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The latest headlines.


(Soundbite of music)

MATT MARTINEZ: Thank you, Rachel. More than 800 wildfires are burning in northern California. Now firefighters from neighboring states have been called in to help. The fires were started by what is being called an unprecedented lightning storm over the weekend. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says he was startled when he heard how many wildfires were sparked by the storm.

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Governor ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (Republican, California): I have been governor now for more than four years. I've never heard that number before, so it was quite shocking to me.

MARTINEZ: At least one of the now 842 fires is mostly contained. Another in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest is coming close to about 1200 homes. In Afghanistan, a NATO airstrike killed more than a dozen Taliban fighters early today. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson has more from Kabul.

SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON: The airstrikes came as the militants fled into the mountains, following a predawn raid on a town in eastern Paktia Province. An Afghan official says police captured three militants who were injured in the strikes. He says the men were Arabs who had crossed into Afghanistan from neighboring Pakistan. The airstrikes were among several battles between Western and Afghan forces and the Taliban in recent days in eastern Afghanistan.

That fighting, which left some 55 militants dead, was sparked by a Taliban ambush on coalition troops on patrol. Afghan officials say nearby at least two civilians were killed, including a four-year-old boy, when a coalition helicopter attacked several men trying to lay a roadside bomb. Afghan and U.S. officials blame the surge in violence here on efforts by the new Pakistani government to make peace with militants on its side of the mountainous frontier.

MARTINEZ: NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson in Kabul. Divers entered a capsized ferry in the Philippines and found bodies, no survivors. More than 800 people were on the ship when the typhoon hit, leaving only 31 survivors who made it to shore. Only a handful of deaths have been confirmed so far.

Last week we brought you a story about a group of high-school girls in Gloucester, Massachusetts, who made a pact to get pregnant at the same time, so they could raise their children together. Joseph Sullivan, the principal of Gloucester High School, first told Time Magazine about the pact. Now the mayor of the town says no such thing existed. Mayor Carolyn Kirk held a closed-door meeting with city, school and health leaders about the girls, and the principal wasn't invited.

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Mayor CAROLYN KIRK (Gloucester, Massachusetts): I wasn't comfortable with having the principal here because I haven't been able to get verification on his statements from any other source.

MARTINEZ: Kirk says Joseph Sullivan is now foggy in his memory as to how he first heard of the so-called pregnancy pact, but at least 17 Gloucester High School girls under 16 are pregnant. Well, that's the news for now. It's always online at

WOLFF: This is NPR.

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