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.

Updated at 3:20 a.m. ET

The first COVID-19 diagnostic at-home self-test that provides rapid results has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the agency announced Tuesday.

The Lucira COVID-19 All-In-One Test Kit is a molecular single-use test and is expected to cost $50 or less, the company said on its website.

Judy Shelton's nomination as a member of the Federal Reserve Board is stalled.

The Senate failed to advance President Trump's controversial pick to the powerful central bank on Tuesday after Republicans Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine joined the Senate's Democrats in blocking Shelton's appointment.

As California's "unprecedented" coronavirus surge worsens, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that he's pulling "the emergency brake" and implementing the state's most restrictive safety measures across most counties, ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The shift into the "purple tier" for 41 of 58 counties comes as the number of daily new coronavirus cases doubled in the past 10 days in California, Newsom told reporters.

"We are sounding the alarm," the governor said, acknowledging the move will have a detrimental impact on businesses.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The positive results came on Friday after a rapid coronavirus test in Carson City which is part of a regular protocol for the Democratic governor, he said in a statement.

Sisolak said he is waiting on the results of a PCR test, which stands for polymerase chain reaction. He added that he'd tested negative for the coronavirus as recently as Monday, Nov. 2, and Friday, Nov. 6.

The white father and son who took part in killing Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was fatally shot while jogging, have been denied bond.

Gregory, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, two of three suspects facing malice murder and felony murder charges appeared for their bond hearing on Thursday and Friday via video conference in Glynn County, Georgia.

A Chatham County Superior Court judge denied bond for a third white man involved in the fatal shooting, saying William "Roddy" Bryan, was a potential flight risk.

An Indianapolis police officer who fatally shot a man after a high-speed car chase that was captured on Facebook Live will not face criminal charges.

A grand jury on Tuesday declined to indict Dejoure Mercer who shot and killed Dreasjon "Sean" Reed on May 6.

A history-making storm is gaining momentum over the middle of the Atlantic.

Monday, Subtropical Storm Theta became the 29th named storm of the year, surpassing the 28 storms of 2005 and making the 2020 hurricane season the busiest on record.

The system is not expected to make landfall in the U.S.

As of 10 p.m. ET , the National Weather Service reported Theta is moving east through the Atlantic with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph with higher gusts.

Updated on Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 9:53 p.m. ET

As coronavirus cases again surge across the country, the outdoors remains a rare and safe refuge for Americans, particularly for those struggling with anxiety or depression due to the pandemic.

On Wednesday, those hoping to reap the benefits of fresh air and the unseasonably warm weather in much of the country can explore national parks and forests for free in honor of Veterans Day.

Philadelphia city officials on Wednesday released "traumatic" bodycam footage worn by the officers who fatally shot Walter Wallace Jr. last week, urging the public to remain calm as the city comes under national scrutiny for the shooting.

The Philadelphia Police Department also released multiple 911 calls made by neighbors and Wallace's own family, pleading for help as the 27-year-old experienced a violent psychological episode.

A Wisconsin court commissioner on Monday set bail at $2 million for Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old accused of killing protesters in Kenosha, in his first court appearance in the state after being extradited from Illinois last week.

Rittenhouse is accused of fatally shooting two demonstrators and injuring a third during protests on Aug. 25 that followed the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot several times at close range by Kenosha police and is now paralyzed.

As some protesters smashed storefront windows to make off with merchandise during the chaos of Monday night's Walter Wallace Jr. protests, some Philadelphia Police officers smashed an SUV's windows and violently yanked out its driver and a teenaged passenger, threw them to the ground, then pulled a small child from the back seat.

The incident was captured on video and streamed live by Aapril Rice, who watched the "surreal" scene from a rooftop across the street.

Walmart pulled guns and ammunition from its store shelves as a precautionary measure, following the unrest in Philadelphia this week after police fatally shot a Black man more than a dozen times on Monday.

Both weapons and bullets are still available for purchase in the stores that carry them, but customers will have to specifically request the items as opposed to grabbing them from display shelves.

Updated Thursday at 10:55 a.m. ET

Some U.S. hospitals have been hit by coordinated ransomware attacks designed to infect systems for financial gain, federal agencies and a private-sector cybersecurity company warned on Wednesday.

A joint advisory by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the Department of Health and Human Services and the FBI says there is "credible information of an increased and imminent cybercrime threat" to U.S. hospitals and health care providers.

Miles Taylor, the former chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security, has revealed himself to be "Anonymous," the author of a New York Times op-ed and book critical of the Trump presidency.

