Richard Gonzales

Richard Gonzales is NPR's National Desk Correspondent based in San Francisco. Along with covering the daily news of region, Gonzales' reporting has included medical marijuana, gay marriage, drive-by shootings, Jerry Brown, Willie Brown, the U.S. Ninth Circuit, the California State Supreme Court and any other legal, political, or social development occurring in Northern California relevant to the rest of the country.

Gonzales joined NPR in May 1986. He covered the U.S. State Department during the Iran-Contra Affair and the fall of apartheid in South Africa. Four years later, he assumed the post of White House Correspondent and reported on the prelude to the Gulf War and President George W. Bush's unsuccessful re-election bid. Gonzales covered the U.S. Congress for NPR from 1993-94, focusing on NAFTA and immigration and welfare reform.

In September 1995, Gonzales moved to his current position after spending a year as a John S. Knight Fellow Journalism at Stanford University.

In 2009, Gonzales won the Broadcast Journalism Award from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. He also received the PASS Award in 2004 and 2005 from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency for reports on California's juvenile and adult criminal justice systems.

Prior to NPR, Gonzales was a freelance producer at public television station KQED in San Francisco. From 1979 to 1985, he held positions as a reporter, producer, and later, public affairs director at KPFA, a radio station in Berkeley, CA.

Gonzales graduated from Harvard College with a bachelor's degree in psychology and social relations. He is a co-founder of Familias Unidas, a bi-lingual social services program in his hometown of Richmond, California.

Updated at 11:34 p.m. ET

A government internal watchdog said there was no wrongdoing or misconduct by Department of Homeland Security officials in the deaths of two migrant children last December, according to two reports released late Friday.

A federal bankruptcy judge in San Francisco on Tuesday approved two settlements totaling $24.5 billion offered by Pacific Gas and Electric Corp. for victims of Northern California wildfires and insurance companies that have paid out damage claims. The utility has acknowledged that its equipment ignited several catastrophic wildfires in recent years.

A team of American archaeologists has discovered two large ancient Greek royal tombs dating back some 3,500 years near the site of the ancient city of Pylos in southern Greece. The findings cast a new light on the role of the ancient city — mentioned in Homer's Odyssey — in Mediterranean trade patterns of the Late Bronze Age.

Each of the two tombs — one about 39 feet in diameter and the other about 28 feet — was built in a dome-shape structure known as a tholos.

Three people were killed by apparent tornadoes, one in Louisiana and two in Alabama on Monday, local authorities reported. Severe thunderstorms and high winds are expected to pummel areas of the Deep South overnight, according to meteorologists.

Updated at 8:47 p.m. ET

Boeing Corp. will suspend production of its troubled 737 Max jetliner in January, but it does not plan to lay off or furlough the workers who build the plane, the company said in a statement Monday. The move likely will have significant ripple effects, not only for the airline industry but also for the U.S. economy overall.

A federal judge in California ruled Wednesday that the Trump administration may not divert $3.6 billion in Defense Department funds for construction of the wall on the southern border.

Updated at 9:20 p.m. ET

A federal judge in Texas on Tuesday blocked the Trump administration from using $3.6 billion in Pentagon funds to pay for the construction of a wall on the southern border.

Dozens of people who sued former movie producer Harvey Weinstein claiming sexual misconduct have tentatively settled their case. The disgraced Hollywood mogul and the board of his bankrupt film studio have reached a tentative $25 million agreement, according to attorney Steve Berman, who represents some of the accusers.

If approved by a judge, the settlement would not require Weinstein to either admit to wrongdoing or pay anything personally.

The U.S. Navy has indefinitely suspended flight training for more than 300 Saudi Arabian students at three Florida bases in the aftermath of the deadly shooting by a Saudi Air Force officer at the Pensacola Naval Air Station last week.

Classroom training will resume this week and flight training for other international students will start again, according to Navy officials who call the restriction a "safety stand-down."

The move affects 140 Saudi trainees at Pensacola Naval Air Station, 35 at nearby Whiting Field, and 128 at Naval Air Station Mayport.

A federal judge in Texas on Tuesday blocked the Trump administration from using $3.6 billion in funds allocated by Congress for military construction projects to help pay for a wall on the southern border.

A federal jury in Los Angeles Friday found that Elon Musk did not defame a British cave explorer when he called him a "pedo guy" in a tweet last year.

Utility giant Pacific Gas and Electric announced a $13.5 billion settlement agreement to resolve all claims associated with several Northern California wildfires that killed dozens of people and destroyed thousands of businesses and homes. The wildfires have been tied to the company's equipment.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday fired the retiring police superintendent, Eddie Johnson, who she accused of lying about an incident in which he was found asleep at the wheel of his car a few blocks from his home after having drinks on a mid-October night.

