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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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP)— An unpublished study by Duke University researchers that says black students are more likely to switch to less difficult majors has upset some students, who say the research is emblematic of more entrenched racial problems.

The study, which opponents of affirmative action are using in a case they want the U.S. Supreme Court to consider, concludes black students match the GPA of Whites over time partially because they switch to majors that require less study time and have less stringent grading standards. Opponents of affirmative action cite the study in a case they want the U.S. Supreme Court to consider.

About three dozen students held a silent protest Sunday outside a speech by black political strategist Donna Brazile that was part of the school's annual Martin Luther King Jr. observance. And members of the Black Student Alliance have met with the provost to express their unhappiness with the study and other issues on campus.

"I don't know what needs to happen to make Duke wake up," said Nana Asante, a senior psychology major and president of the Black Student Alliance.

The reaction from black students has surprised one of the researchers, who said he wanted to show the need to find ways to keep minorities in difficult majors such as the natural sciences, economics and engineering.

Peter Arcidiacono, an economics professor at Duke, wrote the paper in May 2011 along with a graduate student and Ken Spenner, a sociology professor. Spenner and Arcidiacono are white. It's been under review since June at the Journal of Public Economics.

The statistics would likely reflect trends at other schools, Arcidiacono said. The study notes that national science organizations have spent millions to increase the ranks of black science students.

"It's not just a Duke issue. It's a national issue," he said.

The researchers analyzed data from surveys of more than 1,500 Duke students before college and during the first, second and fourth college years. Blacks and Whites initially expressed a similar interest in tougher fields of study such as science and engineering, but 68 percent of blacks ultimately choose humanities and social science majors, compared with less than 55 percent of Whites. The research found similar trends for legacy students –those whose parents are alumni.

The study's claim that majors such as natural sciences required more study time was based on students' responses to survey questions about how many hours they spent each week on studying and homework. The study found that those fields required 50 percent more study time than social sciences and humanities courses.

"I view the lack of (minority) representation in the sciences to be a problem, and I include my own field of economics," Arcidiacono said. "I'd like to see programs that are successful in increasing that representation."

Black students at Duke haven't taken that impression from the study, which came to light when the Chronicle of Higher Education wrote about it earlier this month. Affirmative action opponents cite the study in briefs involving a challenge of the undergraduate admissions policy at the University of Texas at Austin.

"What kind of image does this present not only of the academic undertakings of black students at Duke, but also of the merit and legitimacy of our degrees?" Asante asked. "And then, of course, it's calling into question ... the legitimacy of how we even got to Duke in the first place."

Duke, a private university, has about 6,500 undergraduate students, about 47 percent of them white and 10 percent black. The largest group of minorities is Asian-American at 21 percent. Duke has no set formula for admitting students, school spokesman Mike Schoenfeld said. Instead, the admissions process takes into account many factors, including race, ethnicity and legacy status. The school selects about 1,700 students each year from more than 31,000 applicants.

"The experience of black students, and indeed of all students, at Duke is of deep and ongoing interest to the university, and we take very seriously the issues that have been raised," Schoenfeld said.

The study is the latest issue to trouble black students at Duke, Asante said. She said administrators have not responded to questions about plans to renovate the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture and have not given support for the black student group's recruitment weekend.

Schoenfeld said the Williams Center is a gem and officials are working with students to find a new, visible location for it. And he said the recruitment weekend is more important than ever because Duke received a record number of black student applications this year.

But a letter to the editor of the student newspaper, signed by the provost and other administrators, failed to address concerns about those issues and the racial climate, Asante said.

"In failing to do that, it reaffirmed its own ignorance in terms of the necessity of acknowledging, accepting and working to change that climate," Asante said.



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