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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WASHINGTON (AP) — A missing Iranian nuclear scientist, who has sought refuge at a Pakistani embassy office in Washington and who Iran claims was abducted, is free to return to his homeland, the State Department said Tuesday.

It was the latest development in a murky case that has been shrouded in mystery since the scientist, Shahram Amiri, disappeared while on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia in June 2009.
"He has been in the United States of his own free will and obviously he is free to go," department spokesman P.J. Crowley said. "In fact, he was scheduled to travel to Iran yesterday but was unable to make all of the necessary arrangements to reach Iran through transit countries."
Crowley said Amiri was at the Pakistani embassy. "He traveled there on his own," he added, but would not elaborate. Other officials said Amiri arrived there Monday evening.
Iran's foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, told reporters at a news conference in Madrid that Amiri was found after having been kidnapped during the Hajj and taken to the U.S. against his will. He demanded that Amiri be allowed to return home "without any obstacle."
In brief remarks to reporters, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Amiri was free to go.
"These are decisions that are his alone to make," Clinton said. "In contrast, Iran continues to hold three young Americans against their will, and we reiterate our request that they be released and allowed to return to their families on a humanitarian basis."
Clinton was referring to three American hikers who have been held by Tehran since July 2009 on an accusation of illegally entering the country. They have not been charged.
Clinton and Crowley also mentioned the case of Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent who disappeared in Iran in 2007.
"We also continue to have concern about others, including Robert Levinson. We have asked Iran many, many times for information about his whereabouts and we still do not have that information," Crowley said.
Iran has repeatedly claimed that the U.S. abducted Amiri — charges the Americans deny. U.S. media reported in March that the 32-year-old scientist had defected to the U.S. and was assisting the CIA in efforts to undermine Iran's disputed nuclear program.
Adding to the confusion, Amiri himself appeared in a series of videos making conflicting claims, including one where he said he was kidnapped by American and Saudi agents and taken to the U.S. and another in which he said he was freely studying in the United States.
Iranian state television reported that Amiri entered the Pakistani embassy's office representing Iranian interests in Washington and demanded an "immediate return" to Iran.
The Iranian interest section is technically part of Pakistan's embassy and is under Pakistani legal protection but is run by Iranians who issue visas for travelers to Iran and perform other functions.
A Pakistani diplomat in Washington said Amiri arrived at the interest section, which is separate from the main Pakistani embassy building, at 6:30 p.m. EDT Monday, and told Iranians there that he had been dropped by what he called his captors.
The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly. He added that Pakistani officials had yet to speak directly to Amiri.
Mostafa Rahmani, head of the Iranian office in Washington, said Amiri was there but declined to provide details.
Amiri's sudden appearance could prove an embarrassment to Washington, which accuses Tehran of seeking nuclear weapons. Iran denies that and maintains that its nuclear research is for peaceful purposes.
Iranian State TV's website quoted Amiri as saying in a telephone interview that the U.S. was planning to send the scientist back to Iran following release of the videos.
"Since the release of the videos, the Americans have come out as the losers," Amiri was quoted as saying. He said he was under psychological pressure in recent months.
The United Nations in early June slapped a fourth round of sanctions on Tehran over its refusal to curtain its nuclear program.
Before he disappeared, Amiri worked at Tehran's Malek Ashtar University, an institution closely connected to the country's powerful Revolutionary Guard.
Iran's state TV has periodically showed purported videos of Amiri claiming abduction and torture by the U.S.
Crowley, the State Department spokesman, disputed the claim of torture.
"I have no information to suggest that he has been mistreated while he has been in the United States," Crowley said.

 


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