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.

 

President Biden on Monday called Daunte Wright's death "tragic" but cautioned it would not be tolerated as an excuse for violence despite the trauma the Black community often experiences at the hands of police.

"We've spoken to the governor and the mayor [of Brooklyn Center, Minn.]. We've spoken to the authorities there. And I haven't called Daunte Wright's family, but prayers are with their family. It's really a tragic thing that happened, but I think we've got to wait and see what the investigation shows," Biden said.

When an assailant stormed a grocery store in Boulder, Colo., last month and fatally shot 10 people, the suspected weapon of choice — a Ruger AR-556 pistol — captured immediate attention. Not for what it technically was — a pistol — but for what it more closely resembled — an assault-style rifle.

The White House on Tuesday announced a half-dozen new actions in response to attacks and harassment that Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in the United States have faced increasingly over the past year.

"Across our nation, an outpouring of grief and outrage continues at the horrific violence and xenophobia perpetrated against Asian American communities, especially Asian American women and girls," the White House said in a statement.

Updated March 25, 2021 at 3:28 PM ET

President Biden is doubling his original COVID-19 vaccination goal to 200 million shots in arms by his 100th day in office — which is just over a month away.

Vice President Harris will lead the administration's diplomatic push to work with Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras to address the root causes of migration, President Biden told reporters on Wednesday.

It's the first major foreign policy portfolio to be assigned to Harris, and it comes as the White House grapples with a growing number of migrants at the southern border, including thousands of minors arriving without adult family members. Harris will work with countries to enhance immigration enforcement on their borders, Biden said.

President Biden on Tuesday said the Affordable Care Act special enrollment period would be extended from May 15 to August 15. Biden spoke in Ohio to celebrate the anniversary of the health care bill and to promote his American Rescue Plan.

Biden also spoke again briefly about the Colorado shooting — which took the lives of 10 people, including a police officer — saying his "heart goes out" to the victims and survivors.

Updated March 21, 2021 at 10:44 AM ET

Republican Julia Letlow has won the Louisiana congressional seat left vacant when her husband, Rep.-elect Luke Letlow, died of complications from COVID-19 days before he would have been sworn into office.

The Associated Press called the race for Letlow on Saturday night.

President Biden said on Thursday that his administration would reach its initial goal of administering 100 million shots of the COVID-19 vaccines well ahead of his initial 100-day benchmark.

Biden said that the goal of 100 million shots would be achieved on Friday, which will be 58 days into his presidency.

He said he would announce his next vaccination goal next week.

"We need millions more to get vaccinated," Biden said, urging people to get the vaccine when it's their turn and to take other precautions to stop the spread.

A man was arrested Wednesday afternoon near the Naval Observatory and charged with several counts related to weapons and ammunition, according the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department. The Naval Observatory is the vice presidential residence, though Vice President Harris and her family do not live at the estate yet.

Paul Murray, 31, of San Antonio was first detained by the U.S. Secret Service based on an intelligence bulletin originating from Texas. He was later formally arrested by Washington police. A rifle and ammunition were recovered from his vehicle.

Updated March 17, 2021 at 1:37 PM ET

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas stressed that the U.S. is both a country of laws and of immigrants in testimony before a House panel on Wednesday.

President Biden on Tuesday told ABC News he supports reforming the filibuster, calling on the chamber to readapt its old standard of requiring dissenting members to verbally speak on the floor to delay action on a bill.

Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday recommended that all eligible Americans get the coronavirus vaccine when their opportunity comes, though he added a caveat that he also respects people's decisions not to get one.

Trump had faced growing calls for him to encourage his supporters — especially Republican men, who have voiced cynicism about the vaccine — to get vaccinated.

President Biden has chosen economist Gene Sperling to oversee the rollout of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus recovery act, leaning on the longtime Democratic adviser's expertise to deliver on promises including $1,400 checks to millions of Americans.

Biden signed the package last week. In addition to direct payments, it includes enhanced unemployment insurance, an expanded child tax credit and billions of dollars for schools, businesses and the vaccine rollout.

The White House will work with Congress to replace existing Authorizations for Use of Military Force with "a narrow and specific framework" aimed at protecting against terror attacks, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday.

AUMFs provide legal authority for a wide variety of military operations.

The three existing AUMFs have been criticized for being overly broad and sweeping. The first was signed in 2001 in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. It has since been used as the legal authority for strikes against Islamic State in Syria.

