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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Muhammad AliAppearing very frail, boxing legend Muhammad Ali made a rare public appearance Thursday at an event in his hometown to pay homage to others for their humanitarian work.

Former President Jimmy Carter, music artists and young leaders of groups helping the underprivileged were among those honored at the inaugural Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards in Louisville.

Even though he was barely able to whisper a word, Ali posed for pictures and participated in presenting the awards.

"This is really about his legacy and extending that legacy to others and inspiring them and encouraging them to do the kinds of work that now he cannot always do himself," Ali's wife, Lonnie Ali, said at the gala.

While Parkinson's disease has robbed the three-time world heavyweight champion of many of the traits he once treasured in the ring -- the speed, wit and charisma that made him one of the most famous sports figures in recent history -- he has never retreated from public life.

'His head is still there'

"People always feed bad when they see my dad, and I feel bad because he has Parkinson's disease and it's hard for him to get around, but he is happy," said his daughter Laila Ali, who retired undefeated as a super middle weight champion. "His head is still there, and all we can do is keep loving him and supporting him even though it's never easy to watch."

Recipients of the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards included 22-year-old Tanvi Girotra of India, who leads a global youth organization that seeks to combat sex trafficking and empower women.

Walking along the red carpet to greet Ali, 71, was 15-year-old Nick Lowinger of Rhode Island, who began outreach work with homeless people at the age of 5.

Lowinger was recognized for his foundation, which provided shoes to more than 10,000 homeless and disadvantaged children in 21 states.

"Nobody had to asked them to do it, they recognized the need and they jumped to action just to recognize that somebody needed something," said Lonnie Ali.

Carter, who turned 89 on Tuesday, was singled out for a lifetime achievement award. The 39th U.S. president was unable to attend, so his son James "Chip" Carter accepted the award.

Pop stars recognized

Pop singer Christina Aguilera received the humanitarian of the year award for her work on global hunger relief, while her fellow recording artist Michael Bolton was honored for his work promoting gender equality.

The awards were established in conjunction with Ali's core principles of conviction, dedication and giving, which are illustrated at the Muhammad Ali Center, a museum that also chronicles his epic boxing matches, the struggle for racial equality and his conscientious objection to the Vietnam War that eventually cost him his titles and millions of dollars in endorsements.

Over the past four decades, Ali has visited more than 100 countries, providing humanitarian assistance and at times mediating in international disputes, notably in situations where U.S. citizens were held captive in Iran and Iraq.

"He has a body of work he has done traveling the globe, helping others by bringing assistance and aid to those who are in need," said Lonnie Ali. "And he wants to extend that part of life to others by recognizing their support and serving as an encouragement."

While Parkinson's disease has taken a severe toll on Ali, his wife says his commitment to social justice has not wavered.

"Every day he gets up with a smile in his face and looks forward to whatever the day brings," she said. "He doesn't let things stop him and he does as much as he can every day and he still finds meaning in life."

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