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We start with a look at the life and work of Leonard Nimoy, the Star Trek actor who died today of lung disease at 83. After that, we turn to a serious problem here in Los Angeles: child prostitution. Who are the young women being exploited, and what’s the justice system doing to help them? Then, two Americans skiers won the silver and bronze medals this week at the World Championships of Nordic Skiing: a major upset in the world of cross-country skiing. Who are they and what happened? Next, in our weekly Friday film segment, a look at what’s new in theaters this weekend, including Focus and Maps to the Stars. And finally, the story of Harley Quinn, a comic book character who’s become one of pop culture’s most popular anti-heroines.

Banner Image: Leonard Nimoy at KCRW; Credit: Stephen Laufer

Leonard Nimoy Dies 8 MIN, 48 SEC

This morning actor Leonard Nimoy died at his home in Los Angeles. He was 83. His wife said he died of lung disease, which he attributed to years of smoking. Nimoy was best known for playing the human-alien character Mr. Spock on Star Trek. Although Nimoy alternately distanced and then embraced his role as Spock, he was a lot more than Vulcan. In real life, Nimoy was also a poet, a director, an author, a singer and a photographer. We remember him with a couple of our regular film critics.

Jenna Busch, Legion of Leia (@JennaBusch)
James Rocchi, The Lunch (@jamesrochhi)

L.A.’s Legal System Tries to Combat Child Prostitution 7 MIN, 59 SEC

Child sex trafficking is a crime we often associate with far-off countries, but it happens here in L.A., too. And now, there’s a renewed interest by authorities to fight it. Last July, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey created her office’s first Human Trafficking Unit to go after pimps who exploit minors. Three years ago, the county created a special court to handle cases involving sexually exploited girls. Now, officials are talking about creating yet another special court -- this one inside the family court system -- that would try to help these kids before they’re arrested on criminal charges.

Leslie Starr Heimov, Executive director of the Children’s Law Center of L.A., the court-appointed law firm for foster kids

A Cross-Country Skiing Championship 8 MIN, 52 SEC

Probably not too many of you have been watching the World Championships of Nordic Skiing, but they’ve been going on for more than a week in Falun, Sweden. The competition includes cross-country skiing, ski jumping, and, for men only, a combination of the two. Granted, cross-country skiing is not a big sport here in the U.S. In fact, no American woman skier has ever won a medal in a distance race at the World Championships... until now. This week, two women from the American ski team won the silver and bronze medals in the ten kilometer race. We hear all about it.

Christian Bordal, Producer, 'Press Play' (@ChristianBordal)

Friday at the Movies: “Maps to the Stars,” “Focus,” and More 14 MIN, 1 SEC

You can officially stop watching the most prestigious movies of 2014. The Oscars are over, and it’s time for moviegoers to move into 2015 in earnest. We have all the details on the new releases out this week, including a Will Smith caper and a Hollywood satire. Our guests break it all down in our weekly film segment.

Dave White, Film Critic (@dlelandwhite)
Alonso Duralde, Film Critic (@ADuralde)

Film Review: ‘Focus’

The Legend of Harley Quinn 8 MIN, 4 SEC

One of the movies we talked about in today’s film segment is Focus, starring Margot Robbie. Well, her star is on the rise. Next year, Robbie will star in the comic book crossover film Suicide Squad as Harley Quinn. Quinn is a wildly popular comic book anti-heroine. She’s sweet. She’s a sociopath. And she’s one of the biggest new characters to come along in years. We talk about Quinn’s rise to becoming one of the best female baddies in pop culture.

Abraham Riesman, New York magazine (@abrahamjoseph)

The Hidden Story of Harley Quinn and How She Became the Superhero World’s Most Successful Woman

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