05 25 2016
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  • On Tuesday, a judge ordered the 78-year-old Cosby to stand trial on sexual assault charges 
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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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The Occupy Wall Street movement has spread to cities all over the country, and beyond. To make sure people of color are represented Rhaasan Malik  has started Occupy The Hood. (See box below left) In Oregon, Monday, protesters are planning to  march and rally at the the Oregon capitol in Salem.  Organizers plan to camp at  Wilson Park.
In Portland, the Occupy Portland demonstrators have been camping in Chapman Square, since Thursday's march and rally. The Skanner News Video: Occupy The Hood
About 5000 people gathered at Waterfront Park Thursday afternoon for the Occupy Portland protest. Occupy Portland came together in support of the New York protesters 'Occupy Wall Street'.  The protests aim to highlight the growth of wealth and income inequality in the United States.  Across the world protesters are turning out to protest inequalities in their own countries.  Individual protesters brought other issues to the march, including the continuing U.S. military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.
 


Occupy The Hood
New Yorker Malik Rahsaan was dismayed that few Blacks and Latinos were represented at the occupy Wall Street Protests. That led him to create a movement aimed at including people of color: Occupy the Hood.  
Rhaasan interviewed Dr. Cornel West who said:
"The hood ought to be the first community to be here because we have been suffering than any other community with the exception of our indigenous brothers and sisters on reservations.  In terms of education, housing, not enough jobs with a living wageand the refusal of people to really come to terms with the suffering of the children.  We have 42 percent of Black children 42 percent of Brown children and 42 percent of Red children living in poverty. The richest nation in the history of the world:  That's a moral disgrace." 
Also on board: Al Sharpton California Congresswoman  Nancy Pelosi and Georgia's Rep. John Lewis.
Follow on Twitter at #OccupytheHood
The Skanner News Video

 

 

The diverse and good-humored crowd carried signs signaling the issues causing most anger. Corporate tax avoidance, the Wall Street bailout and wealth inequality were the most common grievances – many expressed with humor.  "If we can't tax the rich, can we eat them?" said one sign. The Skanner News Video: Short video of protest A press release from organizers said: "This is in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, where thousands have been staying near the Wall Street stock exchange to protest the corruption of Washington politicians, misdeeds of big banks, and the cancerous reign of corporate lobbyists." 











Also in evidence at the march were masks, such as the so-called Guy Fawkes mask adopted by the hackers group Anonymous. 

After meeting at the Waterfront, Occupy Portland protesters marched through the city center, stopped off at Pioneer Square, then came to rest at Chapman Square. About 600 committed Occupy Portland protesters spent the night in two parks near City Hall: Chapman Square and Lownsdale Square. This morning, Friday Oct. 7, both squares were scheduled to host organizers for the Portland Marathon.  Protesters decided to leave Lownsdale square, but attempted to remain in Chapman Square. UPDATE: Police, protesters and marathon organizers agreed that protesters could remain in Chapman Square and would not disrupt the race, scheduled for Sunday. Two young men were arrested, Friday and charged with spray painting slogans on walks and a police vehicle.


The protesters are organizing as a grassroots movement with no chosen leaders. Everyone's voice is equal, an organizer told KBOO radio. Decisions are made by concensus, meaning everyone has a right to speak and as much as possible agreement is sought. Without loudspeakers, the crowd repeats every statement made so that everyone no matter how far from the speaker can hear.  General meetings are held daily at 7pm. If police allow the protesters to remain at Chapman Square the meeting will be held there. If not, it will proceed at Waterfront Park under the Burnside Bridge.






Organizers stress that this is a peaceful protest.  If police ask protesters to leave Chapman Square, they say they will not leave, but will allow police to remove them. Similar non-violent tactics were pioneered first by Ghandi and the independence movement in India seeking freedom from British colonial rule. Later the U.S. civil rights movement used nonviolence tactics successfully.. Several protesters carried signs quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.





Van Jones, the former Obama advisor now working to create a left alternative to the Tea Party through the American Dream movement, says the Occupy Wall Street protests are the American Autumn, similar to the Arab Spring. Van Jones told Alternet: "… as the economic crisis gets worse -- it ain't gonna get better -- the formal economy is going to continue to contract. That means you're going to have a lot of people suffering due to the economy. That's going to create a need for a response. What are we going to do? How can we address the ways in which people are hurting -- immediate needs? That's going to be a driver of innovation, the economic crisis. People have to eat. People have to live indoors. People aren't going to just lay down and die because Wall Street wants to hold up the economic recovery."


Wealth inequality has been growing in the United States, according to The Economic Policy Institute, which publishes the website inequality.org  Figures for 2009 showed the top 1 percent of the U.S. population own 35.6 percent of the wealth, whereas the bottom 80 percent of the population share just 12.8 percent of the country's wealth.  Protesters carried signs saying "I am the 99 percent and so are you," to draw attention to the disparities.  

Follow the protests on twitter at #OccupyWallStreet  #OccupytheHood and #OccupyPortland

Follow on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/OccupyWallSt
 http://www.facebook.com/OccupyPortland

More: The Guardian reports that American Spectator journalist Patrick Howley pretended to be a protester and allegedy escalated problems at the Air and Space Museum. According to the Guardian, the Spectator published an account detailing his actions, but later removed it.

PUBLISHER OPINION

Several commenters are saying the demonstration lacks clarity.

The Skanner News Publisher Bernie Foster says it's clear to him. "People want to stop Wall Street and corporate lobbyists from driving our economic policies," he said. "You can't keep people unemployed and have children hungry  and homeless without raising a lot of questions about who is benefiting from our economic system."


 

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