Laurel Wamsley

Laurel Wamsley is a reporter for NPR's Newsdesk. She reports breaking news for NPR's digital coverage, newscasts, and news magazines, as well as occasional features. She will be 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.

Abortion-rights advocates are holding rallies across the country Tuesday, protesting a wave of laws passed by states in recent weeks to severely restrict access to abortions.

Organizers include the ACLU, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and NARAL Pro-Choice America. More than 400 events were planned for a national day of action outside statehouses and courts, united under the #StopTheBans moniker.

Taiwan's parliament approved a bill on Friday that legalizes same-sex marriage, making it the first place in Asia to do so. Throngs of supporters who gathered outside parliament cheered and embraced at the news.

A 3-foot-tall silver bunny just set an art world record. Rabbit, by the playful and controversial artist Jeff Koons, sold for more than $91 million at Christie's Auction House — the most for work by a living artist at auction.

President Trump has granted a pardon to former media mogul and society figure Conrad Black, who was convicted of fraud in 2007.

Black is also a friend of the president and frequently praises him in his newspaper columns. Last year, Black published a biography of Trump, titled Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she was one of many who saw horrifying footage of the March 15 terrorist attacks in Christchurch when the video of it started autoplaying in her social media feed. In the wake of the violence in which 51 people were killed, New Zealand immediately imposed new gun control measures and introduced legislation that would ban most semi-automatic firearms.

The State Department has ordered all "non-emergency" U.S. government employees to leave Iraq right away.

The travel advisory specifically orders the departure of employees at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and consulate in Irbil (sometimes spelled Erbil), noting that "normal visa services will be temporarily suspended at both posts."

Two seaplanes crashed Monday afternoon in Southeast Alaska, killing at least four people. Ten others were injured in the collision.

Two people were still missing, the Coast Guard told The Associated Press.

Both planes were carrying passengers from a Royal Princess cruise ship on sightseeing trips. A float plane operated by Taquan Air was carrying 11 people and a smaller plane, operated by an unidentified tour company, was carrying five near Ketchikan.

Updated May 14 at 2:58 a.m. ET

San Francisco police raided the home and office of a freelance journalist on Friday, taking a sledgehammer to the gate of his house and seizing his computers, phones and other devices.

Their goal: to uncover the source of a leaked police report in the possession of freelance videographer Bryan Carmody.

The raids on Carmody's home and office are the latest in a series of events concerning the death of San Francisco public defender Jeff Adachi in February, at age 59.

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.

A vote on what would be the country's most restrictive abortion ban was postponed in the Alabama Senate on Thursday after chaos erupted over the stripping of an amendment to allow exceptions in the case of rape or incest.

The attorneys general of 38 states and territories sent a letter to congressional leaders on Wednesday, urging them: Please, let us bank the money generated by the country's booming cannabis business.

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.

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.

Updated at 11:33 a.m. ET

The latest royal baby has arrived.

Meghan Markle, who is married to Britain's Prince Harry, gave birth to the couple's first child early Monday. The baby boy weighed in at 7 pounds, 3 ounces. His name hasn't yet been announced.

The baby is "very healthy," Harry told reporters later in the day, adding that "mother and baby are doing incredibly well."

A Russian-made Aeroflot plane made a hard emergency landing in Moscow on Sunday before bursting into flames, killing 41 of the 78 people on board.

Video footage showed the rocky crash landing as the jet bounced several times on the runway before its rear portion was engulfed by flames. Other video showed passengers escaping on the plane's emergency inflated slides as firetrucks raced to the scene.

The Israeli military said Monday that it had lifted restrictions allowing residents in southern Israel to resume daily activity after two days of intense and deadly fighting. To many, the move is an indication that a ceasefire between Israel and militant groups has been brokered — even if peace only holds temporarily.

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, said that Egyptian mediators brokered the deal, The Associated Press reports. The militant group Islamic Jihad said a "mutual and concurrent" truce with Israel had been reached.

Boeing knew that there was a problem with one of the safety features on its 737 Max planes back in 2017 – well before the Lion Air crash in October 2018 and the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March. But it did not disclose the issue to airlines or safety regulators until after the Lion Air plane crashed off the Indonesian coast, killing all 189 aboard.

The cruise ship that was placed under quarantine by St. Lucia because of a confirmed case of measles onboard is bound for Curaçao. It's not clear what will happen when the vessel, called the Freewinds, arrives there.

The Church of Scientology operates the ship and calls Curaçao its home port. Nearly 300 passengers and crew are onboard, NBC News reports.

The Trump Administration is rolling back some of the Obama-era safety regulations for offshore drilling that were meant to prevent a repeat of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion, the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

The change pertains to rules aimed at keeping offshore oil and gas wells from "blowing out" – a sudden and uncontrollable release of crude oil.

U.S. soccer coach Jill Ellis has named the 23 players who will play for the women's national team in the 2019 Women's World Cup in France next month. The U.S. team will look to defend its championship from the last tournament in 2015, when it defeated Japan in the final.

After two days of impassioned debate, Florida's House of Representatives passed a controversial bill on Wednesday that would permit classroom teachers to carry guns in schools. The bill was already approved by the Senate; it now goes before Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, who is expected to sign it.

The highest court in sports has ruled that the regulations adopted by track and field's international governing body regarding women with high levels of testosterone are discriminatory but necessary to ensure fair competition in female athletics.

South African track star Caster Semenya and Athletics South Africa asked the Court of Arbitration for Sport to overturn regulations by the International Association of Athletics Federations that pertained to female athletes with high levels of testosterone.

President Trump is calling for his administration to restrict the asylum process, issuing a presidential memorandum that proposes charging asylum-seekers fees and other broad changes.

Trump's proposals were widely criticized by Democrats and immigration advocates, who predicted a new legal battle over the president's policy.

Six months to the day after the first of two deadly crashes of its 737 Max jets, Boeing's chief executive faced hard questions from both shareholders and reporters about the plane's safety on Monday.

Updated at 11:42 p.m. ET

A military spokesman said 15 bodies were found in a house where soldiers had pursued suspects in the Easter Sunday bombings. The spokesman said the bodies, including those of six children, were discovered after a shootout in the Eastern province.

A police spokesman said three suspects in the bombings also were killed.

Coordinated bomb attacks at churches and hotels on Sunday killed at least 250 people and left hundreds more wounded.

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