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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Seattle

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle, notorious for boom-and-bust cycles stretching back to the 19th century Alaska gold rush, is booming once again.

Thickets of yellow cranes have crowded the skyline, where new glass-sided office buildings, hotels and apartment towers blot out views of the mountains and the Space Needle. Food trucks dot the streets and young software engineers with disposable income fill the bars.

But the boom has brought handwringing, as residents fret over whether Seattle has become a traffic-snarled city for the rich with soaring rental rates, overly dependent on the company behind it all: Amazon.

The online retail giant has brought tens of thousands of workers to its campus in the South Lake Union neighborhood, overtaken the University of Washington as Seattle's biggest employer and lined up enough office space to roughly triple its headcount here.

"A lot of people who have lived in Seattle for 10 or 20 years are getting pushed out, "says Jeff Reifman, a former Microsoft programmer who has criticized the ways Amazon is changing Seattle, including in a well-read essay last year on how the influx of male tech workers has skewed the dating scene.

To some, the complaints sound like trying to find the dark cloud in the silver lining.

"Cleveland would be doing cartwheels for this type of situation," commercial real estate expert Jim Allison said.

He suggests such talk would have been unthinkable five years ago, when Seattle's biggest private employer, Washington Mutual, collapsed. He credits Amazon for Seattle's turnaround, and credits the city with being a model for the "right type of growth" — urban, young, educated and transit-oriented.

Nevertheless, growing pains are undeniable. Seattle, one of the nation's fastest growing cities, is expected to gain another 120,000 residents and 115,000 new jobs over the next 20 years. It's not just Amazon: Facebook, Google, Expedia and other tech giants have opened or are opening offices.

Those extra workers are putting pressure on rents, which have skyrocketed more than 37 percent in Seattle since mid-2010, according to Tom Cain of Apartment Insights Washington.

The median rental price for all homes in Seattle in May was $2,289 a month, Zillow reports, compared to a national average of $1,367.

Mayor Ed Murray, who has a special committee seeking ways to provide affordable housing and avoid displacing longtime residents, last week announced another step: An agency to coordinate public investments in transportation, parks and housing around new development.

Amazon says it has more than 20,000 workers in Seattle, and estimates suggest it has enough office space built or planned to grow to more than 70,000, taking up a huge chunk of the city's commercial real estate. That raises the specter among some residents of Boeing's bust in the early 1970s, when two real estate professionals put up a billboard reading, "Will the last person leaving Seattle turn out the lights."

Boeing's downturn led to thousands of lost jobs, with ripple effects throughout Seattle.

While City Councilman Mike O'Brien said he loves that Amazon is hiring, it "can't continue to grow at the pace they're growing at."

"When it has a major hiccup — and it will — it will be a major shock to our system," O'Brien said.

Building in Seattle, Amazon has helped remake an old warehouse district into a hub of glass-paneled office buildings, along with new restaurants and a Tesla dealership.

Some businesses were kicked out when their buildings sold for Amazon or related projects, but Monty Holmes still runs his family-owned trophy shop, Athletic Awards, one of the few remaining enterprises from South Lake Union's days as a blue-collar neighborhood. He says business is great, thanks in part to Amazon, which buys employee awards and emblazoned clothing from him.

FareStart, a restaurant and catering business that trains homeless people for food-service careers, is across the street from a building under construction for Amazon. When the company moves in, FareStart expects to see more Amazon workers at lunchtime.

"It's more success for everyone," FareStart marketing director Tina Gonsalves said.

Amazon says 55 percent of its workers bus, bike or walk to work, and it notes it has given the city tens of millions of dollars for affordable housing, paid for a new street car and has contributed to nearly 100 charitable organizations.

"We made a decision to invest in our hometown and build an urban campus in the heart of Seattle," spokesman Ty Rogers said in an email.

But the company has also brought a lot of people into an area that has relatively little housing or public transportation, though the city has added bus service and street cars, and light rail lines are being expanded.

Some of Seattle's new arrivals have spread out, driving up rents in far flung neighborhoods. That's prompted concern about the effect on seniors, low-wage workers, artists and others.

Even app-economy workers have felt the pinch. Jen Joyce, a marketing manager for a ride-service company, was startled to learn the rent for her one-bedroom apartment was going up $200 a month.

Urban planner Alon Bassok was inspired by Seattle's growth challenges to run for City Council this year.

"We as a city have to figure out how to accommodate and rise to the occasion of something like Amazon rather than saying something's their fault," Bassok said.

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