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.

Retired Marine Gen. James E. Cartwright pleaded guilty to a single count of making false statements to federal authorities. The investigators were looking into a leak of classified information about a secret cyberattack on Iran's nuclear facilities.

The plea came in a brief appearance in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

TripAdvisor, a leading travel website, says it will no longer sell tickets to attractions where tourists come into contact with wild animals or endangered species. The policy change includes, but is not limited to, elephant rides, "swim with" activities involving the touching or riding of dolphins, and the petting of captured wild animals such as tigers.

The company also announces that is developing an educational portal, with the aid of several wildlife protection groups, to inform tourists about animal welfare practices.

Updated at 6:15pm ET with Wells Fargo statement.

The chairman and chief executive of Wells Fargo & Co., John Stumpf, has resigned effective immediately in the aftermath of a scandal over the bank's past practice of secretly selling services to unsuspecting customers.

Stumpf will be replaced by President and Chief Operating Officer Timothy Sloan, long considered to be Stumpf's eventual successor.

Cable giant Comcast Corp. has been ordered by federal regulators to pay $2.3 million for wrongfully charging customers for gear and services they never requested. Officials say it is the largest civil penalty imposed on a cable operator.

On Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission ordered Comcast to pay the fine after investigating complaints that some customers were charged for equipment such as set-top boxes, and services such as premium channels even after they had specifically rejected offers from Comcast representatives.

Federal prosecutors will charge Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio with criminal contempt of court for violating a judge's order to stop immigration patrols that led to a court finding of racial profiling.

The controversial sheriff is expected to be officially charged on Wednesday. If he is convicted of misdemeanor contempt, the 84-year-old Arpaio could face up to six months in jail. The court set a tentative trial date of Dec. 6.

Updated 7 a.m. ET on Oct. 11

Samsung Electronics is permanently ending production of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, after trying for more than a month to solve the problem of the device catching fire.

Samsung, the global leader in smartphone production, announced Monday that it is suspending sales of the smartphone after reports that some replacement devices were also spontaneously igniting. On Tuesday, Samsung announced that it is halting production, and a spokesman told NPR's Elise Hu that production will not resume.

Updated at 7:00pm ET with sanctions threatened against Russia

The United States has officially blamed Russia for the hacking of computers of the Democratic National Committee and other political organizations, and it accused Moscow of trying to interfere with this year's election process.

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.

Get ready, America.

The White House wants you to know that the era of self-driving cars is closer than you might expect. And the federal government is preparing to roll out the rules of the road that officials say are needed to make sure automated vehicles are safe, accessible and efficient. And if done properly, they say the new vehicles will save time, money and lives.

They also say they want to avoid a "patchwork" of regulations that differ from state to state.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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