05 24 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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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Go to the Obamacare website today because "it has improved," with more people completing applications after a month of problems that botched the rollout of HealthCare.gov, the official in charge of creating the online program told a Senate committee on Tuesday.



Marilyn Tavenner, head of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, assured the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee the website will be fixed by the end of November, as promised by the administration.

She also said the first figures on how many people have enrolled so far under President Barack Obama's signature health care reforms would be available next week, meeting a mid-November deadline the administration has set.

However, Tavenner had few answers for Republican opponents of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, who insisted that the law itself is the problem, not the dysfunctional website for enrolling.

Under tough questioning from GOP senators, Tavenner acknowledged she knew of troubles encountered by consumers, such as a man in South Carolina whose personal details turned up when someone else registered.

In a terse exchange with Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, Tavenner said her agency had reached out to the man who complained of the security breach.

"We will find him and we will follow up on his questions," she said, to which Scott offered to provide Tavenner with the man's phone numbers. When she said her agency had the numbers, Scott responded: "He doesn't think so, actually, because no one's called him."

Tavenner replied: "Well, we have a disagreement there."

Later, GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said that as of October 29, only three people in her state had enrolled and she cited ongoing problems with the system that included providing consumers with incorrect information on available subsidies.

"Are you aware of this? Has it been resolved? Are we working on it?," Murkowski asked. "Because the concern is that not only can people not get on to enroll, but if they do their subsidy calculations are incorrect. "

Tavenner said her staff is aware of the issue and is "working on a fix to the system to correct the Alaska issue specific to Alaska."

In one change to the federal website implemented by tech experts brought in to get it working, Tavenner said consumers can now view and compare health insurance plans online without registering for an account.

When the website came online on October 1, it got overwhelmed by initial volume, and outside contractors working on the system blamed the requirement that people set up an account before they could view coverage options instead of being able to "window shop" without registering.

"In the first few days that we went live, few consumers could create an account," Tavenner said, repeating information she first provided at a House committee hearing last week. "We have now resolved that issue. Users can successfully create an account and go through the enrollment process. We are able now to process nearly 17,000 registrants per hour, or five per second, with almost no errors."

Tuesday's hearing quickly generated the heated rhetoric of the continuing political battle over the Affordable Care Act passed with no Republican support three years ago and upheld by the Supreme Court last year.

Republicans who have made dismantling or repealing the law known as Obamacare a top priority focused Tuesday on policy cancellations and higher prices facing some people, as well as the website woes that included difficulty logging on, error messages and lengthy delays.

Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the ranking Republican on the panel, said Obama broke his promise that people who like their previous plan could keep it. Instead, he noted, polices are being canceled for those who buy their own coverage instead of getting it through their jobs or Medicare and Medicaid.

"For these Americans the new promise is, 'if you want health care, go find it on a website the administration says won't be working properly until the end of November,' " Alexander said, calling it "an unwelcome Christmas present."

He called for a proposal to allow people to keep current coverage if they liked it, a concept rejected by the White House.

Democratic Chairman Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa noted the benefits already in place from Obamacare, and he encouraged Republicans to work on fixing problems instead of trying to undermine the program.

CNN's Lisa Desjardins contributed to this report.

™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

 

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