Richard Gonzales | KCUR

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.

Officials say a vehicle went around a warning gate along tracks of the Long Island Railroad Tuesday, and collided with a commuter train bound for Manhattan. Then a train traveling in the opposite direction struck the vehicle, according to local authorities. All three people in the vehicle were killed.

The foreign minister of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif, resigned Monday without explanation in a brief message on Instagram.

NPR's Michele Kelemen reports that Zarif was a central player in the nuclear negotiations with the Obama administration.

"In a post on Instagram, Mohammad Javad Zarif apologizes for what he calls his shortcomings and his 'inability to continue to serve' as foreign minister. An official at Iran's mission to the U.N. confirms that Zarif has resigned," said Kelemen.

Immigration officials have stopped, for now, the force-feeding via nasal tubes of nine immigrants from India who were conducting a hunger strike inside an immigration detention center in El Paso, Texas.

Hollywood's biggest night, the Oscars ceremonies, will not feature an official host guiding the event this year, according to the president of ABC Entertainment which will broadcast the Academy Awards on Feb. 24.

Karey Burke told television reporters that the telecast would have "a pretty exciting opening" even without a host.

This is not the first time that the awards show went on without a host.

A federal judge in Seattle has ordered the Defense Department to stop discriminating against naturalized citizens who volunteered to serve in the U.S. Army under a program to attract certain immigrants with specialized skills.

Updated 5:00 a.m. ET Tuesday

California residents who suffered catastrophic losses due to the November 2018 wildfires filed insurance claims totaling $11.4 billion, according to new estimates released by state insurance officials.

The announcement by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara represents a 25 percent hike — more than $2.3 billion — over the estimate in December.

California state fire investigators say that a 2017 wildfire that killed 22 people in Sonoma county was ignited by a private electrical system and not by utility giant Pacific Gas and Electric.

French authorities say the man suspected of launching a shooting attack on the Strasbourg Christmas market that killed three people and wounded 13 others was slain by police Thursday, ending an extensive two-day manhunt.

The suspect had evaded police since the attack Tuesday night, despite a massive search involving hundreds of police and soldiers.

Updated at 7:55 p.m. ET Friday

The Marine Corps has identified the fighter pilot who died in a crash that occurred while practicing in-flight refueling off the coast of Japan. He was Capt. Jahmar Resilard, 28, of Miramar, Fla.

Another service member was rescued and five are still missing.

The Marine Corps said Resilard served with Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242, stationed on Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Yamaguchi, Japan, according to the Associated Press.

Updated at 9:37 p.m. ET

The Department of Defense will begin assigning thousands of immigrants holding green cards to basic training, reversing a Trump administration policy that delayed their service as they were subjected to enhanced background checks.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is calling for the temporary removal of a state judge who allegedly helped an undocumented immigrant to evade immigration authorities who were in a courthouse waiting to detain him.

Newton District Judge Shelley Joseph is being investigated by a federal grand jury for aiding other court personnel in arranging for Jose Medina-Perez, 38, and from the Dominican Republic, to slip out of a back door of the courthouse while agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement held a detainer for his arrest. The incident occurred in early April.

Amid the current headlines about migrant caravans and an "invasion" of unauthorized immigrants, the number of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally actually fell to its lowest level in more than a decade, a new study finds.

President Trump's effort to limit the number of people seeking asylum in the United States faced legal challenges in two different federal courts on Monday.

Updated at 11 p.m. ET

A federal appeals court in California has blocked the Trump administration from immediately terminating an Obama-era program protecting from deportation young immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children.

Torrential rains, gusting winds and landslides over the Italian peninsula have killed 11 people over two days.

As the Associated Press reports, many of the dead were vehicle drivers or pedestrians who were struck by falling trees. Other casualties were caused by mudslides and high flood waters.

Strong winds were as strong as 90 mph and in Rome alone knocked down more than 100 trees.

