Laurel Wamsley

Laurel Wamsley is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She reports breaking news for NPR's digital coverage, newscasts, and news magazines, as well as occasional features. She was also the lead reporter for NPR's coverage of the 2019 Women's World Cup in France.

Wamsley got her start at NPR as an intern for Weekend Edition Saturday in January 2007 and stayed on as a production assistant for NPR's flagship news programs, before joining the Washington Desk for the 2008 election.

She then left NPR, doing freelance writing and editing in Austin, Texas, and then working in various marketing roles for technology companies in Austin and Chicago.

In November 2015, Wamsley returned to NPR as an associate producer for the National Desk, where she covered stories including Hurricane Matthew in coastal Georgia. She became a Newsdesk reporter in March 2017, and has since covered subjects including climate change, possibilities for social networks beyond Facebook, the sex lives of Neanderthals, and joke theft.

In 2010, Wamsley was a Journalism and Women Symposium Fellow and participated in the German-American Fulbright Commission's Berlin Capital Program, and was a 2016 Voqal Foundation Fellow. She will spend two months reporting from Germany as a 2019 Arthur F. Burns Fellow, a program of the International Center for Journalists.

Wamsley earned a B.A. with highest honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead-Cain Scholar. Wamsley holds a master's degree from Ohio University, where she was a Public Media Fellow and worked at NPR Member station WOUB. A native of Athens, Ohio, she now lives and bikes in Washington, DC.

The U.S. Navy says it will name an aircraft carrier after Doris "Dorie" Miller, the African American mess attendant who heroically leapt into combat during the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It marks the first time that an aircraft carrier has been named for an African American, and the first time a sailor has been so honored for actions taken as an enlisted man.

Iran's cultural heritage is suddenly a topic of urgent global interest, after President Trump threatened to strike such sites if the country retaliates for the United States' killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani last week.

Updated at 7:49 p.m. ET

Iran will no longer honor its commitment to limit its enrichment of uranium, stepping away from a key component of the landmark nuclear deal it agreed to with six nations, including the United States, in 2015.

The announcement was reported Sunday in Iranian state media. It marks the latest in the country's retreat from the limitations agreed to in the agreement, known as the JCPOA.

In his annual Christmas Day address, Pope Francis offered a message of hope and a call for kindness to migrants around the world.

"May the Son of God, come down to earth from heaven, protect and sustain all those who, due to these and other injustices, are forced to emigrate in the hope of a secure life," the pontiff said from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica.

Updated Dec. 27 at 10 a.m. ET

About a week after Glenda and Raphi Savitz welcomed their daughter Samantha to the world, they learned that she was deaf.

"She was the first deaf person we had known, so obviously it was a surprise and a challenge," Glenda says. "We knew right away that we had to get involved in the deaf community, learn about the culture, and start getting fully immersed in American Sign Language."

What the new parents didn't know was that their neighbors in Newton, Mass., would decide they needed to start learning sign language, too.

Six-year-old Florence Widdicombe was writing notes on Christmas cards to her school friends in South London when she discovered that one card had already been written on.

"We are foreign prisoners in Shanghai Qingpu prison China," it said in English, written in all capital letters. "Forced to work against our will. Please help us and notify human rights organization."

Caroll Spinney, the actor and puppeteer who portrayed Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street over five decades, died Sunday at age 85.

The Sesame Workshop said Spinney had died at home in Connecticut, and that he had long lived with dystonia, a disorder that causes involuntary muscle contractions.

On the first full day of his tour of Japan, Pope Francis visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki and delivered a clear message: possessing or deploying atomic weapons is immoral.

"Peace and international stability are incompatible with attempts to build upon the fear of mutual destruction, or the threat of total annihilation," Francis said in an address in Nagasaki. He spoke at the site where the United States exploded an atomic bomb in 1945, killing 74,000 people by the end of that year.

Updated at 7:12 p.m. ET

Richard V. Spencer has been terminated as secretary of the Navy after his handling of the case of a Navy SEAL accused of war crimes came under rebuke by the defense secretary.

"Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper has asked for the resignation of Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer after losing trust and confidence in him regarding his lack of candor over conversations with the White House involving the handling of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher," the Defense Department said in a statement on Sunday.

Updated at 12:22 ET

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is making a late entry into the presidential race, a move that could upend the Democratic nominating contest this spring.

Bloomberg said in a statement Sunday that he is running to rebuild America and defeat President Trump, whom he says "represents an existential threat to our country and our values."

The world's most profitable company will make its first public stock offering next month, in what could be the biggest IPO ever.

Saudi Aramco, the oil giant owned by the Saudi government, said on Sunday it will sell an unspecified number of shares, thought to be between 1% and 3% of the company. It did not specify a price range.

