Alana Wise

Alana Wise joined WAMU in September 2018 as the 2018-2020 Audion Reporting Fellow for Guns & America. Selected as one of 10 recipients nationwide of the Audion Reporting Fellowship, Alana works in the WAMU newsroom as part of a national reporting project and is spending two years focusing on the impact of guns in the Washington region.

Prior to joining WAMU, Wise was a politics and later companies news reporter at Reuters, where she covered the 2016 presidential election and the U.S. airline industry. Ever the fan of cherry blossoms and unpredictable weather, Alana, an Atlanta native and Howard University graduate, can be found roaming the city admiring puppies and the national monuments, in that order.

 

Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., a lead negotiator trying to forge an agreement over a policing bill, downplayed the role that the controversial issue of qualified immunity has played in stalled bipartisan talks.

Qualified immunity protects police and government officials from being held personally liable for civil violations committed while on the job.

It is also one of progressives' major priorities on police accountability.

President Biden is said to be giving "strong consideration" to new requirements for federal employees to help arrest the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus.

One option under consideration: verifying that federal employees are vaccinated for COVID-19 using an "attestation of vaccination," a source familiar with the deliberations tells NPR's Tamara Keith.

Updated July 27, 2021 at 10:03 AM ET

Four law enforcement officers who responded to the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol are delivering testimony Tuesday to the House select committee investigating the melee.

Their remarks will be the first heard in front of the new, Democratic-led panel.

The four officers are:

The new chief of the U.S. Capitol Police on Friday defended the beleaguered agency, saying that the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection should not define the department and that necessary changes to its procedures have been made in the months since.

"I know how good this U.S. Capitol Police Department is. I know the kind of work that these men and women have done over the years," Tom Manger, who has four decades of experience in law enforcement and who started in his new role on Friday, said in an interview with NPR.

Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 2 Republican in the House, got vaccinated against COVID-19 on Sunday after months of waiting, citing the rise of the delta variant and increasing cases and hospitalizations, primarily among people who are unvaccinated.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has nominated five Republican representatives to serve on the House select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

His list for the Democratic-led probe into the deadly melee includes three lawmakers who voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election results after the attack.

To lead the GOP contingent of the panel, McCarthy, a loyalist to former President Donald Trump, tapped Indiana Rep. Jim Banks as ranking Republican.

Updated July 7, 2021 at 1:54 PM ET

Hackers gained access last week to a contractor for the Republican National Committee, the RNC said in a statement Tuesday.

The RNC said that its contractor Synnex had been hacked but added no access was gained to any RNC data.

Updated July 1, 2021 at 8:28 PM ET

Attorney General Merrick Garland has imposed a moratorium on scheduling federal executions, the Department of Justice announced on Thursday. The department will review its policies and procedures on capital punishment, following a wave of federal executions carried out under the Trump administration.

Updated July 1, 2021 at 7:05 PM ET

President Biden visited Florida on Thursday to meet privately with families whose loved ones were in the 12-story Champlain Towers South condo when it collapsed.

Updated June 30, 2021 at 8:36 PM ET

Donald Rumsfeld, who served twice as U.S. secretary of defense and who was an architect of America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, has died. He was 88.

"It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the passing of Donald Rumsfeld, an American statesman and devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather," Rumsfeld's family said in a Twitter post.

President Biden signed a memorial bill to recognize the victims of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting and offered his condolences to people who are awaiting news on their loved ones in the wake of the deadly Surfside, Fla., partial condo collapse.

Biden — who was vice president when a 29-year-old man killed 49 people and wounded 53 more in the nightclub mass shooting — signed the bill to enshrine a monument to the dozens killed in the Latin Night massacre.

Updated June 24, 2021 at 8:46 PM ET

Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., have reached a preliminary, bipartisan agreement on police reform after months of closely watched debate on the topic.

Sens. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., announced the agreement on Thursday evening.

"After months of working in good faith, we have reached an agreement on a framework addressing the major issues for bipartisan police reform," the lawmakers said in a joint statement.

Updated June 21, 2021 at 9:04 PM ET

The White House on Monday opened the door to revisiting the filibuster — a hotly contested issue across political lines — setting the stage for a bitter congressional fight to do away with the controversial debate tactic.

Updated June 17, 2021 at 4:28 PM ET

President Biden on Thursday signed a bill to recognize Juneteenth — the celebration to commemorate the end of chattel slavery in the United States — as a federal holiday.

