06-22-2018  11:44 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

Lawsuit seeks lawyer access to immigrants in prison

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A rights group filed an emergency lawsuit in federal court Friday against top officials of U.S. immigration and homeland security departments, alleging they have unconstitutionally denied lawyers' access to immigrants in a prison in Oregon.Immigration and Customs...

Police: Oregon toddler dies after being left in hot car

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A toddler in Oregon died after being left alone in a hot car while her mother went to work as a family nurse practitioner, authorities said Friday.Nicole Engler, 38, of Roseburg told investigators she thought she had taken her 21-month-old daughter Remington to daycare...

Lawsuits challenge efforts to push abstinence-only on teens

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Several affiliates of Planned Parenthood sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Friday over its efforts to impose an abstinence-only focus on its Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program that has served more than 1 million young people.The lawsuits were filed...

Man, 5-year-old boy hurt in electrical accident in Everett

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say a man and his 5-year-old son were hospitalized after a mechanical lift they were using in Everett touched power lines.The Daily Herald reports the accident happened Friday afternoon in an alley downtown.It wasn't known why the pair was using a mechanical...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Racist tropes in Ramadan TV satires anger black Arabs

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — In an attempt to capitalize on what's become a ratings bonanza for Arabic satellite channels during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, two comedies struck the wrong chord with audiences when their lead actors appeared in blackface, a form of makeup that...

AP Source: J. Cole to perform at BET Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — J. Cole is set to perform at Sunday's BET Awards.A person familiar with the awards show, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to discuss the plans publicly, tells The Associated Press on Friday that the rapper will perform at the...

The Latest: Germany, Mexico, Belgium headline Saturday games

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Friday at the World Cup (all times local):1:13 a.m.Will Germany follow Brazil's lead in righting the ship after a rocky World Cup start, or will the defending champ find itself keeping company with Argentina, needing help if it hopes to advance?The World Cup could...

ENTERTAINMENT

So much TV, so little summer: Amy Adams, Kevin Hart, Dr. Pol

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The fall television season is months away but that's no reason to stare moodily at a blank screen. In this era of peak TV, there are so many outlets and shows clamoring for your summertime attention that it can be as daunting as choosing between a mojito and a frozen...

Honduran girl in symbolic photo not separated from mother

NEW YORK (AP) — A crying Honduran girl depicted in a widely-seen photograph that became a symbol for many of President Donald Trump's immigration policies was not actually separated from her mother, U.S. government officials said on Friday.Time magazine used an image of the girl, by Getty...

AP Source: J. Cole to perform at BET Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — J. Cole is set to perform at Sunday's BET Awards.A person familiar with the awards show, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to discuss the plans publicly, tells The Associated Press on Friday that the rapper will perform at the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Beyond World Cup: Advocates call attention to Russian abuses

MOSCOW (AP) — Wrapped in national flags, jubilant fans dance at midnight in the streets of Moscow, smiling,...

Trump advises GOP: Quit wasting time on immigration.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Just when House Republicans needed Donald Trump's backing the most — on their big...

Racist tropes in Ramadan TV satires anger black Arabs

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — In an attempt to capitalize on what's become a ratings bonanza for...

OPEC agrees to pump more oil but crude prices jump anyway

VIENNA (AP) — The countries of the OPEC cartel agreed on Friday to pump 1 million barrels more crude oil...

US officials say girl on Time cover isn't separated from mom

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Border Patrol officials said Friday that a girl who is pictured on the cover of this...

Many Brazilians look to military amid anger at politicians

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Furious at corrupt politicians and fearful of deteriorating security, many Brazilians...

Bill Cosby arrives for a pretrial hearing in his sexual assault case at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016. He is charged with sexually assaulting one woman in 2004, but prosecutors are hoping to call 13 other accusers to testify at his spring trial. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
By MARYCLAIRE DALE and MICHAEL R. SISAK, Associated Press

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Bill Cosby's lawyers on Wednesday attacked what they called "vague, remote and often inconsistent" allegations from a slew of women whom prosecutors are seeking to call as witnesses at his sexual-assault trial next year.

Lawyers for the 79-year-old actor and comedian asked a judge to block 13 accusers from taking the witness stand, saying uncertainty about where and when some of the sexual encounters took place made them impossible to defend against.

Cosby, who was known as America's Dad for his top-rated family sitcom, "The Cosby Show," which ran from 1984 to 1992, is charged with molesting a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.

Prosecutors are seeking testimony from the other accusers to show Cosby had a long history of knocking out women with drugs and drinks and sexually assaulting them. Cosby has pleaded not guilty.

At a hearing, the defense portrayed the potential prosecution witnesses as "bandwagon" accusers who came forward because they sought to cash in on Cosby's fame and wealth.

The women went public at the urging of "clever, cunning lawyers who had the agenda of bringing down an American icon," Cosby lawyer Brian McMonagle told Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill, who must determine whether some or all of the accusers will be permitted to take the witness stand.

The two-day hearing closed without a decision, with the judge saying he'd take some time before ruling.

McMonagle argued prosecutors dredged up unsubstantiated assault allegations dating to the 1960s to try to breathe life into a weak case, and he urged the judge to "follow the money" when examining the motives of the accusers.

"There's no good reason in this world for these uncorroborated, unconfirmed, unreported, ancient allegations to be brought into this courtroom or any courtroom in this country," he said afterward.

Cosby is charged with assaulting Andrea Constand, then a Temple University employee. She filed a police complaint against Cosby, a long-married father of five and her friend and mentor, but a prosecutor at the time declined to file charges.

Authorities reopened the investigation last year after scores of women raised similar accusations and after Cosby's damaging deposition testimony from Constand's lawsuit became public.

The judge ruled last week the deposition may be used at Cosby's criminal trial, arming prosecutors with Cosby's testimony about his affairs with young women, his use of quaaludes as a seduction tool and his version of the sexual encounter with Constand.

Cosby's attorney said Constand has offered shifting accounts of the encounter, making comparisons with the other accusers impossible. Under state law, prosecutors must demonstrate substantial similarities in the accusers' accounts to be able to call them to the witness stand.

Prosecutors have argued sexual-assault victims often recall more details in subsequent interviews, and they say the discrepancies in Constand's accounts aren't material to the case.

The other women should be allowed to testify, District Attorney Kevin Steele argued, because their stories are so similar they show the "handiwork of the same perpetrator."

Cosby befriended women who saw him as a mentor, incapacitated them out with pills and drinks and molested them, Steele said.

"This is a lifetime of sexual assault on young women," Steele told the judge.

Cosby's lawyers said the women's stories aren't similar enough to warrant their testimony. They pointed to differences in the locations and manners of the alleged assaults and the accusers' levels of education and lines of work.

"You cannot ignore the differences," defense lawyer Angela Agrusa said.

She said most of the potential prosecution witnesses are represented by famed civil lawyer Gloria Allred and have held news conferences and given dozens of interviews. She said one accuser shopped a book deal for her life story a few years ago.

Allred "duped" the district attorney's office, Agrusa argued.

"She executed a plan, and she got the DA's office to be her bag man," Agrusa said.

Allred, who attended Wednesday's hearing, has argued her clients have a duty to testify if the court wants to hear from them.

The Associated Press doesn't typically identify people who say they're victims of sexual assault unless they've come forward publicly, as Constand has done.

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