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.

 

In austere, starkly divisive remarks, President Trump on Thursday said he would create a commission to promote "patriotic education" and announced the creation of a grant to develop a "pro-American curriculum." The move is largely political — a reaction to a growing push by some academics for schools to teach an American history that better acknowledges slavery and systemic racism.

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.

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