Updated on Thursday at 12:50 p.m. ET

The House has once again passed a bill aimed at protecting and expanding voting rights and reforming campaign finance laws. The Wednesday-night vote was 220-210. But the measure is not expected to advance in the Senate, where Democrats hold a narrow majority, and Republicans on Capitol Hill argue the proposal is a political effort to federalize elections.

Updated at 3:01 p.m. ET

It took more than three hours for former President Donald Trump's Defense Department to approve a request for the D.C. National Guard to intervene in the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, the commanding general of the outfit told senators on Wednesday.

Updated at 7:11 p.m. ET

Neera Tanden, President Biden's controversial nominee to head the Office of Management and Budget, has withdrawn her nomination. Biden said in a statement Tuesday he had accepted her request.

"I have the utmost respect for her record of accomplishment, her experience and her counsel, and I look forward to having her serve in a role in my Administration," Biden said. "She will bring valuable perspective and insight to our work."

President Biden said on Tuesday that the U.S. will produce enough vaccines for every adult in the U.S. by the end of May, while making a fresh push to vaccinate school staff over the next month.

"We're now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May," Biden said, crediting his administration's efforts to boost production and moving up the timeline from the end of July, which is what the president was saying just a few weeks ago.

Updated at 5:42 p.m. ET

Some Democratic lawmakers on Friday sought justification from the Biden administration for Thursday's airstrikes in Syria, marking the first significant test of President Biden's military approach.

Just over a month into President Biden's administration, his cabinet remains sparsely staffed as nearly two dozen of his nominees await Senate confirmation.

Neera Tanden, President Biden's pick to run the Office of Management and Budget, saw her path to confirmation narrow significantly on Monday, after two of the Senate's more centrist Republicans said they would not lend their support to her confirmation.

Sens. Susan Collins and Mitt Romney will not support Tanden's confirmation to lead the powerful OMB over past partisan attacks she made online, particularly against Republicans. The two have supported other Biden nominees.

President Biden said Friday he will sign a major disaster declaration that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is requesting, which would open up broader federal aid for immediate and long-term recovery efforts in the state, including for both individual needs and public infrastructure.

Biden and Abbott spoke Thursday night regarding the response.

Texas has been at the mercy of an unprecedented winter storm that has left many of the state's residents without heat, power and potable water for several days. Several people, some homeless, have died in the freezing temperatures.

President Biden is set on Friday to announce a total of $4 billion in contributions to COVAX, the vaccine alliance trying to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to 92 low- and middle-income countries, a senior administration official told reporters.

Biden will make the announcement during a virtual meeting of G-7 leaders about the pandemic.

Tributes to the conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh poured in on Wednesday following news of his death earlier in the day. He was 70 years old.

Former President Trump praised the talk show host as a "legend."

"He was with me right from the beginning. And he liked what I said and he agreed with what I said. And he was just a great gentleman. Great man," Trump said in a phone interview on Fox News.

At a CNN town hall on Tuesday evening, President Biden said his goal is to open the majority of K-8 schools by the end of his first 100 days in office. Asked to clarify what he meant by "open," Biden said "I think many of them five days a week. The goal will be five days a week" in person.

He said he would focus on K-8 schools because they're the "easiest to open" due to the relatively low transmission rate of the coronavirus between children.

The Senate has voted unanimously to award Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman with a Congressional Gold Medal, the institution's highest civilian honor, for his actions to protect the Congress during the deadly Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol.

Goodman was greeted in the Senate chamber on Friday with a standing ovation for his actions, which have been praised on both sides of the aisle as heroic and likely life saving.

Responding to a question about the long-term message of the impeachment, Virgin Islands House Del. Stacey Plaskett talked about the emotional impact of seeing Black women's images used during Trump attorney's defense of the former president, highlighting the racial and gender disparities in the fight for equality.

Donald Trump's legal team on Friday sought to justify the propriety of a phone call he made to Georgia election officials, an action that is now part of criminal probe into the then-president's actions in the state.

Attorneys representing former President Donald Trump in his historic second impeachment trial on Friday equated instances of violence and rioting that broke out during last summer's protests for racial justice with the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection by pro-Trump extremists, accusing Democrats of hypocrisy in supporting the earlier demonstrations.

The defense showed clips of property destruction and violence alongside videos of Democratic lawmakers speaking in support of the demonstrations. In some protests for racial justice, sporadic looting and violence took place.

Updated at 11:19 a.m. ET

The Biden administration will begin phasing in a new asylum process on Feb. 19 for the backlog of people seeking asylum on the southern U.S. border, but Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told NPR that migrants must avoid traveling to the U.S. border while the new system gets up and running.

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