05 24 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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Republican presidential candidates, from left, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., businessman Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush take the stage before the Fox Business Network Republican presidential debate at the North Charleston Coliseum, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in North Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ted Cruz stretched matters involving Iran and his own finances. Donald Trump seemed to forget he proposed a massive tax on Chinese goods. Chris Christie took a magic eraser to things he's said and Ben Carson was caught unaware of the punishing ways the Islamic State group says, Thank You for Not Smoking.
The first Republican debate of the new year brought a blizzard of dubious claims and some outright errors.
A look at some claims and how they compare with the facts:

CRUZ: "President Obama's preparing to send $100 billion or more to the Ayatollah Khamenei."
THE FACTS: Cruz makes it sound like the U.S. is bestowing the largest-ever foreign aid payment on longtime foe Iran. The reality is much more ordinary: A seven-nation nuclear deal commits Tehran to curbing its nuclear activities. In exchange, Iran regains access to about $100 billion of its own money that had been frozen under international sanctions.
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TRUMP on Syrian refugees: "When I look at the migration, I looked at the line, I said ... where are the women? It looked like very few women. Very few children. Strong, powerful men, young and people are looking at that and they're saying what's going on?"
THE FACTS: Apparently whatever Trump saw of the refugees wasn't complete. Of the 4.6 million Syrians identified by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees as humanitarian "persons of concern," men ages 18 to 59 make up 21.4 percent. The rest are women, children or people age 60 or older.
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JEB BUSH: "We need to move our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to send a serious signal that we're back in the game with Israel."
THE FACTS: This political chestnut is the Energizer bunny of political promises, made by candidate after candidate over recent decades. But as long as Israel and the Palestinians remain in conflict over Jerusalem's status, the idea remains an issue in on-again, off-again peace talks and no president has been willing to follow through.
The promise has been made in various forms at least since Bill Clinton adopted it in "principle" in 1992. Congress three years later passed a law calling for the U.S. embassy to be moved to Jerusalem by 1999, but presidents of both parties always have waived the requirement. Bush's brother, George W. Bush, upped the ante when he promised in 2000 to start the move "as soon as I take office," then didn't.
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MARCO RUBIO: "Unfortunately, Gov. Christie has endorsed many of the ideas that Barack Obama supports," including "the appointment of Sonia Sotomayor" to the Supreme Court.
CHRISTIE: "Let's set the facts straight. First of all, I didn't support Sonia."
THE FACTS: Actually, he supported her appointment, despite reservations.
Christie's own statements when he was running for governor of New Jersey in 2009 show that while he wasn't crazy about Sotomayor as a Supreme Court justice, he wasn't dead set against her, either.
"After watching and listening to Judge Sotomayor's performance at the confirmation hearings this week, I am confident that she is qualified for the position," he said, arguing that Obama should be allowed to choose a nominee "who has more than proven her capability, competence and ability," adding, "I support her appointment."
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CARSON on pursuing Islamic State militants wherever they can be found: "Why should we let their people be sitting there smoking their cigars, sitting in their comfortable chairs in Raqqa?"
THE FACTS: Carson is not likely to find IS fighters lounging with cigars in Raqqa, their de facto capital in Syria. The group has imposed a strict smoking ban throughout its territory in Syria and Iraq. In fact, the militant group implements stiff fines for anyone caught smoking, and even more brutal punishments for those caught selling cigarettes, water pipes or anything that can be smoked, cigars included.
Also in the debate, Carson suggested Syrian refugees be allowed to settle in "al-Saqqa province, where they'll be in their own country."
But there is no such place. He probably meant al-Raqqa, or Raqqa. As an IS stronghold, it would not be much of a safe haven for people trying to flee the group.
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CHRISTIE, countering Rubio's criticisms for his past positions: "Common Core has been eliminated in New Jersey." ''I never wrote a check to Planned Parenthood."
THE FACTS: Common Core has not been eliminated in his state — far from it.
A panel Christie put together recommended a series of changes to state standards this week, but only recommended changes to 232 out of 1,427 standards in math and English. The panel also proposed renaming the standards the New Jersey Student Learning Standards. A separate Christie panel recommended the state continue using a Common Core-aligned test — and require it for graduation by 2021.
On Planned Parenthood, Christie's denial is at odds with a Sept. 30, 1994, Newark Star-Ledger story that quotes Christie as saying, "I support Planned Parenthood privately with my personal contribution, and that should be the goal of any such agency, to find private donations."
Christie was running for local office in Morris County, New Jersey, at the time. The same quote appeared again in a book, "Chris Christie: The Inside Story of his Rise to Power," a book with which Christie cooperated.
The original story was written by Star-Ledger reporter Brian Murray, who now works as a spokesman for Christie in the governor's office. On Tuesday, Christie said he was misquoted in the 1994 story.
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TRUMP, denying he told The New York Times he favored a 45 percent tax on Chinese goods: "That's wrong. They were wrong."
THE FACTS: Trump began wriggling out of his idea for a massive tax on Chinese goods soon after he told the paper last week that he would impose one and that "the tax should be 45 percent."
Several days later, he said the tariff could well be much less than that and might not be needed at all because China probably would start trading more fairly in order to avoid it. Now, he denies ever proposing 45 percent, despite his remarks on the record.
More broadly, China no longer appears to be the economic powerhouse portrayed by Trump. Its major stock market has had a rocky start in 2016 and its manufacturing sector began contracting last March as growth slowed, according to a purchasing manager index.
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CRUZ, asked about loans from two large banks totaling as much as $1 million that fueled his 2012 Senate campaign, said he and his wife "ended up investing everything we owned." He acknowledged his failure to disclose the loans to the Federal Election Commission, saying: "Yes I made a paperwork error."
THE FACTS: Cruz did, as he asserted, eventually disclose the loans in personal financial forms filed with the Senate. But citing a mere "paperwork error" in failing to report the loans to the FEC glossed over the fact that the law requires candidates to make such reports to the election regulators.
He also did not address the fact that a large chunk of the loans came from Goldman Sachs, where his wife works as an executive, and whether that might have made the loan possible.
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CRUZ, asked to explain his slam against Trump's "New York values," said, "not a lot of conservatives come out of Manhattan. I'm just sayin'."
THE FACTS: Cruz may dislike New Yorkers, but he's been willing to take a bundle of money from one of them. Wall Street hedge fund mogul Robert Mercer contributed $11 million in April to a Cruz-aligned super PAC, according to federal filings. And there's also that Goldman Sachs loan.
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CRUZ: Any country that makes U.S. service members get on their knees like the 10 sailors whose boats were boarded and seized by the Iranian military this week "will feel the full force and fury of the United States of America."
CHRISTIE: "Tin pot dictators ... are taking our Navy ships."
THE FACTS: Neither candidate addressed the fact that the short-lived crisis was created by the U.S. sailors who steered their boats into sovereign Iranian waters, where they were boarded and seized by Iranian naval forces. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Thursday that the U.S. sailors had made a navigation error.
Under such circumstances it would not be unusual to disarm members of a foreign military force — even a small one like the two Navy boats — and hold them temporarily for questioning. What was exceptional about this episode — and perhaps a provocation — is that the Iranians videotaped the Americans during the encounter and posted the images on the Internet.
The suggestion by Cruz that he would have launched a military attack on Iran in response to such an incident is hard to square with accepted international tests for the use of force.
Iran returned the sailors unharmed and their boats undamaged.
___
Associated Press writers Josh Cornfield in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, Jill Colvin in Des Moines, Iowa, and Vivian Salama, Chad Day, Josh Boak, Robert Burns and Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.

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