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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.

As a young boy, Polish-born Yisrael Kristal looked forward to turning 13 when he could celebrate his bar mitzvah, the Jewish coming-of-age ritual. But that was 1916 and World War I crushed that hope. Little did he know that he would wait a century for that ceremony.

Six years ago, Marine Sgt. John Peck had all four of his limbs blown off by an explosion in Afghanistan. Today, thanks to a double arm transplant, he is talking about the miracle of holding his fiancee's hand and feeling the pressure when she squeezes.

"That truly is a special gift," the retired Marine told reporters at a news conference at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

Pope Francis has made good on a promise to go to the central Italian region hardest hit by the devastating earthquake that struck in August. He arrived Tuesday without warning to console survivors and urge them to press forward.

The United States announced it is suspending efforts to revive a cease-fire in Syria, blaming Russia's support for a new round of airstrikes in the city of Aleppo.

As NPR's Michele Kelemen reports,

Harvard University reported that its endowment fund saw a loss of 2 percent, or $1.9 billion, on its investments for fiscal 2016. It's the single largest annual decline since the financial crisis.

A federal appeals court panel in Seattle has ruled that immigrant children under the threat of deportation may not sue the government for legal representation as part of a class action. The ruling is a significant setback for the legal rights of immigrant minors.

The city of San Francisco is in a quandary. Like many big cities, it faces an affordability crisis, and city leaders are looking for a way to build housing to help low- and middle-income residents stay there.

But one proposal to give current residents of a historically African-American neighborhood help to do that has run afoul of the Obama administration.

Consider the case of Mack Watson. At 96, he is a vision of elegance in his freshly pressed ribbon collar shirt, vest and sports coat. He has called San Francisco home since 1947.

Summarizing its investigation of Edward Snowden, the House Intelligence Committee says the former National Security Agency contractor did tremendous damage to the U.S.

The committee published the summary findings of a two-year investigation today as a new film about Snowden opens across the country.

Snowden stole 1.5 million classified government documents that he had access to as an NSA contractor. He then fled to Russia via Hong Kong.

As NPR's David Welna reports,

Southern California Gas Co. has agreed to pay $4 million to settle a case in which it faced a criminal charge associated with its handling of a massive gas leak in Porter Ranch, an affluent neighborhood of Los Angeles, last year.

The utility pleaded no contest to a single misdemeanor count for failing to immediately report the gas leak to state officials as required by law when it occurred on Oct. 23, 2015. Instead the company waited three days before alerting state emergency officials.

Former Israeli President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres, who turned 93 last month, suffered a stroke and was rushed to a hospital in Tel Aviv, according to representatives from his office.

They issued this brief statement Tuesday:

"The office of the 9th president wishes to update that the 9th president Shimon Peres has been hospitalized in the Tel Hashomer hospital after suffering a stroke. His condition is stable and he is fully conscious. He is receiving appropriate medical treatment."

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, the Republican candidate for vice president, did something his running mate, Donald Trump, declines to do. He released his tax returns dating back 10 years.

Alameda County prosecutors announced criminal charges against seven San Francisco Bay Area police officers for their role in a wide-ranging and still unfolding scandal involving a sexually exploited teenager.

California is already on track to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

Now under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, the state will ratchet up its fight against climate change by launching an ambitious campaign to scale back emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

"This is big, and I hope it sends a message across the country," Brown said.

Federal prosecutors will abandon their effort to retry former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, in the wake of the Supreme Court's June reversal of his conviction on corruption charges. The decision, which became public in a court filing, represents a major victory for McDonnell, who was once considered a rising star in the Republican Party.

The international games featuring more than 4,300 disabled athletes from 161 countries opened in Rio de Janeiro amid reports that costs could outpace ticket sales and sponsorships, jeopardizing some aspects of the games.

But organizers say a last-minute push has boosted ticket sales and a bailout by the Brazilian government has helped save the event.

International Paralympic Committee president Philip Craven said he was notified just five weeks ago that funding for the games was tight.

Luis Videgaray, Mexico's M.I.T.-educated minister of finance and confidant of President Enrique Peña Nieto, has resigned in a move widely seen as fallout from Donald Trump's visit to that country last week.

Peña Nieto made the announcement in Mexico City, but he gave no reason for the change, nor did he say whether Videgaray, a key aide since 2005, would receive a new post.

As February follows January and the sun sets in the west, readers of The Dallas Morning News could rely on that newspaper to endorse the Republican candidate for president.

But not this time — not when the candidate is Donald Trump.

The Morning News editorial pulled no punches from the get-go:

"What does it mean to be a Republican?

Chicago cemented its reputation as the murder capital of the country with 13 fatal shootings over the Labor Day weekend, bringing the city's annual toll to at least 500 killings. That's more homicides this year than the nation's two largest cities — New York and Los Angeles — combined.

In a brief and surprising statement, Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown announced he is ending his 33-year career as a member of his city's police force. Brown is perhaps best known for leading his department in the aftermath of the slaying of five Dallas police officers by a disgruntled war veteran on July 7.

After more than a week of seeming to change direction on immigration policy, and then apparently turning back to his original plan, Donald Trump delivered a speech on the issue Wednesday night in Phoenix.

Against the backdrop of the picturesque Lake Tahoe, President Obama said environmental conservation is a key part of fighting the impact of global warming.

Obama spoke on the first of a two-day environmental tour at an annual summit designed to keep the health of Lake Tahoe a priority for the federal government and the states it borders, Nevada and California.

The California Assembly unanimously passed a measure that requires a prison sentence for anyone convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious person.

Newly released government data paint a sobering picture of safety on the nation's roads and highways.

In 2015, the number of people who died in auto accidents reached 35,092, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a 7.2% increase over 2014. The last time there was such a large single-year increase was back in 1966 when Lyndon Johnson was president.

A judge has ruled that three transgender people — two students and one employee — at the University of North Carolina must be allowed to use the bathrooms corresponding to their gender identities.

A federal appeals court in Chicago ruled this week that a woman living in the United States illegally should not face immediate deportation simply because she was convicted of using a false Social Security number to work.

The California judge who is subject to a recall campaign after imposing a six-month jail sentence on a former Stanford swimmer convicted of sexual assault has been reassigned at his own request from criminal to civil court.

Aaron Persky, a Superior Court judge in Palo Alto, will move to a courthouse in downtown San Jose, effective Sept. 6.

The National Labor Relations Board ruled 3-1 Tuesday that graduate students working as teaching or research assistants at private universities are employees with the right to collective bargaining.

The decision comes in response to a petition filed by the Graduate Workers of Columbia-GWC and the United Autoworkers Union, which has been seeking to represent grad student assistants at Columbia University.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe renewed his efforts to restore the voting rights of felons in his state, announcing that his administration would process applications for 13,000 felons so that they might vote in November.

Have you ever wanted to keep track of bank robberies in your neighborhood or city? Or maybe you've always wanted to help the FBI catch a bad guy? As you've no doubt heard before, there's an app for that.

The FBI today released a Bank Robbers mobile app designed to help the public, law enforcement, and financial institutions see and share photos and information about robberies all over the country.

In a major victory for teachers unions in California, the state Supreme Court has upheld teacher tenure laws. By a 4-3 vote, a divided court decided not to hear Vergara vs. California, a case challenging state tenure laws.

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