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Asylum-Seeker Held Incommunicado For Three Weeks By Border Patrol And More Local News

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A man in Border Patrol custody was held for three weeks while his family and lawyers had no idea where he was or if he was even alive. KPBS has an exclusive look at how one man became lost in an overloaded immigration system. Plus, hospitals and the medical devices inside your body could be vulnerable to cyber hackers. So why are federal regulators teaming up with hackers? And, Rep. Duncan Hunter was in court Monday to see if a well-known San Diego former prosecutor could represent him at his corruption trial in January. Hunter recently fired his legal defense team.

Show transcript

Speaker 1: 00:00 It's Tuesday, November 26th I'm Deb Welsh and you're listening to San Diego news matters from KPPs coming up in battled Congressman Duncan Otter at another court date, Monday and hospitals and the medical devices inside your body could be vulnerable to cyber hackers. Can my heart be connected to the internet? Is it secure that more San Diego news stories coming up right after the break, a man in border patrol custody was held for three weeks while his family and lawyers had no idea where he was or if he was even alive. KPBS reporter max with Lynn Adler has an exclusive look at how one man became lost in our overloaded immigration system.

Speaker 2: 00:50 The 39 year old man had come to the United States with his parents from Mexico when he was just seven and took a voluntary departure from the U S nine years ago. He started a family and [inaudible], but what he began to be threatened by cartel members, he crossed back into the U S to claim asylum. We're withholding his name because of the threats he and his family have received in Mexico. He says he was held at the Chula Vista border patrol station for almost three weeks without being able to call his family or a lawyer.

Speaker 3: 01:18 Well, I never thought it was going to be that long. I told him, I was telling him about, Hey, let me make a call because my parents are over. Everybody's going to be worried because that was like two weeks as passed by already.

Speaker 2: 01:27 KPBS spoke with the asylum seeker at the OTI Mesa detention center where he's now being held while he was at the border patrol station. His family didn't know where he was or whether he had been deported to Mexico or whether he was even alive in a statement to KPBS customs and border protection said that the agency is under no obligation to notify family or counsel when someone is in their custody. He says he's not the only one at the border patrol station who was being held for weeks with no one knowing where he was. Max, Revlon Adler, KPBS news

Speaker 1: 01:58 embattled Congressman Duncan Hunter appeared in federal court again Monday. KPBS reporter Prius Schreder has more Republican representative Dunkin Hunter had another court date Monday and his federal corruption trial this time. It was for a motion hearing to decide whether or not Paul thinks a well known former prosecutor in San Diego could serve as his trial lawyer. A judge delayed that decision until December 3rd Hunter is scheduled to stay on trial in January on charges that he used more than $250,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses after court. Hunter defended president Trump's involvement in the case of Eddie Gallagher, the Navy seal, who had been accused of war crimes.

Speaker 4: 02:40 When the president says that Eddie Gallagher will retire with his Trident with all the honors that he's earned in the Navy, that sends a pretty clear message that no retaliatory act by the Navy against chief Gallagher is going to be accepted by the president. Hunter

Speaker 1: 02:56 is pleaded not guilty to all counts. In his case, Priya Sri, they're K PBS news. The fallout continues after the secretary of the Navy was asked to step down over the case of San Diego seal Edward Gallagher KPV as military reporter Steve Walsh says, others seals still await their fate.

Speaker 5: 03:15 The secretary of defense appears to have ended a standoff over whether Gallagher would be ousted from the seals, but Gallagher is a leadership could still be caught up. In the case of Jeremiah Sullivan is the attorney for one of the other seals involved. Lieutenant Jacob Portier. They're going to get their pound of flesh out of a chief Gallagher and the other folks who are involved in this case, including the Tena Portiere president has spoken. I mean, let's get back to business. Portier was charged with covering up the 2017 incident that led to the one charge where a military jury convicted Gallagher posing with a corpse. The Navy is also looking at whether to house their commander, Lieutenant commander Robert Brice and Lieutenant Thomas McNeil. McNeil was one of seven seals who testified against Gallagher. 40 year has resigned from the Navy, but he still wants to keep his Trident. Steve Walsh. KPBS news

Speaker 1: 04:05 during this falls planned fire related power outages, many sick and disabled California's. We're scrambling to find ways to keep medications, refrigerated and medical devices turned on Capitol public radio, semiK reports. Stuart Fife lives in [inaudible]

Speaker 6: 04:21 small town called Oregon house in the Sierra foothills CPAP machine that had a couple of heart attacks when the power went off there in October. He says, PG&E came to his doorstep, Jami, Oh, we're going to shut the power off and your, your occupants blind might be interrupted. He didn't have a generator or a battery powered C-PAP, so he just hoped the device would last. A lot of Californians did the same thing. Some health groups want to ensure patient safety during future emergencies. The health plan of San Joaquin, which serves Medi-Cal patients in San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties now keeps a list of enrollees prescriptions and medical devices. CEO Amy shin says staff can talk people through problems like how many hours their insulin will keep without refrigeration and what to do if it expires.

