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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 San Francisco Board of Education will ultimately keep the names of dozens of public schools in a case of high-stakes second thoughts.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the state legislature has gone a "step way too far," after the House and Senate on Tuesday voted to override his veto on a bill banning gender-affirming treatments for transgender minors in the state.

Inspector Katie Blackwell, who commands the Minneapolis Police Department's 5th Precinct and used to run the department's police training, methodically told the court on Monday that former officer Derek Chauvin went against authorized training when he used his knee on George Floyd's neck to pin him to the ground.

After describing the training that Chauvin, whom she said she has known for 20 years, has received throughout his career, Blackwell said his technique — kneeling on Floyd's neck while the Black man lay on his stomach — was not a maneuver the training operation taught.

Arkansas' governor on Monday vetoed a bill that would have made the state the first to ban gender-affirming medical care, including surgery, for transgender minors, even with parental consent.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, called the Save Adolescents From Experimentation Act, or SAFE Act, "a vast government overreach."

This summer's Major League Baseball Draft and the All-Star Game won't be held in Atlanta, MLB officials announced Friday.

The withdrawal of the two events from the city in July is in response to Georgia's recently enacted voting restrictions, which critics, including President Biden, have denounced as "Jim Crow in the 21st century" because they say the legislation will disproportionately affect communities of color.

On the fourth day of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's murder trial in the death George Floyd, jurors heard from multiple first responders who treated the Black man as he lay motionless last Memorial Day.

Hennepin County paramedic Seth Bravinder said Floyd's heart "flat-lined" in the ambulance and his team never detected a pulse in the 46-year-old man who died in police custody.

San Francisco police on Tuesday arrested a 45-year-old man suspected of threatening and stalking an Asian woman working at a bakery store on at least two occasions.

Darrell Hunter was taken into custody without incident, officials said in a statement that called the alleged actions a hate crime. He has been booked at San Francisco County Jail on three counts of criminal threats, two counts of burglary, stalking, three hate crime enhancements and a probation violation.

Updated March 31, 2021 at 11:19 AM ET

Genevieve Hansen expected Monday, May 25, to be a peaceful day.

That's what she told jurors on Tuesday in the murder trial of former officer Derek Chauvin, who is accused of killing George Floyd last year.

Instead, during an off-duty walk home from a community garden she heard a woman yelling that the police were killing the Black man, prone and in handcuffs, facedown in the street.

G. Gordon Liddy, the Republican adviser who was convicted for his role in the Watergate scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon, died on Tuesday.

The 90-year-old died at his daughter's house in Virginia, his son Thomas P. Liddy told The Associated Press. He did not give a cause of death.

Liddy was convicted in 1973 and sentenced to 20 years in jail for conspiracy, burglary and illegally wiretapping the Democratic Party's headquarters at the Watergate office complex. He served as Nixon's general counsel on his reelection committee at the time.

An underage witness in the murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, told jurors on Tuesday that George Floyd "looked kind of purple" and "was really limp" by the time ambulance arrived on the scene.

The 17-year-old girl identified as Kaylynn, who was off camera, spoke slowly, sometimes on the verge of tears, as she described the events leading up to Floyd's death on May 25, 2020.

Prosecutors began calling witnesses to the stand on Monday afternoon in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.

The prosecution started with Minneapolis 911 dispatcher Jena Scurry, who dispatched police to Cup Foods after getting a call about a man with a counterfeit bill.

Scurry testified that despite several years of experience handling emergency calls, she became concerned when her monitors showed the responding officers, including Chauvin, kneeling on top of Floyd, pinning him to the ground.

Facebook, Microsoft and Uber have announced plans to reopen offices on a limited basis, as the spread of the coronavirus pandemic continues to slow.

Microsoft and Uber say their headquarters in Redmond, Wash., and San Francisco respectively will welcome employees on March 29.

The software giant has already begun to accommodate some additional workers in offices around the globe at its 21 locations and reopening offices in the Northwest by taking a hybrid approach is the next step, the company said in a statement.

The University of Southern California has agreed to pay more than $850 million to hundreds of women who were treated by a former campus gynecologist accused of sexual abuse.

The "global settlement" of lawsuits, announced on Thursday, is the biggest sex abuse pay-out in higher education history.

The $852 million settlement puts an end to the civil cases filed in Los Angeles Superior Court between 710 women and USC.

Updated March 26, 2021 at 4:07 AM ET

Deadly tornadoes that ripped through Alabama throughout Thursday remain a significant threat to other Southern states as the sun rises on Friday.

