Bill Cosby charged with felony sexual assault in Pennsylvania
NORRISTOWN, Pa. By Daniel Kelley Wed Dec 30, 2015
Bill Cosby was charged on Wednesday with sexually assaulting a woman after plying her with drugs and alcohol in 2004, marking the only criminal case against the once-beloved performer whose father-figure persona has been tainted by dozens of misconduct accusations.
Cosby, 78, walking with a cane and accompanied by two lawyers, appeared for his arraignment hours later at a courthouse in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, just outside Philadelphia, where he posted a $1 million bond, turned over his passport and was ordered to avoid any contact with his accuser.
Smiling and politely thanking District Court Judge Elizabeth McHugh at the end of the brief proceeding, Cosby left the courthouse and was driven to a nearby police precinct to be finger-printed and booked.
He emerged from the police station 10 minutes later and was whisked away in the same black sport utility vehicle that had delivered him to the courthouse. He made no statements as a throng of reporters shouted questions at him.
He is due to return to court on Jan. 14 for a preliminary hearing.
The case against Cosby was filed just before the statute of limitations deadline for criminal prosecution was due to lapse in January. The charge stems from allegations leveled by Andrea Constand, who settled a civil case against Cosby for an undisclosed sum in 2006.
"Today, after examination of all the evidence, we are able to seek justice on behalf of the victim," Kevin Steele, the newly elected district attorney for Montgomery County, told an earlier news conference. Steele made a campaign issue of his intent to prosecute Cosby.
Constand, a former basketball team manager at Temple University in Philadelphia, Cosby's alma mater, is one of more than 50 women who have publicly accused the star of sexually assaulting them in incidents dating back decades.
Cosby has not entered a plea in Wednesday's case. But he and his lawyers, while acknowledging marital infidelity on his part, have consistently denied any allegations of sexual misconduct....
South Korea, Japan reach agreement on 'comfort women'
By Holly Yan, KJ Kwon, Junko Ogura and Tiffany Ap, CNN
Tue December 29, 2015
(CNN) Japan and South Korea have reached an agreement over the long-standing issue of "comfort women," a term that describes sex slaves used by the Japanese military during World War II.
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said his government will give 1 billion yen ($8.3 million) to a fund to help those who suffered.
South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said that as long as Tokyo sticks to its side of the deal, Seoul will consider the issue "irreversibly" resolved.
In addition, the two governments "will refrain from criticizing and blaming each other in the international society, including the United Nations," Yun said at a joint news conference Monday.
Kishida said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe "expresses anew his most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women."
Abe later stated himself: "I think we did our duty for the current generation by reaching this final and irreversible resolution before the end of the 70th year since the war."....
But an advocacy group for former comfort women said the deal announced Monday is "a diplomatic humiliation."
"Although the Japanese government announced that it 'feels (its) responsibilities,' the statement lacks the acknowledgment of the fact that the colonial government and its military had committed a systematic crime," said the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery. "The government had not just been simply involved but actively initiated the activities which were criminal and illegal."
The group took issue that it did not address the issue of Japanese history textbooks glossing over the scope of the war crimes.....
China's foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the forced recruitment of the "comfort women" was a grave crime against humanity.
"The Chinese side always maintains that the Japanese side should face up to and reflect upon its history of aggression and properly deal with the relevant issue with a sense of responsibility."
China, which was also occupied by Japan prior to and during the World War II has long been critical of its neighbor's role in the war and its apparent lack of remorse for war crimes following defeat in 1945....