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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Hurricane Katrina

Nobel Prize-winning climate change expert Warren Washington, PhD, speaks this week at Lewis & Clark College on “20th and 21st Century Climate Change: Climate Modeling, Societal Impacts, and Environmental Justice.” Feb. 13 at the Agnes Flanagan Chapel, at 7 p.m.

Washington, who grew up in Portland and attended Oregon State University as an undergraduate, was one of the very first scientists to create a model of the atmospheric impacts of climate, and is a pioneer in the understanding of global warming.

Currently a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, in Boulder, Colo., Washington shared a Nobel Prize for climate change research in 2007 and was presented the National Medal of Science by President Barack Obama in 2010.

The Skanner News spoke with Washington about his work and its implications for Pacific Northwest communities. (Photo: Hurricane Katrina.)

The Skanner News: Dr. Washington how would you describe your area of study?

Warren Washington: I'm basically a scientist who'd gotten a PhD from Penn State way back in 1964. Actually I started in 1963, working with my colleagues to build one of the first computer models of the atmosphere and the climate system.

TSN: You must've spent decades on this work before people even knew what you were talking about.

Washington: Well, it wasn't quite that bad. Maybe the world did not pay too much attention, but the policymakers did. For example, even in the 60s and 70s, with the earlier versions of our models, we were able to show what might happen with increased carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and how that might lead to global warming.

That got the attention of policymakers and so forth, so that over the years we've been able to improve our models, make them more reliable and with fewer biases, and show all kinds of things.

For example, one of the things that might surprise you is that when you warm up the atmosphere, the oceans, of course, warm up also, and you get more water vapor in the atmosphere. So when it rains it's more likely to rain with a higher intensity. Therefore it would lead to more flooding events and things of that sort.

We were able to look at things like that and also look at how El Niño might change, and how droughts may form more readily in certain parts of the world. We're able to give policymakers and the public a lot more information about what climate change means.

TSN: Can you talk a little bit about what your concerns are as far as environmental justice and the societal impacts of these wide-scale changes in how we live?

Washington: It's a complicated subject, because environmental justice can be different things in different parts of the world and at different times. 

For example, if you lived in the south, if you're not very wealthy, you’re likely to live near rivers in the low-lying areas of the cities and also in places where there's lots of air pollution caused by the burning of coal, and other airborne chemicals. So you're going to obviously have some increase in medical problems and maybe even premature death.

In other places, environmental justice means that, as we get into more extremes in terms of heat waves and things like that, a lot of people live in houses where they don't have air-conditioning. They're likely to be more affected by the warmer temperatures. A curious thing about it, you remember in Chicago when they had a heat wave …?

TSN: The 1995 Chicago heat wave?

Washington: Yes, and a lot of people were afraid to keep their houses open because they were concerned about burglaries and attacks. So there's lots of feedback in the system dealing with the impacts of climate change.

TSN: And that Chicago heat wave was a real turning point for some people in terms of believing in global warming, I think because so many people died – I believe 750 people died.

Washington: That's right. Now just keep in mind, and I'm going to include this in my talk, the weather is still going to have a natural component to it -- you're still going to have cold waves as well as heat waves, just because of the chaotic nature of the climate system.

But we know that you're twice as likely to have a heat wave as a cold wave, and so that's another indicator that the climate is indeed changing.

TSN: What do you think is the most important thing for our Pacific Northwest audience and readership to know about this issue?

Washington: Well I think that for the Northwest and the Portland area, there will probably be an increase in heatwaves. They'll be more frequent and also there will be more intense rainfall at certain times of the year, just because the atmosphere is holding moisture as it warms up and therefore you're going to be getting more severe and extreme types of weather. So we have to be prepared for that kind of climate change.

TSN: We wrote last year about how the Multnomah County Health Department rolled out a new program to help people deal with the impacts of global warming in their own homes. In King County, Wash., the Seattle area, they did that a couple of years earlier but they included extreme weather events in their list of things that people have to look out for.

Here in Portland the health department did not do that, and about three months ago our photographer at The Skanner in Seattle -- her house was crushed by a tree in a freak windstorm and she is still sending us her photos from Starbucks. Do you get the sense that there's even variability in depending on region?

Washington: Yes but I would expect that over time, the climate changes in Seattle would be quite similar to those in Portland. So I think that if you want to look at statistics in terms of rainfall events and the intensity of the rainfall, it could be as you just suggested, you could have stronger winds and therefore the trees would be more likely to fall. Also when you get stronger rainfall events, if you live in a hilly area you're likely to have more flash floods and be affected by high-water events.

One thing I would like to mention is that I'm the second African-American to receive the National Medal of Science, which is the highest award you can get in from the federal government. I try to do my part for increasing diversity, I try to make it easier for African-Americans, and all students, to advance and get their careers started in the field.

For more on Washington’s work go to www.lclark.edu

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