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Judge weighs bid to dismiss child sex abuse claim against Bill Cosby

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Lawyers for comedian Bill Cosby and a woman accusing him of sexually abusing her as a child were due to face off in a California courtroom on Thursday over a defense bid to dismiss her lawsuit for reasons related to the statute of limitations.

Cosby, 78, whose career and public image as the model American family man have been shattered by mounting allegations of sexual misconduct, lost a previous bid to fend off the same lawsuit on similar grounds last year.

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His accuser in that case, Judy Huth, now in her 50s, sued Cosby in December 2014, alleging that he plied her with alcohol and molested her during an encounter at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles in 1974, when she was 15.

Cosby has called Huth’s account a fabrication and asserted that her case against him grew out of a failed extortion attempt.

Huth is one more than 50 women who have come forward over the past two years to publicly accuse Cosby of rape and other forms of sexual abuse. Most involve incidents said to have occurred a decade ago or more, too long to be criminally prosecuted, or even litigated in civil court.

But authorities in Pennsylvania charged the entertainer in December with sexually assaulting a woman in 2005. And at least nine other women – eight of them in Massachusetts – are currently suing Cosby for defamation, claiming they were smeared by his public assertions that their allegations of sexual wrongdoing were false.

Huth, however, filed her suit under a California law allowing victims of childhood abuse to sue beyond the statute of limitations if, within the last three years, they have realized they suffered from psychological damage that previously was repressed.

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Cosby’s lawyers have countered that Huth’s claim fails to meet that test, saying she “unsuccessfully tried to sell her story to the tabloids nearly a decade ago.”

“This fact belies the allegations in the lawsuit that (Huth) only just discovered the basis for her claims within the past three years,” defense lawyers argued in their court filing. According to Cosby’s lawyers, Huth sued the comedian only after unsuccessfully trying to extort him for hush money.

Cosby’s lawyers also have sought dismissal of Huth’s complaint on grounds that she lacked the required certification from mental health professionals to support her claims.

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Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Craig Kaplan was expected to hear arguments from both sides and possibly render a ruling on Thursday.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles)

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China vows to retaliate for Trump’s Rose Garden press conference — and could impose new sanctions on America

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US President Donald Trump said Tuesday he was ending preferential trade treatment for Hong Kong and had signed into law an act that authorises sanctions on banks over China's clampdown in the international finance hub.

In a discursive news conference dominated by attacks on his domestic rivals, Trump declared himself to be the toughest president ever on China, a country he is increasingly positioning as his nemesis ahead of November elections.

Trump announced that he had issued an executive order on Hong Kong as he predicted decline for the restless city, on which Beijing recently imposed a tough new security law.

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2020 Election

Trump’s former White House doctor Ronny Jackson wins GOP runoff for Congress in Texas

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Ronny Jackson, the former White House physician and President Donald Trump's onetime nominee for secretary of veterans affairs, has won his bid for the Republican nomination for a solidly red congressional seat in the Texas Panhandle.

With 100% of polling locations reporting, though some mail-in ballots will still need to be counted, Jackson held a lead of 11 percentage points over Josh Winegarner, a veteran agriculture expert and lobbyist. Jackson and Winegarner were competing for a seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Clarendon, who is retiring and held the seat since 1995.

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Ivanka Trump’s tweet raises eyebrows: ‘Why is a senior White House official endorsing a food product?’

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As her big brother was dragging their 14-year-old half brother into the 2020 campaign, senior White House advisor Ivanka Trump was endorsing a line of canned food products.

If it’s Goya, it has to be good. Si es Goya, tiene que ser bueno. pic.twitter.com/9tjVrfmo9z

— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) July 15, 2020

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