Her announcement, at a hastily called news conference, came after reading an inspector general's report and viewing bodycam video of the incident. Johnson had said that he had neglected to take his blood pressure medication and had been drinking earlier in the evening.

The Department of Homeland Security separated thousands of migrant families under its "zero tolerance" policy despite knowing that it lacked the information technology to record and track the migrants, according to a blistering report by an internal government watchdog released Wednesday.

William D. Ruckelshaus, the nation's first administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and a former deputy attorney general who was perhaps best known for defying President Nixon during the Watergate scandal, has died at the age of 87 at his home in Medina, Wash.

Updated 10:25 p.m. ET

Firefighters in Santa Barbara County, Calif., are battling a stubborn, wind-driven blaze that started Monday afternoon and has burned more than 4,300 acres, threatening several thousand residents by Tuesday morning.

Cruelty to animals is now a federal crime under a new law signed by President Trump on Monday.

The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT) is a bipartisan initiative that bans the intentional crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impalement or other serious harm to "living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians."

The law also bans "animal crush videos," meaning any photograph, motion picture film, video or digital recording or electronic image that depicts animal cruelty.

Updated at 8:40 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily blocked the release of President Trump's tax records sought by congressional Democrats. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform had subpoenaed Trump's New York accounting firm in April to produce those documents.

Russia could find itself barred from the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games after international anti-doping regulators concluded that it has failed to comply with testing procedures by tampering with laboratory data and samples.

Updated at 7:17 p.m. ET

U.S. Attorney General William Barr announced a national plan on Friday to increase the federal government's role in reducing the number of Native Americans who are murdered or reported missing every year.

Barr announced the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Initiative after a meeting with tribal leaders and law enforcement officials at the Flathead Reservation in Montana, home of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

The California Restaurant Association filed suit against the city of Berkeley Thursday alleging that its recently approved ban on the use of natural gas in newly constructed buildings will have "uniquely negative impacts" on the culinary community.

The U.S. Navy said Thursday that it will proceed with a hearing to consider the expulsion of Special Operations Chief Eddie Gallagher from the Navy SEALs, despite his support from President Trump.

Gallagher and three supervising officers were informed of the administrative review board hearing, set for Dec. 2, on Wednesday.

The president of the United Autoworkers Union, Gary Jones, abruptly resigned Wednesday just as union leaders announced they would expel him and another top UAW official in an unfolding corruption scandal.

In a related development, General Motors (GM) filed suit against rival Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) alleging that the company bribed UAW officials in order to get favorable labor contracts and disadvantage GM.

Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek reported that the UAW's International Executive Board unanimously voted to expel Jones.

The AIDS Memorial Quilt is returning home to San Francisco, where it was first conceived and created in 1987 as an artistic expression of defiance against the deadly disease that ultimately claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

The quilt is a vast patchwork of more than 50,000 brightly colored and hand-crafted 3-by-6 panels commemorating the lives of more than 105,000 people who died of AIDS or related illnesses. Its caretaker, the Names Project, has been based in Atlanta for the past 18 years.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom imposed new regulations Tuesday on hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, and curbed steam-injected oil drilling in his state, extractive methods long opposed by environmentalists.

Under the new initiatives:

  • New permits for fracking will be subject to independent scientific review by experts at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the permitting process will be audited by the state Department of Finance to study compliance with state law.

Updated at 9:02 p.m. ET

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday the Trump administration's latest pro-Israel change in U.S. policy, saying the State Department is rescinding a 1978 department legal opinion that viewed settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank as inconsistent with international law.

President Trump has issued pardons for two Army officers accused of war crimes in Afghanistan and restored the rank of a Navy SEAL who was acquitted of murder in Iraq.

"For more than two hundred years, presidents have used their authority to offer second chances to deserving individuals, including those in uniform who have served our country," said White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham in a statement released late Friday. "These actions are in keeping with this long history."

President Trump is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court to keep his personal tax records out of the hands of the House Oversight Committee, marking the second time in two days that he has challenged a subpoena for those documents.

The number of people apprehended by U.S. authorities, either attempting to cross the southwest border illegally or presenting themselves at a port of entry, declined for the fifth consecutive month, according to new figures released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Just over 45,000 people were apprehended in October, down from a spike of 144,000 in May — an almost 70 percent decline.

Authorities also report a significant demographic shift among those apprehended.

President Trump is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to block New York prosecutors' subpoenas for his tax records, setting the stage for a legal showdown over the separation of powers and his personal finances.

The president's private lawyers are asking the high court to block New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.'s efforts to get eight years of Trump's tax records. A New York grand jury issued a subpoena directed not to the president personally, but to an accounting firm that has long dealt with his personal finances, Mazars USA.

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