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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  • Some hope killing will bring peace in Afghanistan     
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NEW YORK (AP) -- Adult fans of J.K. Rowling can rejoice: She has a new novel coming, for grownups.

The kids will have to wait and see.

The author of the mega-selling "Harry Potter" series has an agreement with Little, Brown in the United States and Britain to release her first adult novel, the publishers announced Thursday. The title, release date and details about the book, long rumored, were not announced. A neighbor of Rowling's in Edinburgh, author Ian Rankin, tweeted Thursday that he thinks Rowling has written a mystery novel.

"Wouldn't it be funny if J.K. Rowling's first novel for adults turned out to be a crime story set in Edinburgh?" Rankin wrote. "My word yes."

Her seventh and final Potter story came out in 2007, and in recent years the British author has said that she was working on an adult book and on a Potter encyclopedia. Rowling's Potter books, which broke sales records around the world, were published by Bloomsbury in Britain and Scholastic in the U.S. Rowling will now share the same publisher with Stephenie Meyer, whose "Twilight" series at least partially filled the gap opened by the conclusion of the Potter stories.

"Although I've enjoyed writing it every bit as much, my next book will be very different to the Harry Potter series, which has been published so brilliantly by Bloomsbury and my other publishers around the world," Rowling, 46, said in a statement released by Little, Brown. "The freedom to explore new territory is a gift that Harry's success has brought me, and with that new territory it seemed a logical progression to have a new publisher. I am delighted to have a second publishing home in Little, Brown, and a publishing team that will be a great partner in this new phase of my writing life."

Rowling's agent, Neil Blair, would not disclose financial details of the deal but said there had been no auction. He said Thursday that Rowling was remaining with Bloomsbury in Britain for the Harry Potter books.

"As her new book is for a different audience, and marks a new literary direction for her, it made sense to separate the two and for her new book to be launched by a different publisher," said Blair.

Blair became Rowling's literary agent last year when she left the Christopher Little Literary Agency, where Blair had worked. Bloomsbury said its 15-year relationship with Rowling "remains stronger than ever" - and new editions of the seven novels were on the way. Some 450 million copies of the seven Potter stories are in print and the books have been translated into 74 languages. A billion-dollar movie franchise, starring Daniel Radcliffe as the young wizard, ended last year.

"We are pleased to announce that as part of our long term strategy for Harry Potter we intend to publish illustrated editions of all seven Harry Potter books in a rolling program from 2013 onwards in addition to our partnership on e-books with the Pottermore website," the publisher said in a statement. In the U.S., Scholastic spokeswoman Kyle Good noted that Scholastic didn't publish adult books.

"We will continue to publish her children's books in the U.S.," Good said Thursday.

Any Rowling book would seem a guaranteed million seller, although it's questionable that her new novel will have the same mass appeal as Potter. Adult authors from E.B. White to Sherman Alexie have nicely managed the transition to writing for young people but, once a writer is defined as a children's author, the transition can be tricky. Winnie the Pooh creator A.A. Milne, a successful playwright in his early years, once confessed that he was forced to say "goodbye to all that" after his beloved books about the bear and friends. Margaret Wise Brown, author of the classic "Goodnight Moon," tried for years to write stories for The New Yorker.

Daniel Handler of "Lemony Snicket" fame and Ann Brashares, author of the "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" novels, are among the recent popular writers for children who have had limited success as adult writers.

But Rowling does begin with one advantage: The Potter books had an enormous following among readers of all ages and she is widely credited with revealing to publishers that children's books were no longer just for the young. Meyer's vampire novels and Suzanne Collins' "Hunger Games" trilogy also have caught on with both parents and kids. Meyer herself wrote an adult book, "The Host," a best-seller in 2008.

"It would just be cool if my existing fans liked it," Meyer told The Associated Press in 2008. "And I hope to get some new readers who would never go into the YA (Young Adult) shelves."

Beth Puffer, director of the Manhattan-based children's bookseller Bank Street Bookstore, said she'd have to see the novel before deciding where or whether to stock it.

"I assume if it's written for adults, it's not appropriate for children," said Puffer, who added that she might stock the book in a section for ages 14 and up. "There are a lot of former children and young adults who grew up with Harry Potter and they would likely be an audience for her new book. You also have all the adults who loved the Potter books."

One of Rowling's most passionate fans, Melissa Anelli, said she was beyond herself "with excitement." Anelli, 32, runs a leading Potter/Rowling fan site, http://www.the-leaky-cauldron.org .

"J.K. Rowling is simply a great writer, and no matter what she applies her talents to, we will anticipate and enjoy it," Anelli wrote in an email. "I'm also so intrigued by this process: What will happen as the world's greatest children's/YA author navigates the new publishing landscape and publishes for a new audience?"

Rowling's novel will be available in both print and electronic formats. The author held out for years on allowing the Potter books to come out digitally, but announced in 2011 that Potter e-books would be sold through her own "Pottermore" website. The books were supposed to become available last fall, but have been delayed until sometime this year.

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Associated Press writer Jill Lawless in London contributed to this report.

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