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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U.S. District Judge Anna Brown has ruled that passengers have a constitutional right to fly internationally, but it has yet to decide if the government's procedures are enough to deny that right due to security concerns.
The 13 plaintiffs, including four U.S. military veterans, sued in 2010 after being stopped from traveling in aircraft. They say they believe they are on the federal no-fly list.
They also say they were prevented from traveling overseas to make religious pilgrimages, visit family and attend school, since other means of travel, such as boat trips that would have lasted more than a month, were impractical.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which supported the case, hailed the partial decision as a victory.
"This is the first federal court decision to recognize that when the government bans Americans from flying and smears them as suspected terrorists, it deprives them of constitutionally protected liberties and must provide these Americans a fair process to clear their names," Nusrat Choudhury, a staff attorney for the ACLU who argued the case, told CNN.
The Justice Department would not comment on the case.
The plaintiffs also say the government violated their right to due process when they were put on the list with no notice or meaningful way to fight the inclusion.
About 20,000 people were on the no-fly list as of 2012, according to a counterterrorism official, including about 400 Americans.
U.S. officials will not confirm who is on the no-fly list or various other terrorist watch lists complied by the F.B.I. and used by the Transportation Security Administration, airlines and other countries.
The judge has asked both the government and the plaintiffs' attorneys for more information about the redress process before deciding if the procedures are enough to prevent people from flying.
There is a process for removing a person's name by submitting information to the Department of Homeland Security. If would-be passengers aren't happy with the results, they can take the government to court.
The plaintiffs said that process is not adequate, since the government never holds an administrative hearing, acknowledges if a person's name is on the list or if it has been removed, or tells why the name was on the list in the first place.
The government argued in court documents that it can't tell people if they are on the no-fly list because that would reveal classified information that needs to be "shared across the government to maximize the nation's security, without fear that such information will be disclosed whenever anyone cannot travel as he or she might choose."
The next court date is set for September 9.

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