Congress and the way some lawmakers want to rein in government surveillance programs. There was a vote last week, it was defeated. Despite that, critics of the surveillance program say they plan to keep trying. Some proposals call for minor tweaks, others go much further and could lead to major reforms of the secret surveillance court.

NPR's Larry Abrahamson looks at what might be ahead.

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3:39pm

Wed July 10, 2013
The Two-Way

In A First, Unmanned Navy Jet Lands On Aircraft Carrier

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 12:10 pm

A Navy X-47B drone, seen here last month being launched off the aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush, successfully landed on the ship Wednesday, a first.
Steve Helber AP

9:54am

Sat July 6, 2013
National Security

Defense Contractors See Their Futures In Developing World

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 5:12 pm

A mannequin in night-vision goggles is part of a display at a border-security expo in Pheonix last year. Defense companies are seeking growth in markets in the developing world, or in homeland and cybersecurity.
Amanda Meyers AP

Defense manufacturers worldwide are facing tough times ahead, as tight budgets force Western governments to cut spending. But while the West is cutting back, developing countries around the world are spending more on defense — a lot more.

Last fall, defense contractors warned of massive layoffs if the U.S. government enacted the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration. Now, sequestration is in effect, but job losses are limited, in part because many Pentagon contracts were already in place and will keep assembly lines rolling for much of this year.

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5:23am

Tue June 11, 2013
National Security

Will Surveillance Disclosure Lead To More Oversight Of NSA?

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer. The recent leaks revealing the extent of the National Security Agency surveillance programs came as news to many people. But some members of Congress have been warning for years that such surveillance could threaten the privacy of average Americans.

NPR's Larry Abramson reports that in the end, it was Congress that decided not to disclose details about these programs to the public.

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5:30am

Tue June 4, 2013
Politics

Senate Committee Investigates Sexual Assaults In U.S. Military

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 8:10 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Within the U.S. military now, it seems hardly a day goes by without some new accusation of sexual assault. The problem has the attention of top officers, even the Secretary of Defense. Still, lawmakers say the Pentagon is not doing enough to stem a growing number of sex crimes. A Senate committee is holding a hearing today on what Congress can do about sexual assault in the military.

NPR's Larry Abramson reports.

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3:32am

Mon June 3, 2013
Around the Nation

Air Force Trains Special Lawyers For Sexual Assault Victims

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 10:23 am

Many victims of sexual assault in the military say only one experience comes close to the pain of the actual crime, and that's going to court to bring charges against the attacker.

This is believed to be one reason why so few victims come forward and report these crimes, and now the Air Force is hoping a new team of lawyers will help to change that.

At Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, a tall three-star general stands in front of a class of JAG officers — Air Force lawyers. He tells them they are pioneers in a new field, and then lays a heavy responsibility on them.

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12:26pm

Thu May 16, 2013
Parallels

Women In Combat: Some Lessons From Israel's Military

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 10:39 am

Soldiers of Israel's 33rd Caracal Battalion take part in a graduation march in the northern part of the southern Israeli Negev desert on March 13. The Caracal was formed in 2004 with the chief purpose of giving women a chance to serve in a true combat role.
Menahem Kahana AFP/Getty Images

As the U.S. moves to open up combat positions to women, it's catching up with other countries that have been doing it for years.

But the experience in these countries, including Israel, suggests that access to combat jobs doesn't lead directly to equal treatment within the ranks.

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3:31am

Wed May 15, 2013
National Security

Women In Combat: Obstacles Remain As Exclusion Policy Ends

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 10:02 am

Wednesday's deadline for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines to submit plans for ending the policy that keeps women from serving in ground combat positions will open up more than 200,000 positions in the military to them. But the change won't end questions about the role of women in the armed forces.

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5:30am

Sat May 11, 2013
The Sequester: Cuts And Consequences

Sequester Has Air Force Clipping Its Wings

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 12:58 pm

To save money, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina is keeping some of its pilots out of the sky.
Airman 1st Class Aubrey White U.S. Air Force

The Pentagon says the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration could leave the U.S. with a military that is simply unprepared for the most challenging combat missions. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel told Congress in April that the military is eating its seed corn.

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