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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.

A day after increasingly tense clashes between police and protesters in Hong Kong, the U.S. State Department called on both sides to "exercise restraint" and seek "dialogue."

"‎We condemn violence on all sides, extend our sympathies to victims of violence regardless of their political inclinations, and call for all parties — police and protesters — to exercise restraint," said State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus in a statement issued late Monday.

The self-driving Uber SUV involved in a crash that killed a Tempe, Ariz., woman last year did not recognize her as a jaywalking pedestrian and its braking system was not designed to avoid an imminent collision, according to a federal report released this week.

The conclusions by the National Transportation Safety Board were published ahead of a Nov. 19 meeting in Washington, D.C., called to discuss the cause of the crash and safety recommendations.

Two former employees of Twitter were charged with spying for Saudi Arabia by snooping into thousands of private accounts seeking personal information about critics of the Riyadh government, according to court documents filed Wednesday in San Francisco.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday released its Oct. 16 order allowing T-Mobile to merge with Sprint in a $26.5 billion deal. The commissioners approved the deal last month on a closed-door, 3-2 party-line vote.

The merger was praised by Republican commissioners as a boon for rural America and by Democratic commissioners as a disaster for consumers. The merger still faces a legal challenge by a coalition of state attorneys general.

Novelist Ernest J. Gaines, acclaimed author of The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, and other novels about the struggles of African Americans in rural Louisiana, died at his home in Oscar, La., Tuesday at the age of 86.

Gaines died in his sleep of cardiac arrest, according to The Associated Press, citing the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. He is survived by his wife Dianne Saulney Gaines, four stepchildren and nine siblings.

Updated on Nov. 18 at 6:50 p.m. ET

California authorities announced they seized more than $1.5 billion worth of illegal marijuana in fiscal year 2019, or the rough equivalent of the state's legal market for cannabis.

More than 953,000 plants were seized from 345 raided grow sites around the state. Authorities arrested 148 people and confiscated 168 weapons under California's Campaign Against Marijuana Planting program.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday that he wants to speed up Pacific Gas & Electric's bankruptcy case, calling on the beleaguered utility's executives, creditors and shareholders, as well as wildfire victims, to reach "a consensual resolution" to the negotiations before next year's wildfire season.

"We want to broker that mediation and are calling on all the parties to come in early next week to jumpstart those negotiations," Newsom said in a Sacramento news conference.

Starting Jan. 1, it will cost more money to be a Boy Scout.

The announcement, made public last week on the Boy Scouts official blog, Scouting Wire, comes in response to rising operating costs mainly associated with the group's liability insurance as it faces hundreds of lawsuits alleging past sex abuse of youths by scout leaders.

The Washington Nationals beat the Houston Astros 6-2 in Game 7 of the World Series in Houston.

It is the Nationals' first championship since the franchise moved to Washington, D.C., in 2005.

The Nationals are also the first team in MLB history to win the World Series by winning four games as the visiting team.

Washington won despite being dominated by Houston starter Zack Greinke for better than six innings. The Nationals scored all of their runs in the last three innings.

The head of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Frank McKenzie says the body of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was buried at sea after last weekend's commando raid in Syria in which he detonated a suicide vest, killing himself and two young children in order to avoid capture.

McKenzie, speaking at a Pentagon briefing, said the two children are believed to have been under the age of twelve. In their initial reports, U.S. officials had said that there were three children.

Updated Wednesday at 2:05 a.m. ET

The Washington Nationals avoided elimination by beating the Houston Astros 7-2 in Game 6 of the 2019 World Series, forcing a Game 7 in Houston on Wednesday.

But even a Series-defining Game 7 could have a tough time matching the tension and drama of Game 6 which featured a controversial call that appeared to kill — at least temporarily — a Washington rally.

Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg was the winning pitcher, lasting eight and a third innings, striking out seven while allowing only two runs on five hits.

Still in turmoil over if, when or how to leave the European Union, Britain will go back to the polls on Dec. 12 to elect a new Parliament that may, or may not, be able to settle on a Brexit plan.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson won support for a snap election Tuesday when the House of Commons voted 438-20 to dissolve Parliament and launch a six-week election campaign that will compete with Christmas for the attention of a divided and Brexit-exhausted electorate.

The Trump administration is extending protections from deportation to more than 200,000 Salvadoran citizens living and working in the United States in an announcement made Monday.

Under the program called Temporary Protected Status — usually reserved to help foreign nationals from countries embroiled in wars or facing natural disasters — thousands of Salvadorans were allowed to stay in the U.S. following earthquakes in 2001.

