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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.

Yolanda López lived to be 78 and yet that was not long enough to see her very first museum solo show.

The trailblazing, feminist Chicana artist died of cancer in her San Francisco apartment in September — a month and a half before the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego is set to unveil a retrospective of López's influential career.

"I feel heartbroken about it," Jill Dawsey, curator of the Southern California museum, told NPR.

The U.S. Navy has recovered the remains of five crew members among the wreckage of an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter that crashed off the coast of San Diego during routine operations in August.

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen implored Congress on Tuesday to take action against the social media giant, which she accused of willfully putting users in danger in pursuit of "astronomical profits."

As the country celebrates all things Latino, we think it's time to show some culinary appreciation for some of the tastiest foods indigenous to Latin America but that over centuries have been victim to some bad PR, and are commonly associated with European countries.

Mmmm ... chocolate

Television commercials and magazine ads make it seem that the Swiss and the Belgians must be somehow connected to the very origins of chocolate, but the caffeinated treat's history stretches back millennia to what is now southeastern Mexico.

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.

Six more people pleaded guilty on Friday to charges connected to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, including a man who threatened to shoot House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the head.

Cleveland Meredith Jr. missed the pro-Trump rally in Washington, D.C., earlier this year, but stuck around long enough to tell family members that he planned to shoot Pelosi. He pleaded guilty to one count of interstate communication of threats.

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.

Hurricane Ida's violent winds and storm surge have plunged New Orleans and surrounding areas into darkness, and officials say some residents could be left without power for weeks.

During a Wednesday afternoon update, Mayor Latoya Cantrell said some power had been restored in eastern New Orleans and that residents could expect more of the grid to be back online by Thursday. But she did not provide specifics on when and where that might happen.

Joe Rogan, the mega-popular podcast host who has suggested that young, fit people don't need to get the COVID-19 vaccine, has announced he tested positive for the virus, but is feeling fine thanks to a cocktail of unproven medical treatments.

In an Instagram video, the 54-year-old host of The Joe Rogan Experience, said he felt "very weary" on Saturday and got tested for the coronavirus the following day.

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 theme of Bigelow High School's 2020 - 2021 yearbook was The Roaring 20s. But it appears officials at the Arkansas school wanted the student record of the events of the tumultuous year to be a little less of a roar and more of a meow.

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.

A pesticide that's been linked to neurological damage in children, including reduced IQ, loss of working memory, and attention deficit disorders, has been banned by the Biden administration following a years-long legal battle.

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.

Remember when protesting Texas House Democrats abandoned the state Capitol then fled the state to Washington, D.C., to block proposed voting restrictions during a special session?

Well, major developments late Tuesday mean they might not be able to escape the long arm of the law for much longer.

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.

Updated August 9, 2021 at 10:56 PM ET

As the majority of Florida's K-12 schools prepare to reopen campuses at full capacity this week — many of them on Tuesday — Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that the state Board of Education could withhold pay from school leaders who implement mask mandates for students.

Britney Spears' father says the pop star's personal conservator Jodi Montgomery feared the pop star was spiraling out of control as recently as July, according to court documents filed on Friday.

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