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.

Prosecutors in Los Angeles County say they have found no evidence of animal cruelty or illegality associated with a rash of horse deaths at Santa Anita Park racetrack since mid-2018.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Canadian-born son of a Russian spy couple must be recognized as a citizen of that country.

The case involves 25-year-old Alexander Vavilov whose parents posed as Canadians under the assumed names of Tracey Lee Ann Foley and Donald Howard Heathfield beginning in the 1980s. In fact, they were Elena Vavilova and Andrey Bezrukov who worked for the Russian foreign intelligence service, the SVR.

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.

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.

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.

Ron Leibman, who won a Tony Award for his performance in the Broadway play Angels in America and an Emmy Award on the short-lived CBS show Kaz, died Friday afternoon at the age of 82.

Leibman's death was confirmed to NPR by his agent, Robert Atterman, CEO of Abrams Artists Agency. No other details were available.

The New York-born actor and stage veteran was also known for playing Dr. Leonard Green, the father of Jennifer Aniston's Rachel Green, on TV's Friends.

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.

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 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 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 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.

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 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.

A U.S. appeals court opened the door for Congress to gain access to eight years of President Trump's tax records, setting the stage for a likely review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit declined to revisit an earlier ruling by a three-judge panel that allowed Congress to subpoena the president's tax records. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee subpoenaed those records in March.

A day after increasingly tense clashes between police and protesters in Hong Kong, the U.S. State Department called on both sides to "exercise restraint" and seek "dialogue."

"‎We condemn violence on all sides, extend our sympathies to victims of violence regardless of their political inclinations, and call for all parties — police and protesters — to exercise restraint," said State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus in a statement issued late Monday.

Novelist Ernest J. Gaines, acclaimed author of The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, and other novels about the struggles of African Americans in rural Louisiana, died at his home in Oscar, La., Tuesday at the age of 86.

Gaines died in his sleep of cardiac arrest, according to The Associated Press, citing the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. He is survived by his wife Dianne Saulney Gaines, four stepchildren and nine siblings.

Updated on Nov. 18 at 6:50 p.m. ET

California authorities announced they seized more than $1.5 billion worth of illegal marijuana in fiscal year 2019, or the rough equivalent of the state's legal market for cannabis.

More than 953,000 plants were seized from 345 raided grow sites around the state. Authorities arrested 148 people and confiscated 168 weapons under California's Campaign Against Marijuana Planting program.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday that he wants to speed up Pacific Gas & Electric's bankruptcy case, calling on the beleaguered utility's executives, creditors and shareholders, as well as wildfire victims, to reach "a consensual resolution" to the negotiations before next year's wildfire season.

"We want to broker that mediation and are calling on all the parties to come in early next week to jumpstart those negotiations," Newsom said in a Sacramento news conference.

Starting Jan. 1, it will cost more money to be a Boy Scout.

The announcement, made public last week on the Boy Scouts official blog, Scouting Wire, comes in response to rising operating costs mainly associated with the group's liability insurance as it faces hundreds of lawsuits alleging past sex abuse of youths by scout leaders.

The head of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Frank McKenzie says the body of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was buried at sea after last weekend's commando raid in Syria in which he detonated a suicide vest, killing himself and two young children in order to avoid capture.

McKenzie, speaking at a Pentagon briefing, said the two children are believed to have been under the age of twelve. In their initial reports, U.S. officials had said that there were three children.

Still in turmoil over if, when or how to leave the European Union, Britain will go back to the polls on Dec. 12 to elect a new Parliament that may, or may not, be able to settle on a Brexit plan.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson won support for a snap election Tuesday when the House of Commons voted 438-20 to dissolve Parliament and launch a six-week election campaign that will compete with Christmas for the attention of a divided and Brexit-exhausted electorate.

The Trump administration is extending protections from deportation to more than 200,000 Salvadoran citizens living and working in the United States in an announcement made Monday.

Under the program called Temporary Protected Status — usually reserved to help foreign nationals from countries embroiled in wars or facing natural disasters — thousands of Salvadorans were allowed to stay in the U.S. following earthquakes in 2001.

The Houston Astros beat the Washington Nationals 4-1 in Game 3 of the 2019 World Series in a game they had to win, breaking the Nationals' eight-game winning streak in the postseason.

Houston, trailing the series 2-0, led the scoring with an RBI single in the second inning by right-fielder Josh Reddick after shortstop Carlos Correa doubled off of Washington's starting pitcher Aníbal Sánchez.

Updated at 5 a.m. ET Thursday

The Washington Nationals beat the Houston Astros 12-3 in Game 2 of the 2019 World Series in Houston.

The Nationals broke through what had been a pitchers' duel in the seventh inning, sending 10 batters to the plate and scoring six runs.

The Nats opened the game by scoring two runs with a walk and a single, followed by a double by third baseman and Houston native Anthony Rendon off Astros ace Justin Verlander.

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