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.

A federal judge in Texas ruled that state officials "created a mess" when they questioned the citizenship of about 98,000 voters and mistakenly concluded that many of those voters were not eligible to cast ballots.

The sharply written ruling by U.S. District Judge Fred Biery of San Antonio ordered Texas officials to halt the removal of any registered voter from state voter rolls.

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.

House Democrats plan to file a resolution Friday seeking to block President Trump's emergency declaration aimed at securing funds for building a border wall.

The "resolution of disapproval," led by Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, received the backing of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a letter Wednesday to lawmakers in both parties.

The Trump administration says it intends to cancel a $929 million federal grant for California's high-speed rail project. The administration also wants to reclaim another $2.5 billion in federal funds already spent by California on the project.

The Department of Transportation is accusing California officials of missing several deadlines tied to the $929 million appropriation for the state's high-speed rail line.

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.

Updated at 10:55 p.m. ET

The Supreme Court, divided 5-4, has temporarily blocked implementation of a Louisiana abortion law nearly identical to the Texas law the high court struck down in 2016. The court's action, however, is only a pause.

It allows abortion-rights proponents time to bring an appeal to a newly constituted conservative court majority that may nonetheless be willing to reverse course dramatically on the subject of abortion.

Updated Feb. 8 at 2:45 p.m. ET

Amazon CEO and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos is accusing American Media Inc., parent company of the National Enquirer, of extortion, saying it threatened to publish potentially embarrassing personal photos of him if he did not stop an investigation into how the tabloid obtained other private photos and texts of him and his girlfriend.

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 growing number of European nations publicly backed Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó as his country's interim president, ratcheting up diplomatic pressure on President Nicolás Maduro to step down from power.

Spain, Britain, France and Germany recognized Guaidó Monday after Maduro failed to comply with their demands that new presidential elections be held in the oil-rich South American country to forestall a violent end to the conflict over who should govern Venezuela.

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.

More than half of the workforce of the Internal Revenue Service, or about 46,000 employees, will be recalled to work for the tax filing season despite the partial government shutdown, according to a Treasury Department announcement.

The recalled employees will not be paid during the shutdown, now in its fourth week, although all federal workers have been promised back pay when funding is approved.

Almost 43,000 immigration court hearings have been canceled as a result of the partial government shutdown, freezing an already heavily backlogged system, according to a report by researchers tracking immigration data. Another 20,000 hearings will be canceled for every additional week the government is not operating.

Pages