An abnormally early but powerful ice storm has crippled large swaths of Oklahoma, causing power outages for hundreds of thousands and toppling thousands of trees.

"We lost a branch but have propped up others to save them," wrote the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum on Facebook. "We will continue to monitor it 24/7 throughout this historic storm."

Eli Lilly & Co. is ending a clinical trial of its antibody drug bamlanivimab in hospitalized COVID-19 patients after federal researchers concluded the therapy produced no marked improvement.

An Orange County brush fire that ignited Monday morning has left two firefighters critically injured, ravaging more than 4,000 acres and forcing the evacuation of about 60,000 residents.

Strong winds gusts up to 70 mph moving up and down California fed the flames of the Silverado Fire in Irvine, which erupted in the Santa Ana Mountains around 6:45 a.m. local time.

An endangered 21-year-old lemur is missing, and may have been stolen, from the San Francisco Zoo on Tuesday night, according to officials.

The ring-tailed lemur named Maki is among the oldest of the primates housed in the zoo's Lipman Family Lemur Forest, which is home to seven different species of lemurs.

Barron Trump, the 14-year-old son of President Trump and Melania Trump, tested positive for COVID-19, after initially testing negative.

The First Lady made the announcement on Wednesday in a post called, "My personal experience with COVID-19," on the White House website, adding it was one of her greatest fears as a parent.

A Hennepin County judge has allowed Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder in the killing of George Floyd, to leave the state due to "safety concerns."

Following the arrest of 13 people who plotted to kidnap the governor of Michigan and instigate a civil war, the state's attorney general warns American extremist ideology is on the rise — spurred in part, she says, by President Trump.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the white St. Louis couple charged in July with brandishing weapons at protesters who marched through their gated community, have been indicted by a grand jury, the Associated Press has reported.

Their lawyer, Joel Schwartz, told NPR he learned of the indictment from a variety of reports but has not yet been contacted by the prosecutor in the case, nor have the legal documents been filed in the court database.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron on Monday refuted accusations by Breonna Taylor's family that he improperly handled the case that led to the indictment of just one officer involved in the fatal March shooting.

Cameron's office explained the circumstances giving him control over the grand jury process, saying it possessed the "resources required to complete the investigation."

An heiress to the Seagram's liquor fortune has been sentenced to nearly seven years in prison for fraud and forced labor as a leading member of Nxivm, a cult-like self-help group accused of holding women captive and coercing them into having sex with the group's leader.

Clare Bronfman, 41, was a member of Nxivm — pronounced Nehk-see-um — for 15 years, eventually joining its executive board and bankrolling numerous lawsuits against critics of the secretive organization led by Keith Raniere.

Sarah Collins Rudolph was 12 years old when the explosion of a bomb, planted by the Ku Klux Klan, ripped through the basement of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963.

Her sister and three other young girls were killed by the dynamite blast, and although she survived, she lost an eye and was hospitalized for months. Since then, the medical bills and the trauma of that violent Sunday have haunted her.

Former Louisville Metro Police officer Brett Hankison pleaded not guilty on Monday to three counts of wanton endangerment in his initial court appearance related to the botched raid that led to the death of Breonna Taylor.

A Texas sheriff has been indicted on felony charges of tampering with evidence in the case of Javier Ambler, a Black man who was killed by police last year during a traffic stop that escalated into a high-speed chase caught on film by a reality television show.

Sheriff Robert Chody, who turned himself in, was arrested and booked on Monday. He was released shortly after posting $10,000 bail.

Just two days after announcing that they have contracted the coronavirus, Republican Gov. Mike Parson and his wife, Teresa Parson, have reassured Missourians that they still plan to host their annual fall festival next month.

"WE WILL BE PROCEEDING WITH THIS EVENT," the first lady wrote in all caps on Twitter.

The Pac-12 has changed its mind about playing football, voting unanimously to start the 2020 season on Nov. 6.

The reversal by the Pac-12's CEO group on Thursday comes about a month after the conference decided to halt all sports until Jan. 1 at the earliest in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Outraged and angry and, at times, wailing protesters renewed their cries for justice for Breonna Taylor on Wednesday, following the Kentucky grand jury's decision to not charge the police officers for killing her.

Meanwhile, the Taylor family have been much more restrained with their anguish over the killing of the 26-year-old by Louisville Metropolitan Police officers during a botched drug raid, since the decision was announced. For the most part they've remained out of the spotlight, issuing a series of brief statements on social media.

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