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SEALs Face Review Following Death Of Islamic State Militant And More Local News

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Navy Special Warfare Command is deliberating whether to expel Chief Eddie Gallagher and three other men from the Navy SEALs. The move creates a potential standoff with the White House. Plus, military health officials say several sexually transmitted infections are becoming more common among service members. They say troops are engaging in more high-risk sexual behavior and part of the reason might be the popularity of dating apps. And, San Diego is considering a late-night curfew for rented electric scooters. It’s part of Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s proposed update to scooter regulations.

Show transcript

Speaker 1: 00:00 It's Thursday, November 21st I'm Deb Welsh and you're listening to San Diego news matters from KPBS coming up. Chief had a Gallagher who was facing war crimes charges, could be stripped of his Navy seals Trident. And what does smartphone dating apps have to do with sexually transmitted infections among service members that more San Diego news stories coming up right after the break. Thank you for joining us for San Diego news matters. I'm Deb Welsh Navy special warfare command will decide whether to expel chief Eddie Gallagher and three other men from the Navy seals. KPBS military reporters. Steve Walsh says the move creates a potential standoff with white house.

Speaker 2: 00:51 Four seals received a letters Wednesday saying they face being stripped of the seals. Iconic Trident. The move comes after president Trump restored Gallagher's rank last week overturning a military jury in his own commanders. In July, Gallagher was acquitted of the most serious charges, including killing an unarmed prisoner in his custody while on deployment in Mozel in 2017 three other seals connected with the same deployment. Also face being ousted Lieutenant Jacob Portier, Lieutenant Thomas McNeil and their commander, Lieutenant commander Robert [inaudible], part of a crackdown by special operations after a series of embarrassing headlines, 40 years and Gallagher's attorneys are appealing to the Trump administration to stop the process. Steve Walsh KPBS news,

Speaker 1: 01:34 a federal appeals court this week ruled in favor of a new state law that prevents prosecutors from charging someone with murder unless they were directly involved in the killing. KPBS investigative reporter Claire Tresor explains the impact of the ruling. Historically, a defendant in California could be charged with murder for killing that happened during a dangerous felony, even if the defendant was not the killer because of the so called felony murder rule. A new lot stopped those types of convictions, but San Diego district attorney summer Stephan challenge that law. The fourth district court of appeals rejected her argument. That means people previously convicted of murder under the felony murder rule can apply for re-sentencing potentially up to 800 people. Claire Treg, sir keep PBS news district attorney summer. Stephan spokesman says her office is reviewing the decision. San Diego is considering a late night curfew for rented electric scooters. KPBS Metro reporter Andrew Bowen says that's part of a proposed update to scooter regulations. Scooters are popular in San Diego though complaints of reckless writing and illegal parking of the devices have persisted. Mayor Kevin Faulkner suggests a curfew between midnight and 5:00 AM could help curb the most dangerous behaviors. City council member Chris ward said at a committee hearing Wednesday. He'd also like data on whether the city

Speaker 3: 03:00 slows zones where as scooters speed is automatically reduced, are preventing crashes.

Speaker 4: 03:05 Now that the eight mile an hour zone is in effect. Are we seeing a significant reduction in injuries or incidents reported, uh, or responses from public safety officials as well. We'd like to know if this test is really working.

Speaker 3: 03:17 The proposed changes to the city scooter regulations are expected to go through a legal review before making their way to the full city council for approval. Andrew Bowen, KPBS news,

Speaker 1: 03:26 military health officials say several sexually transmitted infections are becoming more common amongst service members. They say troops are engaging in more high risk sexual behavior and part of the reason might be the popularity of smartphone dating apps from Tampa, Stephanie Colon beanie reports for the American Homefront project dating apps. It's like Tinder are becoming more popular and while plenty of people use them to find love, others opt for one nightstands. If users like what they see, they swipe right in the hopes of hearing the sweet sound. It's a match. Then they could arrange to hook up immediately and if they're over it they can block the person and poof, they're gone. This casual dating culture is creating headaches for many military health providers trying to help service members prevent and trace sexually transmitted infections. Maureen saviah is chief of the epidemiology and disease control clinic at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Social media has definitely been a part of the increase in the amount of STEs. A report from the military health system found nearly 350,000 troops were diagnosed with an STI between 2010 and 2018 and rates for chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis have been rising steadily over the last few years. The department of defense has. One reason for that is high risk behaviors like unsafe sex and having multiple partners have increased dramatically amongst service members. 26 year old air force veteran, Elizabeth McGee of Tampa saw plenty of that during her time in the military.

Speaker 5: 05:08 I think it's because a lot of people I knew of at least they were either really, really young or they were from summer that didn't have much sex education, so they would get out and get on these dating apps and be like, Oh, look at all these options, and then they'd be having intercourse without protection.

Speaker 1: 05:22 The military health system reports as the vast majority of troops with STEs were in their early twenties with high school education or less. Maggie says some people on base dated civilians, but there was also a lot of hooking up within units which could help infection spread. She recalls her own experiences using Tinder while at the Presidio of Monterey, California.

Speaker 5: 05:45 Oh God. So I would match with people that I'd already seen before or I would date someone and then a week later they would be dating someone else.

Speaker 1: 05:55 Higher STI rates in the military. Also due to higher rates of screenings and STEs aren't just increasing in the armed forces. Maureen saviah points out dating apps are contributing to a rise among civilians as well and in fact the world health organization has even stated this, that that is a common theme these days. Sylvia says military leaders are concerned because STEs affect readiness, so they don't want a soldier getting HIV and becoming nondeployable or getting syphilis and now we have to wait three months until we are sure that they're cured. Infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea can typically be cured in a week or so with medication, but if left untreated can cause more serious problems. Sylvia says, everyone in the military receives at least some STI prevention training, but Elizabeth McGee says she didn't feel the training she went through was effective.

Speaker 5: 06:54 They were just like, Oh, this is what syphilis looks like. It's scary, right? Like the next slide. This is herpes. Isn't that terrible?

Speaker 1: 07:02 Maggie says she never used dating apps to sleep around and always had safe sex with her partners. She still uses Tinder now as a civilian.

Speaker 5: 07:10 I feel like our generation kind of has like a social anxiety of meeting people in person, especially when it comes to dating. Like we're so used to being able to just swipe on an app or a talk on a computer.

Speaker 1: 07:21 Fort Bragg is among the bases that's trying to make their training better, connect with young troops rather than just handing out brochures and showing PowerPoints. They're doing things like STI jeopardy. While health providers can't stop service members from using dating apps, they can help people get tested and encourage them to swipe responsibly. I'm Stephanie Calambini in Tampa. This story was produced by the American Homefront project, a public media collaboration that reports on American military life and veterans funding comes from the corporation for public broadcasting. Thanks for listening to San Diego news matters. For more KPBS podcasts, go to kpbs.org/podcasts.

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San Diego News Matters

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.