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Hunger-striking inmates seeking an end to California's use of solitary confinement concluded their two-month protest Thursday, three days after state lawmakers pledged to hold legislative hearings on conditions in the state's maximum security prisons.Hunger-striking inmates seeking an end to California's use of solitary confinement concluded their two-month protest Thursday.

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Two years after crossing an unmarked border into Iran, American hikers Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal are being released from prison on $1 million bail. Convicted of espionage by the Iranians, they had been sentenced to eight years behind bars. Update: The two Americans flew Wednesday to Oman, where they raced down the stairway of a private jet and into the arms of their families. (more)

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Trial has begun in Tehran for two of three American hikers accused of espionage after blundering across the border into Iran. The third hiker, Sarah Shourd, was freed on bail last September and is back in the United States.

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