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.

Countries around the world are mobilizing to try to halt the coronavirus outbreak that has infected more than 100,000 people and killed more than 4,000 others. Here's a look at some of the measures that the nine countries with the most cases have implemented so far.

China

Updated at 4:54 p.m. ET

As cases of coronavirus disease continue to be identified in countries around the world, the effort to stem its spread has kept some 290 million students home from school.

According to the United Nations, as of Tuesday, 22 countries on three continents have closed schools because of the virus.

The rapid spread of the new coronavirus has health officials scrambling to educate the public on good hygiene and best practices. And the need to communicate those messages has resurrected a classic art form: the public service announcement, or PSA.

Because the coronavirus is a global concern, video PSAs are emerging from all corners of the globe, all at once.

Within the wood paneling of a hallway in the British House of Commons, there was a small brass keyhole.

Members of Parliament and staff walked past the tiny hole each day. The rare person who noticed the hole took it for an electrical cabinet.

Scotland is now a big step closer to becoming the first country in the world to make tampons and pads free to anyone who needs them.

The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill passed through the first of three stages in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday by a vote of 112-0, with one abstention.

Updated at 2:50 pm ET

Riots and mob violence have rocked neighborhoods for three nights in New Delhi — the Indian capital's worst sectarian tumult in decades. At least 20 people have been killed in the fighting, which follows months of mostly peaceful protests over a new citizenship law that excludes Muslim refugees.

Deep in the third quarter against Stanford, Oregon guard Sabrina Ionescu picked up a defensive rebound.

It was a big one: With that play, Ionescu became the first NCAA basketball player, male or female, to reach the milestone of 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists in a career.

Major League Baseball's opening day is a little more than a month off. But one of the boys of summer has been cross-training in the off season — by roping cattle. Professionally. Under an alias.

Madison Bumgarner, the left-handed pitching ace who was 2014 World Series MVP with the San Francisco Giants, has been entering — and sometimes winning — rodeo events under the name Mason Saunders.

The extradition hearing for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange began Monday in London — the latest turn in the legal saga of perhaps the world's most famous secret-spiller.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that the barricades that have blocked railways in the country for two weeks must come down, calling the situation "unacceptable and untenable."

A homicide that shocked Lesotho has become more shocking still: Police say Prime Minister Thomas Thabane will be charged in the killing of his estranged wife.

But rather than appear in court as he was supposed to Friday, the 80-year-old leader has gone to South Africa to seek medical treatment. "He's not fled the country," Thabane's son Potlako told Reuters. The prime minister's office says he will go to court when he returns.

It has been just over 78 years since President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order authorizing the internment of Japanese Americans.

Now, in a unanimous vote, the California Assembly has apologized for the role the state played in rounding up about 120,000 people – mainly U.S. citizens – and moving them into 10 camps, including two in California.

Mississippians had been braced for historic floods after days of heavy downpours. When the Pearl River crested in Jackson on Monday, the water was 8 feet above flood stage — but that was lower than many had feared.

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

The Boy Scouts of America has filed for bankruptcy, a sign of the century-old organization's financial instability as it faces some 300 lawsuits from men who say they were sexually abused as Scouts.

The organization says it will use the Chapter 11 process to create a trust to provide compensation to victims. Scouting programs will continue throughout.

A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court decision blocking states' requirements that people must work in order to receive Medicaid.

Residents of Kentucky and Arkansas brought the action against Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, contending that Azar "acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner when he approved Medicaid demonstration requests for Kentucky and Arkansas."

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed, writing in an opinion posted Friday that the secretary's authorization was indeed unlawful.

Updated 11:30 a.m. ET on Saturday

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper spoke Saturday about a newly reached deal between the U.S. and the Taliban to deescalate the longest-running war in American history.

The "reduction in violence" deal will take place over a seven-day period and ultimately will aim to bring the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan down to 8,600 from around 12,000 over the following months.

The 8,600 number will still include counterterrorism and training operations.

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

A judge has overturned a contentious settlement that the University of North Carolina system reached with the Sons of Confederate Veterans over the Confederate monument known as Silent Sam.

The November 2019 agreement required the UNC system to give Silent Sam to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, along with $2.5 million for its preservation and display. It was announced within minutes of a lawsuit filed by the group.

Democrats could avoid another tech meltdown like the one that afflicted the Iowa caucuses with a better strategy for building the tools they need, progressive technology specialists say.

The origins of the Iowa debacle are in a boom-and-bust cycle that places technology in competition with other priorities as time-crunched campaigns grapple with how best to spend as they hurtle toward an election.

T-Mobile is closer to taking over Sprint after a federal judge rejected arguments by several states that the merger would stifle competition and lead to higher prices for consumers.

The deal would combine the country's third- and fourth-largest wireless carriers. The new company, to be called T-Mobile, would still be the third-largest, after AT&T and Verizon.

U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero concluded that the proposed merger "is not reasonably likely to substantially lessen competition" in the wireless market.

When a work of art is broken, is it destroyed — or transformed?

That's perhaps a generous question that one art critic is posing after a dramatic incident Saturday at the Zona Maco contemporary art fair in Mexico City.

One of the works on display was a large sculpture by Mexican artist Gabriel Rico. The piece involved a large sheet of glass with objects suspended through it, including a soccer ball, a tennis ball, a stick, a feather and a rock.

People often ponder how the world might be different if more women were in political power. In Finland, where women lead the five parties in the coalition government, here's one change they're making: equal paid leave for both parents in a family.

The Orange County, Calif., district attorney says he is dropping charges against a Newport Beach doctor and his girlfriend who had been accused of drugging and sexually assaulting multiple women.

A new law has taken effect in Germany that requires receipts to be issued at businesses such as restaurants, bakeries, hairdressers, no matter how small the transaction.

It's known as Kassengesetz, or "cash register law": a law for protection against the manipulation of digital records. The measure is meant to increase transparency and prevent tax fraud. The idea is to log each transaction in a format that can be reviewed and verified.

Each winter, millions of monarch butterflies make their home at the El Rosario reserve in Mexico — one of the best places in the world to see them. Local guides lead tourists up the mountainside on foot and horseback to where the monarchs cluster in fir and pine trees. Their bright orange wings flit amid the mild weather of Michoacán, and signs ask for silence as visitors enter the nesting areas.

This week, the sanctuary is in mourning for two of its protectors.

AGU / YouTube

Updated at 8:30 a.m. ET on Jan. 31

People in northern climes have long gazed at the wonder that is the aurora borealis: the northern lights.

Updated at 7:50 a.m. ET Tuesday

The extradition hearing for Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer for the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, began Monday in Vancouver, British Columbia. American officials want Meng sent to the U.S. to face federal fraud charges.

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.

It was a lifesaving mission as dramatic as any in the months-long battle against the wildfires that have torn through the Australian bush.

But instead of a race to save humans or animals, a specialized team of Australian firefighters was bent on saving invaluable plant life: hidden groves of the Wollemi pine, a prehistoric tree species that has outlived the dinosaurs.

BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, says that it will now make climate change central to its investment considerations. And not just for environmental reasons — but because it believes that climate change is reshaping the world's financial system.

That was the message in BlackRock Chairman and CEO Larry Fink's annual letter to CEOs published on Tuesday.

It was billed as the Sandringham Summit: a meeting of Britain's royal family to discuss the desire of Prince Harry and his wife, the former Meghan Markle, to "step back" from the responsibilities of being "senior royals."

The meeting took place at the queen's estate in Norfolk and involved Queen Elizabeth II; Harry; his father, Prince Charles; and his brother, Prince William. Meghan joined by phone from Canada.

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