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Cosby retrial set to begin and #MeToo will likely make an impact, experts say



But in the summer of 2015, a judge released court documents from a deposition in a 2005 civil case and the Montgomery County prosecutor brought the case just before the 12-year statute of limitations was set to expire. Constand’s case is the only one to have resulted in a criminal trial since the majority of cases have exceeded the statute of limitations.

Tuerkheimer says #MeToo has made the passage of time more understandable.

“Her delay in reporting this, the way she did it, in a staggered sequenced manner — we see a lot of that in stories surfacing now,” she said.

Graves likened Constand’s description of wanting to continue contact with Cosby, a powerful entertainer, to the alleged experiences shared about movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

“The power differential, between the person doling out the next job opportunity and the person who is trying to establish themselves, sets the stage for how people have reacted in the aftermath,” Graves said.

Jury selection will be key

One initial test of #MeToo’s impact will be jury selection.

Ken Broda-Bahm, of Persuasion Strategies, a Colorado-based jury consulting firm, says #MeToo has led to what social scientists call “disinhibition,” the idea that it is more acceptable for people to come forward and share their experiences about sexual assault.

“In a way it can make things better for the defense because you’re having more people express it and getting it out in the open as opposed to something that’s closed off,” he said.

Laurie Levenson, a professor at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, believes both sides will likely bring up the #MeToo movement during jury selection but that a judge would probably prohibit discussing the movement at trial. But, she said, there are still implicit ways to remind jurors of the movement.

“You want that to be a very conscious aspect of their decision-making,” she said. “They’ll be more open to the victim’s claims realizing that this is not an isolated event.”

Five additional witnesses could boost prosecution

Earlier this month, Judge Steven O’Neill decided to allow five additional witnesses, from the 19 offered by the prosecution, to testify about their sexual assault allegations against Cosby. In the first trial, only one additional witness was permitted to testify.


Alan Tauber, a Philadelphia-based criminal defense attorney, thinks the judge’s decision to allow additional accusers to testify swings the pendulum heavily for the prosecution because it makes Constand’s testimony seem credible.

“The inclusion of more people testifying is really some of the most damning evidence — this is the worst thing for a defense team,” he said.

Carol Tracy, executive director of the Pennsylvania-based Women’s Law Project, said she agrees with Tauber that Constand’s testimony will be more credible but added that does not necessarily indicate a definite advantage for the prosecution. In fact, historically, the bias has run the other way.

“What underlies all of this is the depth of bias against rape victims, where they have been presumed to be liars,” Tracy said. “I think we’re at the dawn of really a greater social understanding that rape is very frequently committed by serial perpetrators, and these victims have been denied justice for so many years.”

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Public praised for ‘heroic’ acts in detaining attacker in NZ supermarket stabbing | World News



Shoppers and staff at a New Zealand supermarket have been praised for their courage in trying to stop an attacker armed with a knife while waiting for police to arrive.

The man stabbed four people, including two employees at the Countdown supermarket in the South Island city of Dunedin on Monday.

All four victims are in hospital, with three in a serious but stable condition, while the fourth is described as being in a moderate condition.

According to NZ media reports, one is a Department of Corrections officer, one is his wife (a nurse), the third is a manager at the supermarket and the other is a female employee.

New Zealand Police superintendent Paul Basham said he had watched CCTV footage of the attack and the efforts of bystanders to detain the man until police arrived were “nothing short of heroic”.

“This was a fast-moving and extremely traumatic event for every person in the supermarket – for the victims who were stabbed, for those who were present who tried to intervene and those who had to flee to a place of safety.

“What I can say is that those who intervened, some of whom became injured themselves, I think have acted selflessly and with great courage to prevent this man from hurting anybody else,” he said.

A man, 42, has been charged with four counts of attempted murder and he will appear in court later today.

He was also injured in the attack and was treated under police guard.

Supermarket staff embrace as police officers take a victim to an ambulance outside a Countdown supermarket in central Dunedin, New Zealand, Monday May 10, 2021. Pic: AP
Four people were injured, including two supermarket employees. Pic: AP

The motivation for the attack has not been confirmed, with Mr Basham saying: “On the face of what we currently know, we believe this was a random attack”.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also praised the actions of those in the supermarket during the attack, describing them as “courageous acts…to protect those around them”.

Supermarket chain Countdown said employees were “shocked and devastated” by what had happened, adding: “We are deeply upset that customers who tried to help our team members were also injured”.

The company said its priority is the injured employees and “caring for our wider team in the wake of this extremely traumatic event”.

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COVID-19: Overweight and obese more likely to test positive for the virus | World News



People with a higher body mass index – BMI – are more likely to test positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, a study suggests.

Research by Chaim Sheba Medical Centre in Israel found that people who are overweight – with a BMI between 25 and 29.9 – are 22% more likely to contract the virus.

The figure for people who are obese – with a BMI between 30 and 34.9 – rises to 27%.

For those who are morbidly obese, with a BMI at or above 40, the risk increases by 86%.

Some 26,030 people were tested between 16 March and 31 December last year and 1,178 positive COVID-19 tests were recorded.

Even after age, sex, and other medical conditions were considered, the relationship between BMI and the probability of a person testing positive remained significant, the researchers found.

The study authors concluded: “As BMI rises above normal, the likelihood of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result increases, even when adjusted for a number of patient variables.

“Furthermore, some of the comorbidities associated with obesity appear to either be associated with an increased risk of infection or to be protective.”

People with diabetes were 30% more likely to test positive, while the likelihood was six times greater for those with high blood pressure.

But the risk was reduced for those with a history of stroke (by 39%), ischemic heart disease (by 55%) and chronic kidney disease (by 45%).

The researchers were unable to explain this.

Also, research by the IRCCS Policlinico San Donato research hospital in Italy, has found that abdominal obesity is more important than general obesity in predicting the severity of chest X-ray results in coronavirus patients.

Abdominal obesity is fat around the waist as opposed to general obesity, which is determined by BMI.

Chest X-ray severity scores were calculated by dividing each lung into three zones, with each one scoring a maximum of three points – zero for normal lung performance and three for poor function.

Some 59% of patients with abdominal obesity had a high score, whereas this was true for just 35% of those without abdominal obesity.

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Hamas says it has fired rockets at Jerusalem in retaliation for Israeli ‘aggression’ | World News



A number of rockets have been fired at Jerusalem and the surrounding area, says Israel’s military.

It came minutes after an ultimatum from Hamas for Israel to withdraw forces from two flashpoints in the city.

The group claimed responsibility for the attack, calling it retaliation for Israeli “crimes and aggression”.

Israel carried out a missile strike in northern Gaza in response, causing injuries, according to Palestinian media.

Seven rockets had set off sirens in Jerusalem and the surrounding area and rocket fire from Gaza was continuing, said Israel’s military.

A civilian car was hit and one person injured by one of the rockets, it added.

Sky’s Mark Stone, in Jerusalem, said he understood a number of rockets were fired at an area 10-15km west of the city.

He said Israel’s Iron Dome defence system is believed to have destroyed most, but that a few landed.

Stone said the attack was almost certain to mean a “heavy night of bombardment” on Hamas base the Gaza Strip this evening.

It comes as clashes in Jerusalem between Palestinians and Israeli forces reportedly injured more than 300 people.

Police fired stun grenades and tear gas inside the Old City’s Al Aqsa Mosque during the violence this morning.

Israeli authorities said “extremists” had thrown stones and other objects at officers, and onto a road near the Western Wall where thousands of people had gathered to pray.

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