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News Brief: Democratic Debates, Gilroy Shooting, Data Breach


Democratic presidential primary voters face at least two big questions - one is who they think can win in 2020; another is what each candidate would do if elected.


And tonight, the country sees a range of possible choices here. This debate, like the last one, features 20 candidates who will be divided across two nights. And by chance, the first night in Detroit features all white candidates. But there is some diversity of ideas. Two of the more progressive candidates are at center stage - Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders; toward the edges are more moderate figures like Colorado's John Hickenlooper.

INSKEEP: NPR lead political editor Domenico Montanaro will be in Detroit tonight. Domenico, good morning.


INSKEEP: How clear is it at this early stage what the party will stand for next fall?

MONTANARO: Well, you know, in this Debate 1, I mean, certainly, you have, when you look at that center stage, which is organized by polling and the people who are on top in the polls, you've got a socialist, or a democratic socialist, in Bernie Sanders and someone who wants to make pretty radical economic reforms in Elizabeth Warren. And the two of them have not shown that they really want to be going after each other very much.

And, you know, you noted the fact that this is going to be an all-white stage, and even though it's the most diverse in presidential history, all the candidates of color are on Night 2, and it's going to be interesting to see how issues, for example, of race might come up.

INSKEEP: Yeah, and we're certainly going to have an opportunity to find that out. Let me ask about those two central candidates. They might be questioned from the edges. You might hear a question from the likes of Tim Ryan or John Hickenlooper, who have a very different approach, or say they have a very different approach, to the economy and other issues. But what's the difference, if any, between those top two in tonight's group - Sanders and Warren?

MONTANARO: Well, and these are two progressive heroes. And you've seen Elizabeth Warren gain on Senator Sanders in the polls. But when I talked to the Sanders campaign and when our reporters have done so as well, you know, the Sanders camp's pretty clear that Sanders is not going to go after Warren. He sees her as an ally in implementing progressive change.

But, again, they are competing for the same job, and at some point, they might have to draw distinctions if it comes down to the two of them. Sanders points to his friendship with her and working together. There was a funny moment on CNN when Sanders was asked a week ago to say something nice about her, and here was his response.


BERNIE SANDERS: Senator Warren is a friend of mine, and I admire the fact that we have worked together over the years on a number of issues.

POPPY HARLOW: Anything specific?

SANDERS: Well, look - we have worked together on a number of issues.

HARLOW: (Laughter).

SANDERS: And she is a very good senator.

INSKEEP: OK, keeping it vague.

MONTANARO: (Laughter).

INSKEEP: But when you look at the things that they say that they would do if elected, are there some differences?

MONTANARO: There are. I mean, he's not someone who likes to concede any ground and would rather talk about big issues than about feelings. But when you do dig inside some of the issues on them and just how far they would want to go in reshaping the country, Warren wants big structural change, but not socialism. She calls herself a capitalist.

And on one area that hasn't been touched on much in this campaign, foreign policy, there are some big differences. Warren talks about how the defense industry, for example, should have a seat at the table but not own the table. Sanders, on the other hand, has longtime misgivings about American foreign policy - said that he would leverage aid, for example, recently, against Israel, calling it an extreme right-wing government with many racist tendencies.

INSKEEP: Let me ask one other thing. You mentioned race. You mentioned the lack of diversity by chance in tonight's group. But race is not just an issue for people of color; it's an issue for white people and especially at this moment. Can you see ways that it would come up?

MONTANARO: Well, it's certainly an opportunity for them to show unity against President Trump because that has been something that has come up with this president. And remember - Pete Buttigieg has had to answer for his record in South Bend as mayor in Debate 1, and it could be interesting to see if a question of that comes back up tonight.

INSKEEP: Domenico, thanks so much.

MONTANARO: You're welcome.

INSKEEP: That's NPR's Domenico Montanaro.


INSKEEP: Once it is fired, a bullet does not discriminate. And when a gunman fired many bullets in Gilroy, Calif., some killed children.

GREENE: Yeah, victims of last weekend's mass shooting there included a 6-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl. Gilroy's police chief Scot Smithee was speaking about the victims yesterday.


SCOT SMITHEE: Anytime a life is lost, it's a tragedy, but when it's young people, it's even worse. And, you know, it's just - it's very difficult.

INSKEEP: That's the police chief yesterday. On this morning, NPR's Leila Fadel is on the line. She's been in Gilroy. Leila, good morning.

LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: Good morning.

INSKEEP: What have you been seeing and hearing?

FADEL: Well, last night, the last thing I did was attend a vigil where people gathered in the hundreds to share in their shock and their pain but also share in each other's strengths in the face of this tragedy. Leaders and community members vowed not to allow their town and this festival to be defined by violence. Here's Gilroy Mayor Roland Velasco.


ROLAND VELASCO: There will be a day when we start to heal and start to move on with our lives. And the reason for that is because we cannot let the bastard that did this tear us down.


FADEL: Now, this really hit close to home for people because this festival has been going on for some 40 years. Everybody volunteers in town. They go for music, for fun. And so there were a lot of what-ifs - what if I hadn't run fast enough? What if I had been there in that moment? And a lot of the survivors that I spoke to who ran when they heard bullets were young, like the people killed.

INSKEEP: Leila, I've got to ask you - personally, you've covered a number of mass shootings, including the nation's worst mass shooting. And when I listen to the mayor's words there, they were appropriate, but they almost seem formulaic at this point, almost like a script because we have witnessed so many mass shootings.

