05 23 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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CAIRO (AP) -- Shaking off years of political apathy, Egyptians turned out in long lines at voting stations Monday in the first parliamentary elections since Hosni Mubarak's ouster, a giant step toward what they hope will be a democracy after decades of dictatorship.

Some voters brought their children along, saying they wanted them to learn how to exercise their rights in a democracy as they cast ballots in what promises to be the fairest and cleanest election in Egypt in living memory. With fears of violence largely unrealized, the biggest complaint was the hours of standing in long, slow-moving lines.

"If you have waited for 30 years, can't you wait now for another hour?" an army officer yelled at hundreds of restless women at one polling center in Cairo.

After the dramatic, 18-day uprising that ended Mubarak's three decades of authoritarian rule, many had looked forward to this day in expectation of a celebration of freedom. But Mubarak's fall on Feb. 11 was followed by nearly 10 months of military rule, divisions and violence and when election day finally arrived, the mood was markedly different. People were eager to at last cast a free vote, but daunted by all the uncertainty over what happens next.

"I never voted because I was never sure it was for real," said Shahira Ahmed, 45, waiting with her husband and daughter with around 500 other people at a Cairo polling station. "This time, I hope it is, but I am not positive."



Even as they vote, Egyptians are sharply polarized and confused over the nation's direction.

On one level, the election will be a strong indicator of whether Egypt is heading toward Islamism or secularism. The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest and best organized group, along with other Islamists are expected to dominate in the vote. Many liberals, leftists, Christians and pious Muslims who oppose mixing religion and politics went expressly to the polls to try to stop them or at least reduce their victory.

The U.S. and its close ally Israel, which has a long-standing peace treaty with Egypt, worry that stronger Brotherhood influence could end Egypt's role as a major moderating influence in Middle East politics.

Also weighing heavily on voters' mind was whether this election can really set Egypt on a path of democracy while it is still under military rule. Only 10 days before the elections, major protests erupted around the country demanding the ruling generals accused of bungling the transition step aside and hand power immediately to a civilian authority.

Another concern is that the parliament that emerges may have little relevance because the military is sharply limiting its powers, and it may only serve for several months.

The Egyptian election is the fruit of the Arab Spring revolts that have swept the region over the past year, toppling several authoritarian regimes. In Tunisia and Morocco, Islamic parties have come out winners in elections the past month, but if the much larger Egypt does the same, it could have an even greater impact.

Even before voting began at 8 a.m., people stood in lines stretching several hundred yards outside many polling stations in Cairo, suggesting a respectable turnout. Under heavy security from police and soldiers, segregated lines of men and women grew, snaking around blocks and prompting authorities to extend voting by two hours.

Many said they were voting for the first time. For decades, few Egyptians bothered to cast ballots because nearly every election was rigged, whether by bribery, ballot box stuffing or intimidation by police at the polls. Turnout was often in the single digits.

"I am voting for freedom. We lived in slavery. Now we want justice in freedom," said 50-year-old Iris Nawar at a polling station in Maadi, a Cairo suburb.

"We are afraid of the Muslim Brotherhood. But we lived for 30 years under Mubarak, we will live with them, too," said Nawar, a first-time voter.

Waiting for hours, people joked, squabbled, and bought sandwiches from delivery men taking advantage of an eager, captive market.

Under a heavy rain in the Mediterranean coastal city of Alexandria, a women's line displayed Egypt's religious spectrum - Christians and Muslims with their hair loose, others in conservative headscarves, still others blanketed in the most radical garb, the black robes that cover a woman's entire body, leaving only the eyes exposed. At a nearby station, one soldier shouted through a megaphone, "Choose freely, choose whomever you want to vote for."

The Brotherhood entered the campaign armed with a powerful network of activists around the country and years of experience in political activity. Even though it was banned under Mubarak's regime, its politicians sat in parliament as independents. Also running is the even more conservative Salafi movement, which advocates a hard-line Saudi Arabian-style interpretation of Islam. While the Brotherhood shows at times a willingness to play politics and compromise in its ideology, many Salafis make no bones about saying democracy must take a back seat to Islamic law.

