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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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Revelations that the National Security Agency can break through web site encryptions and access huge amounts of personal data has raised questions about how safe our day-to-day financial dealings really are.

Many people carry out their entire financial lives online -- doing everything from paying their bills to managing their investments. And while financial institutions have put layers of protections in place to prevent fraud and hacking, security experts say that if the NSA is able to find a way in, other sophisticated cybercriminals could do the same.

But because of the skill, time and money needed to launch such large-scale attacks, getting your bank account drained by a big hacker group like the Syrian Electronic Army or Anonymous is a lot less likely than getting targeted by a small-time fraudster or identity thief, says Credit.com chairman Adam Levin, who specializes in privacy and identity theft.

Even without multi-million dollar encryption-breaking technology, these crooks can pretty easily get the information they need. A hacker can send you an email containing malware that is automatically downloaded as soon as you open it -- giving them access to your computer and all the information on it. Use an unsecured Wi-Fi network in the airport, and your bank account information can be compromised as soon as you log in. Or a scammer claiming to be from your credit card company can call and say there is an emergency with your credit card and ask you to confirm your card number, Social Security number and date of birth.

There goes your identity.

"The capability to get your information is there," said Carl Herberger, president of security solutions at IT security firm Radware. "So it becomes less about who and the motive, but what are you going to do about it."

Instead of retreating from the online financial services world altogether and reverting back to snail mail and cash, there are a number of ways to protect your information. And while you may still be defenseless against some very sophisticated hacks, taking these steps will make it harder for anyone to crack into your financial life.

Create strong passwords: The more unique your password is, the less likely it is to be guessed. Pick passwords with a variety of characters -- include letters, numbers and symbols -- the longer it is, the better, Levin says. And you've heard it before, but don't use "123456" or "password" as a password.

Don't use the same password for multiple websites: This should be a given, but many people still do it because it's so much easier to type in the same password everywhere you go. Problem is, that makes it a lot easier for hackers, too. Also, change your password frequently.

Check your accounts every day: By regularly monitoring your account, you can ensure that you see transactions you don't recognize. Many financial institutions also offer a free service that notifies you every time a transaction is made on your account. The sooner you contact your financial institution about a suspicious transaction, the more likely you are to get your money back, says Levin.

Don't e-mail financial information: E-mailing your financial information to your financial adviser or tax preparer is not a good idea, says Pam Dixon, executive director at the World Privacy Forum. While Dixon trusts the security of an FDIC-insured bank's website, e-mail accounts are more prone to hacks, she said.

Be wary of strangers: If you don't know who sent you the e-mail, don't click on the link inside of it. It could install software on your computer that gives a fraudster access to your online transactions. And if you get an e-mail or call from someone claiming to be a government organization or financial institution, don't respond with personal information.

"There might be nothing you can do about the NSA ... but we have to understand that we are vulnerable every minute of every day to people who are cybercriminals," said Levin.

 

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