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.

Federal authorities raided a Los Angeles-area business on Wednesday that the FBI suspects of orchestrating a $50 million visa fraud scheme.

Filings in federal court allege that the California Investment Immigration Fund sought money from more than 100 Chinese investors, and in the process helped many of them to obtain U.S. green cards through a visa program called EB-5.

But, says FBI Special Agent Gary Chen in those filings, those projects were never built.

It was about unity, Pepsi explained. But the company's new ad, set at a protest march, was quickly called out for being tone-deaf, offensive, and perhaps worst of all for the brand: not "woke."

Chicago Police announced on Twitter Sunday that they had arrested a 14-year-old boy in connection with the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl that had been streamed live on Facebook in March.

The boy faces felony counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, manufacturing of child pornography and dissemination of child pornography, police said. They said during a Sunday news conference that an arrest warrant had been issued for a second teenager and that they were actively searching for him.

Updated 6 a.m. ET Sunday

A sudden avalanche of mud and water tore through the Colombian city of Mocoa overnight Friday night, killing scores of people while they slept. At least 193 people were killed, according to President Juan Manuel Santos. The Colombian Red Cross reported Saturday that 220 people are missing, and 400 were injured in the disaster.

Since 2010, the default avatar on Twitter has been an egg. The idea apparently was that a new user was like a gestating bird, soon to make its first tweet. It was designed to be playful and cute.

But over time, Twitter's eggs came to symbolize something different: users who remain shadowy on purpose, to harass their fellow tweeters.

Today, Twitter announced that it was doing away with the egg as its default avatar, opting instead for a nondescript person-shape figure. No more bright colors, either — the new avatar is all gray.

A former nurse's aide convicted of killing more than three dozen people died on Thursday, two days after he was attacked and beaten in his Ohio prison cell.

As Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports, "64-year-old Donald Harvey had been nicknamed the 'Angel of Death' in 1987, after admitting to killing 37 elderly or chronically ill people in hospitals in Cincinnati and rural Kentucky beginning in 1970. But after his conviction, he claimed that he had killed up to 50 people."

Thirteen members of a church choir were killed when their bus collided head-on with a pickup truck Wednesday afternoon in Texas. The crash happened about 75 miles west of San Antonio, outside Garner State Park in Uvalde County.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet with President Trump next week, a senior State Department official said Tuesday.

This visit will be the first in-person meeting between Trump and Xi, after Trump's sharp criticisms of China during the presidential campaign.

Trump and Xi are likely to get together at Trump's Mar-A-Lago resort, though the White House hasn't officially announced the visit. Likely topics for discussion are Trump's threats to counter China's trade policies, which he has called unfair.

The Pentagon announced Saturday that it had killed a Pakistani terrorist leader with ties to al-Qaida and the Pakistani Taliban.

In a statement, the Pentagon said that Qari Yasin was killed in a U.S. airstrike on March 19 in Afghanistan's Paktika Province. It said he was a "senior terrorist figure" and that he had plotted the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore and the 2008 bombing of the Marriott hotel in Islamabad.

Reuters reports that Yasin was killed in a drone strike.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham faced a tough, boisterous crowd at a town hall in Columbia, South Carolina today.

The public meeting came the day after Republicans failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. "The process was not what I wanted it to be," he said, adding that he thinks Obamacare is a disaster and is going to collapse. And he doesn't think one party is going to be able to fix it alone.

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