05 24 2016
  10:40 am  
     •     
read latest

breaking news

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • 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  
    Read More
  • 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.
    Read More
  • Some hope killing will bring peace in Afghanistan     
    Read More
load morehold SHIFT key to load allload all

Six years ago, Shinzo Abe started the revolving door of Japanese prime ministers by resigning just one year into the job. The question now whether he is able to stop it.Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is expected to win a majority in Sunday's general election, clearing the way for the 58-year-old to resume the role he left in 2007.

If he does, he'll be Japan's seventh prime minister in six years to take on what is becoming the increasingly difficult task of hitting the economy out of a rough and forging a bright future for an increasingly aging population who feel the best years are behind them.

Can Abe do it?

The LDP leader is seen as hawkish with a nationalistic bent, and charismatic, if not particularly popular, according to opinion polls.

"People don't necessarily see him as a savior, they see him as a doer," said John Lee, an adjunct associate professor at the Center for International Security Studies at Australia's Sydney University.

"At the very least, he represents a change from the dour, Japanese bureaucrat that is plagued by inactivity. I don't think that could be said about Abe."

The son of two politicians, including the former Foreign Minister Shintaro Abe, and the grandson of the late Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, Abe grew up with the LDP, and is said to be conciliatory within the party, yet bold enough to speak his mind.

"Everybody may not be happy with what he says, but finally if we have a Japan that actually says what it thinks on the world stage, that'll be good for everybody, especially the Japanese," said Keith Henry, founder of consultancy Asia Strategy.

Abe first rose to power in September 2006, at the age of 52, making him the country's youngest leader in 52 years.

However, the strong support that pushed him up Japan's political hierarchy was eroded over the following months by a string of gaffes and the resignation of several government ministers, some of whom had been accused of financial or electoral misconduct.

During Abe's year in power, his health minister, Hakuo Yanagisawa, came under fire for branding women as "birth-giving machines," and his defense minister, Fumio Kyuma, resigned after hinting that the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki may have been justified.

The day after his resignation, in September 2007, Abe was admitted to hospital with gastrointestinal inflammation.

Fast-forward five years and Abe appears to be fighting fit and ready to take on the job.

Before being nominated as the country's next leader, Abe made what Henry calls "emphatic" statements on the Bank of Japan, government spending and Japan's relationship with China.

In mid-November, he was reported to have taken China to task over its record in Tibet.

"I swear I will do everything in my power to change the situation in Tibet where human rights are being suppressed. Tibet seeks freedom and democracy and we agree on those values," he said.

"In the world of Japanese politics anything that is kind of emphatic is quite rare, and I think that demonstrates a new sense of confidence and a sense of who he is, which I don't think existed a couple of years ago," Henry said.

The prospect of an Abe-led government has pushed Japan's share market higher in recent days, suggesting that there's some confidence in his ability to reinvigorate the economy.

 

If elected to office, Abe intends to aim his political firepower at deflation, calling for monetary easing by the Bank of Japan to achieve an inflation rate of 2%. He wants the BoJ to buy government bonds to fund a range of public works to stimulate the economy.

In an opinion piece for CNN, Jeffrey W. Hornung, an associate professor at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu described Abe's major economic policies as "reckless."

"Although the BOJ has been pumping money into the economy with a 1% inflation target, Abe's push for unlimited monetary easing and a 2% target translates into pressure on the BOJ. Worse, his suggestion that the BOJ underwrite government bonds is prohibited under the Public Finance Law, a ban that was put in place after World War II," he wrote.

"Both moves indicate his desire to reduce BOJ independence. What is more, Japan is already the second most indebted nation (Zimbabwe is first). Abe's plan to increase defense expenditures and public works spending will make Japan even more indebted," Hornung added.

Abe's foreign policy priority is to strengthen national security by revising the pacifist constitution introduced after World War II. He's expected to take a stronger stand on China, particularly in relation to regional disputes of the kind seen this year over disputed islands in the East China Sea.

The territorial jousting over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands escalated just days before the election after Japan dispatched fighter jets in response to sightings of a Chinese government plane in airspace around the islands.

"I think there's an overwhelming belief now that China, at the very least, doesn't respond to cooperative behavior. What can be said is that China behaves the way it does regardless of whether Japanese behavior is positive or combative," Lee said.

Then there's the question of how Japan powers itself amid the backlash against nuclear energy following the meltdown of the tsunami-hit nuclear reactors in Fukushima.

The LDP has called for safety tests on all nuclear plants over the next three years. Those that pass should be brought back online, Abe has said.

He'll also have to deal with the enduring task of cleaning up communities shattered by the earthquake and tsunami in 2011, and contend with local anger that the recovery seems to have stalled.

Despite all the challenges, some analysts remain optimistic about Abe's ability to put Japan back on track.

"Japan has never looked better to me. I'm very, very optimistic on it," said Ben Collett, head of Japanese equities at Louis Capital Markets in Hong Kong.

"I'm hopeful for the market and the economy and Abe's timing is solid. He'll initiate a cycle of new industrial development -- a rebirth of heavy industry in Japan that includes energy, hi-tech, space exploration and defense industries."

Henry says it should be "fairly smooth sailing" for Abe for next one or even two years if he watches his words on three key areas.

"He's got to be careful what he says about BOJ policy, he's got to be careful geopolitically about how he approaches Japan's "friends" and competitors in the Asia region, and he also has to be careful about putting his own Cabinet together to make sure that a week or two into his Cabinet we don't have any resignations because somebody has done something."

Carpentry Professionals
Calendar

PHOTO GALLERY

Artists Rep Grand Concourse