Listen

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 former U.S. Army sergeant has been found guilty for his role in a stunt that led to the intentional destruction of three Humvees dropped from a cargo plane during a training exercise. They hurtled to the ground after their parachute strings were severed.

It took four attempts for Stephen Bay to see the neon blue waves crashing against the rocks at Torrey Pines State Beach in Calif., but when he did, just one thought went through his mind: "Holy cow, the waves are glowing!" he told NPR.

"They were just lit up in this incredible light that no photo can really do it justice," Bay, a professional photographer, said.

Walmart announced Monday it is introducing new restrictions on how it will fill opioid medication prescriptions in all of its in-store and Sam's Club pharmacies.

As Bill Cosby awaits sentencing on his conviction for aggravated indecent assault, prestigious institutions continue to strip the comedian of the accolades bestowed on him throughout his 50-year career.

The latest is the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, whose board voted Monday to rescind the Honors award and the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor that Cosby received in 1998 and 2009, respectively.

Hawaii lawmakers passed a bill Tuesday that would prohibit the sale of over-the-counter sunscreens containing chemicals they say are contributing to the destruction of the state's coral reefs and other ocean life.

If signed by Gov. David Ige, it will make Hawaii the first state in the country to pass such a law and will take effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

Updated at 7:02 p.m. ET

Following the death of a dog aboard a United Airlines flight that provoked an onslaught of criticism on social media, one of the nation's largest carriers will ban certain breeds of cats and dogs from traveling.

Updated at 9:05 a.m. ET

Victims of the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting and their parents are criticizing the National Rifle Association after it announced that gun advocates won't be allowed to bring weapons to watch Vice President Pence deliver the NRA-Institute for Legislative Action's leadership forum keynote address in Dallas on Friday.

The NRA says the ban was ordered by the U.S. Secret Service.

This is a story about how a tinted window, an oversize license plate frame and some profanity led to the resignation of a state ethics committee chairwoman for ethics violations.

It started with a traffic stop in Tenafly, N.J.

A group of truck-driving good Samaritans answered a call to help save a man threatening to commit suicide by jumping off a freeway overpass on Tuesday.

Michigan State Police and local officials rounded up a group of 13 semitruck drivers to form a line below a bridge over a Detroit freeway — Interstate 696 — to significantly shorten the fall of the unnamed man if he had leaped.

He was first reported standing on the edge of the bridge above oncoming traffic just before 1 a.m., Lt. Mike Shaw, a Michigan State Police spokesman, told NPR.

For nearly 150 years, it's been men only: Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi and seven other statesmen. But on Tuesday, the statuary in London's Parliament Square got a new face: suffragist leader Millicent Fawcett.

British Prime Minister Theresa May spoke at the unveiling ceremony and hailed Fawcett as a pioneering feminist who was instrumental in gaining political agency and power for women throughout the country.

A man who allegedly touched a woman without her permission onboard an American Airlines plane was shocked with a stun gun 10 times before police finally dragged him off the aircraft and arrested him Sunday night, according to the Miami-Dade Police Department.

The Royal Baby Watch is over.

Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, welcomed their third child, and second son, Monday morning just hours after arriving at St. Mary's Hospital in London.

The baby's name has yet to be revealed, but Kensington Palace wants the public to know he's heavy and healthy. The newborn weighed in at 8 pounds, 7 ounces. He was born at 11:01 a.m. local time on St. George's Day, named for the patron saint of England who supposedly slayed a dragon some 1,700 years ago.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded its warning to consumers Friday to stay away from all types of romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Ariz., region because of an E. coli outbreak that has infected at least 61 people in 16 states.

The agency had previously instructed people not to eat chopped and bagged romaine lettuce from the area. But the new warning includes whole heads of romaine in addition to all of the packaged products.

Tainted, chopped romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Ariz., is the source of an E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least 53 people in 16 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Slide Fire Solutions, the company that invented and manufactures bump stocks, announced Tuesday it is shutting down production.

A notice on its website reads, "On Sunday, May 20, 2018 at midnight CST, Slide Fire will cease taking orders for its products and shut down its website."

