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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PARIS—In one case, the catalyst was Hurricane Katrina; in the other, a freak electrocution accident in a Paris suburb.

What followed — drownings and dislocation in the United States, riots across France — has forced each nation to confront problems of racism and poverty that are deeply entrenched but usually ignored.

The parallel soul-searching is taking place in two countries where politicians and pundits have long delighted in mocking the other's perceived hypocrisies and flaws.

"I'm not sure you can say that one country's system is better or worse than the other — neither works very well," said Dominique Moisi of the French Institute of International Relations.

"Each government waits for the problems to occur in order to address them, and their first reaction is slow and inadequate."


 The devastation wreaked by Katrina in New Orleans took a disproportionate toll on low-income Blacks, with hundreds drowning and tens of thousands losing their homes to flooding in low-lying neighborhoods.

In France, the deaths of two Muslim youths hiding from police in an electricity substation triggered rioting nationwide in bleak, immigrant-filled suburban housing projects where joblessness and alienation are endemic.

"After Katrina, many French took an undisguised glee in poking the eyes of the Americans. ... They said this couldn't happen in France," said Steven Ekovich, a political science professor at the American University of Paris.

"Now, the French are just stunned, groping to make sense out of what's happening around them. It's very difficult to admit they have a race riot, but that's what it is."

Experts from both countries said the United States, with its painful history of slavery and segregation, has been more willing than France to acknowledge and address racial tensions.

"In France, issues of discrimination were not supposed to arise," said Francois Heisbourg, a leading French foreign policy analyst. "Officially, we're all equal. It's politically incorrect to say otherwise."

The principle of equality has such weight in France that authorities generally do not collect racial or ethnic demographic data and have shunned U.S.-style affirmative action programs.

"Affirmative action in the U.S. at least recognizes that racism exists, that problems are linked to color," said Dominic Thomas, who grew up in France and now teaches at the University of California, Los Angeles. "The French talk about how they're indivisible, but they end up with unrepresentative government."

More so than the United States, France has failed to propel significant numbers of its racial minorities to top-rung positions in government, business or the media.

"In America, one can talk about a sizable Black middle class, about influential African-Americans in Congress, the corporate world, Hollywood, in ways you don't see with Muslims in France," said Charles Kupchan, director of Europe studies at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations.

"There may be racism in the United States, but nobody would say an African-American is not an American," Kupchan added. "Muslims in France find themselves feeling like second-class citizens — not really part of the French nation."

Catherine Durandin, a Paris-based expert on trans-Atlantic relations, said she had been impressed by the efforts of Americans — including former Presidents Clinton and George H. W. Bush — to raise money for Katrina's victims.

"The most shocking difference in France is that there is no solidarity with the suburbs," she said. "The main reaction is fear, how to prevent the contagion from spreading to the more prosperous parts of the cities."

During the U.S. race riots of the 1960s, and again after rioting in Los Angeles in 1992, many in France were quick to criticize U.S. policies. Then President Francois Mitterrand suggested in 1992 that France would avoid such strife because of its generous social programs.

In the aftermath of Katrina, elements in the French media seized a new chance to expound on America's problems. Now the French unrest has given some Americans a chance to point at bad examples.

One of the major U.S. groups urging a crackdown on illegal immigration cited the French riots as evidence that President Bush should abandon plans to accommodate more foreigners under a guest worker program.

"France is being ripped apart by the unemployed and unassimilated offspring of their own failed guest worker programs of the 1970s and 1980s," said Dan Stein of the Federation for American Immigration Reform. "If we bring millions of guest workers to this country, they will never leave. ... We will face massive social problems and costs down the road."

Several commentators suggested that France, more so than the United States, was likely to be so chastened by the latest trauma that it would undertake concrete steps to fight poverty and discrimination. Others were skeptical.

"I'm not very optimistic that this will lead to powerful change in either country," said Thomas, the UCLA professor. "There are incredible pressures not to look at these questions."

— The Associated Press

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