Top Of The News

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The latest headlines.


Welcome back to the Bryant Park Project from NPR News. We're on digital FM, Sirius Satellite Radio, online at, also on life support. I'm Mike Pesca. Coming up, New Music Tuesday. But first, let's get the latest news headlines from the BPP's old reliable, Mark Garrison.


(Soundbite of music)

MARK GARRISON: Thanks, Mike. Israel is making a deal with Hezbollah. The Israeli cabinet finalized a prisoner exchange today. The trade is set to take place tomorrow. Israel will give up five prisoners. Hezbollah returns two missing Israeli soldiers. Israel believes both soldiers are dead.

As California burns, the wildfires are setting a state record. This year's flames have burned the most land in history, and they're still going. Bob Hensley of member station KXJZ has more.

BOB HENSLEY: So far this season, more than 1,700 wild fires have scorched a total of 830,000 acres. A hundred homes have been destroyed, and at least one civilian killed. CAL FIRE spokesman Janet Upton says the burned acreage is more than just a record.

Ms. JANET UPTON (Public Information Officer, CAL FIRE): This is much more than a typical, furious wildfire season in California. This is really a natural disaster.

HENSLEY: Officials are quick to point out that the wildfire season is far from over. The state has already spent tens of millions of dollars battling the blazes. They are currently less than 300 fires burning in the state. It will likely be another couple of weeks before they're all extinguished.

GARRISON: Bob Hensley of member station KXJZ reporting. In Washington D.C., the city council is scrambling to comply with the Supreme Court ruling striking down its handgun ban. The new law will allow handguns if they hold fewer than 12 bullets. They'll vote on that today.

The NAACP convention hosted its first black presidential nominee. Senator Barack Obama spoke at the meeting in Ohio. NPR's Audie Cornish has more from Cincinnati.

AUDIE CORNISH: In his speech, Senator Barack Obama said he would not back down from talking about issues of personal responsibility in the black community.

(Soundbite of speech)

Senator BARACK OBAMA (Democrat, Illinois; 2008 Presumptive Democratic Presidential Nominee): I know there's some who've been saying that I've been too tough talking about responsibility. NAACP, I'm here to report, I'm not going to stop talking about it.

CORNISH: Obama sprinkled the rest of his address with references to civil rights activists and the legacy of the movement. Obama said there was still more work to do when it comes to realizing the dreams of that generation.

GARRISON: NPR's Audie Cornish reporting from Cincinnati. Republican candidate, Senator John McCain, will speak at the convention tomorrow. That is your news for now. Plenty more online at

WOLFF: This is NPR.

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