In contrast, the secular and liberal youth groups that ousted Mubarak failed to capitalize on their astonishing triumph to effectively contest the election. They largely had to create all-new parties from scratch, most of which are not widely known among the public and were plagued by divisions through the past months.

"The Muslim Brotherhood are the people who have stood by us when times were difficult," said Ragya el-Said, a 47-year-old lawyer in Alexandria, a stronghold for the Brotherhood. "We have a lot of confidence in them."

But the Brotherhood faces still opposition. Even some who favor more religion in public life are suspicious of their motives, and the large Christian minority - about 10 percent of the population of around 85 million - deeply fear rising Islamism.

"I'm a Muslim but won't vote for any Islamist party because their views are too narrow," said Eman el-Khoury, 53, as she looked disapprovingly at Brotherhood activists handing out campaign leaflets near an Alexandria polling station, a violation of election rules. "How can we change this country when at an opportunity for change, we make the same dirty mistakes."

For many of those who did not want to vote for the Brotherhood or other Islamists, the alternative was not clear.

"I don't know any of the parties or who I'm voting for," Teresa Sobhi, a Christian voter in the southern city of Assiut, said. "I'll vote for the first names I see I guess."

The election is a long and unwieldy process. It will be held in stages divided up by provinces. Voting for 498-seat People's Assembly, parliament's lower chamber, will last until January, then elections for the 390-member upper house will drag on until March.

Each round lasts two days. Some voters said they feared vote rigging or ballot stuffing because the ballot boxes would be left at polling stations overnight.

Monday and Tuesday's vote will take place in nine provinces whose residents account for 24 million of Egypt's estimated 85 million people.

The ballots are a confusing mix of party lists that will gain seats according to proportions of votes and individual candidates - who will have to enter run-off votes after each round if no one gets 50 percent of the first-round vote. Mixed in are candidates labeled as "farmer" or "worker" who must gain a certain number of seats, a holdover for socialist days that Mubarak's regime manipulated to get in cronies.

Moreover, there are significant questions over how relevant the new parliament will even be. The ruling military council of generals, led by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, insists it will maintain considerable powers after the election. It will put together the government and is trying to keep extensive control over the creation of an assembly to write a new constitution, a task that originally was seen as mainly in the parliament's hands.

The protesters who took to Cairo's Tahrir Square and other cities since Nov. 19 in rallies recalling the uprising that ousted Mubarak on Feb. 11 demand the generals surrender power immediately to a civilian government.

Some hoped their vote would help eventually push the generals out.

"We are fed up with the military," said Salah Radwan, waiting outside a polling center in Cairo's middle-class Abdeen neighborhood. "They should go to protect our borders and leave us to rule ourselves. Even if we don't get it right this time, we will get it right next time."

On Monday morning in Tahrir, a relatively small crowd of a few thousand kept the round-the-clock protests going. Clashes during the protests left more than 40 dead and had heightened fears of violence at polling stations.

Turnout among the estimated 50 million voters will play a key role. A higher turnout could water down the showing of the Brotherhood, because its core of supporters are the most likely to vote.

If there are heavy numbers of voters, that could also give legitimacy to a vote that the military insisted go ahead despite the recent turmoil.

A referendum on constitutional amendments in March had a turnout of 40 percent - anything lower than that could be a sign that skepticism over the process is high.

The Brotherhood, which used to run its candidates as independents because of the official ban on the group, made its strongest showing in elections in 2005, when it won 20 percent of parliament's seats. Its leaders have predicted that in this vote it could win up to 40 or 50 percent.

---

AP correspondents Maggie Michael in Cairo, Hadeel al-Shalchi in Alexandria, Egypt, and Aya Batrawy in Assiut, Egypt contributed to this report.

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