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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Mitt Romney may have made have moved closer to wrapping up the Republican nomination for president on Tuesday but he can't seem to move his foot away from his mouth whenever he goes off script. Throughout this campaign, the former Massachusetts governor has been his worst enemy as he struggles to connect with average voters.

Here are some examples:

 

April 25, 2011 – In an op-ed in the Manchester Union Leader, Romney accused President Obama of going on "one of the biggest peacetime spending binges in American history."

Simultaneously fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan hardly qualifies as "peacetime."

April 30 – Speaking at an Americans for Prosperity dinner in Manchester, N.H., Romney said: "Reagan came up with this great thing about the 'misery index' and he hung that around Jimmy Carter's neck. Well, we're going to have to hang the 'Obama Misery Index' around his neck." Romney continued, "…We're going to hang him…" After stopping mid-sentence, Romney added, "So to speak – metaphorically. You have to be careful these days."

Yes, Mitt, you do have to be careful these days. And saying even metaphorically that you want to hang a Black man, in this case the president of the United States, shows appalling insensitivity to this country's long and ugly history of lynching.

June 16 – Speaking to unemployed workers in Tampa, Fla., Romney said, "I am also unemployed."

When you are worth between $190 million and $250 million and receive more than $20 million a year from investments, you don't have to work.

Aug. 11 – At the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Romney said: "Corporations are people, my friend."

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said the comment was "one more indication that Romney and the Republicans on the campaign trail and in Washington have misplaced priorities."

Dec. 10 – During Sioux City GOP debate: "Rick, I'll tell you what, 10,000 bucks, $10,000 bet?"

Oct. 18 – In the GOP debate in Las Vegas, recalling a conversation he had with his lawn-care service that had employed illegal immigrants:  "We went to the company and we said, look, you can't have any illegals working on our property. I'm running for office, for Pete's sake, I can't have illegals."

Would it be alright if Romney wasn't running for office?

Jan. 9 – Speaking at a Chamber of Commerce function in Nashua, N.H.: "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me."

Jan. 17 – In Greenville, S.C., Romney called the $370,000 he earned in speaking fees in 2011  "not very much money." According to the Census Bureau, that's more than seven times the average household income of $49,445.

 

Feb. 1 – CNN interview: "I'm in this race because I care about Americans. I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I'll fix it. I'm not concerned about the very rich; they're doing just fine. I'm concerned about the very heart of America, the 90 percent, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling."

Romney made it very clear that he is no John F. Kennedy. And although he professed not to be concerned for the very rich, independent analyses of his tax plan show that's the group that would most benefit under his proposal.

Comedian Jon Stewart said on his Daily Show: "It's like a doctor going, 'I'm not concerned about the very healthy, because they're doing fine, or the very sick because, you know, morphine.'"

Feb. 24 – Speaking in Detroit:  "I drive a Mustang and a Chevy pickup. Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs, actually."

Way to go Mitt. Remind the audience that your wife drives two vehicles that sell for $35,485-$54,525 each and that you have two homes, each with its own Cadillac. Working-class people can really relate to that.

Feb. 26 – When asked by a reporter at the Daytona 500 if he followed racing, Romney replied: "Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans, but I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners."

One blogger said Romney saying he had friends that were NASCAR owners was akin to saying you enjoy football because you hang out with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a sky box at the Super Bowl.

But Romney didn't stop there. He told a group of racing fans wearing plastic ponchos: "I like those fancy raincoats you bought. Really sprung for the big bucks."  Describing ponchos as "fancy raincoats" shows that Romney needs to get out of his mansions more often.

Despite Romney's effort to put his best foot forward, he usually sticks it in his mouth.

 

George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine and the NNPA News Service, is a keynote speaker, moderator, and media coach.

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