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Suspected Poway Synagogue Shooter Unleashed Anti-Semitic Diatribe In 911 Call And More Local News

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In a 911 tape played in court Thursday, suspected Chabad of Poway shooter told police he committed the shooting because the Jewish people were destroying the white race. Plus, 44 of federal acres in San Diego County will be set aside for border wall construction. It would mark the first newly built section of border wall in the county. And, prosecutors say they plan to try a military veteran with PTSD a second time for making phone threats to his VA medical provider. The jury deadlocked in the first trial. Also, in today’s #CoveringClimateNow, reporter and researcher Todd Miller talks about how climate change has led to increased migration across the globe in his new book, “Empire of Borders.”

Show transcript

Speaker 1: 00:00 It's Friday, September 20th I'm Deb Welsh and you're listening to San Diego news matters from KPBS coming up. This suspected Poway synagogue shooter will be back in court for a second day and climate change has led to increased migration across the globe. That and more San Diego news stories coming up right after the break.

Speaker 2: 00:29 [inaudible]

Speaker 3: 00:33 thank you for joining us for San Diego News Matters. I'm Deb Welsh. The man accused of killing one woman and injuring three others at a synagogue in Poway appeared at a preliminary hearing at Superior Court. Thursday. KPB has reporter Prius rather has the story. 20 year old John t Ernest faces more than a hundred charges and the death penalty if convicted of killing 60 year old Lori Kay and injuring three others at the Habod of Poway in April. It was an emotionally charged day as those in the courtroom heard from several witnesses and saw a video from the synagogue's security cameras showing the shooting. The prosecution also played nine one one recordings from a caller who identified himself as earnest and took responsibility for the shooting. The caller said he was defending his country against Jewish people. Upon hearing this, some congregants of the synagogue who were in the courtroom broke down in tears. At that point. Earnest sitting at the defense table turned around and gave the crying spectators the hang loose sign. The hearing is expected to conclude Friday. Prius are either k PBS news. The US Department of the Interior has announced that it'll transfer over 500 acres of federal lands to the army to build roughly 70 miles of border barriers. KPBS reporter Max Rivlin Adler tells us that over 40 of those acres are in San Diego County.

Speaker 4: 01:59 The announcement by the Department of the interior comes after a presidential proclamation this February that declared a national emergency along the border. The agreement between the Interior Department and the army says that 44 acres will be set aside for border wall construction. This area in San Diego County lies directly south of Oti Mountain, close to where president Trump visited a reconstructed border fence on Wednesday. The agreement gives the army three years to build in the area. If completed, it would mark the first newly built section of border wall in San Diego County under the Trump administration, Max Woodland Adler KPBS News,

Speaker 3: 02:34 the joy ds resolution scientific research vessel is at port in downtown San Diego. It's the first time it's been back to the United States in a decade. KPBS science and technology reporter Shalina Jelani went onboard to check it out.

Speaker 1: 02:50 Hilly ontologist. Richard Norris at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography takes out a core or the tube where mud and dirt can be squeezed up into and puts it into different drill bits. This

Speaker 5: 03:01 comes out, this guy goes in

Speaker 1: 03:05 the vessel, has used these drills to gather and study sea floor sediments with ages old geological material from over 100 sites

Speaker 5: 03:13 around the world. You know, we really don't know what the limits of life are. How deep can it go? How hot can it go?

Speaker 1: 03:20 The ship is headed for the Guaymas basin in the Gulf of California. Nora says, the area with its volcanic activity is one of the more extreme places on earth. Shalina Celani KPBS news

Speaker 3: 03:32 this week. Media organizations across the world including KPBS are telling stories about climate change. We've been hearing from young people today. We'll hear from 12 year old Sadie as Boudreau who lives in spring valley about whether he blames his parents for climate change.

Speaker 1: 03:49 I don't blame them because other bad stuff is getting done to the earth. Why people are dumping trash into the waters and people are killing animals and all the walls fall. All the wildfires and the forest and stuff like down is killing the environment and the ecosystem. Sometimes people don't have the resources and stuff like other people would do and so maybe that's what they have to do to survive or like stay breathing.

Speaker 3: 04:14 That interview was produced by reporter Claire Guesser to see all our climate change stories go to kpbs.org/climate change. A vet with PTSD may spend a year in jail awaiting trial. KPB As military reporter Steve Walsh says, prosecutors plan to try Eric Benson a second time for making phone threats.

Speaker 6: 04:35 Eric Benson remains in jail after being arrested in November, charged with two counts of leaving threatening voicemails at the office of his VA funded psychologist, psychologist Cynthia Boyd, who testified for Benson and said she's testified in other cases involving events with PTSD.

Speaker 1: 04:51 Oh, this is the lowest level case I've ever been retained on. I'm usually retained on returning veterans who commit much more serious crimes up to murder

Speaker 6: 05:01 after the jury deadlocked. In his case, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday that they planned to try Benson a second time. Boyd says she believes that he needs to be released into a treatment program. Federal prosecutors refer to back to the judge's order which says Benson remains a threat to himself and others at the moment. His next trial date is set for January 6th Steve Walsh KPBS news.

