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.

James Wolfensohn, whose reforms as the head of the World Bank Group for a decade made him known as a champion of the world's poor, died Tuesday in New York. He was 86.

Sudan's last democratically elected prime minister has died of COVID-19-related complications, his party announced early Thursday.

Sadiq al-Mahdi was 84.

He died in hospital in the United Arab Emirates, where he was receiving treatment after becoming infected with the coronavirus, the National Umma Party, which he led until his death, announced Thursday.

Former Jeopardy! champion, author and know-it-all kind of guy, Ken Jennings, will be the first guest host of the long-running trivia game show, officials said Monday.

The announcement, two weeks after much-loved host Alex Trebek died of pancreatic cancer on Nov. 8, explained that "a series of interim guest hosts from the Jeopardy! family" will take over the show, which Trebek hosted from 1984 until earlier this year.

Updated at 10:03 p.m. ET

Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old gunman accused of killing protesters in Kenosha, Wis., in August, posted $2 million bail and was released from custody on Friday.

The U.S. Department of Justice is seeking to drop charges against a former Mexican defense secretary, the highest-ranking Mexican official ever arrested for alleged drug trafficking, so that he "may be investigated and, if appropriate, charged, under Mexican law."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Walter Wallace Jr.'s family is seeking justice but they are not advocating for the officers who killed the 27-year-old Black man to be charged with murder.

The family, including Wallace's mother and wife who were at the scene of the killing, privately reviewed the police body camera footage of the fatal shooting early Thursday morning.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, whose mask-wearing habits have been publicly inconsistent and who has declined to issue a statewide mandate for face coverings, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Republican governor's wife, Teresa Parson, has also tested positive.

In a brief video statement, Mike Parson said he is awaiting a second test to confirm the results.

Updated at 5:20 a.m. ET Thursday

Two Louisville Metropolitan Police officers have been shot as protesters marched to demand justice for Breonna Taylor following a limited indictment by a Jefferson County grand jury.

The officers were fired on after responding to a separate "shots fired call" at about 8:30 p.m. ET, Chief Robert Schroeder said in a brief press conference Wednesday evening.

One suspect has been taken into custody, Schroeder said.

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