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.

Updated September 17, 2021 at 11:54 AM ET

As the headline unambiguously states, here at NPR we've kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month.

Not Latino Heritage Month. Not Latinx Heritage Month. Not even a compromise or a combination of the three: Hispanic/Latino/Latinx Heritage Month.

Pelé is recovering from colon cancer surgery in intensive care but the Brazilian soccer legend says he's doing well.

The 80-year-old, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, underwent surgery on Saturday and has been recuperating in an intensive care unit, according to his doctors.

"My friends, with each passing day I feel a little better," Pelé wrote in an Instagram post on Friday.

Unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those who are fully vaccinated, new research has found, bolstering evidence that the inoculations continue to provide powerful protection, even against the delta variant.

Laura Weiss was a retired nurse in Boulder, Colorado, but when the county department of health issued a call for help in vaccinating eligible residents against COVID-19, she signed up.

Over the past seven months, Weiss and her colleagues have inoculated hundreds of thousands of people, so she wanted to find a way to pay tribute to their collective effort.

She's done that with a 4-foot-tall chandelier made with hundreds of vaccine vials that she's called the Light of Appreciation.

Updated September 7, 2021 at 7:12 PM ET

Mexico's Supreme Court has ruled that it is unconstitutional to punish abortion as a crime, a landmark ruling that clears the way for the legalization of abortion across the country.

Poison control centers are seeing a dramatic surge in calls from people who are self-medicating with ivermectin, an anti-parasite drug for animals that some falsely claim treats COVID-19.

According to the National Poison Data System (NPDS), which collects information from the nation's 55 poison control centers, there was a 245% jump in reported exposure cases from July to August — from 133 to 459.

When Mimi Routh got orders to evacuate from the Tahoe Senior Plaza where she lives, she decided not to wait for the city bus like most of her neighbors who were also fleeing the flames of out of control Caldor Fire.

Instead, the 79-year-old Air Force veteran decided to head out on her own. She grabbed a few cherished essentials and drove herself to a shelter in Nevada about twenty miles away.

Despite a judge's ruling last week declaring that the Florida governor's ban on mask mandates in schools is unconstitutional, the State Board of Education has forged ahead with its threat to withhold school board members' salaries in districts that require the face coverings in classrooms.

Tens of thousands of Afghans who helped American forces over the two-decades-long war are now arriving in the U.S. as refugees, following what, for many, has been a harrowing escape from the Taliban-controlled country as it erupts into more violence.

Updated August 25, 2021 at 6:19 PM ET

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said as many as 1,500 U.S. citizens are still not out of Afghanistan ahead of the Aug. 31 deadline.

A Los Angeles City Fire Department captain who railed against the city, the department and his own union leaders over an imminent vaccine mandate for all city workers is under an internal investigation.

"I am so hopping mad right now, you have no idea. My head could pop," Capt. Cristian Granucci told viewers as he launched into a 12-minute video rant on Monday in which he threatened to sue the local firefighters union and the city.

You are not crazy. You are not smelling things. And it is still AUGUST!

Yes, you may currently be sitting in sweltering heat but the pumpkin spice latte gods have spoken, and it seems it's time for consumers to whip out their fall garb or at the very least, their fall spending dollars.

The confrontation between authorities and a man who pulled up next to the Library of Congress claiming to have a bomb in his truck ended with his surrender on Thursday afternoon.

Khan had faith in the U.S. troops who arrived in Afghanistan to rebuild his country when he was just 14 years old. He had faith when he began working alongside them, paving roads, digging canals and erecting schools. He still had faith when he left for a college degree in America some years ago.

The extent of the devastation in Haiti grows worse by the day.

The death toll following the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck the southwestern part of the island on Saturday has climbed to 1,941 and nearly 10,000 people were injured, according to official counts on Tuesday.

Haiti's Civil Protection Agency anticipates those figures will climb, noting that many people are still missing.

Early versions of COVID-19 largely spared children but the delta variant proved to be much less discriminating, and has led to more child hospitalizations. Now, health care workers on the front lines say there is another frightening prospect looming: a surge in children diagnosed with a combination of COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus.

Updated August 12, 2021 at 7:10 PM ET

The U.S. is evacuating a "significant" number of employees from its embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, as Taliban forces gain ground across the country.

While the debate over mandated "vaccine passports" rages on, a growing number of employers, businesses and venues are demanding proof of vaccination. That's making it increasingly important for workers and customers to carry documentation that can be whipped out whenever the need arises.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's attorneys have lambasted the New York State Attorney General's office, saying he was "ambushed" by a report on allegations of sexual harassment against him. They also provided a litany of details intended to discredit alleged victims, giving no indication Cuomo is willing step down voluntarily.

Rihanna told us all along she was calling the shots. Out there, collecting money from all manner of ... people.

Now it turns out the singer, actress and cosmetics and lingerie mogul is a billionaire.

Not only that, she's become "the wealthiest female musician in the world and second to Oprah as the richest female entertainer," according to Forbes.

After a years-long legal battle with the maker of the rifle used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, some of the victims' families are deliberating over a $33 million settlement offer from Remington Arms.

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.

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