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BILL WOLFF: This is NPR.
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MATT MARTINEZ: Thanks, Rachel, and good morning, everyone. It's been almost 70 years since the Supreme Court ruled on the meaning of the Second Amendment. Today, gun rights activists and those in law enforcement are anxiously awaiting a Supreme Court decision defining the constitutional right to bear arms. NPR's Nina Totenberg reports.
NINA TOTENBERG: For most of the last century, the courts have indicated that the right to bear arms is a collective right associated with state militias and military service, not a personal right. But last year, a federal appeals court here in Washington invalidated the city's ban on handguns, saying that it violated the individual right to bear arms guaranteed in the constitution. The city appealed, backed by law enforcement and, to a large extent, the Bush administration.
At oral argument in March, a majority of the justices seemed to indicate that they believe the Second Amendment guarantees a personal right. The tougher question seemed to be how much leeway to give federal, state and local governments to regulate that right. Would a ban on assault weapons or machine guns be OK in the name of public safety, for example? Or how about a ban on guns in schools, or on busses, or in bars or stadiums?
MARTINEZ: NPR's Nina Totenberg reporting. North Korea handed over a declaration of its nuclear program to China, a move welcomed by the United States. The announcement was made today by China's chief envoy to six-nation talks on ending the North Korean nuclear program. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said earlier this week that once North Korea provided accounting for its program, steps would be taken to remove the country from a U.S. blacklist of state sponsors of terrorism.
Hillary Clinton will introduce Barack Obama to her top fundraisers today. The two are meeting in Washington. Earlier this week, Obama asked some of his donors to help Clinton pay down some of her campaign debt. Clinton will campaign for Obama tomorrow. They'll be in the town of Unity, New Hampshire.
An estimated 800 lightning-sparked fires continue to burn in California. The fires range from the Central Valley to the California-Oregon border. CAL FIRE, the state department of forestry and fire prevention, estimates 104,000 acres are burning. From member station KZYX, Christina Aanestad reports.
CHRISTINA AANESTAD: National Guard troops from Arizona, Oregon and Nevada are providing air support to help battle the fires. In Mendocino County, where 20,000 acres are burning, evacuation warnings are in effect for several communities. CAL FIRE reports more than 800 firefighting personnel are in the area, but officials say more support is needed. They are requesting federal assistance, due to the state's strapped resources. The estimated cost is at 3.1 million dollars for Mendocino County. In neighboring Lake County, an estimated 14,000 acres are burning, and in Humboldt County, more than 700 acres are on fire. Meanwhile, matters could worsen as more thunderstorms are forecast for Trinity and Siskiyou Counties this weekend.
MARTINEZ: That's Christina Aanestad reporting, and that is the news for now. It's online all the time at npr.org.
WOLFF: This is NPR.
MARTINEZ: Mike and Rachel, back to you.
RACHEL MARTIN, host:
Thank you, sir.
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