At least five deaths and multiple injuries have been reported in Calhoun County, Ala., after a tornado hit the region, county coroner Pat Brown told NPR Thursday.

Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director Brian Hastings estimated Thursday night that hundreds of homes were destroyed or damaged in his state.

Chinese hackers used fake Facebook profiles and spoof websites to target Uyghur activists with spy malware, the social media company announced on Wednesday.

Updated March 24, 2021 at 11:03 PM ET

AstraZeneca's latest data analysis affirms effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine and is roughly in line with the results released Monday.

Actor George Segal who first became a star alongside Elizabeth Taylor, Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand has died at 87 after a career on stage, film and television that spanned more than 60 years.

The Oscar-nominated actor who recently wrapped up an eighth season on the ABC show The Goldbergs, died on Tuesday morning of complications from bypass surgery, his wife, Sonia, said in a statement.

Updated March 23, 2021 at 4:06 AM ET

Ten people were killed by a gunman in Boulder, Colo., during a mass shooting at a grocery store that left a trail of bodies, including one police officer, officials announced on Monday evening.

Law enforcement personnel said Monday that police had the suspect in custody and there was no further danger to the public. By 1 a.m. MT Tuesday, police still had not released the suspect's name.

Updated March 17, 2021 at 2:37 AM ET

At least eight people were killed and several others injured in a series of shootings at three spas in the Atlanta metro region Tuesday. A suspect has been taken into custody in connection with all three shootings, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Updated March 16, 2021 at 4:14 PM ET

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday broke his relative silence on what he called a partisan, Republican recall, directing supporters to a newly launched anti-recall campaign website that asserts his opponents are "anti-vaxxers, QAnon conspiracy theorists, anti-immigrant activists and Trump supporters."

Rochester city officials, including the former police chief and the mayor, "knowingly suppressed" information from getting to the public, and some officials made "untrue statements" about the events leading to the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man experiencing a mental health episode who was asphyxiated by police while restrained and handcuffed.

Herbert Alford said he was innocent.

Not only that, he said, he had proof.

There was no way he could have killed Michael Adams at 2:56 p.m. on the 3400 block of Pleasant Grove in Lansing, Mich., because at that very moment he was eight miles away at the Lansing Airport, wrapping up a car rental transaction at Hertz. There was a receipt that would corroborate his story.

A young, sickly whale that was trapped in more than a 100 feet of line off the coast of Maui was freed on Wednesday, following a harrowing rescue effort.

Trained responders from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary led the mission on Tuesday to untangle the small gauge line from the whale's mouth and pectoral flipper, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

A Wisconsin judge on Wednesday delayed the murder trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, who is charged with fatally shooting Black Lives Matters protesters in Kenosha last summer.

Prosecutors as well as Rittenhouse's defense attorneys had asked for the postponement, arguing they needed more time to build their respective cases. Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder also set a meeting for May, to ensure that the new timeline still works for the two legal teams.

The number of asylum-seeking migrants, including unaccompanied minors, crossing the southwest border into the U.S. is soaring, leaving the Biden administration scrambling to find appropriate care and housing for thousands of children.

A former mid-level State Department aide in the Trump administration who is accused of being on the front line of the "first wave" of the violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, will be held in custody pending trial, a judge ordered on Tuesday.

U.S. Magistrate Zia Faruqui said Federico Klein's alleged role in the deadly siege, while he was still a government appointee, makes him a danger to the community. He is the only known Trump appointee to be swept up in the sprawling federal investigation.

Updated on Friday at 1:30 p.m. ET

The U.S. launched airstrikes in Syria on Thursday targeting Iranian-backed militia groups in the first known offensive military operation carried out by the Biden administration.

Updated at 9:04 p.m. ET

President Biden on Wednesday revoked a freeze that his predecessor had put on many types of visas due to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the order did not advance U.S. interests and hurt industries and individuals alike.

"It harms the United States, including by preventing certain family members of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents from joining their families here," Biden said in a proclamation revoking the measure.

Tiger Woods will not face reckless driving charges in the rollover accident in which the renowned golfer totaled an SUV he was driving down a dangerously steep road in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., on Tuesday.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told reporters on Wednesday that the department has ruled the single-vehicle crash an accident although a traffic investigation is ongoing.

A reckless driving charge is a misdemeanor crime "that has a lot of elements to it," Villanueva said during an online press conference.

The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered emergency inspections of Boeing 777 aircraft with engines like the one that exploded on a United Airlines jet last weekend.

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