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. Army Corps of Engineers has denied a permit for the massive Pebble Mine project in Alaska – a proposed open-pit copper and gold mine that would be upstream from the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery.

The Corps said in a statement Wednesday that it has determined that the plan "does not comply with Clean Water Act guidelines" and it had concluded that "the proposed project is contrary to the public interest."

The parents of Harry Dunn have lost their case before the U.K.'s high court, which ruled that the U.S. driver who police say fatally struck their son did have diplomatic immunity.

Dunn, 19, was riding his motorbike last August when he was hit by a car being driven on the wrong side of the road by Anne Sacoolas, the wife of a U.S. diplomat, as she left a nearby air force base used by the U.S. military.

Britain's Supreme Court is considering whether a woman who left the country to join ISIS as a 15-year-old should be permitted to return to the country to argue that her U.K. citizenship should not have been revoked.

Shamima Begum, now 21, left London with two other schoolgirls in 2015 to join the terrorist group. She is now in a detention camp in northern Syria.

Denmark's agriculture minister has resigned amid backlash to the government's order to cull all of the country's mink population.

Mogens Jensen stepped down on Wednesday. He released a statement in which he said his ministry had made a mistake in ordering the destruction of all minks in Denmark. Jensen repeated his earlier apologies, offering particular regret to the country's mink farmers.

The United States has surpassed yet another devastating milestone in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic: 250,000 Americans have now died from the disease. That's more than twice the number of U.S. service members killed in World War I.

Coronavirus case numbers are exploding across the country at the beginning of what is shaping up to be a difficult winter of illness in America.

Mink at two farms in northern Greece have been found to have the coronavirus, according to an official in the country's agriculture ministry.

The strain found in the minks is the same one found in humans, the official said, according to the Greek newspaper Kathimerini. The breeder at one of them also tested positive for the virus.

New research has found that nearly 1 person in 5 diagnosed with COVID-19 is diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder like anxiety, depression or insomnia within three months.

The analysis was conducted by researchers at the University of Oxford, using electronic health records for 69.8 million patients in the U.S. — including more than 62,000 diagnosed with COVID-19.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has announced a new statewide mask mandate and additional measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus amid a steep spike in COVID-19 cases in the state.

Under the new mask requirement, all Utah residents must wear masks in public and when within 6 feet of anyone they don't live with.

In an address Sunday evening, Herbert said the measures were necessary to relieve the overwhelming burden on the state's hospitals and medical professionals.

As the last few thousand votes are counted in a handful of states that will determine the outcome of a momentous presidential race, the question rises again from some corners: Should we ditch the Electoral College?

Newspapers went to press for Wednesday's edition without knowing who would win the presidency – and indeed, that outcome is still unclear at this publishing.

So what does a newspaper editor do when there's no answer yet for the question on everyone's mind? You go with what you know so far.

At the Tampa Bay Times, the big news was that Trump had clinched Florida's electoral votes.

Slovakia undertook a massive effort over the weekend: to test nearly all adults in the country for the coronavirus.

Amid a steep spike in cases, more than 3.6 million Slovaks were tested for the virus, according to Prime Minister Igor Matovic – that's about two-thirds of the population.

Of those tested, 38,359 tested positive for the virus – 1.06%.

A Nevada judge has rejected a lawsuit by President Trump's reelection campaign and state Republican officials seeking to halt mail-in ballot counting in Clark County.

The county, home to Las Vegas, is by far the state's most populous. About 70% of Nevada's voters live in the county, which is "heavily Democratic," CNN reports.

The Louisville police officer who was shot during the botched narcotics raid on Breonna Taylor's apartment has filed a countersuit against Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.

The lawsuit, filed by Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, says Walker committed battery, assault and intentional emotional distress.

Walker, a licensed gun owner, has said he believed intruders had entered the home.

But in the complaint, Mattingly's attorney says that Walker "willingly or maliciously" fired at the officer, who was struck in the femoral artery in his upper thigh.

Two recent "superspreader events" on Long Island, N.Y., show the impact of large gatherings during virus outbreaks — and threaten to undo the months-long efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus in the area.

Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone announced fines on Wednesday against a country club and a homeowner for hosting events in violation of social-gathering limits.

Updated at 7:29 p.m. ET

A Virginia judge has ruled that Richmond's statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee can be removed under the governor's order. The statue, which stands 60 feet high, is the only Confederate statue still standing on the city's Monument Avenue after others were toppled by protesters or removed by the city.

Judge W. Reilly Marchant's ruling came Tuesday evening, following testimony in the case a week earlier. The plaintiffs are expected to appeal the ruling.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

More time at home during the pandemic has meant more time online for many of us. And as we spend more of our lives in the digital world, our personal information can be compromised, and our technology is tracking our movements. For NPR's Life Kit, reporter Laurel Wamsley talked to experts to find out the best ways to keep our personal data safe and got a list of things you can do today to protect yourself and your data.

Remember the "murder hornets"? You know, the terrifyingly large Asian giant hornets that are threatening to wipe out the North American bee population?

Entomologists with the Washington State Department of Agriculture have now located a nest of them – the first to be found in the U.S., the agency says.

In late May, employees at a bank in Kannapolis, N.C., called the local police to report an abandoned white Ford van in the bank's parking lot.

When officers arrived, they looked into the van's windows and saw an array of items: an AR-15 rifle, the box for a handgun, a canister of explosive material, and a box of ammunition, according to a court document. Police say they towed and searched the van, finding more than $500,000 in cash, drawings of swastikas and planes crashing into buildings, books on survival and bomb-making, and a half-dozen firearms.

The Food and Drug Administration is preparing for the eventual rollout of one or more COVID-19 vaccines — by identifying the concerns that some people have about taking such a vaccine.

At a meeting Thursday of experts advising the FDA on COVID-19 vaccines, the concerns of front-line workers and people of color were read aloud verbatim, highlighting the crucial project of communicating the safety and effectiveness of a vaccine in an environment of deep political distrust.

The National Transportation Safety Board has placed the blame for the dive boat fire that killed 34 people on the vessel's owners.

The five-member board ruled unanimously on Tuesday that it was a lack of oversight by the owners, Truth Aquatics Inc., that led to the 2019 fire — one of California's deadliest maritime disasters.

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