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.

Gary Austin, who created and led one of improvisational theater's most influential troupes, the Groundlings, died Saturday at the age of 75 of cancer.

Austin was a writer, director, and musical performer whose students comprised a virtual Who's Who of modern comedy, including many cast members of Saturday Night Live.

As Deadline Hollywood reported,

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The Department of Homeland Security made good Monday on a Trump administration promise to publicly shame cities and counties that don't cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released its first weekly list of local jails and jurisdictions that haven't honored so-called immigrant detainer requests.

The widow of the gunman who killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., in June 2016, will remain in custody after a federal judge in Florida revoked bail and a prior release order.

The Department of Homeland Security released new data late Wednesday showing that illegal southern border crossings diminished in the opening weeks of the new Trump administration.

The new figures indicate "an unprecedented decline in traffic" in the month of February, according to a statement issued by Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in a letter to Congress, said his remarks about not having contact with Russian officials during last year's presidential campaign were "correct," even though he's had to acknowledge that he twice met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

A federal magistrate judge in California ruled Wednesday that Noor Salman, the widow of Omar Mateen, can be released on a $500,000 bond pending her trial on charges that she helped her husband plan the deadly mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub in June 2016.

A Minnesota police officer accused of fatally shooting Philando Castile in a St. Paul suburb last July pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter and two other charges.

St. Anthony police Officer Jeronimo Yanez entered his plea in a brief hearing in Ramsey County district court.

The Department of Homeland Security issued new guidelines this week that call for hiring 15,000 additional Border Patrol agents and immigration officers. It also wants to greatly expand the number of unauthorized immigrants who are prioritized for deportation.

Updated Feb. 17, 2017, 8:00 p.m. ET with comment from ICE

Federal immigration agents last week detained a woman in the U.S. illegally just after she received a protective order against an allegedly abusive boyfriend, in an El Paso County courthouse.

El Paso County Attorney Joanne Bernal said the ICE arrest inside a courthouse was "unprecedented and stunning."

"To my knowledge, and others I have spoken to, no one has a recollection of immigration officials acting like this in a courthouse," Bernal told NPR.

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

Federal immigration authorities launched a new wave of raids and other actions in several states over the past five days aimed at sweeping up people who are in this country illegally.

Updated at 7:50 p.m. ET

A federal appeals court has unanimously rejected a Trump administration request to allow its travel ban to take effect.

The three-judge appeals panel declined to overturn a lower court's order suspending the president's ban against entry into the United States by refugees and travelers from seven majority-Muslim nations.

Days after retail giant Nordstrom announced that it will no longer sell Ivanka Trump's clothing label, the president struck back, accusing the Seattle-based department store chain of treating his daughter "so unfairly."

The blast came in a tweet posted on his personal account.

Trump wrote, "My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!"

Updated at 10:25 a.m. ET on Feb. 7

A newly released report by Amnesty International alleges a widespread and systematic attack by Syria's government against its civilian population, including murder, torture, enforced disappearances and extermination carried out at a military prison called Saydnaya.

The report's executive summary opens with this grim description:

In a surprise announcement, the Boy Scouts of America said that it will begin accepting transgender boys who want to join its scouting programs.

The Scouts' policy change came in a written and video statement released by Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh. He said that for more than a hundred years the Scouts used the information on an individual's birth certificate to determine a boy's eligibility to join its single gender programs.

There's an active debate inside newsrooms, and particularly within the NPR newsroom, about how to characterize the statements of President Trump when they are at odds with evidence to the contrary.

Isidro Baldenegro Lopez, a Mexican indigenous activist and subsistence farmer who led the fight to protect ancient forests from illegal logging in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, was slain on Sunday.

Baldenegro Lopez, a leader among the Tarahumara people, for years had led non-violent sit-ins and blockades in protest of logging in the Sierra Madre mountain region.

Three baseball stars who avoided convincing connection to steroid use during their playing days — Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez — were elected to Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame Wednesday. The stars all received 75 percent of the ballots cast by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

The top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence say they intend to investigate the allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. elections.

In a joint statement, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., chairman of the committee and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the vice-chairman, said "we believe that it is critical to have a full understanding of the scope of Russian intelligence activities impacting the United States."

A downtown section of Birmingham, Ala., including the church where four black girls were killed in a Ku Klux Klan bombing in 1963, has been declared a national monument by President Obama.

The 16th Street Baptist Church will be the focal point of the Birmingham Civil Rights National Historical Park. The bombing, which also injured 22 other people, proved to be a turning point in the civil rights struggle.

The Obama administration is ending a two-decade-old policy that allowed Cuban refugees to enter the United States without visas.

Known as the "wet-foot, dry-foot" policy, it began in 1995 under then-President Bill Clinton in response to a wave of Cubans fleeing the island in boats. The U.S. turned away those who were intercepted at sea ("wet-foot"), while permitting Cubans who managed to get to U.S. soil ("dry-foot") to stay and eventually become legal residents.

Americans continue to be divided along partisan lines over Obamacare, with an overwhelming percentage of Democrats favoring it and an equal share of Republicans having unfavorable views, according to a newly released Kaiser Family Foundation poll.

But when it comes to an actual gutting of Obamacare, there's doesn't appear to be a lot of support.

After powering the Chicago Cubs to their historic victory in the 2016 World Series, second-year third baseman Kris Bryant claimed one of Major League Baseball's most coveted individual awards on Thursday. He was named the National League's Most Valuable Player.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel added his voice to the chorus of big-city mayors who say theirs will remain "sanctuary cities" in response to President-elect Donald Trump's hard-line positions on illegal immigration.

Surrounded by immigration activists, business leaders and state and federal lawmakers, Emanuel sought to reduce the fear of immigrants living in this country without authorization.

A suicide car bomber driving a truck rammed the gate of the German consulate in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif late Thursday. News media quote Afghan officials as saying at least two people were killed and dozens injured in the attack.

The election of Donald Trump has sent shock waves through civil rights organizations, including among LGBT activists. They say they fear a rollback in the progress their movement made during the Obama administration. Meanwhile, opponents of gay and lesbian rights also see a shift coming with the Trump administration.

For the past several years, conservatives in the culture wars — those who have felt that their views on same-sex marriage, for example, were under attack — now say they have something to cheer about.

A preliminary deal between Iran and France's Total SA to develop an offshore Persian Gulf gas field represents the first investment by a Western energy company since international sanctions were relaxed earlier this year.

The $6 billion deal between Total and Iran's state-owned Petropars includes the participation of China National Petroleum Corp. in a consortium to develop what's known as the South Pars field estimated to contain 14,000 billion cubic meters of gas, or about 8 percent of the known global reserves.

The man who shot and killed a federal airport security screener and injured three others in a 2013 rampage at the Los Angeles International Airport was sentenced to life plus sixty years in prison without parole as part of a plea deal that spared him the possibility of the death penalty.

Another law enforcement officer will be charged in the ongoing investigation of dozens of San Francisco Bay Area police officers who allegedly had sex with a teen sex trafficking victim.

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