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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.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that the Trump administration is preparing to pull the trigger on a broad range of options to oust Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, and demanded that interfering countries end their involvement in the beleaguered nation's affairs.

In a string of television appearances, Pompeo suggested the fall of Maduro's government is imminent and that the support for opposition leader Juan Guaidó remains strong despite his failed attempt last week to lead a large-scale defection against the socialist leader.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered "massive strikes" against militant groups in Gaza on Sunday in response to a barrage of rocket fire, stretching hostilities into a third day and leading to mounting casualties on both sides.

At a cabinet meeting on Sunday Netanyahu said he also instructed military leaders to boost tank artillery and infantry forces around the Gaza Strip.

"Hamas bears responsibility not only for its own attacks and actions but also those by Islamic Jihad, for which it pays a very high price," he said.

Venezuela's top court issued an arrest warrant Thursday for Leopoldo López, a prominent opposition figure who appeared at a key rally Tuesday next to Juan Guaidó, leader of the movement against President Nicolás Maduro.

After Guaidó appeal to the military to revolt, López, who had escaped house arrest after two years, sought refuge along with his family at the Spanish embassy in Caracas.

Guaidó is regrouping amid signs that his U.S.-backed campaign to oust Maduro is losing momentum.

The only two fraternities at Swarthmore College have unanimously agreed to disband and give up their houses, ending a four-day sit-in and weeks of protest by outraged students after the publication of documents chronicling years of misogynist, racist and homophobic remarks, as well as jokes alluding to sexual assault by members.

The decisions to dissolve Phi Psi and Delta Upsilon were announced on Facebook on Tuesday night, after what both said were weeks of deliberation.

After more than three decades, University of North Carolina women's basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell has resigned from leading the celebrated program. Her resignation followed an external review that found she made "racially insensitive" remarks, exercised "undue influence" on athletes to play while injured and lacked a connection with her players.

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 clarified one church-related mystery on Thursday, explaining that it was a fear of spreading germs that provoked him to yank his hand away from the lips of devoted worshippers as they bent down to kiss the papal ring earlier this week.

Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti told reporters on Thursday that the pope did not intend to buck centuries of tradition, but was interested in preventing disease.

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.

The first of three Hong Kong-based refugee families who helped shelter National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden when he was on the run, has been granted asylum in Canada.

Vanessa Rodel and her daughter, Keana, arrived in Montreal on Tuesday, eager to embrace their new lives as Canadians.

"I feel so great and I feel like I'm free," Rodel told reporters at Toronto Pearson International Airport shortly after landing in the country on Monday night.

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.

After several hours of clawing through mountains of debris with bare hands, hammers and heavy equipment, approximately 37 people have been rescued from a building that collapsed Wednesday morning in the Nigerian city of Lagos. But many more are trapped under the rubble, including dozens of children.

Several news outlets reported at least eight people died, as of Wednesday night.

"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.

After nearly a year of scrutiny, the embattled Florida sheriff whose deputies were the first to respond to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland was suspended on Friday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Broward Sheriff Scott Israel has been replaced by former Coral Springs Police Sgt. Gregory Tony, who has an extensive background in active shooter training.

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.

Londoners riding the tube have only a few more months to feast their eyes on cheesy, greasy burger ads and other high-calorie treats on promotional posters.

As of February, the city will ban junk food advertising across all of London's public transportation network, the mayor's office announced on Friday. It is part of the city's larger plan to stem rising childhood obesity rates.

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