Speaker 7: 05:05 And we would be able to make sure that even if they weren't due for a refill, they can go get a refrigerator, one from their nearest pharmacy.

Speaker 6: 05:13 Earlier this month, the state launched a phone line to help residents find health services during a shutoff in Sacramento. I'm Sammy Kayla.

Speaker 1: 05:20 The Thanksgiving feast is just around the corner and a lot of those uneaten leftovers will turn to food waste KPBS. As Donald Bloodworth tells us how to combat this environmental, social and economic problem. This holiday season,

Speaker 8: 05:36 food is the single largest item disposed of in landfills releasing the highly potent greenhouse gas. Methane in the process, each person throws out an average of 20 pounds per month. On top of that, the average family will spend $1,500 per year on food waste. The San Diego hunger coalition says food insecurity affects one in seven San Diegans Ian Monahan. From I love a clean San Diego gave key PBS midday edition. Some tips to help reduce food waste this holiday season, doing sort of a buffet style Thanksgiving with smaller plates, people will come back for seconds if they want them, but not overload on food that they can't eat from the beginning. Monahan says, planning to use leftovers reduces food waste and eating more vegetables as opposed to meat means the food can be composted, producing less. Methane. Donald Bloodworth KPBS news

Speaker 1: 06:27 hospitals and the technology inside them are increasingly vulnerable to hackers. KPBS science and technology. Reporter Shalina Jelani says, federal regulators are welcoming some hacks to learn how to keep patients safe.

Speaker 9: 06:42 Eight years ago, Marie Moe woke up on the floor. The Norwegian cybersecurity researcher had suddenly passed out and turned out that it was my heart that I've taken a break. Most heart wasn't getting enough oxygen, so she needed a pacemaker to keep her heart going at the right rate. Very quickly, her cybersecurity senses kicked in. Can my heart be connected to the internet? And I wanted to know how is this implemented? Is it secure? Turns out her pacemaker was connected to the internet, so Moe asked her graduate students to investigate. She was surprised at how easy it was to buy a number of used pacemakers online and take them apart. Mo also bought a peacemaker programmer for just $500 off of eBay, the same programmer that the it's used in hospitals T to change the setting of my pacemaker. A programmer can change pacemaker settings, the ones that determine whether her heart beats at the right rate, a hacker with the right skills would be able to access those settings.

Speaker 9: 07:47 Now, the problem isn't really that individual medical devices can be hacked. It's that entire medical systems are at risk. In fact, in 20 1716 hospitals in the United Kingdom were temporarily shut down due to a ransomware attack. A hacker had infected computer systems with the virus and demanded payment to remove it, but most says cyber threats and hospitals and for the technologies inside them can still seem theoretical. Industry data shows hospitals spend just around 5% of their it budgets on cybersecurity. That's why Mo is just one of many cyber experts trying to raise awareness closer either. Okay, let's jump on the chest please. Okay. This patient has just rolled into a UC San Diego campus emergency room. His heart has stopped and dr Rob wool, Naynay's instructor colleagues who administer a shock.

Speaker 9: 08:41 Don't be alarmed. This patient is fine because, well he's a talking dummy. Naynay is a real doctor, but right now he's just acting because this isn't an emergency room. It's a simulation at UC San Diego simulation training center and these doctors and actors are recreating is a ransomware attack. A patient's health hangs in the balance and people downstairs are watching in an auditorium and we imagined what would happen if you were in a hospital and you needed to take care of someone who had a heart attack or someone who had a stroke but you couldn't access the very technologies that you rely on on a regular basis. This scene is part of the cyber med conference. Jeff tele, who's both a doctor and a hacker is one of the organizers. He says he hopes to show the real impacts of a potential cyber event to medical and government leaders.

Speaker 9: 09:27 So this is something that we found is very much visceral and very tangible and lets people who were previously sort of removed from the bedside understand that this could have those types of implications in the real world. This willingness amongst cyber experts to collaborate is something the federal drug administration has noticed. FDA very much believes in the idea of bringing the community together. That's Suzanne Schwartz with the FDA's office of strategic partnerships. The FDA is responsible for clearing and approving consumer medical devices. Over the last five years. It's partnered up with hackers and cybersecurity researchers, the FDA, even organizers, so called we heart hackers challenge this year where Schwartz said manufacturers volunteered over 40 devices to be hacked. It created a sense of safe space for the manufacturers who otherwise may be reluctant to participate in something like this and the researchers with a government presence as well. At the 2019 DEFCON hacking conference in August, hackers attacked real medical devices at a pretend hospital. Plenty of, um, uh, hospital representatives really got a lot out of seeing the interactions that were happening within this device hacking lab. The FDA also shares lessons learned with the department of Homeland security. Short says, ensuring patient safety requires collaboration, not just among regulators, but also with experts who can show where those vulnerabilities may lie. Shalina Celani KPBS news.

