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.

Updated at 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she would seek a change in her country's gun laws after at least one man opened fire during afternoon prayers Friday and killed at least 49 people at two mosques in Christchurch.

"Our gun laws will change," Ardern declared in a news conference Saturday morning local time.

The violent attack struck at the very heart of New Zealand, a country that prides itself on being both peaceful and diverse.

The Southern Poverty Law Center says that it has fired Morris Dees, one of its founders. The civil rights nonprofit, based in Montgomery, Ala., is well-known for its tracking of hate groups and its Teaching Tolerance program.

Dees co-founded the SPLC in 1971. The organization had $450 million in assets in 2017, according to a tax filing.

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET

Nearly three years since Britain voted to leave the European Union, everything has come down to the wire — but Parliament wants to give itself a slightly longer fuse.

In a vote Thursday, Parliament approved a government plan to ask the EU for an extension to the Brexit process. Members voted 412 - 202 for the motion, which declares that Britain will ask the EU to extend the process until June 30.

Britain will leave the bloc in a mere 15 days unless the EU approves a delay.

Updated at 5:17 p.m. ET

In a vote that might shape Britain for years to come, Parliament has once again rejected the Brexit deal that Prime Minister Theresa May had struck with the European Union regarding the terms of the U.K.'s exit.

And it wasn't even close: 242 votes for, 391 votes against.

The world has two kinds of measles problems.

In low-income countries like Madagascar and in strife-ridden countries like Yemen, the disease takes a toll because vaccines are not available or accessible or affordable. In Madagascar alone, there have been nearly 80,000 cases and an estimated 900 deaths since September.

Updated at 2:22 p.m. ET

The U.S. women's soccer team has filed a lawsuit against U.S. Soccer, accusing it of gender discrimination.

The complaint, filed Friday in California district court, argues that U.S. Soccer "has a policy and practice of discriminating" against members of the women's national team on the basis of gender, by paying them less than similarly situated members of the men's team.

Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET

An Arizona prosecutor has determined that Uber is not criminally liable in the death of a Tempe woman who was struck by a self-driving test car last year.

Updated at 6:29 p.m. ET

The commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Scott Gottlieb, announced Tuesday that he is resigning the position, effective in one month.

Gottlieb won approval from many as an effective advocate for public health. Within the Trump administration, he stood out for his efforts to more tightly regulate several industries; he's been particularly intent on curbing vaping and making generic drugs more accessible.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra says Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet — the police officers who shot and killed Stephon Clark last March — will not face charges. The two officers fired on Clark, who was unarmed, after a foot chase that ended in his grandmother's backyard.

Updated at 2:40 p.m. ET

In Lee County, Ala., teams are searching for seven or eight people still missing in the wake of an extremely powerful tornado that swept through the area on Sunday afternoon.

The death toll from the storm stands at 23, with victims ranging in age from 6 to 93. They have all been identified and their families informed, according to the coroner. One family, connected by marriage and living in two homes along the same road, lost seven members.

Canada says it will allow the extradition hearing against Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer at Chinese tech giant Huawei, to move forward.

The U.S. has sought the extradition of Meng since she was detained in Canada in December.

With just a little more than three months to go until the Women's World Cup in France, the U.S. squad is looking for proof it has all the right ingredients to affirm its ranking as number one in the world. But as the team left the pitch Wednesday night after a 2-2 tie with Japan, they acknowledged there's still some tinkering to do – and that if they're to defend their World Cup title, they can't afford to make many mistakes.

The movie The Wandering Earth has already grossed more than $600 million globally since it was released in theaters Feb. 5. If you haven't seen the sci-fi disaster epic yet, that might be because it was made in China.

Updated at 9:05 p.m. ET

Peter Tork, a member of the 1960s moptopped TV rock quartet the Monkees, died Thursday. He was 77.

His death was announced on his official Facebook page and website. "Peter succumbed to a 10 year bout with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare cancer of the salivary glands," it read.

Apple will reportedly have a different kind of product launch later this year: a credit card, jointly operated by Goldman Sachs.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the card will be integrated with the iPhone and offer features to track spending and points. The card would represent a move into new, highly competitive terrain for both companies.

Talks between U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators continue this week in Washington, after discussions last week in Beijing did not yield a deal. Higher level meetings are slated to begin Thursday and continue through the end of the week.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He to continue the negotations.

On Tuesday, President Trump called the talks "very complex."

"I think the talks are going very well," he told reporters.

Updated on Feb. 20 at 11:10 a.m. ET

For many years, three buckets full of uranium ore sat in a museum building at the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Tours often visited the museum collection building, with children on tours sitting next to the buckets for a half-hour.

A new report from British lawmakers on how social media is used to spread disinformation finds that Facebook and other big tech companies are failing their users and dodging accountability.

"The guiding principle of the 'move fast and break things' culture often seems to be that it is better to apologise than ask permission," said Damian Collins, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee that drafted the report. "We need a radical shift in the balance of power between the platforms and the people. The age of inadequate self regulation must come to an end."

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission says the executive who was in charge of Apple's insider trading policy himself committed insider trading in 2015 and 2016 — in one case, selling off about $10 million in Apple stock in advance of a quarterly earnings announcement.

Mya Thompson is a senior at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Late last month, the 25-year-old was on track to graduate in May, but she still owed the school $2,500 in tuition and fees – not a huge sum, but she likely wouldn't get her diploma unless she could come up with the money.

Sandusky, Ohio, is a small city on the shores of Lake Erie. It's best known among Midwesterners as the home of Cedar Point, an amusement park famed for its abundance of roller coasters.

But last week city leaders took steps that could make Sandusky known as a leader of democracy, too: They declared Election Day a paid holiday – by swapping out Columbus Day.

Updated on Feb. 13 at 10:45 a.m.

Trucks full of food and medicine have arrived at the Venezuelan border, setting up a showdown between President Nicolás Maduro and U.S.-backed opposition leader Juan Guaidó.

The aid convoy arrived at the Colombian border city of Cúcuta, The Associated Press reports, but Maduro and the military have blocked the Tienditas bridge so that the trucks cannot enter Venezuela.

Updated at 6:35 p.m. ET

Jill Abramson, former New York Times executive editor, finds herself embroiled in controversy over charges of inaccuracies and plagiarism in her new book Merchants of Truth, out this week.

The book was skewered by Vice correspondent Michael Moynihan in a series of tweets Wednesday that showed passages where Abramson's language strongly echoed that of articles penned by others.

The polar vortex that has gripped the Plains and Midwest will finally lift back into Canada, the National Weather Service says, promising a warmup that will bring a whiplash shift in temperatures. By Saturday, the agency says, the central Plains area will see temperatures in the low 60s — nearly 20-25 degrees above normal.

A U.S. court has found the Syrian government liable in the 2012 death of American journalist Marie Colvin, ordering it to pay $300 million in punitive damages.

Colvin was reporting from in the western Syrian city of Homs when the makeshift media center where she was working came under artillery attack. French photographer Rémi Ochlik, 28, also was killed and other journalists and activists were wounded.

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