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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Multnomah County Voting Machines

Multnomah County election officials say their new vote tabulation system will increase the speed, accuracy and transparency of the vote counting process – and that overhauling the system was cheaper than an upgrade would have been.

The county has replaced the former optical scanning system, which it had used for 15 years, with a new software-based voting system called ClearVote.

The new digital system scans the paper ballots, creates a high-resolution image of the vote and produces election results.

Election official Tim Scott said the county vote tabulation machines were in need of an upgrade after years of use.

“We had gone about 13 years without significant hardware or software upgrades,” said Tim Scott, Multnomah County’s director of elections. “There were just a lot of hardware failures that we ran into. It never affected the outcome of the elections, but it just meant that we dealt with some significant down time.”

Replacing the old hardware would have cost the county $500,000, paying $100,000 per scanner, Scott said. They were proprietary hardware running legacy software, he added, so if the county continued to use them they would get locked into paying to maintain an outdated system.

“Under the new system, we get a much better system, with much better software and we are only paying about $25,000 apiece for the scanners,” he said. The new system pairs off-the-shelf Fujistu scanners with the ClearVote browser-based software.

The new technology will be four times faster than the old system, scanning 4,000 ballots per hour instead of the previous rate of 1,000 per hour.

Scott said this speed comes from the increased accuracy of the new system. If one of the previous scanners came across a questionable ballot, it would stop working.

“The ballot had to be pretty perfect. If somebody had spilled coffee on it, or dripped ketchup on it or something like that, chances are that ballot would not have gone through our old scanners,” Scott said. “The scanners would stop and we would have to take the ballot out and send it somewhere else to be duplicated and to run clean ballot.”

 The ClearVote system will make a note about questionable ballots and send them to be reviewed, while continuing to scan other ballots. Scott said the new system is much more tolerant of imperfections.

The new technology can also flag situations where it looks like a voter might have changed his or her mind by crossing out one oval and filling in another. In that case, a bipartisan team of election workers would look at the vote and determine the intent of the voter.

Voters may see a change in the layout of ballots. The new system allows for more flexibility in the design of ballots and allows officials to use smaller papers for elections with very few measures.

The new voting system uses the same security protocols as before. Scott said the vote data is stored in a closed network in one room with no outside access. Very few people can gain entry to the tally room and each tabulation work station is encrypted and tracks who was overseeing which ballots.

Scott said the county plans to use the new system during the November election later this year.

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