Suspect in death got out early
DENVER — Colorado court officials have vowed to review procedures to ensure that a clerical mistake that allowed the early release of a prisoner — who then went on to allegedly shoot the state’s corrections director last month — doesn’t happen again.
Judicial officials acknowledged Monday that Evan Spencer Ebel’s previous felony conviction was inaccurately recorded and his release in January was an error.
In 2008, Ebel pleaded guilty in rural Fremont County to assaulting a prison officer. In the plea deal, Ebel was to be sentenced to up to four additional years in prison, to be served after he completed the eight-year sentence that put him behind bars in 2005, according to a statement from Colorado’s 11th Judicial District.
However, the judge didn’t say the sentence was meant to be “consecutive,” or in addition to, Ebel’s current one. So the court clerk recorded it as one to be served “concurrently,” or at the same time.
Taliban leader might seek election
BERLIN (AP) — Afghan President Hamid Karzai has told a German newspaper that Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar could run for president in elections next year.
Karzai’s government has agreed the Taliban can open an office in Qatar if the group breaks all ties with al-Qaida and renounces terrorism. Karzai was in Qatar Sunday to discuss the issue.
Karzai said in an interview published today by the German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung that authorities have “sporadic contacts” with the Taliban. He said that the Afghan constitution is valid for all Afghans and “the Taliban also should benefit from it.” Asked whether Mullah Omar should seek the presidency, Karzai was quoted as saying: “He can become a candidate for the presidency and give Afghans the opportunity to vote for or against him.”
Euro jobless rate hits 12 percent
LONDON (AP) — The eurozone economy has passed another bleak milestone.
Official figures today showed that unemployment across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro has struck 12 percent for the first time since the currency was launched in 1999.
Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office, said the rate in February was unchanged at the record high after January’s figure was revised up to 12 percent from 11.9 percent. Spain and Greece have mass unemployment and many other countries are seeing their numbers swell to uncomfortably high levels.
A total of 19.07 million people were officially out of work in the eurozone in February, nearly two million more than the same month the year before.