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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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

CHICAGO (AP) -- Seven vinyl banners draped this month along one of Chicago's most iconic bridges, advertisements some have dubbed "a visual crime" and "commercial graffiti," are reviving a debate about how governments raise money in tough economic times.

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, a public school district in Colorado is selling ads on report cards and Utah has a new law allowing ads on school buses. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration, straining to fill a $600 million budget hole, is looking to raise $25 million from ads on city property - including bridges, electrical storage boxes and garbage cans.

The effort kicked off this month with Bank of America ads on the 81-year-old Wabash Avenue Bridge, which crosses the Chicago River and has appeared in movies including "About Last Night" and "The Dark Knight."

"I think it's disgusting," Chicago resident Linda Rosenthal said recently, shaking her head as she surveyed the signs. "The architecture in Chicago is stunning. To see this awful advertisement angers me."

The white ads with blue lettering and Bank of America's logo are posted on limestone bridge tender houses, which hold the equipment used to raise the bridge when tall boats pass beneath. Bank of America paid $4,500 to put seven signs on the bridge for about a month, said city spokeswoman Kathleen Strand.

Strand promised the city's new campaign will have "policies to protect the integrity of Chicago's facade" and likened the initiative to the Chicago Transit Authority bringing in about $20 million annually from abundant ads on buses and elevated trains that don't seem to anger anybody.

"The municipal marketing strategy is really about pursuing innovative opportunities to avoid having to cut city services or increase the tax burden on Chicagoans," Strand said.

Still, some ask where the line will be drawn. Could the city's historic Water Tower be next? Or Grant Park's famed Buckingham Fountain?

The city's two major daily newspapers have faced off with opposing views. Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin called the bridge ads "a visual crime" and "a grotesque cheapening of the public realm." A Chicago Sun-Times editorial said the ads, while unappealing, "beat going bust."

Bank of America spokeswoman Diane Wagner said the company said yes when Chicago officials asked if the bank wanted to advertise on the bridge because it's a major employer and philanthropic supporter in the city.

"We agreed to be the first company to display on the bridge because we want to help the city explore new revenue sources and we think this is an innovative way to generate new revenue," Wagner said.

Chicago advertising professionals doubt it was a smart move for either side.

"I have made my living in advertising, but there has to be better ways to raise money," said Tim Terchek, executive creative director of the Drucker Group ad firm. What's more, the bridge ads could backfire if public disgust sticks to the bank, he said.

Leo Burnett Company's chief strategy officer Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, whose office overlooks the bridge ads, said they are a blight.

"It's like commercial graffiti," Hahn-Griffiths said. "It makes no sense from a marketing perspective and I question the intent of doing this because it does not seem like a smart decision."

Former Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist, president and CEO of the Chicago-based Congress for the New Urbanism, suggested the city could instead rent out spaces like the City Hall lobby or library and cultural center theaters for weddings and other events.

"Placing advertising on a city's architectural assets takes away from the public realm," Norquist said.

Some officials across the country, and the world, are turning to private money for public projects.

In Rome, an Italian shoe company founder has pledged to foot $34 million to restore the Colosseum - the ancient arena blackened by pollution - and its founder has said the gesture could launch more private sponsorship for public benefit in Italy. In Venice, Mayor Giorgio Orsoni defended the use of publicity on restoration of such projects as the famed Doges Palace, saying sponsors' contribution allowed the work to be accelerated.

But Venice also has strict rules on the use of advertisements. Only 10 percent of an exposed facade can be covered, and ads for cigarettes, alcohol and those featuring nudity are banned.

Back in the U.S., a suburban Salt Lake City school district plans to be Utah's first to plaster its buses with advertisements in an effort to generate additional revenue without raising taxes. While the ad revenue is expected to supplement the Jordan School District's budget, officials said it won't be enough to make up for the recent budget cuts.

It's a similar story in Golden, Colo., where Jefferson County Public Schools' report cards now feature ads for the CollegeInvest college savings program. The ads raise $30,000 a year.

"Parents understand where we are at with the funding issues and most of the reaction has been positive," said school district spokeswoman Lorie Gillis.

Retiree Jim Phillips, who leads free tours of Chicago's bridges, challenged the city to channel public curiosity about the structures into money-making ventures, such as charging tourists to see the bridge houses' inner workings.

"If it gets to the point advertisements go on more of these historic structures, I don't think there's any way to stop them on others," Phillips said. "What if you put a NASCAR suit on the Picasso? What if you slapped a Google sign on one of the lions at the Art Institute?"

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Associated Press writers Peter Banda in Golden, Colo., and Colleen Barry in Milan, Italy, contributed to this report.

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