Cosby in cuffs: TV star gets 3 to 10 years for sex assault NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — At an age when other Hollywood stars are settling into retirement and collecting lifetime-achievement awards, an 81-year-old Bill…
Cosby in cuffs: TV star gets 3 to 10 years for sex assault
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — At an age when other Hollywood stars are settling into retirement and collecting lifetime-achievement awards, an 81-year-old Bill Cosby was led away to prison in handcuffs Tuesday, sentenced to three to 10 years behind bars in what was seen by many of his accusers as a reckoning richly deserved and long overdue.
The comedian, TV star and breaker of racial barriers became the first celebrity of the #MeToo era to be sent to prison. He was found guilty in April of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his gated estate in 2004 after being barraged with similar accusations from more than 60 women over the past five decades.
“It is time for justice. Mr. Cosby, this has all circled back to you. The time has come,” Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill said. He quoted from victim Andrea Constand’s statement to the court, in which she said Cosby took her “beautiful, young spirit and crushed it.”
Cosby declined the opportunity to speak before the sentence came down, and afterward sat laughing and chatting with his defense team. His wife of 54 years, Camille, was not in court. Constand smiled broadly on hearing the punishment and was hugged by others in the courtroom.
In a blistering statement, Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said the comic was subjected to the “most racist and sexist trial in the history of the United States.” Wyatt said all three of the psychologists who testified against Cosby were “white women who make money off of accusing black men of being sexual predators.”
Trump challenges UN, boasting of America’s go-it-alone might
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — President Donald Trump poured scorn on the “ideology of globalism” and heaped praise on his own administration’s achievements Tuesday in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly that drew headshakes and even mocking laughter from his audience of fellow world leaders.
“The U.S. will not tell you how to live and work or worship,” Trump said as he unapologetically promoted his “America First” agenda. “We only ask that you honor our sovereignty in return.”
Speaking in triumphal terms, Trump approached his address to the world body as something of an annual report to the world on his country’s progress since his inauguration. He showcased strong economic numbers, declared that the U.S. military is “more powerful than it has ever been before” and crowed that in “less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.”
Just sentences into the president’s remarks, the audience began to chuckle and some leaders broke into outright laughter, suggesting the one-time reality television star’s puffery is as familiar abroad as it is at home. Trump appeared briefly flustered, then smiled and said it was not the reaction he expected “but that’s all right.”
Later he brushed off the episode, telling reporters, “Oh it was great. Well, that was meant to get some laughter so it was great.”
Trump hits ‘con job’ on Kavanaugh before showdown hearing
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump denounced Democratic efforts to block Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation as a cynical “con job” on Tuesday and launched a dismissive attack on a second woman accusing the nominee of sexual misconduct in the 1980s, asserting she “has nothing.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell predicted that Kavanaugh would win approval, despite the new allegations and uncertainty about how pivotal Republicans would vote in a roll call now expected early next week. Like much of America, lawmakers awaited a momentous Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in which Kavanaugh and chief accuser Christine Blasey Ford are to testify Thursday, though not together.
Hanging in the balance is Trump’s chance to swing the high court more firmly to the right for a generation. Despite McConnell’s forecast that Republicans will “win,” Kavanaugh’s fate remains uncertain in a chamber where Republicans have a scant 51-49 majority.
“I will be glued to the television,” said Sen. Susan Collins, a moderate Republican from Maine, who has yet to declare her position on confirmation.
Hoping the hearing will yield no new surprises, the Senate Judiciary Committee scheduled its own vote on Kavanaugh for Friday, and Republican leaders laid plans that could keep the full Senate in session over the weekend and produce a final showdown roll call soon after — close to the Oct. 1 start of the high court’s new term.
Hearing on Kavanaugh allegations puts #MeToo to the test
WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — No matter what ultimately happens to Brett Kavanaugh and the women who accuse the Supreme Court nominee of sexual misconduct, the Senate hearing on the allegations will offer a historic test of the #MeToo movement, which began only a year ago.
Since it coalesced around accusations against Harvey Weinstein, the movement has toppled many prominent abusers in Hollywood, journalism and politics. But #MeToo has also been about believing survivors, and the treatment of Kavanaugh’s accusers raises questions about whether that part of the mission remains largely unfulfilled.
The young movement is “fighting an uphill path, going against centuries of accepted, ingrained bad behavior,” said Kristen Houser of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. “I think people say we’re at a tipping point. I don’t believe that. I don’t think anything’s tipped.”
Some advocates say the handling of the complaints — especially lawmakers’ unwillingness to authorize a deeper investigation into Kavanaugh’s conduct — shows how far the movement still has to go in changing the way women are treated by powerful men. Others insist that the GOP dismissal of the accusers doesn’t reflect a breakdown of the movement, but the failure of a largely white, male Congress to adapt to changing times.
The tension began as soon as the allegations emerged. Republican lawmakers were initially united in their refrain: The first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, deserved to be heard.
Into the fold? What’s next for Instagram as founders leave
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — When Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger sold Instagram to Facebook in 2012, the photo-sharing startup’s fiercely loyal fans worried about what would happen to their beloved app under the social media giant’s wings.