Speaker 1: 10:57 Aaron's Dar kept a secret for 25 years. What was it? He almost became a mass shooter on a Facebook post a year ago. He let the world know the dark thoughts he once had. Now together with a local filmmaker, Johnny Santana, they're spreading the message that there is hope within everyone. They spoke with KPB as evening edition, anchor Maya, triple Z. Well,

Speaker 10: 11:20 welcome gentlemen. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you. Ravenous. Let's start from how this story came to be told. And so the day after the Stoneman Douglas disaster last year, that terrible massacre, um, I was having a tearful discussion with my wife and my oldest daughter about how could someone ever get to that point and how could you ever feel like you wanted to hurt that many people? And sadly, I do know how that feels. So I went to the back of the house and I wrote a simple Facebook post and in it I just said I was almost a school shooter and I laid out a brief synopsis of my story and by the next morning that had caught Facebook viral and it had a couple of hundred thousand likes and shares. And so my wife said, well, maybe someone else might want to hear this. And so I sold it to the local NBC affiliate in Denver and that video just blew up, got like 17 million views, take us back there to the boy who was in so much pain.

Speaker 10: 12:21 So I grew up in a really, really violent household. I described my first couple of years of life, like living in a Stephen King movie. I was constantly the new kid, constantly getting bullied and picked on every school I went to, there's a new set of bullies and I was fat. I was smelly, I read comic books, I was sensitive and I started to adapt that, that I'm the monster. I am the broken one. I've been screaming out my entire life and nobody heard me. I F I felt my whole life. Like if I walked out of a room, people would forget that I was there and I was going to make them hear me now. So I, all those plans that I had talked with my friends, all that fantasy that just crystallized, I know exactly what I'm going to do. I'm either going to go to my school and I'm going to go to the food court at the mall.

Speaker 10: 13:02 And the only difference that is the time of the day, and I knew I'd to get a gun cause there was gang bangers that went to my school. So I went up to him like, Hey, can you get me a gun? He was like, yeah, sure, get me an ounce of weed. And again, mid nineties like $500 worth of of drugs. So that was actually pretty easy. I went to my mom's house, stolen now to drugs off the guy sleeping on my mom's floor, went to him and said, here you go. Like, all right, give me three days. I'll get you a gun. Your friend got to you before you got to the gun? Yes, yes, and and got to me by the simplest, most human acts by doing exactly what I just talked about by not by not treating me like I was broken by like, dude, you're all right.

Speaker 10: 13:38 Sit down and have a meal. You're okay. Watch this movie with, what do you want to do today? We just have to let people know that they're okay. Do you think that people knowing that they're okay would have stopped the number of shootings that we're seeing? I think it would have at least stopped some and like I said, even one's enough. I never ended up going to get the gun. I stayed at Mike's house the rest of that weekend and spent time with people who love me. Let me ask you this question, Johnny. You had 150 volunteer teenage actors simulating a school shooting. What kind of feedback did you get during that shooting process? The,

Speaker 11: 14:14 what's happened after every single film set that we do, since these people are so young, they come to me and they tell me about their experience at school and how when they're at school and they hear a door shut loudly, they're scared that a shooting might occur or that they pray in their car if their parents before they enter. And so everybody on set felt very empowered and good that they're working towards sharing a story and message of compassion and love for people.

Speaker 10: 14:36 So you feel that the people who are trying to reach are reachable? Yeah. Oh, I'm saying everybody is reaching, they're here. There's, there's a very small section there's going to follow through with the attacks. Okay. [inaudible] actually gonna follow through with it. Very, very amount of people that are

Speaker 11: 14:52 going to do that. There's a huge amount of people who are in that gray area, in that depressive spot that could, that think that they might that think that maybe they should. There's a big amount of people in that area and those are the ones that we can reach up until the minute you pull that trigger. You can be reached in a world that's suffering. Any voice of hope is a beautiful thing, and that's right. That's what makes me feel good when I wake up in the morning knowing that we all worked on this project. I'm sure it's what makes Aaron feel good. Any voice of hope is a great thing in today's world because it's a lot of people suffering. I really appreciate it. Thank you for having us.

Speaker 1: 15:24 Aaron Stark and Johnny Santana were in San Diego last week for a showing of the film, just another Tuesday at the museum of photographic arts. Thanks for listening to San Diego news matters. Do us a favor, and if you appreciate the podcast rate or review us on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Thank you.

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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.