05 25 2016
  12:13 am  
     •     
read latest

breaking news

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • On Tuesday, a judge ordered the 78-year-old Cosby to stand trial on sexual assault charges 
    Read More
  • 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  
    Read More
  • 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.
    Read More
load morehold SHIFT key to load allload all
Starbucks customer holds a 'race cup'

In this March 18, 2015 file photo, Larenda Myres holds an iced coffee drink with a 'Race Together' sticker on it at a Starbucks store in Seattle. Starbucks baristas will no longer write 'Race Together' on customers' cups starting Sunday, ending as planned a visible component of the company's diversity and racial inequality campaign that had sparked widespread criticism in the week since it took effect. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks baristas will no longer write "Race Together" on customers' cups starting Sunday, ending a visible component of the company's diversity and racial inequality campaign that had sparked widespread criticism in the week since it took effect.

The company had planned all along to end the cup messages on Sunday and continue the campaign more broadly, Starbucks spokesman Jim Olson said.

The cups were "just the catalyst" for a larger conversation, and Starbucks will still hold forum discussions, co-produce special sections in USA TODAY and put more stores in minority communities as part of the Race Together initiative, according to a company memo from CEO Howard Schultz said.

The campaign has been criticized as opportunistic and inappropriate, coming in the wake of racially charged events such as national protests over police killings of black males. Others questioned whether Starbucks workers could spark productive conversations about race while serving drinks.

The phase-out is not a reaction to that pushback, Olson said. "Nothing is changing. It's all part of the cadence of the timeline we originally planned."

He echoed the company memo, saying of the Race Together initiative, "We're leaning into it hard."

Schultz's note to employees acknowledged the skeptics as an anticipated part of the outreach.

"While there has been criticism of the initiative — and I know this hasn't been easy for any of you — let me assure you that we didn't expect universal praise," it read.

He said the campaign at its core aims to make sure that "the promise of the American Dream should be available to every person in this country, not just a select few."

But the campaign didn't sit well with some Starbucks customers. Many voiced on social media and elsewhere that they didn't want a debate with their brew.

At a Starbucks in Pittsfield Township, Michigan, near Ann Arbor, two customers said on Sunday they didn't think a coffee shop was the right place for race relations dialogue.

Ninette Musili, a junior bio-molecular science major at the University of Michigan, said the campaign seemed to her like an insincere publicity stunt that wasn't executed properly.

Like many who criticized Starbucks, she goes to the shops either before class or later in the day to study. At neither time does she want to discuss race relations.

"Most people come to Starbucks for coffee," said Musili, who is 19 and African-American. "Race is an uncomfortable thing to bring up, especially in a Starbucks."

She said such discussions are important, and that Starbucks should have set aside time during the evenings for race discussions and invited people to attend.

Another customer, Shane Mulholland, 46, of Ann Arbor, also said Starbucks isn't the venue to talk about race.

"They're here for coffee. They're not here to push their political agenda," he said. "I even contemplated not coming here because of it."

He said Starbucks should remain neutral on such topics because it's an established brand, rather than risk alienating customers. "There are other ways you can go about doing things to stimulate interest in what you're doing," said Mulholland, who is white and runs an edible mushroom-growing business. "They must be doing so well they don't have to worry about losing customers over that," he said.

The campaign, he said, didn't start any discussions about race with him.

Discussions about race are necessary, but getting a message about it on a coffee cup is silly, Stephanie Nelson, 45, said at a Starbucks in Seattle, the chain's home.

"That was pushing it a bit," she said. "The broader discussion is good. Why not use your platform (as a company) for positive?"

___

AP food industry writer Choi contributed from New York; Krisher from Pittsfield Township, Michigan, and Phuong Le from Seattle.

 

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

Carpentry Professionals
Calendar

PHOTO GALLERY

Artists Rep Grand Concourse