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.

Halloween is exactly two weeks away but Spotify launched a campaign to scare people back in June. Unfortunately, for the music-streaming company, their efforts were too frightening.

On Wednesday, a British advertising watchdog group ruled that a minute-long Spotify advertisement featuring Camila Cabello's "Havana" and a creepy, self-animated harlequin-type doll, is way too spooky for kids.

The controversial herbicide Roundup has been accused of causing cancer in humans and now scientists in Texas argue that the world's most popular weed killer could be partly responsible for killing off bee populations around the world.

In a new bid to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, two Native American communities are suing the Trump administration, saying it failed to adhere to historical treaty boundaries and circumvented environmental impact analysis. As a result, they are asking a federal judge in Montana to rescind the 2017 permit and block any further construction or use of the controversial pipeline.

As fall — usually California's busiest fire season — approaches, officials say the agency that oversees emergency fire responses is running out of money.

Cal Fire's director, Ken Pimlott, asked lawmakers for an additional $234 million to be made available as soon as possible, in a letter to state lawmakers on Thursday.

He wrote that fires caused by "climate change driven extreme weather conditions" have triggered massive spending across the state.

Don't think of it as a reversal.

Think of it as the first act of a movie in which the lead — an incredibly attractive, symmetrically faced character — is up against seemingly insurmountable odds. Except in this version, that handsome-yet-relatable hero is the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The challenge it faces is trying to make the sluggish annual Oscar ceremony a bit more lively. Only, it's meeting a lot of resistance.

A Canadian court sided unanimously with environmentalist and indigenous groups on Thursday in a decision that indefinitely halts the construction of the controversial Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project.

The ruling by the Federal Court of Appeal reverses the Canadian government's approval of the troubled multibillion dollar project. The court said the government failed to "fulfill the duty to consult owed to Indigenous people."

CBS' CEO Leslie Moonves will remain at the helm of the media company as the board of directors launches an investigation into allegations that he sexually assaulted several women over decades.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET Tuesday

Bay mussels in Washington's Puget Sound have tested positive for trace amounts of oxycodone, providing more evidence that the opioid prescription medication is truly ubiquitous.

Here they come, Miss America's female leadership.

For the first time in the pageant's history the two branches of the organization — the pageant and the foundation — will be led entirely by women, who also happen to be former Miss Americas.

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.

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.

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.

The former Playboy model who is suing for the right to talk about her alleged affair with Donald Trump, before he was president, is not waiting for a court or judge to free her from a contract she says was contrived for the sole purpose of killing the story of the 10-month relationship.

In an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper on Thursday evening, Karen McDougal said Trump tried to pay her after the first time they had sexual relations.

A nun involved in a years-long legal dispute with pop star Katy Perry over a sprawling 8-acre former convent died in court Friday, according to The Associated Press.

Sister Catherine Rose Holzman, who had battled Perry and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, was in court for a post-judgment hearing related to the case when she collapsed. She was 89.

Writer Sherman Alexie has decided not to accept a prestigious literary prize he was awarded in February, as he faces multiple allegations of sexual harassment.

California has a giant rodent problem.

To clarify, it's not that California has a huge problem with run-of-the-mill rats, it's that the state has an emerging problem with jumbo-sized critters.

Nutria, otherwise called Myocastor coypus, were thought to have been eradicated from the state's wetlands and rivers as far back as 1965, but they have mysteriously reappeared in three counties over the past year, California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Peter Tira told NPR.

Just days after a monthlong hiatus from making megabucks-generating videos, YouTube vlogger Logan Paul is in trouble again for creating more questionable content.

Actor John Mahoney, best-known for his portrayal of the grouchy and sharp-witted father of the title character in the TV show Frasier, died Sunday. He was 77.

The Steppenwolf Theatre Company confirmed his death, saying in a statement, "John Mahoney passed away due to complications from cancer while in hospice care on Sunday."

For 11 years, from 1993 to 2004, Mahoney played the blue-collar, retired-cop foil to Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce, his dandy and effete sons on the NBC hit show.

Updated 6:45 p.m. ET

Actor Mark Salling died Tuesday in what was reported to the coroner's office as a suicide by hanging. No official determination on whether it was suicide has been annouced. The 35-year-old former Glee star was weeks away from sentencing after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography involving a prepubescent minor.

Attorney Michael Proctor confirmed Salling's death.

Casey Affleck will not be presenting the trophy for best actress at the upcoming Academy Awards, his publicist confirmed to the Associated Press Thursday.

It is customary for the previous year's best actor to return to present the best-actress award. Affleck won the award for his performance in Manchester By the Sea.

Because there are no second takes, re-shoots or do-overs at the Oscars, PwC, the accounting firm that tabulates votes for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, has devised new rules for how winners are announced at this year's awards.

High-profile lawyer Lisa Bloom has resigned from advising Hollywood studio head Harvey Weinstein, who was recently accused of sexually harassing female employees for decades.

Bloom announced her departure over Twitter on Saturday afternoon, writing, "I have resigned as an advisor to Harvey Weinstein. My understanding is that Mr. Weinstein and his board are moving toward an agreement."

Updated at 5 p.m. ET Sunday

Editor's note: This story contains language that some might find offensive.

Updated at 11 a.m. ET Sunday

With a pair of Sunday television interviews, President Trump's administration furthered ambiguity on the United States' position with regard to the Paris climate agreement.

On CBS' Face The Nation, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was asked by John Dickerson if there was a chance the U.S could stay in the accord.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The FBI In Pop Culture

Jul 12, 2017

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

If confirmed, Christopher Wray will head an agency that the public knows through popular culture. NPR's Vanessa Romo reports on the FBI in TV and movies.

VANESSA ROMO, BYLINE: There's an image that comes to mind when you think about the FBI lawman. And it's this guy.

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