Updated at 5:05 p.m. ET Wednesday

Chief Justice John Roberts, in his first remarks about the contentious appointment of new Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, sought to convince a law school audience that the court "does not serve one party or one interest; we serve one nation."

Speaking at the University of Minnesota Law School Tuesday, Roberts opened his remarks by saying that he wanted to discuss "events in Washington in recent weeks."

Updated at 8:50 p.m. ET

Paul Allen, who co-founded tech giant Microsoft with Bill Gates, died from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in Seattle on Monday. He was 65 years old.

Allen's death was announced in a statement released by his investment firm, Vulcan.

A federal court in California has blocked the Trump administration from terminating the Temporary Protected Status program that allows immigrants from four countries to live and work in the United States.

The ruling issued late Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen Wednesday affects more than 300,000 immigrants enrolled in TPS from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti and Sudan.

TPS was created by Congress in 1990 to allow people from countries suffering civil conflict or natural disasters to remain in the U.S. temporarily.

The line of immigrants applying to become U.S. citizens is becoming longer.

There has been a backlog of citizen applications for years. But the backlog has increased dramatically since President Trump took office. Immigrant advocates say this has become the Trump administration's "second wall."

On a recent workday evening, three immigrants sit in a small airless room in San Francisco for a free citizenship class. Their instructor, Samuel Bianco, dictates some key facts about American civics, slowly, so they can take notes.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Updated at 6:40 p.m. ET

In a federal courtroom in Texas today, the debate over the Trump administration's immigration policies shifted from separated families to another group of young immigrants.

They are the ones who were brought to the United States as children and grew up here. About 700,000 young people were protected from deportation under the Obama-era program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

Updated 10:20 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is asking a federal judge for an extension of the deadline set to reunify all of the migrant parents who were separated from their children at the U.S.-Mexico border.

In a court hearing Friday, U.S. District Judge Dana M. Sabraw delayed until at least Monday any decision on the government's request and he ordered the government to provide a complete list of the reunification status of 101 children under the age of 5 who have been separated from their parents.

The controversy over President Trump's executive order to end the policy of separating migrant families who cross into the U.S. illegally is shifting to the courts.

There are now more than 10,000 migrant children in U.S. government custody.

These are teenagers who fled violence in Central America. And children who were separated from their parents after they crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally.

How the children should be cared for and what happens to them is part of a growing clash between the Trump administration and advocates.

One of these young migrants made the long trek from El Salvador last year and turned herself in to U.S. authorities at the border.

The president of the University of Southern California, C.L. Max Nikias, is stepping down, according to an announcement by the university's board of trustees. The resignation comes as USC is embroiled in a series of scandals that have tarnished the public image of the prestigious private institution in Los Angeles.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen defended the administration's "zero tolerance" policy that calls for separating families who cross the border illegally, saying the undocumented immigrants shouldn't get special treatment.

"That's no different than what we do every day in every part of the United States — when an adult of a family commits a crime," she told NPR. "If you as a parent break into a house, you will be incarcerated by police and thereby separated from your family."

Yale University announced Wednesday that its board of trustees voted to rescind the honorary degree awarded to comedian Bill Cosby in 2003.

Teachers in Arizona held a strike vote on Thursday that launched Arizona's first-ever statewide walkout and turned down a proposed pay raise — instead demanding increased school funding.

The Arizona Education Association and the grass-roots group the Arizona Educators United announced that teachers will walk off the job April 26.

Updated at 3:40 a.m. ET on Wednesday

A woman with an apparent grudge against YouTube for what she claimed was censoring and de-monetizing her videos, opened fire at the video-sharing service's San Bruno, Calif., headquarters, wounding several people before fatally shooting herself, according to police.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted 3-0 to buck California's political leaders and join a federal lawsuit against that state's sanctuary law.

That law, known as SB 54, limits the cooperation of local law enforcement agencies with federal immigration authorities. It was designed to help protect undocumented residents from deportation and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in October 2017.

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