None of their worst fears materialized. But now that its founders have announced they are leaving in a swirl of well wishes and vague explanations, some of the same worries are bubbling up again — and then some. Will Instagram disappear? Get cluttered with ads and status updates? Suck up personal data for advertising the way its parent does? Lose its cool?
Worst of all: Will it just become another Facebook?
“It’s probably a bigger challenge (for Facebook) than most people realize,” said Omar Akhtar, an analyst at the technology research firm Altimeter. “Instagram is the only platform that is growing. And a lot of people didn’t necessarily make the connection between Instagram and Facebook.”
Instagram had just 31 million users when Facebook snapped it up for $1 billion; now it has a billion. It had no ads back then; it now features both display and video ads, although they’re still restrained compared to Facebook. But that could quickly change. Facebook’s growth has started to slow, and Wall Street has been pushing the company to find new ways to increase revenue.
Trump at UN Security Council: ‘Most watched meeting ever’?
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council tends to proceed in a scripted, measured way. U.S. President Donald Trump does not.
But Trump is set to preside Wednesday over the U.N.’s most powerful body, one that incarnates the very concept of global governing that he swatted aside in a speech Tuesday.
The meeting in the sanctum of shared decision-making will put the “America First” president around a table with representatives from countries with fraught relationships with the United States, including Russia and China. The topic alone has been a matter of dispute.
In the words of Washington’s U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley: “That is going to be the most watched Security Council meeting ever.”
Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, chaired Security Council meetings in 2009 and 2014. But Wednesday will be Trump’s first time in the Security Council, where the U.S. holds the rotating presidency this month.
Mattis: Jury is out on women succeeding in combat jobs
WASHINGTON (AP) — The jury is still out on whether women can be successful in infantry jobs, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday, while offering students at the Virginia Military Institute a dim view of female troops serving on the front line.
Mattis, a retired Marine, said there are too few women in the infantry ranks to provide enough data to determine how they’re doing. And he said he has asked Army and Marine leaders for information to determine if having women in a “close-quarters fight” is a strength or a weakness.
“There are a few stalwart young ladies who are charging into this, but they are too few,” Mattis said during a visit to VMI, which is in Lexington, Virginia. “Clearly the jury is out on it, but what we’re trying to do is give it every opportunity to succeed if it can.”
He said he hopes to get data from the Army and Marine Corps soon.
In early 2013, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta opened the door to women serving in combat jobs. The military services studied the issue, and in their final recommendations only the Marine Corp leaders argued for an exception so they could keep certain infantry and ground combat jobs open only to men. In December 2015, then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter rejected the Corps’ request and ordered all combat posts be opened to women.
What happens to Mueller probe if Rosenstein loses his job?
WASHINGTON (AP) — The investigation into Russian election interference is often called the Mueller probe, but it’s Rod Rosenstein who oversees it.
Rosenstein’s fate as deputy attorney general remains in the air after a revelation surfaced last week that he floated the idea of recording President Donald Trump. Rosenstein went to the White House on Monday expecting to be fired, but the president gave him a three-day reprieve, and the two are set to have a face-to-face showdown on Thursday.
So what happens to the Russia investigation if Rosenstein loses his job after Thursday’s meeting?
Some questions and answers:
WHAT IS ROSENSTEIN’S ROLE IN THE MUELLER PROBE?
No jail time in assault case spurs push to oust Alaska judge
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A man drove an Alaska Native woman to a dark street, said he would kill her and choked her until she blacked out.
He then masturbated on her face. Originally charged with kidnapping, 34-year-old Justin Schneider pleaded guilty to a single count of felony assault in a deal with prosecutors and was sentenced last week to two years in prison with one year suspended.
Having already spent a year in home confinement, he stepped out of the courtroom with no more time to serve.
The case has stirred outrage, with victims’ advocates pointing to it as another example of a lenient sentence for a crime against women amid the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct. The judge said he thought the sentence was too light but deferred to prosecutors on what could be proven at trial.
Advocates are pushing to oust Superior Court Judge Michael Corey in November when he faces a vote to keep him on the bench, months after a successful recall of a California judge who sentenced former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner to six months in prison for sexual assault.
Antibiotics for appendicitis? Surgery often not needed
CHICAGO (AP) — When emergency tests showed the telltale right-sided pain in Heather VanDusen’s abdomen was appendicitis, she figured she’d be quickly wheeled into surgery. But doctors offered her the option of antibiotics instead.
A new study from Finland shows her choice is a reasonable alternative for most patients with appendicitis. Five years after treatment with antibiotics, almost two-thirds of patients hadn’t had another attack.
It’s a substantial change in thinking about how to treat an inflamed appendix. For decades, appendicitis has been considered a medical emergency requiring immediate surgery to remove the appendix because of fears it could burst, which can be life-threatening.
But advances in imaging tests, mainly CT scans, have made it easier to determine if an appendix might burst, or if patients could be safely treated without surgery.
The results suggest that nearly two-thirds of appendicitis patients don’t face that risk and may be good candidates for antibiotics instead.