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.

The Defense Department announced it is deploying 1,000 more U.S. troops to the Middle East "for defensive purposes" amid growing tensions with Iran.

Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Monday in a statement that the action, meant to address air, naval, and ground-based threats, comes after "a request from the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) for additional forces."

The Trump administration has blamed Iran for a series of attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

The president of Mexico's National Migration Institute, the government agency that controls and supervises migration, resigned Friday.

In a brief statement, the institute announced that Tonatiuh Guillén Lopez presented his resignation to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Guillén Lopez, who thanked the Mexican president for the opportunity to serve the country, had been commissioner of the migration agency since December.

The statement did not give a reason for the resignation.

The Toronto Raptors have won their first NBA title, edging out the Golden State Warriors 114-110 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals at the Warriors' Oracle Arena in Oakland. Toronto completed the series 4-2.

In the final seconds the Raptors led by only one point, and the Warriors' Steph Curry missed a 3-pointer. Golden State got the ball in a scramble, but called a timeout it didn't have and was given a technical foul, causing some confusion. Raptor star Kawhi Leonard sank three game-clinching free throws, sealing Toronto's victory.

Three years after lead was detected in the drinking water of Flint, Mich., state prosecutors say they are dropping all criminal charges filed against a group of eight government officials implicated in the scandal, in favor of launching a new expanded investigation.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced the dramatic shift in a statement Thursday.

Updated at 4:42 p.m. ET Saturday

Officials in Virginia Beach, Va., have named the 12 people who were killed in a shooting Friday at the city's municipal center.

They are:

Laquita C. Brown of Chesapeake

Tara Welch Gallagher of Virginia Beach

Mary Louise Gayle of Virginia Beach

Alexander Mikhail Gusev of Virginia Beach

Katherine A. Nixon of Virginia Beach

Updated at 6:43 p.m. ET

A judge in Wisconsin has ruled that 21-year-old Jake Patterson will spend the rest of his life behind bars by sentencing him to two life terms in prison without the possibility of release for kidnapping a teenager and murdering her parents last year.

The Southern and Western regions of the United States continued to have the nation's fastest-growing cities between 2017 and 2018, according to new population estimates for cities and towns released Thursday.

New York still leads all American cities with 8.4 million residents.

But as NPR's Hansi Lo Wang reports, cities in Arizona, Texas, Washington and North Carolina top the list of rapidly growing municipalities.

Updated at 9:15 p.m. ET Friday

Officials at Customs and Border Protection say they have no immediate plans to transport hundreds of detained asylum-seeking migrants to two counties in southern Florida.

The news of plans to send migrants detained at the southern border to Broward and Palm Beach counties first surfaced on Thursday. Local officials said they were told by federal immigration authorities to expect as many as 500 migrants in each county every month.

President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday designed to bar U.S. telecommunications networks from using equipment from foreign suppliers, a move apparently targeting Chinese telecom giant Huawei.

President Trump hosted Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban at the White House on Monday, a gesture the past two U.S. presidents avoided granting to the hard-right European leader.

A federal appeals court has ruled that the Trump administration may continue requiring asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico as they await court proceedings in the United States. It might be seen as a victory for Trump, though a temporary one.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an unscheduled visit to Baghdad after canceling a planned meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany. The visit comes as the U.S. is stepping up pressure on Iraq's larger neighbor, Iran, and claiming that Iran could be planning threats against U.S. forces in the region.

The White House and departments of State and Defense have not been specific about what those threats might be.

A Minneapolis jury has found a former police officer guilty in the 2017 fatal shooting of an unarmed woman minutes after she had called 911 to report a possible crime.

Mohamed Noor, the ex-Minneapolis officer charged in the shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk, was convicted of third-degree murder and manslaughter. He was found not guilty of intentional second-degree murder.

A U.S. Army veteran with experience fighting in Afghanistan conspired to stage a terrorist attack on a planned white supremacist rally with the intent of inflicting mass casualties in the Los Angeles area, according to federal prosecutors.

A federal appeals panel has upheld California's controversial "sanctuary state" law, ruling that the measure does not impede the enforcement of federal immigration laws in that state.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a unanimous decision, found that the state law, known as SB 54, limiting cooperation between state and local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities does not conflict with federal law.

The Trump administration has canceled a deal between Major League Baseball and the Cuban Baseball Federation that would have allowed Cuban players to join professional teams in the U.S. and Canada.

Under the four-month-old agreement, a major league club seeking to sign certain Cuban players would have to pay a release fee – 25 percent over the player's signing bonus – to the Federation. The player would also have to pay Cuban income taxes on foreign earnings.

A Florida man accused of mailing pipe bombs to a number of prominent Democrats and Trump critics, as well as CNN, has pleaded guilty before a federal judge in New York.

The U.S. Supreme Court, narrowly divided along ideological lines, ruled Tuesday that the government may detain — without a hearing — legal immigrants long after they have served the sentences for crimes they committed.

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 Feb. 2 at 12:37 a.m. ET

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam apologized on Friday for appearing in a "clearly racist and offensive" costume in his 1984 medical school yearbook. The photo shows a person wearing blackface standing next to another person wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe.

Criticism from the right and left mounted Friday night, including calls for the governor to resign.

Northam, a Democrat, said in a statement: "I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now."

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.

Federal prosecutors said Thursday they would not seek to retry a U.S. Border Patrol agent who was twice acquitted of fatally shooting a Mexican teenager through a border fence in Nogales, Ariz.

Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, 16, was killed by Border Patrol agent Lonnie Swartz on October 2012. The agent said he was acting in self-defense when threatened by rock throwers on the Mexican side of the border.

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.

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