Firefighter To Testify At Sotomayor Hearing : The Two-Way Sotomayor hearing to have testimony from firefighter Frank Ricci. Bank of America operating under secret sanctions. California home prices may have hit bottom. Hillary Rodham Clinton fights for her turf. CIA assassination plan was entering "new ph...

Firefighter To Testify At Sotomayor Hearing

Good morning.

It's Day Four of the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor. Members of the committee are expected to wrap up their questioning of the nominee and then turn to taking testimony from witnesses.

On Morning Edition, NPR's Nina Totenberg wrapped up the news so far:

And, reporter Craig LeMoult of NPR member station WSHU previewed the appearance of New Haven firefighter Frank Ricci, the lead plaintiff in a controversial reverse discrimination case that came before Sotomayor's appeals court. His report is introduced by NPR's Carol Van Dam:

The confirmation hearing resumes at 9:30 a.m. ET. If you want to follow it in real time,, courtesy of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, is streaming the proceedings. Click here for that. So are the Judiciary Committee itself, C-SPAN and just about every other major news media outlet with a website.

We're following the hearing -- live-blogging as warranted.'s complete coverage is collected here.

Both Morning Edition and All Things Considered will be on top of the story as well, and NPR is broadcasting a one-hour recap of the day's events on most member stations each evening as the hearing continues. Click here to find an NPR station near you.

As for some of the day's other top stories, they include:

-- The Associated Press -- JP Morgan Chase Beats Earnings Estimates: "European stock markets rose modestly Thursday after U.S. bank JP Morgan Chase & Co. reported forecast-busting second-quarter earnings -- another sign that the U.S. financial sector is on the recovery trail despite worries about a potential bankruptcy filing by commercial lender CIT Group Inc." The company reported net income of $2.7 billion in the second quarter.

-- The Wall Street Journal -- "Secret Regulatory Sanction" For Bank Of America: "Bank of America Corp. is operating under a secret regulatory sanction that requires it to overhaul its board and address perceived problems with risk and liquidity management, according to people familiar with the situation. Rarely disclosed publicly, the so-called memorandum of understanding gives banks a chance to work out their problems without the glare of outside attention. Financial institutions that fail to address deficiencies can be slapped with harsher penalties that include a publicly announced cease-and-desist order."

-- Los Angeles Times -- While Foreclosures Soar Nationally, Home Prices Surge In S. California: The Associated Press reports that "the number of U.S. households on the verge of losing their homes soared by nearly 15% in the first half of
the year," according to a report issued today by RealtyTrac Inc. But the Times writes that "Southern California home prices may have finally hit bottom, with median values rising last month for the first significant increase in two years, new data show. Along with the 6.4% rise in prices from May, fewer than half of the sales were foreclosures -- the first time that has happened in nine months."

-- Morning Edition -- "Clinton Emerges, Reasserting Her Diplomatic Stature". NPR's Michele Kelemen reports on the return to the limelight of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton:

Related story in The New York Times: "For Clinton, '09 Campaign Is For Her Turf."

-- The Washington Post -- "CIA Assassin Program Was Nearing New Phase": "CIA officials were proposing to activate a plan to train anti-terrorist assassination teams overseas when agency managers brought the secret program to the attention of CIA Director Leon Panetta last month, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the matter. The plan to kill top al-Qaeda leaders, which had been on the agency's back burner for much of the past eight years, was suddenly thrust into the spotlight because of proposals to initiate what one intelligence official called a "somewhat more operational phase." Shortly after learning of the plan, Panetta terminated the program and then went to Capitol Hill to brief lawmakers, who had been kept in the dark since 2001."