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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ODISHA STATE, India (CNN) -- The last time a storm as powerful as Cyclone Phailin struck the eastern coast of India, 10,000 people died.

So the sense of relief is strong in the state of Odisha, where Phailin made landfall this weekend.

"I felt like I was going to die, everyone was so tense," said Raju Pradhan, who lives with his family in Odisha.

At least 21 were killed as a direct result of the cyclone, according to Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra, Odisha state special relief commissioner. Every death is tragic, but considering Phailin was the strongest tropical storm to hit India in more than a decade, the toll could have been much higher.

Pradhan was among 900,000 Odisha residents evacuated to shelters in schools and government offices. Authorities also moved food and medicine close to affected areas before the storm.

Those preparations now are credited with the huge reduction in casualties from 1999's Cyclone Orissa, which killed 10,000 and caused more than $2 billion in damage.

That cyclone, the strongest ever recorded in Bay of Bengal, carried winds of 155 mph at landfall. Phailin arrived with winds of 140 mph.

By Monday evening, almost everyone who had been in shelters because of Phailin had gone home, with the few who are left expected to return home by Tuesday morning, Mohapatra said.

Assessing damage

Phailin flooded highways and knocked down trees and power lines. Authorities said it could take up to a week to restore electric service. Flooded roads and rail lines could take longer to repair.

Major crop damage also was expected, and some evacuees may have lost homes made of mud and bamboo.

Aid had not reached all areas. When a CNN crew arrived Sunday in a coastal village in Ganjam District, residents ran outside to complain.

The village was running out of food and water, the residents said. And they said they expected more flooding as rainfall from the storm drained toward them.

Panic buying

About 40 miles inland in the state capital of Bhubaneswar, resident Prabir Panda said he and others were alarmed into buying food, candles and buckets by news reports comparing Phailin to Orissa and the Hurricane Katrina in the United States.

And he said he worried when a tree in his garden was blown down and others swung crazily in the wind.

But afterward, people in Bhubaneswar emerged to check out the damage and share their relief, he said.

Property damage in the city was limited to trees and small shops, he said.

Panda praised the evacuations of people from low-lying places, which he said ran against "a cultural feeling that we normally don't move out of our houses whatever the cause."

"This time, the government ensured people are forced to move out," he said.

He said government disaster management teams and military forces had been on the job in his city for two days.

"Everyone is happy with the way the local state government has managed it this time," Panda said.

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