05 24 2016
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  • The judge concluded Officer Edward Nero played little role in the arrest and wasn't responsible for the failure by police to buckle Gray in  
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  • Bill Cosby faces a preliminary hearing Tuesday to determine if his criminal sex-assault case in suburban Philadelphia goes to trial.Prosecutors had declined to charge the comedian-actor over the 2005 complaint, but arrested him in December after his explosive deposition in the woman's lawsuit became public. In the testimony given in that deposition, Cosby is grilled about giving drugs and alcohol to women before sex; making secret payments to ex-lovers; and hosting Andrea Constand at his home. They knew each other through Temple University, where he was a trustee and she managed the women's basketball team. Bill Cosby's wife refused to answer dozens of questions during a combative deposition in a defamation lawsuit filed by seven women who say the comedian branded them liars after they accused him of sexually assaulting them, according to a transcript released Friday. Camille Cosby was subjected to intense questioning by the women's lawyer, who repeatedly pressed her to say whether she believes her husband "acted with a lack of integrity" during their 52-year marriage. The lawyer also asked if her husband used his position and power "to manipulate young women." Camille Cosby didn't answer those questions and many others after her lawyer cited marital privilege, the legal protection given to communications between spouses. She repeatedly said she had "no opinion" when pressed on whether she viewed her husband's behavior as dishonest and a violation of their marriage vows. About 50 women have publicly accused Bill Cosby of forcing unwanted sexual contact on them decades ago. Cosby has denied the allegations. He faces a criminal case in Pennsylvania, where prosecutors have charged him with sexually violating a former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand. He has pleaded not guilty. Camille Cosby answered questions in the deposition Feb. 22 and again April 19 after her lawyers argued unsuccessfully to stop it. A judge ruled she would have to give a deposition but said she could refuse to answer questions about private communications between her and her husband. Camille Cosby's lawyer, Monique Pressley, repeatedly cited that privilege and advised her not to answer many questions asked by the women's lawyer, Joseph Cammarata. The exchanges between Cammarata and Cosby became testy at times, and she admonished him: "Don't lecture me. Just keep going with the questions." Using a transcript of a deposition Bill Cosby gave in a civil lawsuit filed by Constand in 2005 and a transcript of an interview she gave to Oprah Winfrey in 2000, Cammarata asked Camille Cosby about extramarital affairs her husband had. "Were you aware of your husband setting up trusts for the benefit of women that he had a sexual relationship with?" Cammarata asked. She didn't answer after her lawyer cited marital privilege. Cammarata asked her about Shawn Thompson, a woman who said Bill Cosby fathered her daughter, Autumn Jackson, in the 1970s. Jackson was convicted in 1997 of attempting to extort money from Bill Cosby to prevent her from telling a tabloid she's his daughter. He acknowledged he had an affair with her mother and had given her money. "Was it a big deal when this came up in the 1970s that your husband had — big deal to you that your husband had an extramarital affair and potentially had a daughter from that extramarital affair?" Cammarata asked. "It was a big deal then, yes," Camille Cosby replied. She said she had "no opinion" on whether her husband's admission he obtained quaaludes to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex violated their marriage vows. Her lawyer objected and instructed her not to answer when Cammarata asked her if she ever suspected she had been given any type of drug to alter her state of consciousness when she had sex with her husband. A spokesman for the Cosbys declined to comment on her deposition. The Cosbys have a home in Shelburne Falls, an hour's drive from Springfield, where the lawsuit, seeking unspecified damages, was filed. An attorney handling a separate lawsuit against Bill Cosby revealed Friday that Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner provided sworn testimony Wednesday. In the sexual battery lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, Judy Huth says Cosby forced her to perform a sex act on him at the Playboy Mansion around 1974, when she was 15. Bill Cosby's former lawyers have accused Huth of attempting to extort him before filing the case and have tried unsuccessfully to have it dismissed. Huth's attorney, Gloria Allred, said Hefner's testimony will remain under seal for now. Hefner also was named as a defendant in a case filed Monday by former model Chloe Goins, who accuses Bill Cosby of drugging and sexually abusing her at the Playboy Mansion in 2008.   The Associated Press generally doesn't identify people who say they're victims of sexual abuse, but the women accusing Cosby have come forward to tell their stories.___AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report from Los Angeles.
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  • Some hope killing will bring peace in Afghanistan     
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The National Marrow Donor Program and its local donor center, NMDP of Oregon/Southwest Washington, are working with the American Red Cross Pacific Northwest Blood Region to encourage people to come together. The groups are asking local African Americans to join the NMDP registry during the Martin Luther King Jr. Blood and Bone Marrow Drive from Jan. 16 through 21. "We are appealing to … African Americans to unite in a mission to save lives," said Delores Rue-Jones, program coordinator for NMDP of Oregon/Southwest Washington. "We are encouraging people to come to the Portland donor center for the drive or the MLK Celebration at Jefferson High School on Jan. 16. "Blood donors can learn about volunteer marrow and blood-cell donation," Rue-Jones added. "The more donors we have, the larger the search through the registry, which increases the chance to find a match for patients." Each year, thousands of African American families have a loved one diagnosed with a life-threatening blood disease, such as leukemia. Many could be treated with a marrow or blood cell transplant — if a matching donor could be found. Right now, Jarraye Hicks, a 15-year-old freshman at Jefferson High School, is diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia. Today, there is no bone marrow match for him in the NMDP. "You could be that donor," Rue-Jones said. "When you join the NMDP registry as a committed donor, you unite with more than 5 million potential donors who know the importance of being there for a patient in need of a life-saving transplant of marrow or blood cells." The NMDP works with African American civic, community and faith-based organizations to raise awareness around the country and encourage more people to join the NMDP registry, the world's largest source for all types of marrow and blood cells available for transplant. While patients of any racial or ethnic heritage may have difficulty finding a donor for their transplant, African American patients face the greatest challenge. Some patients have rare tissue traits that can make it more difficult for them to find a donor. In March 2005, Jackie Donahue, sister of hip-hop superstar Nelly, lost her battle with leukemia. Jackie, Nelly and their aunt, created the Jes Us 4 Jackie awareness campaign to recruit more African Americans and people of mixed heritage to join the NMDP registry of potential donors. That need is still immediate and ongoing. Marrow and blood-cell transplants require matching certain tissue traits of the donor and patient. Because these traits are inherited, a patient's most likely match is someone of the same heritage. Although millions of potential donors have registered, there is a pressing need for more donors from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, particularly within the African American community, to increase the likelihood of finding a match for patients. The first step to becoming a donor is to join the NMDP registry. Volunteers must be between the ages of 18 and 60 and meet health guidelines. After completing a brief health questionnaire, the volunteer gives a small sample of blood to determine the tissue type to be matched against patients who need donors. To make an appointment at the Red Cross donor center, call 503-284-4040. The center is located at 3131 N. Vancouver Ave. For more information about marrow and blood-cell donation, call 503-528-5475 or 1-800-MARROW. Online information is available at www.marrow.org.

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