The Houston Astros beat the Washington Nationals 4-1 in Game 3 of the 2019 World Series in a game they had to win, breaking the Nationals' eight-game winning streak in the postseason.

Houston, trailing the series 2-0, led the scoring with an RBI single in the second inning by right-fielder Josh Reddick after shortstop Carlos Correa doubled off of Washington's starting pitcher Aníbal Sánchez.

Updated at 5 a.m. ET Thursday

The Washington Nationals beat the Houston Astros 12-3 in Game 2 of the 2019 World Series in Houston.

The Nationals broke through what had been a pitchers' duel in the seventh inning, sending 10 batters to the plate and scoring six runs.

The Nats opened the game by scoring two runs with a walk and a single, followed by a double by third baseman and Houston native Anthony Rendon off Astros ace Justin Verlander.

Iraqi security forces killed 149 people and wounded over 3,000 in protests that began Oct. 1, a government-appointed inquiry announced Tuesday.

The Iraqi military previously had admitted that its forces had used "excessive force" in attempting to quell protests against government corruption, high unemployment and the lack of basic services such as clean water and electricity.

The CEO of Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. told California energy regulators that the state will likely see blackouts for another 10 years like the one imposed last week that left as many as 800,000 customers without power.

The revelation by corporation CEO Bill Johnson came Friday at a California Public Utilities Commission meeting at which he said his company is trying to reduce the chances of wildfires by trimming more trees and using technology to target smaller areas of the grid when fire dangers require power outages.

The City Council of New York voted 36-13 Thursday to approve a plan to close the city's notorious jail complex on Rikers Island by 2026 in favor of four smaller jails spread out across the city.

Scientists cannot yet predict when the next deadly earthquake will strike, but emergency response authorities in California plan to unveil the first statewide quake warning system Thursday, which marks the 30th anniversary of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

The warnings will be issued in two ways: a cellphone app called MyShake and the more traditional wireless notification system that sends out Amber Alerts.

Three major U.S. drug distributing companies are negotiating a multibillion-dollar settlement to end numerous lawsuits filed by state and local governments seeking compensation for costs associated with the opioid crisis.

The drug distributors — Amerisource Bergen, McKesson and Cardinal Health — could pay as much as $18 billion over 18 years, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the discussions.

Actress Felicity Huffman reported to a federal prison in northern California to serve her 14-day sentence for her part in the unfolding college admissions scandal that saw affluent parents use bribery and other illegal means to get their children into elite educational institutions.

The 56-year old star of Desperate Housewives surrendered herself to authorities at the low-security Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, Calif., about 35 miles east of San Francisco. She entered the facility earlier than her court-ordered date of October 25.

Beginning in early 2020, California will ban the sale of the pesticide chlorpyrifos which state environmental officials say has been linked to brain damage and other health defects in children.

Under an agreement reached with Corteva Agriscience, the maker of chlorpyrifos, sales of the pesticide will end Feb. 6, 2020, and agricultural growers will not be allowed to possess or use it after Dec. 31, 2020.

The number of migrants taken into custody after crossing the southern border declined for the fourth consecutive month, according to new figures released by the Trump administration.

A new feature for Tesla cars that allows drivers to remotely summon their parked autos is drawing scrutiny from government regulators after reports of malfunctioning software.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in a statement issued Wednesday, said that is aware of the reports that "Smart Summon" does not always work as promised and is in ongoing contact with the company.

But the agency did not open a formal investigation.

President Trump signed a proclamation late Friday barring legal immigrants who cannot prove they will have health care coverage or the means to pay for it within 30 days of their arrival to the United States.

Trump said uninsured individuals are a burden on the health care industry and U.S. taxpayers.

The Trump administration will no longer allow migrant families apprehended at the border to enter the U.S. under the immigration policy commonly known as "catch and release."

The policy change was announced Monday by Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan in remarks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C.

Tropical storm advisories have been issued as meteorologists are watching three storms in the Atlantic basin.

The one most likely to hit land soon is Karen, which was degraded to a tropical depression as it slowly rolls toward Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in the southeastern Caribbean Sea bringing torrential, life-threatening rainfall and flooding.

The United States and El Salvador signed an agreement Friday aimed at deterring the flow of migrants seeking to enter this country by requiring them to seek asylum in that Central American nation on their way here.

President Trump has authorized the deployment of additional U.S. forces to the Middle East to strengthen air and missile defenses around Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the Pentagon announced late Friday.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper called the move a first step and said the deployment would be defensive in nature. He said the deployment comes in response to requests for help from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is apologizing for having worn brownface makeup at a 2001 costume party.

"I should have known better then, but I didn't and I did it and I'm deeply sorry," he said to reporters in his campaign plane in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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