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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In less than a week's time at two separate India schools, police said Friday, they believe that children have been poisoned by their school lunches.

At least 23 students in the southwestern coastal state of Goa were treated at a hospital after they got sick at lunch, authorities said. The students, in the third to fifth grades at St. Joseph School, have been released from treatment, Vishram Borkar, a police superintendent in Goa, told CNN.

St. Joseph School is a government-aided private institution, he said.

"We have registered a case of food poisoning," he told CNN, "and our investigation is on."

Earlier this week, 23 students died and 25 people were hospitalized from food poisoning after a school lunch in northern India's Bihar state.

There were two cooks at the Bihar school, an official told CNN. Two children of one of them -- Panna Devi -- ate the toxic food and have died, medical superintendent Amarkant Jha Amar told CNN.

Panna Devi is not receiving treatment because she didn't eat the toxic food, Amar said. She has a third child who ate the food and is improving at a hospital, the medical chief said.

The other cook, Manju Devi, is also hospitalized, along with her three children, Amar added.

Earlier, CNN-IBN had reported that two of Manju Devi's children had died.

Bihar state is one of India's poorest. Experts have said the deaths shine a light on food safety in the country and have prompted discussion on how to improve national school food programs amid news that authorities warned of safety problems with Bihar's school meal program months ago.

On Friday, authorities in Bihar announced that a new committee would be formed to strengthen food preparation in rural schools. The state's mid-day meal director, R. Lakshmanan, said village communities will also help monitor standards of meals for schoolchildren.




Deaths cause protests

The Bihar students, who authorities said were between the ages of 5 and 12, started vomiting soon after their first bite of lunch. Some fainted.

The parents of at least three children have buried their lost ones near the school -- one right in front of the building, according to CNN journalists who saw the burial mounds. An official told CNN that the parents did so out of protest.

After the Bihar tragedy, demonstrations sprang up around the area as people angrily demanded answers. One news video showed men apparently attacking a school bus with sticks. Others gathered together and held signs. Students at nearby schools refused to eat. A group that supplies lunches to schools in the Chhapra district of Patna was attacked.

It's unclear whether the children were intentionally or accidentally poisoned. An investigation is under way, and police told CNN that investigators have been unable to find the headmistress of the school in order to question her. Authorities were questioning the cook, also hospitalized in the tragedy.

Agricultural chemical suspected

Officials believe the poison was an organophosphorus compound, a type of chemical that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says is commonly used in agriculture.

It's a nerve agent related to sarin gas, which is used in chemical warfare, the U.S. Health Department says. Exposure to a high dose can cause an irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing, paralysis and seizures.

Bihar state Education Minister P.K. Shahi said the children were poisoned by an insecticide that was in the food. Shahi said he heard reports that the cook had questioned the quality of the oil she was supposed to use, but was overruled by the school's headmistress.

"The information which has come to me indeed suggests that the headmistress was told by the cook that medium of cooking was not proper, and she suspected the quality of the oil," Shahi said. "But the headmistress rebuked her, and chastised the children, and forced them to continue the meal."

According to the Indian government's figures, nearly half of India's children suffer from malnutrition of some sort. Since a landmark Supreme Court decision in 2001, all government schools in India have been required to provide free meals to students younger than 13.

Bihar state has been working "to improve the quality and ... try to get good food served," Shahi told CNN.

"However, the challenge is still there because the magnitude of this program is so huge that there are a number of challenges." He said those challenges are at least partly financial.

"Even though I would unhesitatingly admit that there are some quality issues before us, this is the first incident which has happened in the state," Shahi said. "In the past, we have received complaints regarding quality, but the incident of this nature ... has really shocked us -- shocked the entire state."

CNN's Harmeet Singh reported from India, and CNN's Ashley Fantz wrote in Atlanta.

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