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.

 

With wildfires devastating the West and a hurricane bearing down on the Gulf Coast, President Trump, who has for years mocked and denied the reality of climate change, was briefed on Monday on the status of fires in California.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday ruled that Florida can now order people with past felony convictions to fully pay off their fines before they will be allowed to register to vote, effectively disenfranchising thousands of the state's low-income residents.

The federal appeals court sided with the state of Florida in its controversial decision, which critics have likened to a "poll tax."

Sgt. Maj. Thomas "Pat" Payne has been awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest military decoration, for his work on a rescue mission that led to the freedom of 75 ISIS-held hostages.

In presenting the award Friday at the White House, President Trump hailed the Army Ranger as representing the best qualities of the U.S. armed forces.

"Today he joins the immortal company of our most revered Americans heroes," Trump said, praising Payne's heroism over 17 deployments and his commitment to rescuing hostages during the Oct. 22, 2015, mission.

Updated at 2:04 p.m. ET

Friday marks the 19th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks against the United States — the single deadliest instance of a terrorist attack in world history and among the most consequential global policy markers in modern times.

President Trump on Thursday defended his decision to mislead the public about the deadliness of the coronavirus as documented in Bob Woodward's new book, declining to call his misstatements about the virus and its spread a "lie" and saying he needed to show "strength" in the face of the crisis.

"I want to show a level of confidence, and I want to show strength as a leader, and I want to show our country is going to be fine one way or another," Trump said at a news conference.

President Trump has released an additional 20 names he would select from if any Supreme Court vacancies arise during his remaining time in office, including the president's rival-turned-Senate ally, Ted Cruz. The list also includes Sens. Tom Cotton and Josh Hawley as well as two former U.S. solicitors general.

Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET

President Trump is defending himself after interviews from a new book by legendary reporter Bob Woodward reveal that Trump acknowledged the deadliness of the coronavirus in early February and admitted in March to playing down its severity.

Updated at noon ET

The U.S. Senate is holding a hearing Wednesday on the development of vaccines aimed at eradicating the coronavirus amid escalated political rhetoric regarding the potential effectiveness of a fast-tracked vaccine.

As President Trump has promised to expedite treatments against the virus that has killed nearly 190,000 Americans, he has appeared publicly rankled by critics who question his handling of the pandemic and those who are skeptical of the viability of a safe vaccine in such record time.

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden met Thursday with Jacob Blake's family and members of the community during a visit to Kenosha, Wis. Protests against the police shooting of Blake, who was severely wounded and left paralyzed by local law enforcement, are ongoing.

The U.S. Postal Service's inspector general has outlined a number of ongoing concerns about the agency's ability to manage the influx of mailed ballots for the 2020 election — separate from the recent controversial actions by the postmaster general.

The internal watchdog said in a report that it found several potential problems in the way mail was being processed, including ballots mailed without bar code mail-tracking technology and out-of-date voter addresses.

President Trump on Monday declined to condemn the actions of the 17-year-old suspect in the shooting of three protesters against police brutality in Kenosha, Wis., claiming, without evidence, that it appeared the gunman was acting in self-defense.

President Trump on Friday struck a markedly different tone at a New Hampshire rally as compared his address to the Republican National Convention the night before.

Speaking to a crowd of a few hundred supporters in Manchester, Trump returned to his trademark bombastic, free-wheeling campaign style as he echoed many of the same themes he broached during his convention acceptance speech — warning of a looming "socialist" threat and bashing his 2020 rival Joe Biden.

Updated at 4:18 p.m. ET

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy defended his management of the U.S. Postal Service to the House on Monday amid concerns that his cost-cutting measures have jeopardized the agency's ability to serve Americans.

Mail service has slowed across the country, according to internal documents obtained by the House Oversight Committee, but DeJoy denies the slowdowns are part of any attempt to reduce voting by mail this year.

Discussions for the next round of coronavirus relief funding remain ensnared in a political back and forth over election money, with the topic of mail-in voting a lingering point of contention between Democrats and the Trump administration.

President Trump on Wednesday spent much of his daily briefing to reporters railing against additional funding to support the U.S. Postal Service and mail-in voting, making the baseless accusation that voting by mail is ripe for fraud.

Democrats saw a surge in voter registrations in June as protests against racism and police brutality were launched across the country, rebounding briefly from a slump in new voter filings caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated at 11:28 p.m. ET

A shooting outside the White House on Monday briefly overtook President Trump's daily news conference, leading Secret Service to call the president away from the briefing room lectern.