Bump stocks are modification devices used to accelerate a gun's shooting rate so it fires like an automatic weapon — almost as fast as machine guns, which are largely outlawed.

Parents of two children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School attacks filed defamation lawsuits on Monday against right-wing conspiracy theorist and radio show host Alex Jones, who has questioned the authenticity of the 2012 shooting that left 26 dead, including 20 children.

Leonard Pozner and his former wife, Veronique De La Rosa, parents of Noah Pozner, and Neil Heslin, the father of Jesse Lewis, are seeking more than $1 million in damages in separate lawsuits.

The Department of Justice will temporarily suspend funding for a legal-advice program for detained immigrants as well as a telephone help line at the end of the month, according to officials.

On Tuesday, the department alerted the Vera Institute of Justice, an immigrants rights organization that runs the Legal Orientation Program and the Immigration Court Helpdesk, that the government needs time to review the effectiveness of the program.

U.S. Border Patrol agents were caught on camera trying to ditch an injured and apparently incoherent man across the Mexican border because they said he "looks" Mexican, according to NBC News.

Arizona students protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will no longer be eligible for in-state college tuition, the state Supreme Court ruled Monday.

The 7-0 ruling upheld an earlier decision in the Court of Appeals last year that said DACA recipients, often called DREAMers, who have been granted "lawful status" but not "legal status" do not qualify to pay resident rates.

Monday's decision will affect more than 2,000 students enrolled in Arizona's community colleges and three public universities.

While images of destruction caused by last year's battery of hurricanes are still fresh in the minds of many Americans, including those living on Puerto Rico where after six months power is not fully restored, forecasters are cautioning the public to brace themselves for another busy hurricane season.

When people send away samples for DNA testing they're often hoping the results can help them trace the lineage of their families over centuries and across continents. But when Kelli Rowlette received her results from Ancestry.com she discovered a much closer connection — about 500 miles away from where she lives — dating back to May 20, 1981. Her own birthday.

Ethan Couch, whose defense team famously argued that his wealthy "affluenza" upbringing contributed to his fatal drunken driving crash, was released Monday after serving just under two years in jail.

On Nov. 8, 2016, Crystal Mason got out of work and drove through the rain to her home in Dallas. She walked through the door and tried to settle in for the evening. But her mother delivered something akin to a scolding.

"You have to go vote!" Mason's mother said, according to her attorney, J. Warren St. John, who spoke to NPR.

Things got a little heated at the Vatican this week when an Italian journalist reported that Pope Francis denied the existence of hell.

Apparently, the fiery 93-year-old avowed atheist reporter, Eugenio Scalfari of La Repubblica, set the social media world aflame after writing in Italian that when asked about the fate of "bad souls," the pontiff responded, "Hell does not exist."

The pope continued, according to Scalfari, saying (emphasis ours), "The disappearance of sinful souls exists."

Atlanta city officials are not saying whether they were strong-armed into paying the $51,000 ransom to hackers holding many of the municipality's online services hostage, but they did announce progress in restoring networks on Thursday.

Police officers are once again able to file reports electronically and some investigative databases thought to have been corrupted by the ransomware attack have turned out to be unscathed, the city says. The city's 311 system — which deals with things such as trash pickup and reporting of potholes — is also back in operation.

Evidence collected by London's Metropolitan Police indicates that the former Russian spy and his daughter who were poisoned by a rare nerve agent were first exposed to the deadly chemical at their home in Salisbury, authorities revealed Wednesday.

Time is running out for the city of Atlanta, which was given until Wednesday to pay off the cyberattackers who laid siege to city government data and are threatening to wipe the computers clean.

The California Department of Justice will join the investigation of the fatal shooting of Stephon Clark, who was gunned down by two police officers after a chase that ended with the unarmed man dead in his grandparents' backyard earlier this month.

There is no greater burn than pretending you've never heard of something when that thing has 2.2 billion monthly active users. And Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, lobbed a fiery zinger at the world's leading social-media behemoth Friday when he asked on Twitter: "What's Facebook?"

Pages