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.

The Department of Justice issued an order on Tuesday that could keep thousands of asylum-seekers detained while they wait for their cases to be heard in immigration court — a wait that often lasts months or years.

The ruling by Attorney General William Barr is the latest step by the Trump administration designed to discourage asylum-seekers from coming to the U.S. hoping for refuge.

Thieves in Northern Ireland have taken the idea of a smash and grab to a whole new level in a recent spate of brazen robberies.

With the help of a stolen excavator and a van with an ATM-size hole cut out of its roof, teams of thieves are clawing entire cash boxes out of local businesses and disappearing into the night.

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.

Pope Francis issued a new decree making it mandatory for Vatican City officials or its diplomats around the globe to immediately report allegations of sexual abuse to authorities or face possible jail time.

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.

President Trump signed a proclamation Monday that recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, formalizing the Middle East policy shift he announced over Twitter last week.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was with Trump at the White House as he signed the presidential proclamation. Prior to the signing, Netanyahu made remarks lavishing praise onto Trump that drew comparisons between the president and the Persian emperor Cyrus as heroic defenders of the Jewish people.

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.

University of Southern California students allegedly embroiled in the college admissions scandal that has rocked universities across the country won't be allowed to register for classes while officials conduct an internal investigation.

Amid calls for Saudi Arabia to cooperate with a U.N.-led investigation into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the head of the kingdom's Human Rights Commission said on Thursday the accused killers were being brought to justice and reiterated the government's opposition to suggestions for an international probe into the case.

Bandar bin Mohammed Al-Aiban delivered his remarks to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva during a periodic review of the nation's human rights record.

A woman whose arm was gashed after she jumped over a concrete barrier to take a selfie in front of a jaguar enclosure at an Arizona zoo has apologized for breaking the rules, park officials said on Monday.

"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.

The BBC reports the company "has not turned a profit since 2007 and a recent government offer to sell a controlling stake in it failed to attract any takers."

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.

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