Vanessa Romo

Vanessa Romo is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers breaking news on a wide range of topics, weighing in daily on everything from immigration and the treatment of migrant children, to a war-crimes trial where a witness claimed he was the actual killer, to an alleged sex cult. She has also covered the occasional cat-clinging-to-the-hood-of-a-car story.

Before her stint on the News Desk, Romo spent the early months of the Trump Administration on the Washington Desk covering stories about culture and politics – the voting habits of the post-millennial generation, the rise of Maxine Waters as a septuagenarian pop culture icon and DACA quinceañeras as Trump protests.

In 2016, she was at the core of the team that launched and produced The New York Times' first political podcast, The Run-Up with Michael Barbaro. Prior to that, Romo was a Spencer Education Fellow at Columbia University's School of Journalism where she began working on a radio documentary about a pilot program in Los Angeles teaching black and Latino students to code switch.

Romo has also traveled extensively through the Member station world in California and Washington. As the education reporter at Southern California Public Radio, she covered the region's K-12 school districts and higher education institutions and won the Education Writers Association first place award as well as a Regional Edward R. Murrow for Hard News Reporting.

Before that, she covered business and labor for Member station KNKX, keeping an eye on global companies including Amazon, Boeing, Starbucks and Microsoft.

A Los Angeles native, she is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University, where she received a degree in history. She also earned a master's degree in Journalism from NYU. She loves all things camaron-based.

A day after a historic election, Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot laid out what she sees as some of the city's most pernicious problems: entrenched segregation, gun violence and economic inequality.

Lightfoot, the first black woman chosen to hold the position, emphasized the "fractured relationship" between the Chicago Police Department and the public as a critically important safety issue.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Sunday instituted a plan to ration electricity as the troubled government scrambles to repair the country's electrical system amid worsening economic and political conditions.

Maduro pleaded with the public to remain calm and resist violence as what he called "specialists, scientists and hackers" work to put an end to power and water outages.

Saudi Arabian authorities have released three female activists who were jailed last year after campaigning to lift the driving ban and dismantle restrictive guardianship laws, several human rights organizations and news outlets report.

Conditions of the women's release remain unknown and initial reports indicate it is temporary as their trials continue to move through the criminal court. According to Hala al Dosari, a Saudi author and activist, the families were told not to share information about the release.

Historic artifacts, including a copy of the proclamation of France's approval of the Louisiana Purchase and a yearbook from Fidel Castro's high school, were rescued Tuesday night from a four-alarm fire that damaged the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum in St. Louis.

About 80 firefighters rushed in and out of the museum, housed in what was once the Third Church of Christ, Scientist, hauling out armloads of one-of-a-kind documents, manuscripts, statues and intricately carved wooden ship models, even as they battled 8-foot-high flames.

The first of three Hong Kong-based refugee families who helped shelter National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden when he was on the run, has been granted asylum in Canada.

Vanessa Rodel and her daughter, Keana, arrived in Montreal on Tuesday, eager to embrace their new lives as Canadians.

"I feel so great and I feel like I'm free," Rodel told reporters at Toronto Pearson International Airport shortly after landing in the country on Monday night.

Faith-based adoption agencies in Michigan that benefit from taxpayer funding will no longer be allowed to legally turn away same-sex couples or LGBTQ individuals based on religious objection, under the terms of a settlement in a lawsuit alleging the practice constituted discrimination.

An Oklahoma sheriff and nearly all of her staff resigned this week, defying a district judge's reported orders to reopen a county jail that has been closed and evacuated over safety issues.

After several hours of clawing through mountains of debris with bare hands, hammers and heavy equipment, approximately 37 people have been rescued from a building that collapsed Wednesday morning in the Nigerian city of Lagos. But many more are trapped under the rubble, including dozens of children.

Several news outlets reported at least eight people died, as of Wednesday night.

"The U.S. will not stand for this kind of intimidation," he added.

Correction: 3/06/19

An earlier version of this story misidentified the call letters of a local Miami television station. The station is WPLG.

India's state-run airline has instructed flight crews to enthusiastically "Hail the Motherland" after every in-flight announcement.

"With immediate effect, all are required to announce 'Jai Hind' at the end of every announcement," Amitabh Singh, director of operations for Air India, said in a companywide newsletter that went viral.

For more dramatic impact, Singh suggested crew members take a "slight pause" and make the proclamation with "much fervour."

Updated at 11:53 p.m. ET

A man armed with a handgun entered the Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora, Ill., on Friday afternoon and killed five civilians, officials announced at a news conference. Five police officers were also wounded.

Record-shattering cold, heavy snow and howling winds are descending on a broad swath of the U.S., the National Weather Service says. It's the result of one of the coldest arctic air masses to hit the country in recent memory, the agency says, forecasting bitter conditions in areas from the Upper Midwest to many Eastern states.

