05 24 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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LAMU, Kenya (AP) -- During high season in this Kenyan luxury resort area, foreign tourists snorkel by day and sleep in rustic dwellings with woven coconut leaves for doors. Now they're leaving town early and canceling reservations after gunmen kidnapped two Europeans and killed another in only a month.

Already, droves of workers who depend on tourism in this gorgeous but poor corner of East Africa are losing their jobs.

Hours after a French woman was abducted in late September, eight guests checked out of Stefano Moccia's nearby hotel and hurriedly boarded a plane. Usually busy taxi boats now lay idle along the coasts. Some tourists have come despite the violence and travel warnings, but the outlook is grim.

"This season is over. That is for sure," said Stefano Moccia, who already has fired nearly half his 100 staff members in just two days. Unless business at The Majlis rebounds quickly, he says he'll have to let go most of the rest.

Nervous hotel owners like Moccia are urging Kenya's government to step up security in this area long popular with tourists and rich Kenyans. High tourist season traditionally begins here in November, but the $1,800-a-night rooms could sit empty, the white sand beaches bare of sunbathers.

"Tens of thousands of people depend on the tourism - their livelihoods are at stake," said Dario Urbani, the marketing director of the Romantic Hotels Ltd, which owns Lamu Palace Hotel, where an American tourist also checked out right after the Saturday attack.

"Without thinking too much, tourists will say 'I don't want to risk my life by going there. The Kenyan government has to flex its muscle and chase away criminals," he added.

Tourism is a $1 billion industry and employs tens of thousands of Kenyans in a country where many people live on less than a $1 a day.

The sector has just picked up after Kenya's deadly 2007-2008 postelection violence, when photos of angry men roaming the streets with machetes forced waves of vacation cancellations.

Now, the U.S., British and French governments have issued travel warnings to their citizens after the recent abductions.

Kenyan Tourism Minister Najib Balala urged the businesses to stay open. "When you close hotels, you create unnecessary panic," he told them at a crisis meeting held Monday in Lamu, a world heritage town with centuries-old cultures and ruins. The people here wear sarongs, Islamic hats and robes; the modes of transport on the archipelago, which is on the Indian Ocean, are donkeys and taxi boats.

Balala said ambassadors of the three governments told him that they will review the travel warnings after a month.

"It will be very hard to convince tourists that nothing will happen to them, and that Lamu is safe when they know what happened two days ago," said Joseph Koi, a tour coordinator from Lamu Holiday Solutions.

Somali gunmen have been penetrating Kenya's borders since Somalia's central government collapsed in 1991. Two decades later, al-Qaida-linked militants wage war in the capital, and pirates hijack ships off the coast for millions of dollars in ransom.

Somali attackers have abducted Kenyans and foreigners several times in the past, but never before have they traveled around 130 kilometers (80 miles) from their country on speedboats to grab foreigners in their guesthouses in Lamu.

Situated on Kenya's northern coast line, the Lamu archipelago consists of several islands.

On Tuesday, the normally bustling hotels were sparely populated, as were the beautiful beaches. No navy vessels were visible this weekend to protect the luxury hotels and guesthouse along the beach.

Abdalla Fadhil, the owner of the house where the French woman was kidnapped, said tourists like houses made of mangrove poles with thatched roofs and coconut leaves.

"Tourists ran away from concrete houses, ceramic tiles and steel beams to experience this natural life," he said.

Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere said hotels and villas on the coast will be patrolled by security officers whose cell phone numbers will be made public. He said police and soldiers also will intensify border patrols to stop any infiltration. He also said surveillance planes will be also deployed.

"We require a lot of cooperation from the locals," he said, blaming some locals for sympathizing with the criminals.

Fadhil said locals may have helped Somali gunmen for money, "because many people live in poverty here." He said while residents on Manda island may earn about $3 a day from tourism, others in Lamu town scrape by on $1 a day.

On Monday, about a dozen men marched along Lamu's beachfront and called for government action against Somali pirates and al-Qaida-linked militants known as al-Shabab. They carried banners reading "Attack al-Shabab in Somalia," "Down with al-Shabab and Pirates."

"We want peace and to get peace we need a strong security force that can stop abductions in our islands," said 60-year-old Ziwa Abdalla, who said he worked as a guide for 35 years. "If tourists don't come here we will suffer, and worse our jobless people can turn to piracy."

Some are going ahead with their vacation plans, venturing out on boat excursions and safaris on the mainland.

"We're shocked by the incident, but it didn't make us leave earlier," said Peter Kelly, a 62-year-old Canadian traveling with more than 10 other tourists.

One prominent hotel was bustling with tourists Sunday night. Its owner asked an Associated Press reporter not to interview his customers. He did not want to be named, fearing it would attract negative attention to his business at a delicate time.

"We're lucky to be open," he curtly said.

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Online:

Majlis Resorts: http://www.themajlisresorts.com

Lamu Holiday Solutions: http://lamuholidaysolutions.com

Lamu Paradise Holidays: http://www.lamuparadiseholidays.com

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