05 23 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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Ebola health campaigners

PHOTO: A man and woman taking part in a Ebola prevention campaign holds a placard with an Ebola prevention information message in the city of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014. The World Health Organization has begun an emergency meeting on the Ebola crisis, and said at least 932 deaths in four African countries are blamed on the virus, with many hundreds more being treated in quarantine conditions. (AP Photo/ Michael Duff)

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Soldiers clamped down on people trying to travel to Liberia's capital Thursday from rural areas hard-hit by the Ebola virus hours after the president declared a national state of emergency.

Reports have emerged of families hiding sick relatives at home and of abandoned bodies being left in the streets.

Similar efforts were underway in eastern areas of neighboring Sierra Leone after officials there launched "Operation Octopus" to try and keep those sick with Ebola in isolation. While the outbreak has now reached four countries, Liberia and Sierra Leone account for more than 60 percent of the deaths, according to the World Health Organization. The outbreak that emerged in March has claimed at least 932 lives.

In announcing the 90-day state of emergency, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said the worst recorded Ebola outbreak in history requires "extraordinary measures for the very survival of our state and for the protection of the lives of our people."

"Ignorance, poverty, as well as entrenched religious and cultural practices continue to exacerbate the spread of the disease especially in the counties," Sirleaf said late Wednesday.

She warned that some civil liberties could be suspended as needed, and by Thursday soldiers already were restricting movements on the roads to the capital, Monrovia, witnesses said. Some soldiers were deployed to the crossroads town of Klay about 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Monrovia in an effort to stop people from three Ebola-infected counties from coming closer to the capital.

Yet even as authorities tried to keep more people from reaching Monrovia, the capital already has been hard hit by the virus.

National Health Workers Association president Joseph Tamba said the state of emergency is necessary. But he says people should have been given advance notice to buy food ahead of the movement restrictions.

In other developments:

—A Spanish missionary infected by Ebola was in stable condition after being flown to Spain from Liberia Thursday, health officials in Madrid said. Miguel Pajares, 75, had been helping to treat people infected with Ebola and was one of three who tested positive at the San Jose de Monrovia Hospital in Liberia earlier this week. Juliana Bohi, an Equatorial Guinean nun with Spanish nationality who worked with him in Liberia, was also brought back but she is not infected.

—Zimbabwe President Mugabe is considering withdrawing Zimbabwean soldiers, police and prison officers serving as U.N. peacekeepers in Liberia because of the Ebola outbreak, Zimbabwe's state-run Herald newspaper reported. "We must not expose ourselves unnecessarily," Mugabe was quoted as saying. Peacekeepers are in Liberia until elections in 2017.

—The World Health Organization is holding talks this week on whether to declare an international health emergency.

Previous outbreaks of the Ebola virus were limited to parts of Congo and Uganda, far from the capital cities in those countries.

Associated Press writer Clarence Roy-Macaulay in Freetown, Sierra Leone contributed to this report.



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