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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President Obama and his advisors talk to press about Ebola precautions


PHOTO: President Barack Obama, third from left, speaks to the media about Ebola during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, with members of his team coordinating the government’s response to the Ebola outbreak. From left are Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, the President, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Commerce, and White House chief of staff Denis McDonough. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Friday turned to a trusted adviser to lead the nation's Ebola response as efforts to clamp down on any possible route of infection from three Texas cases expanded, reaching a cruise ship at sea and multiple airline flights.

Facing renewed criticism of his handling of the Ebola risk, Obama will make Ron Klain, a former chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden, his point man on fighting Ebola at home and in West Africa. Klain will report to national security adviser Susan Rice and to homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco, the White House said.

The World Health Organization admitted to mistakes of its own in failing to contain the outbreak still spreading out of control in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

"Nearly everyone involved in the outbreak response failed to see some fairly plain writing on the wall," the U.N. health agency said in a draft internal document obtained by The Associated Press. The response was marred by incompetency and ineffective bureaucracy, the document says, and experts should have realized that traditional containment methods wouldn't work in an African region with porous borders and broken health systems.

Under pressure from Republican lawmakers, Obama on Thursday expressed some openness to considering restricting travel from the three Ebola-stricken West African nations. But he said health and security experts continue to tell him that the screening measures already in place for travelers are more effective.

Government officials said early Friday that they were seeking to remove a Dallas health care worker who handled an Ebola lab specimen from a Caribbean cruise, although she has shown no signs of infection. Officials in Belize would not allow the woman or her spouse do disembark there, a Carnival Cruise Lines spokeswoman said.

The cruise company said in a statement that the woman, a lab supervisor traveling with her spouse, remained in isolation "and is not deemed to be a risk to any guests or crew."

Still, under tighter travel rules placed on the staff of a Dallas hospital where two nurses caught Ebola from a Liberian patient, the woman shouldn't be on the ship.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Ebola isn't contagious until symptoms appear. Ebola isn't spread through the air like the flu; people catch it by direct contact with a sick person's bodily fluids, such as blood or vomit.

Doctors at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland said that a Dallas nurse, Nina Pham, brought there for Ebola treatment was very tired but resting comfortably Friday in "fair" condition.

The second nurse to contract Ebola, Amber Vinson, was being treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, as precautions related to her personal travel spiraled wider.

Passengers and crew aboard seven Frontier Airlines flights were affected, as well as a handful of people in the Akron, Ohio, area. An Akron bridal shop that Vinson visited was closed Thursday and shoppers were being contacted.

A CDC official said Vinson may already have had Ebola when she flew from Dallas to Ohio to visit relatives. The agency had earlier said Vinson didn't become sick until the morning after she returned to Dallas.

Officials are investigating whether she had symptoms as far back as Saturday, Oct. 11, or possibly earlier, said Dr. Chris Braden of the CDC.

"Some more information that's come through just recently would say that we can't rule out the fact that she might have had the start of her illness on Friday," Braden said.

Police said Vinson stayed at the home of her mother and stepfather in Tallmadge, northeast of Akron, and the home has been cordoned off with yellow tape. Eight individuals in northeast Ohio were under quarantine, health officials said.

Frontier Airlines said it would contact passengers on seven flights, including two that carried Vinson and others afterward that used the same plane.

Airline officials put two pilots and four flight attendants on paid leave for 21 days and said they did not know when the aircraft, which has been cleaned several times, would return to service.

In Dallas, the epicenter of Ebola in the U.S., officials took a tougher approach toward monitoring dozens of health care workers who were exposed to the virus while treating Liberian traveler Thomas Eric Duncan, who died at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

The health care workers were asked to sign legally binding documents agreeing not to go to public places or use public transportation. The sanctions for anyone who breaks the agreement weren't disclosed.

The chief clinical officer at the hospital, Dr. Daniel Varga, said the hospital was caught short when Duncan came to the institution "with non-specific symptoms."

"I think we all in the health care community underestimated the challenge of diagnosis," he said on ABC's "Good Morning America" Friday.

He also said the two nurses who contracted the disease had followed standard hospital procedure. "We have no indication that Nina or Amber had any break in protocol. We were working with the best information we had," Varga said.

Canceling a campaign fundraising trip for the second straight day Thursday, Obama met into the evening with top aides and health officials. The White House said Obama also placed calls to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven to discuss the need for an international response to the outbreak in West Africa.

___

Associated Press writers Emily Schmall and Nomaan Merchant in Dallas; Erica Werner, Jim Kuhnhenn, Josh Lederman and Matthew Daly in Washington; and Ann Sanner in Columbus, Ohio, contributed to this report.

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