FADEL: Yeah.

INSKEEP: What went through your mind as you listened to those words again?

FADEL: Unfortunately, that's true. There is sort of this tragic routine to some of these mass shootings, but there was an insistence last night that this is not normal. And even though a lot of the people I was speaking to were saying, I feel numb, I've seen this on TV, and now it's happening here, there is still a lot of people saying, we can't let this be normal.

INSKEEP: What is known about some of the victims?

FADEL: Well, you know, we're still learning. One was a man in his 20s. Two were children, as you mentioned - a 13-year-old girl named Keyla Salazar from San Jose and another little boy, just 6 years old. We've seen his picture - Stephen Romero. He was killed, and his mother and grandmother were both shot and injured.

INSKEEP: And what about the suspect, the one person who was killed barely less than a minute into the shooting?

FADEL: Right. He was engaged by police less than a minute into the shooting. And the one thing that wasn't mentioned during this vigil was the shooter's name. People don't want to talk about him, to name him, to give him a platform. But they did identify him, the police. And he's a 19-year-old from Gilroy, bought his gun in neighboring Nevada, where gun laws are less restrictive than California.

Police are still investigating what might have motivated him. And there is speculation that what might have driven the shooter was based on a post on Instagram. That still hasn't been confirmed. He referenced a white power manifesto from a 19th century author.

INSKEEP: And, of course, we'll mention it's early, and you'll learn more about these things as we go, and all facts are almost provisional at this point because it is early in the investigation. Leila, thanks so much.

FADEL: Thank you.

INSKEEP: That's NPR's Leila Fadel.


INSKEEP: Some other news now - Capital One is dealing with one of the largest ever data breaches to hit a major American bank.

GREENE: That's right. The company is saying this breach affects more than 100 million people in the United States and also Canada. A hacker obtained customer names, addresses, credit scores and in some cases also Social Security and bank account numbers. Investigators arrested a Seattle woman who they say is behind this hack.

INSKEEP: Before talking about this more, we'll note that Capital One has been an NPR sponsor. Washington Post reporter Devlin Barrett has been following the story. He's in our studios. Good morning.

DEVLIN BARRETT: Good morning.

INSKEEP: This sounds like some pretty significant information that was stolen.

BARRETT: Yeah, it's one of the biggest hacks to ever hit a financial services firm. You're talking about 100 million accounts, 100 million individuals in the U.S., another 6 million in Canada. And what they got was the credit card applications, and there's a good side and a bad side to that. The good side is, for most of those individuals, the Social Security numbers were obscured.


BARRETT: So the hacker couldn't access that. But some were viewable and accessible to the hacker.

INSKEEP: Yeah, but when you say most of the individuals are protected - 100 million people - there must be millions who weren't protected, right?

BARRETT: Well, there's tens of thousands who weren't.

INSKEEP: Thousands, OK - tens of thousands, all right.

BARRETT: And there was also tens of thousands whose bank account numbers were exposed as a result of this hack.

INSKEEP: Does this mean that whoever got this could potentially have used that information to get their own credit card in somebody else's name, fake somebody's identity - any number of things?

BARRETT: Certainly, it had a huge potential for exploitation in terms of identity theft, yes, absolutely.

INSKEEP: Now, what is known about the suspect here?

BARRETT: So we know that she is a computer programmer, a software engineer, who had worked at a cloud computing company. And that seems to be one of the key technical issues here, that she was able to apply her expertise and understanding of how Capital One used cloud computing and basically found a weakness in a firewall and could access all this stuff.

INSKEEP: Should we just explain for people - cloud computing means that Capital One is, like, shipping all of its data off-site; it's in data farms somewhere out in the Internet, and this woman found a way into it.

BARRETT: Right. Like a lot of companies, you pay someone else to basically store your large amounts of data, and that is, you know, profitable usually on both ends of that equation. The challenge obviously is that you're giving your sensitive data to someplace else. And so she seems to have figured out that there was a flaw in the firewall.

INSKEEP: It seems unusual that the suspect in a hack like this is identified so directly and so quickly.

BARRETT: Yes. One of the strange quirks of this case is that, according to the FBI, she was uncovered because she was basically bragging in a chat group about what she had done, and one of the other people in that conversation alerted Capital One.

INSKEEP: Wow. So if she had been more discreet, she might still be doing this?

BARRETT: Yeah. I mean, look - if you believe the allegations, one of the lessons here is do not brag about your crimes in online chats. That's a bad idea.

INSKEEP: OK, good to know. And maybe even, don't do the crime, would be another lesson.

BARRETT: Another one.

INSKEEP: But if you're going to do the crime, might want to avoid bragging. Does Capital One have anything to say about all of this?

BARRETT: Yeah, so the CEO issued an apology when they announced this. They're, you know, trying to work out credit monitoring and some other things to try and make their customers feel a little more secure about this. They really emphasize that, you know, very few Social Security numbers out of the large mass of individuals affected were taken.

INSKEEP: OK. Devlin, thanks so much for coming by.

BARRETT: Thanks for having me.

INSKEEP: That's Devlin Barrett of The Washington Post.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRAMPIQUE'S "EARTH") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Steve Inskeep
Steve Inskeep is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.
David Greene
David Greene is an award-winning journalist and New York Times best-selling author. He is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, the most listened-to radio news program in the United States, and also of NPR's popular morning news podcast, Up First.