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 10:55 p.m. ET

California fire officials say the massive Thomas Fire has claimed the life of a firefighter.

The body of Cory Iverson, a 32-year-old father from Escondido, Calif., was driven out of the fire zone in a procession as firefighters lined the road saluting in respect.

High-ranking U.S.-based Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt has been sentenced to seven years in prison and ordered to pay a $400,000 fine for his part in a decade-long diesel-emissions cheating scandal.

Updated at 8:10 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court will allow the Trump administration to fully enforce its revised ban on allowing entry to the United States by residents of eight countries while legal challenges are heard by a federal appeals court.

Six of the countries — Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Chad and Somalia — are majority-Muslim nations. The other two are North Korea and Venezuela.

Updated at 11:45 p.m. ET

A jury in San Francisco has found Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, a homeless undocumented Mexican immigrant, not guilty of murder in the death of 32-year-old Kate Steinle two years ago in a case that became a flashpoint in the national debate on illegal immigration.

As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump cited the Steinle killing as a justification for his intended crackdown on immigration.

Updated at 6:40 p.m. ET

A federal court has denied a request for a temporary restraining order sought by an Obama-era appointee seeking to block the Trump administration from assuming control of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly is a victory for President Trump, who appointed White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to take charge of the CFPB after the resignation of its previous director, Richard Cordray.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri returned to Beirut for the first time since sparking a political crisis in his country following his surprise resignation more than two weeks ago while visiting Saudi Arabia.

Reuters reports that Hariri was greeted by members of the security forces as his return was covered by live TV.

Updated on Saturday, Nov. 18, at 9:45 a.m., ET.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who resigned his position earlier this month amid political tensions with Saudi Arabia, says he is returning to his country after a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Saturday.

Hariri told reporters he would clarify his political position upon returning to Lebanon for Independence Day celebrations, the Associated Press reported.

"As you know I have resigned and we will speak about this matter there (Lebanon)," Hariri said.

The head of Puerto Rico's power authority stepped down Friday amid controversy over his handling of a system that still can't deliver electricity to that island two months after Hurricane Maria destroyed the power grid.

Ricardo Ramos, executive director of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, or PREPA, resigned as he was unable to shake off questions about a $300 million contract that he had awarded to Whitefish, a small Montana-based energy firm, that was supposed to restore power on the island.

Updated at 8 p.m. ET

TransCanada, the company that owns and operates the Keystone Pipeline, says that an estimated 210,000 gallons, or 5,000 barrels, of oil have spilled near the small town of Amherst, S.D.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ELISE HU, HOST:

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET

The Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in Game 7 of the World Series, winning their first championship crown in the team's 55-year history (and 56th season).

The Astros jumped out to a 5-0 lead after two innings and held on for the rest of the game watching the Dodgers squander multiple opportunities to score.

"We held down a really tough lineup," said Astros pitcher Charlie Morton, who pitched four innings in relief, giving up the Dodgers' only run. He struck out four batters, walked one and earned the win.

Updated 11:50 p.m. ET

The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Houston Astros 3-1 in Game 1 of the 2017 World Series in Los Angeles on the strength of superior pitching and timely home runs.

The Dodgers got a strong performance by their ace, Clayton Kershaw, who struck out 11 batters over seven innings, surrendering only one run on three hits. He walked none.

"It was a special night for Clayton," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said about his three-time Cy Young Award winner.

Updated at 10:15 p.m. ET

A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., has ruled that a detained teenage immigrant may not obtain an abortion until a government-approved sponsor can be secured by the end of the month.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit split 2-1 on the ruling.

Updated at 7:40 a.m. ET Saturday:

For the first time since wind-aided flames ripped through Northern California nearly a week ago, local and state fire officials are expressing optimism that they are slowly gaining ground against what are now the deadliest wildfires in the state's history.

Updated: 6:56pm ET

Police are still trying to determine what motivated Stephen Paddock to rain gunfire on some 22,000 music fans along the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday night. The attack left 59 people dead and more than 500 people were injured, in the worst mass shooting in recent U.S. history.

In an afternoon news conference, Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said that the number of injured, reported at 527 yesterday, has "decreased slightly...maybe 20, because we had a double count error occurring at one of the hospitals."