Later the Secret Service said a uniformed Secret Service officer had shot a 51-year-old man who said he had a gun and pointed an object at the officer, crouching in "a shooter's stance." The officer fired his weapon, striking the man in the torso.

O, The Oprah Magazine has commissioned 26 billboards calling for the arrest of the police officers involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor to be placed across Louisville, Ky., the magazine said in a Friday article.

"Demand that the police involved in killing Breonna Taylor be arrested and charged," each of the 26 billboards — one for every year Taylor was alive — reads.

The State Department has lifted its Level 4 global travel advisory, the highest warning against U.S. citizens traveling internationally, citing changing conditions in the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated at 10:35 p.m. ET

Hours after announcing he had tested positive for COVID-19, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said on Thursday evening that a second test for the virus came back negative.

DeWine announced that he was administered an antigen test in the morning and a PCR test in the afternoon, and was more confident in the results of the latter.

Colorado State is investigating its football department, the university announced in a press release, following reports that coaches in the program had attempted to coerce players out of reporting possible symptoms of the coronavirus and warned the team against submitting themselves to self quarantine.

Updated at 10:47 a.m. ET Thursday

A former Atlanta police officer, charged in the fatal shooting of a Black man in a Wendy's parking lot in June, has sued the city's mayor and interim police chief over his firing.

In the suit filed Tuesday against Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and interim police Chief Rodney Bryant, former Officer Garrett Rolfe's attorneys claim that his use of deadly force against Rayshard Brooks had been justifiable.

The University of Connecticut Department of Athletics on Wednesday announced it was canceling its football program for the 2020-21 school year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"After receiving guidance from state and public health officials and consulting with football student-athletes, we've decided that we will not compete on the gridiron this season," UConn Director of Athletics David Benedict said. "The safety challenges created by COVID-19 place our football student-athletes at an unacceptable level of risk."

Rafael Nadal will skip this year's U.S. Open, the defending champion announced in a series of tweets on Tuesday, citing concerns over the coronavirus and his desire not to travel amid the pandemic.

President Trump declined to praise the late Rep. John Lewis in an interview with Axios on HBO, claiming that he himself had done more for the Black community than anyone else. And Trump criticized the civil rights icon's decision not to attend his 2017 presidential inauguration.

The former king of Spain, Juan Carlos I, is leaving the country, he announced in a letter to his son, the current king, on Monday. He is being investigated for possible financial improprieties.

"A year ago, I expressed my will and desire to stop performing institutional activities. Now, guided by the conviction to perform the best service to the Spanish people, their institutions and you as King, I am communicating my thoughtful decision to move, at this time, outside of Spain," Carlos wrote to his successor King Felipe VI.

Updated at 5:10 a.m. ET Tuesday

The National Hurricane Center says Isaias came ashore near Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., on Monday just after 11 p.m. ET with sustained winds of 85 mph, but it lost some of its steam within hours, weakening into a tropical storm.

The system was expected to swirl up the Mid-Atlantic coast and into the northeastern United States on Tuesday night.

The prosecutor for St. Louis County on Thursday said his office will not bring charges against Darren Wilson, the former Ferguson, Mo., police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown in an incident that helped launch the Black Lives Matter movement, citing a lack of concrete evidence to charge Wilson criminally in Brown's 2014 death.

The NBA will have its first revamped games of the 2019-2020 season on Thursday evening, after the global coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on the world of professional sports.

This evening, the Utah Jazz will face off against the New Orleans Pelicans. Later, the two teams from Los Angeles, the Clippers and the Lakers, will play the second and final game of the night.

Players have been based at Walt Disney World Resort just outside of Orlando, Fla., since early July under strict health and safety measures.

The U.S. Army on Thursday named its five-person civilian panel that will conduct a review of the culture at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, following the death and dismemberment of a 20-year-old soldier who had been stationed at the base.

"The Army is committed to taking care of our Soldiers, civilians, families, and Soldiers for life, and this independent review will explore the current command climate and culture at Fort Hood," Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy said in a statement.

Researchers have announced that they have solved a centuries-long mystery surrounding the origin of most of the large stones that make up the outer ring of Stonehenge, in an article published to the journal Science Advances on Wednesday.

Using geochemical data, researchers have determined that 50 of the 52 large stones, sarsen megaliths, originated from the West Woods in Wiltshire, England, some 15 miles from where the prehistoric monument stands.

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