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FROM THIS EPISODE

Solitary confinement leads to physical illness, mental issues and suicide. Human rights groups call it a violation of international law.  But in California prisons, hundreds of prisoners have been isolated for a decade or more—and that's the main reason that tens of thousands of fellow-inmates have started refusing food.  We'll update a system-wide action that's been planned for months. Also, Los Angeles was a hub of human diversity from the beginning. We hear about a new exhibit on city history from before the Pueblo up to the present day. 

Image-for-WWLA.jpgOn our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, Edward Snowden may be a fugitive from justice, but he was right about one thing. A secret court has vastly broadened the power of the National Security Agency to spy on Americans if it wants to. How did that happen? Is it making us safer?

Banner image: Felix Barrett/Debra Sweet

Producers:
Katie Cooper
Christian Bordal
Kerry Cavanaugh

Main Topic Can a Hunger Strike Force Changes in State Prisons? 20 MIN, 2 SEC

After months in the planning stage, 30,000 inmates in California prisons began refusing food on Monday in what they hope will come to be recognized by corrections department officials as another full-fledged hunger strike. One of the organizers of this week's action is Todd Ashker, who's recorded voice is on the website of the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity group.  Asker lives in a Security Housing Unit at Pelican Bay up near the Oregon border – a windowless cells where he spends 22 and a half hours alone every day.  He's been there for 27 years.

Guests:
Paige St. John, Los Angeles Times (@paigestjohn)
Curley Bonds, UCLA School of Medicine (@UCLAHealth)
Michael Rushford, Criminal Justice Legal Foundation
Thenjiwe McHarris, Amnesty International (@ThenjiweTM)

Reporter's Notebook The National History Museum's 'Becoming Los Angeles' Exhibit 5 MIN, 43 SEC

Tradition has it that the City of Los Angeles was founded by 44 people in 1781. The real story is just one of the features of "Becoming Los Angeles: Stories of Nature and Culture." That's the final and largest new exhibition hall in the updated Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.  KCRW's Lisa Napoli attended today's media preview.

Guests:
Lisa Napoli, KCRW arts reporter (@lisanapoli)

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