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by Michael Sisak The Associated Press Posted

first_img by Michael Sisak, The Associated Press Posted Jan 23, 2018 2:07 am PDT Last Updated Jan 24, 2018 at 6:20 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Bill Cosby performs comedy at the LaRose Jazz Club in Philadelphia on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. It was his first public performance since his last tour ended amid protests in May 2015. Cosby has denied allegations from about 60 women that he drugged and molested them over five decades. He faces an April retrial in the only case to lead to criminal charges. (AP Photo/Michael R. Sisak) PHILADELPHIA – Bill Cosby is suddenly out and about in his hometown of Philadelphia in what legal experts say appears to be an effort by the comedian to rebuild his good-guy image ahead of his retrial on sexual assault charges in the spring.In the past two weeks, the 80-year-old Cosby emerged from a long period of near-seclusion to have dinner with friends at a restaurant and gave his first comedy performance in more than two years. Cosby’s publicists turned both nights into media spectacles, letting reporters tag along as he enjoyed penne and sausage earlier this month and inviting cameras in as he told jokes Monday at a jazz club.Legal experts say Cosby’s team appears to be orchestrating the public outings and media coverage to influence potential jurors at his April 2 retrial on charges of molesting a Temple University employee at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. The former TV star’s first trial ended in a hung jury last June.“It’s the ‘Bill Cosby is not a bad guy’ defence,” said Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson.By playing up Cosby’s comedic past and Philadelphia roots, Levenson said, his team is attempting to recast his image from that of a predator accused of drugging and molesting about 60 women over five decades.Prosecutors have asked a judge to let 19 of those women testify at Cosby’s retrial, which is likely to unfold in a far more hostile climate than his first trial. In recent months, the #MeToo torrent of sexual misconduct allegations has brought down numerous powerful men, including Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Matt Lauer and Michigan Rep. John Conyers.“The defence is saying, ‘If they’re going to try to make this about his reputation, we better start building back up his reputation,’” Levenson said.Cosby’s spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, denied the comedian’s recent public appearances are aimed at influencing a potential jury. He said that the entertainer gets “hundreds of requests per day” and that he accepted the jazz club invitation because he wanted to honour Philadelphia musician Tony Williams.“Living life is not a strategy,” Wyatt said “Mr. Cosby is a human being. When did being a human being become a strategy? He has to live life to the fullest.”Cosby’s accusers see his re-emergence as a slap in the face.“While he’s laughing, they’re crying,” said Gloria Allred, the lawyer for about 30 Cosby accusers. “Perhaps this is some sort of charm offensive, but I think there are many, many people who believe the accusers, and they are not charmed by what appears to be an act,” she added. “It feels manipulative of public opinion.”Earlier Monday, Cosby spoke at a star-studded memorial service in New York for choreographer George Faison’s longtime partner. Over the weekend, Cosby’s social media accounts featured photos of him visiting a Philadelphia barber and a cafe and expressing support for the Super Bowl-bound Eagles.During his hour-long jazz club performance, Cosby appeared at ease at he reminisced about his childhood and pounded the drums. He didn’t touch on his criminal case and wouldn’t answer reporters’ questions about it afterward, saying: “I came here tonight to enjoy being with my friends and the musicians and the people who came.”Outside the restaurant where he ate dinner with friends Jan. 10, Cosby shook a reporter’s hand and told her: “Please don’t put me on MeToo.”Wyatt argued Cosby’s life shouldn’t stop just because he is facing charges.“When you have to go to traffic court, do you stop going to work?” he said. When reminded that the charges against Cosby are more serious and could put him in prison for the rest of his life, the spokesman replied: “People have to go to court every day. They still go out and enjoy life.”Wyatt said Cosby has been out in public frequently near his primary home in Massachusetts. The difference now: He is inviting the media. Wyatt issued a press release about Cosby’s comedy performance about two hours before he was to take the stage.“By inviting you guys along, it’s pretty clear what the motivation is there. I doubt it’s because you needed to see another comedy act,” Levenson said. “In other words, were you being used and manipulated? I think so.”__Follow Sisak on Twitter at https://twitter.com/mikesisakcenter_img Bill Cosby is hitting the town; legal experts see a strategylast_img read more

US Trial Tests Claims Roundup Weed Killer Caused C

first_img US Trial Tests Claims Roundup Weed Killer Caused Cancer By Reuters February 26, 2019 Updated: February 26, 2019 US News Monsanto Co’s Roundup is shown for sale in Encinitas, California, June 26, 2017. (REUTERS /Mike Blake). Share this article  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   center_img Show Discussion Bayer AG on Feb. 25 faced a second U.S. jury over allegations that its popular glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup causes cancer, six months after the company’s share price was rocked by a $289 million verdict in California state court.The lawsuit by California resident Edwin Hardeman against the company began on the morning of Feb. 25 in federal rather than state court. The trial is also a test case for larger litigation. More than 760 of the 9,300 Roundup cases nationwide are consolidated in the federal court in San Francisco that is hearing Hardeman’s case.Bayer denied all allegations that Roundup or glyphosate cause cancer, specifically non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Bayer said decades of independent studies have shown the world’s most widely used weed killer to be safe for human use, and noted that regulators around the world have approved the product.During the first phase in the trial, the nine-person jury was asked to weigh scientific evidence to determine whether Roundup caused Hardeman’s lymphoma.Aimee Wagstaff, a lawyer for Hardeman, told a packed courtroom during her opening statement on Monday that chemicals in Roundup made the weed killer more toxic than glyphosate alone, causing the man’s cancer.But U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria, who presided over the federal litigation, repeatedly scolded her for “crossing the line” by referring to internal corporate communications the judge has said have no bearing on the science in the case. “You completely disregarded the limitations,” Chhabria said.In a January ruling, Chhabria called evidence by plaintiffs that the company allegedly attempted to influence regulators and manipulate public opinion “a distraction” from the scientific question of whether glyphosate causes cancer.If the jury determines Roundup caused Hardeman’s cancer, the judge said such evidence could be presented in a second trial phase.Plaintiffs criticized Chhabria’s order dividing the trial and restricting evidence as “unfair,” saying their scientific evidence allegedly showing glyphosate causes cancer is inextricably linked to Monsanto’s alleged wrongful conduct.Evidence of corporate misconduct was seen to play a key role in the finding by a California state court jury in August 2018 that Roundup caused another man’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and that Bayer’s Monsanto unit failed to warn consumers about the weed killer’s cancer risks. That jury’s $289 million damages award was later reduced to $78 million.Bayer’s share price dropped 10 percent following the verdict and has remained volatile.Brian Stekloff, a lawyer for Bayer, in his opening statement, attacked the idea of a link between Roundup and cancer. He noted U.S. rates of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma have remained steady over time, even when Roundup use increased in the 1990s.Reporting by Jim Christie Sharelast_img read more