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.

U.S. soccer superstar and Olympian Megan Rapinoe has been slinging her own CBD products and promoting their benefits for athletes at the Olympics, and people on Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms are not having it.

If all of the publicly out LGBTQ athletes at the Olympics represented a country under a single rainbow flag they'd be coming in 14th in the world for their medal count.

That's the assessment of Outsports, which has been tracking the athletes — 168 of them — and the group is tied with Brazil and Switzerland.

A power struggle in Tunisia threatens the fragile democracy that was one of the few bright spots of the 2011 Arab Spring, the movement to oust dictators across the Middle East.

Over the weekend, President Kais Saied plunged the country into crisis after shutting down parliament for a period of 30 days and firing the prime minister as well as the country's defense and justice ministers. He was helped by the military, who have surrounded parliament. A night time curfew has been imposed and gatherings of more than three people are forbidden.

The search for victims in one of the deadliest building collapses in U.S. history has come to an end after four weeks. Firefighter crews have scoured the debris left on the site of the catastrophe without finding evidence of additional casualties.

Miami-Dade Police Detective Lee Cowart confirmed that fire department search crews have vacated the site.

It's been just days since the IRS began sending out child tax credit payments — meaning tens of millions of families have started to receive up to $300 per child — and already the agency is warning American families about scammers trying to steal their money.

Hundreds of Frito-Lay workers in Topeka, Kan., are in their third week of a strike, citing so-called "suicide shifts" and poor working conditions at the manufacturing and distribution plant at a time when the company's net revenue growth has exceeded all of its targets.

Updated July 17, 2021 at 11:46 AM ET

One day after a federal district judge in Texas ruled against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, President Biden said the Department of Justice intends to appeal the decision.

The gunman who admitted to a shooting attack on the newsroom of Maryland's Capital Gazette three years ago has been found criminally responsible for the massacre of five people.

Jarrod Ramos had maintained he was not responsible because of mental illness, but on Thursday the jury rejected that defense, saying the 41-year-old did understand the criminality of his actions when he attacked the newsroom in June 2018.

A popular Cuban YouTuber was detained by government security forces on live television Tuesday morning as she was discussing the sweeping arrests of activists, protesters and journalists.

Updated June 29, 2021 at 6:46 PM ET

The former top building official who assured residents of the Champlain Towers South condominium that it was in "very good shape," two years before the 12-story building collapsed, is on a leave of absence from his current job.

Rosendo Prieto examined the 40-year recertification inspection of the Surfside, Fla., condo as recently as November 2018.

After more than a decade, the terrorizing reign of the yellow crazy ant is over on the Johnston Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.

The nonnative invasive insect had been threatening ground-nesting seabirds on the atoll since at least 2010, nearly wiping out the island's red-tailed tropicbird colony in just a few years and wreaking havoc on other seabirds. But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday that its campaign to eradicate the insects has been a success.

Just as hundreds of thousands of Americans return to the skies again this summer, many of the old inconveniences and aggravations of commercial airline travel are back, too. And experts say travelers should expect ongoing problems throughout the busy summer season.

Long lines at security checkpoints, disruptive passengers and lengthy flight delays and cancellations are greeting many air travelers who may not have boarded a plane in 15 months or more because of the pandemic.

Updated June 21, 2021 at 10:06 PM ET

Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib came out in a personal Instagram post on Monday, saying he has "agonized over this moment for the last 15 years."

"I just want to take a quick moment to say that I'm gay," Nassib said in an Instagram video he posted on his verified Instagram account. "I've been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest."

Updated June 17, 2021 at 4:23 PM ET

Opal Lee is 94, and she's doing a holy dance.

It's a dance she said she and her ancestors have been waiting 155 years, 11 months and 28 days to do.

Ever since Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, to spread the news of the Emancipation Proclamation outlawing slavery in Confederate states. President Abraham Lincoln had signed it more than two years earlier.

Jennifer Rocha wanted to hear the rustle of her black graduation gown against the bell pepper bushes in the California farm fields. She wanted to see the hem float above the dirt paths that she and her parents have spent years walking as a family while plucking heavy gallons of perfectly ripe fruits and vegetables that end up in America's grocery stores.

That's why she decided to take her college graduation photos in the same hot vegetable fields in Coachella, Calif., where she has worked with her parents since she was in high school.

As temperatures rise in California and people in search of respite head for the beach, there's a new concern beyond damaging sun rays and strong undercurrents: disease-carrying ticks that appear to be spreading all along the Golden State's coast.

Updated June 10, 2021 at 1:31 PM ET

Emma Coronel Aispuro, the wife of Mexico's most notorious drug kingpin, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán, pleaded guilty Thursday to helping him run the powerful Sinaloa cartel.

Coronel was captured and arrested by U.S. officials as she arrived at Dulles International Airport in Virginia in February.

The Department of Justice on Monday touted the recovery of $2.3 million — about half — of the ransom that was collected by hackers in the Colonial Pipeline attack last month. Experts say it was a surprising outcome to an increasingly frequent and severe crime.

Updated June 7, 2021 at 4:27 PM ET

The government has recovered a "majority" of the millions of dollars paid in ransom to hackers behind the cyberattack that prompted last month's shutdown of Colonial Pipeline, officials announced Monday.

"The Department of Justice has found and recaptured the majority of the ransom Colonial paid to the DarkSide network in the wake of last month's ransomware attack," Lisa Monaco, U.S. deputy attorney general, said during a press conference.

Updated June 4, 2021 at 6:57 AM ET

It's National Donut Day. And shops across the country are celebrating by giving away deliciously fluffy, airy, sugary goodies. But we're concerned with the more pressing issue: Does anyone actually still spell it D-O-U-G-H-N-U-T?

Mary McCoy, senior librarian in the arts, music and recreation department at the Los Angeles Central Library, says that is her preferred spelling, though she admits "the O-U-G-H version is definitely unwieldy."

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