Daily News Roundup

April 27, 2018

From America’s Dad to convictions on all three counts of drugging and sexually assaulting a young woman — Bill Cosby’s downfall is complete.

Today he shuffled from court on his cane to the waiting black suburban SUV pursued by news helicopters as he tried to shake the press,the ABC reported.

The choice of car and cane were humble for a man of his means and an attempt to manage a toxic image.

He failed to convince the most important people, the jury, and he’ll likely face an even humbler ride to prison in the near future.

Last year, Cosby’s first trial ended in a hung jury after six days of deliberations.

A lot changed inside and out of the courtroom in the 10 months since then.

Inside court prosecutors were this time able to call another five women as witnesses who allege suffering very similar treatment at Cosby’s hands.

All up about 60 women accused Cosby of sexual assault but last time only one additional woman testified.

That will likely be the basis of a Cosby appeal.

Outside court the world had been rocked by the upheavals of the #metoo movement with powerful men finally held to account for their misdeeds.

Men have been sacked, sued and criminally investigated over crimes many of the alleged perpetrators thought they’d long got away with.

Legal experts say with his previously clean criminal record and charity work he can expect to escape with a maximum sentence of 10 years (most expected the crimes would be served concurrently).

However, speculation is of a sentence of about 22 months — though it still could be much longer.

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Russia has presented more than a dozen alleged witnesses from Ghouta in Syria at The Hague to support its claim that the chemical attack this month was “staged”.

Britain dismissed the move as a theatrical “stunt”, and said allied powers including France and the United States had boycotted the closed-door briefing.

“The OPCW [Organisation for the Prohibition for Chemical Weapons] is not a theatre,” Britain’s envoy to the agency, Peter Wilson, said in a statement.

“Russia’s decision to misuse it is yet another Russian attempt to undermine the OPCW’s work, and in particular the work of its fact-finding mission investigating chemical weapons use in Syria.”

The OPCW is investigating the deaths of dozens of people in Douma, an enclave in Ghouta, on April 7 which the United States and its allies said was caused by chemical weapons, possibly a nerve agent, used by forces of the Russian-backed Government of President Bashar al-Assad.

The suspected attacks led to air strikes by the United States, France and Britain against sites in Syria.

Both Syria and Russia have denied the accusation and said rebel forces staged the attacks.

Russia and Syria brought 15 Syrians to a news conference in The Hague on Thursday (local time), and they said they had not seen any evidence of chemical weapons being used in Ghouta.

One child, identified by Syrian Government-provided translators as 11-year-old Hasan Diab from Ghouta, said he had been to a hospital after the attack.

“They started pouring water on me in the hospital. I don’t know why,” he said.

The boy resembled the child seen in a video widely shown on Western television stations after the alleged attack.

France’s Ambassador to the OPCW, Philippe Lalliot, called the display of Syrians in The Hague “obscene”.

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DONALD Trump said overnight that his personal lawyer Michael Cohen represented him “with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal,” after previously denying any knowledge of a payment Mr Cohen made to the porn actress alleging an affair with the US president.

Mr Trump spoke by phone on Thursday to Fox News’ Fox & Friends. He told reporters weeks ago that he had no knowledge of a $US130,000 ($A171,000) payment Mr Cohen made to Daniels before the 2016 election in exchange for her silence about an alleged sexual tryst with Mr Trump in 2006.

Arguing that Mr Cohen was one of his “many attorneys,” Mr Trump said, “He represents me like with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal,” and added, “From what I see, he did absolutely nothing wrong. There were no campaign funds going in.”

The telephone connection seemed to cut out for a few seconds after Mr Trump mentioned Daniels.

Mr Cohen is under federal criminal investigation in New York into his personal business dealings. Mr Trump said he has been told he was not involved.

Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti responded on Thursday: “Mr Trump and Mr Cohen previously represented to the American people that Mr Cohen acted on his own and Mr Trump knew nothing about the agreement with my client, the $130k payment, etc.

“As I predicted, that has now been shown to be completely false.

“This is going to add considerable momentum to our effort to depose the president and place him under oath in an effort to discover which version of the facts is accurate,” Mr Avenatti told the Associated Press.

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