Colorado authorities were warned about gunman’s mental state

Matthew Riehl, the suspect who opened fire on sheriff’s deputies near Denver. (Douglas County Sheriff’s Office/Reuters)
Updated 02 January 2018
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Colorado authorities were warned about gunman’s mental state

DENVER: Authorities had been contacted with concerns about the mental health of Matthew Riehl over a month before he shot and killed a Colorado deputy and wounded four others. But Riehl was never held for mental evaluation.
After Riehl published several social media posts critical of University of Wyoming professors, the campus police chief says officers called police in Lone Tree, Colorado, in November to warn them about Riehl, suggesting his rants were indicative of mental illness.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office says authorities received a call Sunday from someone who said Riehl might be having a mental breakdown, but deputies found no evidence of a crime and left.
Later, deputies responded to another call about Riel. Authorities say Riehl fired more than 100 rounds before he was killed.


Afghans ignore Ghani’s appeals on poll vote

Updated 6 min 52 sec ago
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Afghans ignore Ghani’s appeals on poll vote

KABUL: Afghans appear to be ignoring President Ashraf Ghani’s pleas for people to register to vote in long-delayed elections set for Oct. 20.
A week after the voter registration process began, public turnout remains low.
Between 10 and 13 million Afghans out of the country’s estimated 30 million population are eligible to vote in the parliamentary and provincial council elections.
But so far the turnout in Kabul and other major cities may be as low as 113,000, officials believe.
Anyone failing to register before the government’s deadline in two weeks will be unable to vote. Mosques and schools have been turned into voting registration centers.
“We have had only a handful of people in this center since morning,” said Inamaullah, an official in the north of the capital.
Poor security and a lack of trust in the election process are being blamed for the poor turnout.
Many people have also expressed disappointment in the government for failing to deliver on basic election promises.
The slow pace of registration forced Ghani to appeal to officials and the country’s population to register.
“Today I spoke with the governors of 34 provinces and commanders of the armed forces … to speed up the voter registration process,” the leader of the joint National Unity Government said in a statement on Thursday.
“I asked the governors to direct civil servants and their family members who are eligible to vote to take part in this critical process.”
Ghani also told the Minister of Hajj Awqaf to ensure that prayer leaders encouraged people to take part in the voter registration process.
“I have directed the relevant officials to provide women with the necessary facilities to participate in voter registration, and I instructed security forces to safeguard polling stations,” the president said.
The British ambassador to Kabul was among foreign diplomats who urged Afghans to register and vote.
“I encourage all Afghans to take this opportunity to use their democratic right to perform their civic duty,” Nick Kay said in a video message posted on social media.
Ghani and his wife, Rula Ghani, were among the first to register.
The Afghan leader even urged Taliban militants to register and campaign for the elections — a call that was rejected.