Updated at 6:55 a.m. ET Tuesday

Less than 24 hours after the massacre at an open-air country music concert in Las Vegas, authorities are still piecing together what shooter Stephen Paddock did in preparation for his deadly shooting rampage that left 59 people dead and 527 others injured.

There is still a lot they don't know about what motivated Paddock, described by officials as a "lone wolf," to launch the most deadly mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Updated 1 p.m. ET Saturday

President Trump heads to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico on Tuesday and, in a series of tweets early Saturday morning, defended his administration's handling of the recovery effort while hitting back at Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan.

"The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump," he wrote.

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a new regulation restricting unauthorized drone operations over 10 Department of Interior sites, including the Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore.

The announcement Thursday says the two federal agencies "have agreed to restrict drone flights up to 400 feet within the lateral boundaries" of the following sites:

  • Statue of Liberty National Monument, New York
  • Boston National Historical Park (U.S.S. Constitution), Boston

A federal judge in Chicago has ruled that the Trump administration may not withhold public-safety grants to so-called sanctuary cities. The decision issued Friday is a setback to the administration's efforts to force local jurisdictions to help federal authorities crack down on illegal immigration.

The Department of Justice will not bring civil rights charges against six Baltimore police involved in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray, the young black man whose death caused widespread violent protest in that city in 2015.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray resigned Tuesday following the publication of new allegations that he sexually abused a cousin at a family home in the 1970s.

In a statement, Murray denied the charge, but said that he is resigning effective the end of the business on Wednesday.

The U.S. Supreme Court will temporarily allow the Trump administration to block many refugees from six mostly Muslim countries without direct familial ties in the United States from entering this country.

In a brief order issued Monday, Justice Anthony Kennedy delayed implementation of a ruling issued by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last week that would have allowed entry to refugees with formal ties to resettlement agencies here.

President Trump this week tweeted that young immigrants brought to this country illegally by their parents, also known as DREAMers, "have nothing to worry about."

But a lot of DREAMers aren't buying it. (DREAMer is a term derived from a proposed bill called the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act.) In fact, they say the Trump administration gave them a new headache with a veiled threat to use the personal information they gave the government to deport them.

Here's what happened.

Several states are suing the Trump administration to block it from terminating the program protecting young immigrants known as DREAMers.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in the Eastern District of New York, was brought by the attorneys general of 15 states and the District of Columbia. All are Democrats.

It follows the administration's announcement Tuesday that it would phase out the Obama-era program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said DACA would end in March 2018 unless Congress takes action to salvage it.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

A federal judge temporarily blocked an anti-abortion law set to take effect in Texas on Friday that would have limited second trimester abortions in that state.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel issued an injunction lasting 14 days that prevents Texas from outlawing an abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation, commonly used on women seeking to terminate their pregnancies in their second trimester.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the selection of four construction companies to build concrete prototypes of the wall President Trump plans to build along with border with Mexico.

Each prototype will be 30 feet tall and 30 feet wide, and cost between $400,000 and about $500,000.

The four companies are Caddell Construction of Montgomery, Ala.; Fisher Sand and Gravel/DBA Fisher Industries of Tempe, Ariz.; Texas Sterling Construction of Houston, Texas; and W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Company of Philadelphia, Miss.

Editor's note on Sept. 1: Some listeners and readers have asked why NPR pressed Red Cross operations and logistics executive Brad Kieserman about how much of the money his organization receives will actually be spent on helping those affected by Hurricane Harvey. NPR's questions were follow-ups to several years of reporting by NPR and ProPublica about shortcomings in the organization's disaster relief operations and misleading claims about its finances. NPR has asked several times in recent years to speak with Red Cross President and CEO Gail J. McGovern.

Houston Police say 60-year-old Sgt. Steve Perez, trying to get to work despite Hurricane Harvey, drowned in his patrol car in floodwaters.

In a somber news conference Tuesday afternoon, Police Chief Art Acevedo said Perez's wife, Cheryl, had asked her husband not to report to work Sunday morning. But Perez, who had been on the police force for 34 years and was just a few days short of his 61st birthday, insisted on going in.

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