The first day of hearings on whether prosecutors can call as witnesses 13 other women who have accused Bill Cosby of misconduct at his sexual assault trial next year included a shouting match and hours of bitter exchanges. Prosecutors accused the entertainer's attorneys of trying to intimidate the women, and the judge at one point threatened to call in sheriff's deputies because the session was so tense. "Here is another simple attempt to intimidate the witnesses," Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said. "I'm not going to be a party to it." Cosby attorney Brian J. McMonagle shot back: "These are witnesses in a trial. They're not children. They've given press conferences. Some of them have been interviewed for books. Some of them are on tour." Read more
A Pennsylvania lawmaker plans to introduce a bill that would withhold state funding from universities that declare themselves "sanctuary campuses." State. Rep. Jerry Knowles (R., Schuylkill) said he wants universities to cooperate with authorities seeking undocumented students. The measure would put funding in jeopardy for universities that refuse to share information or allow federal authorities on campus without a warrant. "Turning a blind eye to illegal conduct for the sake of making some kind of political statement on this nation's immigration policy endangers the lives of those that the institution should be protecting," he wrote in a memo to legislators. Read more
Major airlines will start offering "basic economy" fares next year, providing travelers with a seat on the plane but not much else. Delta, American and United are introducing the lower-tier fares to compete with ultra-low-fare airlines like Spirit, Frontier and Allegiant. With basic economy fares, passengers can't pick their seats in advance and tickets aren't refundable. "I don't think it's particularly good for the consumer," said George Hobica, founder of airfarewatchdog.com. "I think the airlines are just doing this to appear at the same price point in airfare searches on third-party sites, such as Orbitz or Kayak. They want to be on a level playing field." Read more
A nearly 7,000-square-foot penthouse at the Residences at Two Liberty Place has sold for nearly $11 million. The buyer of the unit on the 57th floor of the tower at 16th and Chestnut Streets has not been disclosed. Read more
SEPTA's Route 47 bus, which runs 10 miles from Olney Avenue in North Philadelphia south to Whitman Plaza could be called a rolling United Nations. And a multimedia project unveiled Tuesday, called "47 Stories," presents a bus wrapped with images of the city and quotations from the route's diverse riders. "We're a bit of every language and culture," Route 47 driver Jackie Foman said. Read more