Warning of a "very dangerous and life-threatening arctic blast," the weather service predicts that the next several days could see "widespread record lows and low maximum temperatures from the Upper Midwest to the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley."

On Thursday, New York City's Law Department announced it had reached a $3.3 million settlement with Kalief Browder's family. The young man from the Bronx, who spent three years detained on Rikers Island without being tried or convicted, was accused of stealing a backpack.

Nearly two of Browder's three years in jail were spent in solitary confinement. He was released in 2013 after the charges were dropped. And in 2015, plagued by what he said was the mental anguish and trauma from his time in jail, he hanged himself in his mother's home.

Mexico's homicide rate continued to skyrocket last year, making 2018 the deadliest on record for the country with an average of 91 deaths a day.

A former Uber driver charged with killing six people during an hours-long shooting rampage in Michigan nearly three years ago, pleaded guilty to all charges on Monday, defying his attorney.

Updated at 1 a.m. Dec. 26

The setting was perfect. The fire was beautifully ablaze, the trees enormously enormous, as the first couple sat beside dainty telephone tables ready to delight young callers in search of Santa.

But what happened next could be considered less than perfect — especially for a young girl named Collman or her family, who might have had some explaining to do after the brief phone call.

Updated at 7:07 p.m. ET

James Alex Fields Jr., who rammed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., last year was found guilty on Friday of killing Heather Heyer and injuring dozens of others.

A for-profit college chain mired in financial troubles announced on Wednesday it is shutting down dozens of campuses across the country by the end of the month. The abrupt decision comes a day after the company lost its accreditation and funding, leaving frantic students scrambling in the final days of the year to enroll in new schools.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

Nearly two months after a rocket malfunction forced NASA and the Russian space agency Roscosmos to abort the launch of a Soyuz mission, a new crew blasted off on Monday for the International Space Station and arrived safe and sound.

Updated at 7 a.m. ET

Spain's right-wing anti-Muslim party claimed a dozen seats in one of the country's regional parliaments in elections Sunday — outpacing expectations in what is being described as a major blow to the new socialist prime minister.

The surprising gains for the Vox Party mark the latest in a wave of right-wing sentiment that has swept across Europe in recent months.

Paul Sherwen, one of the best-known pro-cycling commentators who is widely credited with introducing the English-speaking world to the sport, died on Sunday at his home in Uganda. He was 62.

Londoners riding the tube have only a few more months to feast their eyes on cheesy, greasy burger ads and other high-calorie treats on promotional posters.

As of February, the city will ban junk food advertising across all of London's public transportation network, the mayor's office announced on Friday. It is part of the city's larger plan to stem rising childhood obesity rates.

It might be too late for readers who are already stuffing their faces with turkey. But for those who are still tidying up the house in anticipation of Thanksgiving dinner guests, take note: Don't throw out old lottery tickets without checking the numbers first.

As of Thursday morning, President Trump was still ruminating on a rare upbraiding from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, continuing attacks against the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and calling it "a complete & total disaster."

"It is out of control, has a horrible reputation," Trump wrote on Twitter.

A federal grand jury on Thursday handed up an indictment for criminal negligence and misconduct against the captain and operator of the duck boat that sank on Table Rock Lake in Missouri, killing 17 people over the summer.

The former director of Peru's National Police was among 14 people arrested early Tuesday morning in a series of raids that rounded up alleged members of a baby-trafficking ring.

Authorities have not suggested the role Gen. Raúl Becerra played in the criminal organization but the group is suspected of targeting poor pregnant women and convincing them to sell their newborn infants, the national police said in a statement.

The man accused of sending more than a dozen pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and critics of President Trump will be held without bail, a judge ruled on Tuesday.

Cesar Sayoc made his first court appearance in Manhattan, after being transferred from Florida to New York's federal Metropolitan Correctional Center on Monday. The charges against Sayoc were filed in the Southern District of New York.

The 56-year-old appeared in court wearing a blue T-shirt with his gray hair pulled back in a tight pony tail. He did not wear handcuffs or shackles.

The Regional Commissioner of Tanzania's largest city announced the creation of an anti-gay surveillance squad that is expected to begin a roundup as early as Monday.

In an interview with Dizzim TV on Monday, Paul Makonda ordered residents throughout Dar es Salaam to report gay people to a phone hotline in advance of the widespread sweeps.

"Report them to me," Makonda urged, as translated from Swahili by NPR, adding that "from next Monday we start arresting them."

The man accused of killing 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh was indicted on 44 federal counts, including hate crimes, federal prosecutors said on Wednesday.

A remote northwestern Hawaiian island has nearly vanished after Hurricane Walaka barreled through the Pacific last month, eliminating — at least for now — a critical habitat for endangered species.

Only two minuscule slivers of East Island have resurfaced since the Category 5 storm struck the region and washed away the 11-acre strip of sand and gravel that is part of the French Frigate Shoals.

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