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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High-stakes diplomacy unfolded Friday in Geneva, Switzerland, over the long-running Syrian crisis.

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov continued discussions about Moscow's initiative to control, remove and destroy Syria's chemical weapons.

Success in those discussions on chemical weapons could jump-start an initiative for renewing peace talks. The effort called Geneva II, spearheaded by U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, would be designed to end the Syrian civil war.

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS FRIDAY:

• The president of Oxfam America, the international relief and development organization, regards the Kerry-Lavrov meetings in Geneva as "positive" but regrets that the diplomats failed to set a date "for the elusive Geneva peace conference." "Further delays will only result in more death, displacement and suffering," the group's president, Ray Offenheiser, said.

PREVIOUS DEVELOPMENTS

Chemical weapons

• Speaking at a joint news conference with Lavrov, Kerry on Friday called his conversations with his counterpart on the chemical weapons issue "constructive" and said the talks were continuing.

• Lavrov said a path needs to be designed that "would make sure this issue is resolved quickly, professionally, as soon as practical." He said professionals, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations need to be engaged in the effort.

Peace initiative

• Kerry, Lavrov and Brahimi pledged to work toward setting a date for a second round of international peace talks involving all parties in Syria, known as Geneva II. This would be a continuation of the talks held in Geneva in June 2012.

• Kerry and Lavrov are planning to meet again at the end of September, on the margins of the annual U.N. General Assembly meeting.

Kerry remarks

• Kerry said they will gauge whether it is possible to find a date for a Geneva II conference when they meet around September 28. Forging that conference will "obviously depend on the capacity to have success here in the next day, hours, days, on the subject of the chemical weapons," he said.

• "I would say, on behalf of the United States, that President Obama is deeply committed to a negotiated solution with respect to Syria. And we know that Russia is likewise," Kerry said. "We are working hard to find the common ground to be able to make that happen."

• Kerry said he and Lavrov are concerned about "the acts on both sides, all sides, that are creating more and more refugees, more and more of a humanitarian catastrophe." "We are committed to trying to work together, beginning with this initiative on the chemical weapons, in hopes that those efforts could pay off and bring peace and stability to a war-torn part of the world."

Lavrov remarks

• Lavrov said he regrets that the communique that came out of the June 2012 Geneva meeting was "basically abandoned" and not endorsed in the U.N. Security Council. But he praised Kerry, saying he "understood the importance of moving on Syria and doing something about this."

• Lavrov praised Kerry for traveling to Moscow on May 7 "when we launched the Russian-American initiative to convene a Geneva conference and to implement fully the Geneva communique"

• The communique, Lavrov said, means that "Syrian parties must reach mutual consent on the transitional governing organs which would command full executive authority. And the communique also says that all groups of Syrian society must be represented."

On the ground

• Kerry will travel to Jerusalem on Sunday to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Friday. They will discuss the final-status talks between Israelis and Palestinians but also are to focus on developments in Syria.

• At least 15 people have been killed in the fighting on Friday, the opposition Local Coordination Committees said. Activists report warplanes dropping bombs and government artillery shelling in the Damascus area. Such incidents could not be independently confirmed by CNN.

• The U.N. refugee agency, which has reported millions of Syrians displaced by the civil war, said it has seen a "sharp increase" of Syrians arriving by boat in southern Italy. Most have come from Egypt.

• The Free Syrian Army hopes that its "military supplies will increase in the coming days," Louay Al-Mokdad, the army's political and media coordinator, said Friday. The rebels are issuing guarantees that munitions won't fall into "the wrong hands," such as extremist groups and "undisciplined rebel elements."

• Human Rights Watch issued a report saying Syrian government and pro-government forces executed at least 248 people in the towns of al-Bayda and Baniyas in May. It was one of the deadliest instances of mass summary executions since the start of the conflict in Syria.

CNN's Joe Sterling, Saad Abedine, Hamdi Alkhshali and Samira Said contributed to this report

 

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