05 25 2016
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  • On Tuesday, a judge ordered the 78-year-old Cosby to stand trial on sexual assault charges 
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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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MOGADISHU, Somalia (CNN) -- Bashir Osman moves hurriedly along a white sandy beachfront, giving instructions to a driver operating a bulldozer. Near them, a large truck is ferrying away piles of rocks, clearing a sun-soaked beach lapped by the azure blue waters of the Indian Ocean.

Work here is well underway as Osman presses ahead with his new multi-million dollar project: to build a luxury beach resort in Mogadishu, the capital of war-torn Somalia.

"I knew one day that Mogadishu will become peace and we'll get stability," says Osman, who already owns two hotels in the city. "That is why I started to buy that land."

After more than 20 years of violence, Somalia moved a step closer to stability last September after picking its first president elected on home soil in decades.

And now, hope is gradually returning to parts of the East African country.

Although security is still an issue, Mogadishu has been experiencing an economic renaissance in recent months, boosted by members of the diaspora returning home to rebuild the country, as well as the efforts of local businessmen who never left.

Osman, who stayed in Somalia throughout its conflict, hopes his new development will attract holidaymakers from abroad. He says that he's already had American and British visitors staying in his hotels.

"More than 20 tourists they came," he says. "Some of them they came with their family to show Somalia, especially Mogadishu," adds Osman. "And really when they went back, they were so excited when they saw how Mogadishu looks like, how beautiful city we have, how beautiful beach we have and that is what we want to show them again and again."

Osman's ambitious new projects are part of a growing building activity that is reshaping many of the neighborhoods of bullet-ridden Mogadishu.

"If you go to Mogadishu the construction is very, very booming," says Osman. "That is the sign of peace," he adds. "Especially the people who came back from America and Europe, they start to open the new businesses."

Mogadishu's growing economy is manifested not just in real estate and the hotel sector. Telecommunications is also on the rise, while the aviation industry is spreading its wings too, with about 15 daily domestic and international flights.

"We have six different routes and basically next we'll be eight," says Osman Abdullahi, a young Somali entrepreneur who set up the ODAY express airline. "There is a lot of airlines that are planning to (come to) this country and hoping to (have) a hub over here."

Abdullahi admits that leaving the United States in 2010 to return home and start his business was a "100% huge risk."

He says that when moved back back to Somalia, it was too dangerous to even drive in Mogadishu. "That picture is already gone. It's a different picture today," he says.

This new picture can also be witnessed at Mogadishu's seaport -- Somalia's key national asset -- where creaking cranes lift goods from the commercial ships and boats lining the harbor. The wide array of imported construction materials, household goods and food are then loaded onto rows of waiting trucks.

The customs revenue collected from here has increased exponentially in recent times. And while the system is far from perfect, the income is crucial to the newly formed government in rebuilding the city, whose basic infrastructure has been shattered by war.

Currently, Somalia's economy is largely supported by aid from donor governments, while the relatively peaceful business environment is propped up by the African Union Mission in Somalia African (AMISOM).

The security forces squeezed the al Qaeda-linked Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab out of Mogadishu, but the insurgents still lurk and periodically launch terror attacks.

Brigadier Michael Ondoga, of AMISOM, told CNN recently that although Al-Shabaab was "largely defeated" in Mogadishu, there were still issues with its members "melting into the population" and taking advantage of the city's large size to hide.

But Somali security forces have succeeded in pre-empting many suicide attacks and have arrested some of the Al-Shabaab operatives hiding among the capital's population.

"The situation is generally good at the moment -- the security forces are controlling it very well," Ondoga said. "Here in the city now, the big guns are quiet, the streets are lit, many (in the) diaspora are coming back, new construction is going on, business is booming," he said.

And despite the long list of challenges, Mogadishu businessmen like Osman are hopeful of a brighter future.

"For me I was here (during the conflict) and the situation I see now is a situation I have never seen before. So the situation now is getting better," he says.

 

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