Federal employees will observe the holiday for the first time on Friday.

The Democratic-led House of Representatives on Wednesday easily approved legislation to commemorate Juneteenth, the national remembrance of the end of chattel slavery in the United States, as a federal holiday.

The Senate unanimously approved a bill Tuesday that would make Juneteenth, the date commemorating the end of chattel slavery in the United States, a legal public holiday.

The holiday is celebrated on June 19, and it began in 1865 when enslaved people in Texas were freed under the Emancipation Proclamation.

President Abraham Lincoln had signed the proclamation outlawing slavery in most of the United States years earlier, but it was not until 1865 that those in bondage in Texas were freed.

Updated June 11, 2021 at 7:11 PM ET

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday offered a fierce defense of voting rights, which he described as an indisputable "cornerstone" of American democracy, as he outlined a series of measures meant to protect those rights.

Testimony from former Trump administration official Don McGahn was made public on Wednesday, days after the former White House counsel and key witness during the Russia investigation testified before a closed-door session of Congress.

McGahn's testimony to the Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee largely rehashed much of what was already publicly known, but his remarks revealed the degree to which he felt he was being pressured toward wrongdoing by former President Donald Trump.

Updated June 8, 2021 at 7:57 PM ET

President Biden on Tuesday turned down the latest offer on an infrastructure deal from Senate Republicans, moving the debate on one of the president's chief domestic priorities into a new phase.

The U.S. Senate on Monday voted unanimously to pass legislation that would provide additional resources for American officials suffering from so-called "Havana Syndrome" — a mysterious set of symptoms that first affected federal employees stationed in Cuba in 2016.

The bipartisan bill — Helping American Victims Afflicted by Neurological Attacks (HAVANA) Act — would authorize financial support for U.S. officials reporting symptoms related to the syndrome, including headaches, nausea, hearing and vision changes, vertigo and memory loss.

The Department of Justice on Monday issued model legislation from which states can craft their own "extreme risk protection orders," commonly referred to as red flag laws, as part of the Biden administration's ongoing effort to curb U.S. gun violence.

"The Justice Department is determined to take concrete steps to reduce the tragic toll of gun violence in our communities," Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement.

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating controversial Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in connection with campaign contributions made by former employees of the longtime businessman, a spokesman of DeJoy's confirmed Thursday.

Mark Corallo, the spokesman, said in a statement that the department is probing "contributions made by employees who worked for him when he was in the private sector."

DeJoy had been a Republican megadonor before he was appointed to lead the U.S. Postal Service during the Trump administration.

Updated June 1, 2021 at 10:27 PM ET

New Mexico Democrats kept control of the U.S. House seat left vacant by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, in one of the party's earliest tests of its messaging during the administration of President Biden.

Melanie Stansbury has defeated Republican opponent Mark Moores, according to a race call from The Associated Press.

The victory was expected. Polls showed Stansbury with a comfortable lead, and Biden won the district by 23 percentage points last year.

The White House on Friday night announced a series of sanctions against Belarus for its forced landing of a Ryanair commercial flight and the subsequent removal and arrest of opposition journalist Roman Protasevich.

Updated May 26, 2021 at 9:04 PM ET

President Biden said on Wednesday that he has asked the U.S. intelligence community to push to get closer to a "definitive conclusion" on how the pandemic started.

Career diplomat Sung Kim will serve as the U.S. special envoy to North Korea, President Biden announced on Friday.

The president delivered the news alongside South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who spent the day in Washington, D.C., engaging in bilateral talks with Biden.

Kim, who until recently was U.S. ambassador to Indonesia, previously served as special envoy to multilateral six-party talks with North Korea during the Obama years.

The debate over masks has returned to the House floor.

As an increasing number of Republicans express frustration that they have to continue to wear masks on the floor of the chamber, a GOP-led resolution to change the House's guidance on masks was tabled on Wednesday evening.

Their effort comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week eased its guidelines on face coverings, saying that those who have received a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine are mostly free to go maskless indoors and out, except where required by law and local regulations.

Updated May 21, 2021 at 2:54 PM ET

Col. Ralph Puckett, Jr. was honored at the White House on Friday and awarded the Medal of Honor for his acts of "conspicuous gallantry" during the Korean War. South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who is in town to conduct diplomatic talks with President Biden, attended the ceremony.

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