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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bricks damaged from earthquake

The move comes months after Constantine launched the Resilient King County Initiative, a two-year plan to improve community safety that is considered to be one of the first of its kind in the nation.

"We are better able to respond to disasters when we have a coordinated approach, follow the same protocols, and are able to eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy," he said. "This approach clears the path for emergency responders to share resources across boundaries."

Much of the effort was launched last September, starting with a Disaster Recovery Leadership Summit held at the Microsoft campus in Redmond.

That gathering identified a handful of key “themes” – including a sense of urgency in drawing up better disaster plans, a “need for synchronization,” and the ability to “come back better.”

Attendees at that event dug into specific needs regarding community infrastructure, the healthcare sector, the economy and housing. A majority at the leadership meeting identified utilities and transportation as the most important areas where emergency planning – including built-in cooperation and interdependency – should be prioritized.

The new Regional Coordination Framework for Disasters and Planned Events “clears the legal pathway to allow cooperation among governments and tribal nations, as well as private and non-profit organizations,” Constantine said in a statement.

Elected leaders and city managers were on hand for the announcement in Bellevue, joined by federal, tribal, state and local emergency management professionals.

Originally adopted in 2002 as the Regional Disaster Plan, the current agreement has 145 signatories including cities, special purpose districts, private organizations, and non-profit agencies in KingCounty.

As with the current plan, the new framework is voluntary, meaning its use during an emergency is up to each organization.

The Regional Coordination Framework for Disasters and Planned Events focuses on five key areas:

-- Direction and Coordination

-- Information Collection, Analysis, and Dissemination

-- Public Information

-- Communications

-- Resource Management

The plan was drawn up by the King County Regional Disaster Planning Work Group, made up of emergency professionals and stakeholders drawn from throughout the region.

"The new framework is a streamlined format that promotes cooperation and effective response on the ground," said Planning Work Group chair Luke Meyers. "It's flexible and can be used by organizations of almost any size."

The framework's success relies upon widespread endorsement of cities, organizations, and businesses throughout KingCounty. Interested organizations can join at any time.

"I urge every jurisdiction and organization with a role to play during an emergency in KingCounty to adopt this new framework," Constantine said.

For more information on the Regional Coordination Framework for Disasters and Planned Events, visit www.kingcounty.gov/prepare.

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