Speaker 3: 05:24 Brad Pitt faces off against Rambo this weekend at the movies. KPBS film critic Beth Lycomato has this review of Pitt's interstellar film and Astra Ad Astra imagines a near future where corporations in the military have merely extended their reach into the galaxy. Brad Pitt's. Roy McBride is an astronaut with special insight into the Lima project and the commander was,

Speaker 7: 05:47 it was my father, sir. The ship disappeared approximately 16 years into the mission. I, no data is ever recovered. Deep space missions were halted after that.

Speaker 3: 05:57 Ad Astra wants

Speaker 8: 05:58 to be a paranoid existential thriller for our times, but it feels more like a pretentious re-imagining of Joseph Conrad's heart of darkness as an emo father son drama. It's gorgeous to look at with Pitt's gracefully aging face and a magnificently rendered galaxy to swoon over, but it's emotionally hollow and ultimately disappointing. Beth, like Amando KPBS news, Tucson based reporter and researcher Todd Miller writes about how climate change has led to increased migration across the globe. His new book, empire of borders looks at how the United States government has expanded its border security forces well across the globe. In response to this new era of mass displacement, he spoke to KPBS reporter Max Rivlin Adler this week via Skype. So what is the connection in between recent migration from Central America and climate change? I've talked to climate scientists that have been doing modeling in Central America and one scientist told me, cause Central America is the quote Unquote Ground Zero for climate change in the Americas and the way he explained it was that there is a whole swath of territory that goes from Guatemala through Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua that's called the Grotte dry corridor.

Speaker 8: 07:17 And this, this dry corridor is a place where there's been less rain rain that's that farmers can predict. It's so much of a crisis at the World Food Program estimated that 1.4 million people throughout that region of the dry corridor in Central America, we're in like a food crisis. One other thing about the ground zero as a, as a climate scientist explained to me, it's not just the droughts of the, when you think of Central America, Central America has an SMS and on either side of that isthmus are huge bodies of quatre, so gigantic storms including hurricanes have spun off of those oceans and that also has really impacted, especially the coastal areas and with flooding with landslides and mudslides and that sort of thing. It's this combination of either too much rain or no rain at all and that's impacting people. And one of the ways that they, people who respond to that is by migrating north.

Speaker 8: 08:10 Is climate change often specifically cited by the migrants that you interview or is it more of an abstract thing often? It's an abstract. I met a young man from Guatemala right on the US Mexico border about a year ago. And he had walked through the desert and his feet were just ravaged from walking in the desert that are completely blistered. And um, I got to talking with him and he said he was from this area, which is Kinda near the Salvadoran border, which I knew was in, in that area where they're experiencing drought. So I asked him, you know, is there drought in your area? And he's immediately responded and said, yeah, I'm ready. We're right in the dry corridor. He told me the meal pass or the corn plots, right, are where the crops were wilting. He said that his family had some cattle, the cattle were dying skinny, they were dying. Almost always if there's a farmer, if it's a fee, if the person is a farmer, they're like, yeah. You know, in the last few years there has been, the seasons have been scrambling. We haven't been able to rely on the rain. The soil has changed. You know, there's always a huge other great amount of knowledge to what has been happening.

Speaker 4: 09:13 How much has the u s government known about the impact that climate change would have on migration and what steps did it take to prepare? You know, what's interesting,

Speaker 8: 09:21 how aware department of Homeland Security was that climate change and environmental conditions were going to impact people and perhaps be a cause of migration. What do you see in the DHS documents? Is that kind of narrative like for example, the droughts that people are experiencing in Central America? Well, you can see that they discuss the droughts in Central America and how they can impact people and they might be coming north and they say very clearly that they may have to prepare our borders for mass migrations.

Speaker 4: 09:54 You argue in your new book that the u s government prepared for the impact of climate change by functionally moving the border hundreds of miles

Speaker 8: 10:01 south post nine 11. There has been what former customs and border protection commissioner and former DHS assistant secretary Alan Bersin said it has been a massive paradigm change, quote unquote, and that is the pushing out of the border as some of the CBP people call it. It means extending the border or extending what they call the zone of security as far as um, you possibly can and under the reasoning of CDP is of you push. If you push the border out as far as you can, you can stop people that unwanted people or unwanted items from coming to your country. This case, the United States as long as far away from the u s borders as you possibly can.

Speaker 4: 10:49 Todd Miller, thanks so much for speaking with us.

Speaker 8: 10:51 Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

Speaker 3: 10:53 Todd Miller is author of empire of borders, about the security response to a new era of mass displacement and migration. Thanks for listening to San Diego News matters. If you're not already a subscriber, take a minute to become one. You can find San Diego news matters on apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to 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.