Updated at 6:42 p.m. ET

John Conyers Jr., who represented Michigan in Congress for more than five decades, has died at the age of 90. His death was confirmed Sunday by the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office in Detroit.

Conyers was the longest-serving African American lawmaker in congressional history, a co-founder of the Congressional Black Caucus and a fierce champion for civil rights. But he would leave office at the age of 88 amid allegations of sexual harassment.

The Houston Astros have fired Assistant General Manager Brandon Taubman following an uproar about comments he shouted at a group of female reporters on Saturday.

Updated at 7:48 p.m. ET

The United Nations Secretary-General warned this week that the organization is facing a "cash crisis" if member states do not pay the annual dues they owe: $1.3 billion in payments are outstanding.

For some 40 years, women have been largely banned from attending soccer matches at Iran's stadiums. But under pressure from FIFA, soccer's governing body, Iranian authorities are allowing a few thousand women to watch a game Thursday at Tehran's Azadi Stadium – in a section separate from men.

Women were permitted to buy about 3,500 tickets to watch a World Cup qualifier between the men's teams of Iran and Cambodia.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill on Monday that will make HIV-prevention drugs available without a prescription. It allows pharmacists to dispense both PrEP, or preexposure prophylaxis, and PEP, post-exposure prophylaxis.

Updated at 2:35 p.m. ET

Before the U.S. took on France last week, many observers said that match should have been the World Cup final: the two most powerful squads in front of throngs of rabid fans. The Americans came away with the win on the strength of two goals by Megan Rapinoe.

So why doesn't that victory feel like a relief?

Because now the U.S. must face England. The Lionesses came into this tournament ranked No. 3 in the world, with a formidable defense that has allowed only a single goal in its seven games so far.

Oregon is on its way to making a significant change in what housing is allowed to be built in the state.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The U.S. women's soccer team is back in action tomorrow at the Women's World Cup in France. The team is taking on its biggest opponent yet, Sweden - a key match for the U.S. And there's plenty else going on at the tournament.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Nepal's tourism board is defending the number of permits it issued to climb Mount Everest for this season in which 11 people have died. And the country says it has no plans to restrict the number of permits issued next year, but rather that it hopes to attract still more tourists and climbers.

Updated at 4:19 p.m. ET

China is imposing new retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods, days after the Trump administration said it would impose higher tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods. The latest tit-for-tat exchange comes as trade talks have failed to yield a deal.

U.S. stock prices plunged on the news. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 617 points Monday, or 2.4%, and the Nasdaq composite fell 3.4%.

Conan O'Brien says he has settled with a San Diego man who accused the late night host of stealing jokes.

Robert Alexander Kaseberg sued O'Brien and his writing staff in 2015, alleging that they stole five jokes from Kaseberg's blog and Twitter account. The Associated Press reports that attorneys for both sides of the case filed court documents about three weeks before a trial was slated to begin in San Diego federal court, and that terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The vice president of Venezuela's opposition-controlled National Assembly was arrested by intelligence agents Wednesday night in Caracas. The U.S. government warns that there will be consequences if he isn't released.

Edgar Zambrano was in his car when he was surrounded by SEBIN intelligence agents. When he refused to leave the car, agents towed it with Zambrano inside to the SEBIN headquarters. The incident was tweeted by Zambrano as it happened.

Updated at 6:49 p.m. ET

Iran's president says increased uranium enrichment will begin in 60 days if world powers don't shield it from U.S. sanctions, under the terms of the 2015 nuclear agreement. The move is a signal to the world that Tehran is losing patience with U.S. efforts to punish Iran economically.

Updated at 11:06 p.m. ET

Ahead of Uber's initial public offering, drivers for Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing companies went on strike Wednesday, turning off the apps as they flex their collective muscles to say: What about us?

Drivers in 10 cities across the country took action Wednesday to draw attention to what they say are decreasing wages for drivers and a distressing lack of job security — and some are calling on passengers to temporarily boycott the ride-hailing services, too.

Updated May 8 at 1:15 a.m. ET

Officials say one student is dead and eight students were injured in a shooting at a public charter school in Highlands Ranch, Colo., a suburb south of Denver.

In a tweet, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office said the deceased was an 18-year-old student at the STEM School.

A federal appeals court has ruled that the Trump administration may continue requiring asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico as they await court proceedings in the United States. It might be seen as a victory for Trump, though a temporary one.

Los Angeles' city attorney is suing tax-preparation software companies H&R Block and TurboTax-maker Intuit, alleging that they "defrauded the lowest earning 70 percent of American taxpayers" by impeding public access to an IRS program. The IRS Free File program is intended to help people who make less than $66,000 a year file their taxes free using commercial services.

After more than 500 days in prison, two Reuters journalists convicted of breaking Myanmar's Official Secrets Act have been released from prison.

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