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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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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures while addressing the 2015 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in Washington, Monday, March 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted Monday that his plans to address Congress are not aimed at disrespecting President Barack Obama, even as he assailed the U.S. leader's bid for a nuclear deal with Iran as a threat to his country's survival.

"I have a moral obligation to speak up in the face of these dangers while there is still time to avert them," Netanyahu said during an address to a pro-Israel lobbying group in Washington.

As Netanyahu spoke, Secretary of State John Kerry was opening a new round of talks with Iran in Geneva aimed at reaching a framework nuclear deal ahead of a late March deadline. Obama views the prospect of a nuclear accord with the Islamic republic as a central component of his foreign policy legacy.

While Obama and Netanyahu have never had a warm personal relationship, the prime minister's visit to Washington this week has exposed the depth of their tensions.

At the heart of this latest flare-up is Netanyahu's decision to address a joint meeting of Congress, a Tuesday event during which he is sure to criticize the nuclear talks. The speech was arranged by Republican leaders without the Obama administration's knowledge, a move the White House blasted as a breach of diplomatic protocol.

Netanyahu's visit to Washington comes two weeks before Israeli elections, heightening the political overtones. Obama won't meet the prime minister while he is in town, citing longstanding policy to avoid appearing to play favorites in foreign elections.

In a preview of his speech to lawmakers, Netanyahu suggested that Obama did not — and could not— understand the extent of Israeli concerns about Iran's pursuit of a nuclear bomb.

"U.S. leaders worry about the security of their country," he said. "Israeli leaders worry about the survival of their country."

Despite his sharp rhetoric, Netanyahu declared that the relationship between the U.S. and Israel remains strong.

"Reports of the demise of the Israeli-U.S. relationship is not only premature, they're just wrong," Netanyahu said. "Our alliance is stronger than ever."

Netanyahu's remarks at the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee were being bracketed by speeches from a pair of senior U.S. officials: U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power and National Security Adviser Susan Rice.

Power spoke warmly of the ties between the U.S. and Israel, saying the relationship was rooted in "shared, fundamental values." She highlighted the billions of dollars in military assistance Washington provides Israel and the constant defense the U.S. provides Israel at the United Nations.

Power said the deep ties between the longtime allies meant their relationship "should never be politicized."

The ambassador also defended Obama's pursuit of an accord with Iran and said the president shared Israel's commitment to preventing Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

"If diplomacy should fail, we know the stakes of a nuclear-armed Iran," she said. "We will not let it happen."

Rice was expected to deliver a more specific rebuttal to Netanyahu's criticism of the U.S.-led nuclear negotiations. She also has been among the most outspoken critics of the prime minister's plan to address Congress, calling the move "destructive" to the U.S.-Israel relationship.

Netanyahu has long been suspicious of Obama's negotiations with Iran, fearing the U.S. and its negotiating partners are prepared to leave Tehran on the cusp of developing a nuclear weapon. He has stepped up his public criticism as the parties inch closer to the March deadline.

U.S. and Israeli officials have reported progress on a deal that would freeze Iran's nuclear program for 10 years but allow it to slowly ramp up in the later years of an agreement. Netanyahu has vigorously criticized the contours of such an agreement, saying it suggests the U.S. and its partners have "given up" on stopping Iran from being able to get a bomb.

A Netanyahu adviser told reporters traveling with the prime minister to Washington Sunday that Israel was well aware of the details of the emerging nuclear deal and that they included Western compromises that were dangerous for Israel. Still, he tried to lower tensions by saying that Israel "does not oppose every deal" and was merely doing its best to warn the U.S. of the risks.

Kerry, who is in Switzerland for the next round of nuclear negotiations, warned Israel against releasing "selective details" of the negotiations.

"Doing so would make it more difficult to reach the goal that Israel and others say they share," said Kerry, who is negotiating alongside diplomats from Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China.

 

___

AP Diplomatic Writer Matthew Lee in Geneva and AP writer Bradley Klapper in Washington contributed to this report.

Follow Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC and Aron Heller at http://twitter.com/aronhellerap

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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