December 19, 2014 07:19 UTC

In the News

Effects of Taliban Prisoner Release Unclear

U.S. President Barack Obama stands with Jami and Bob Bergdahl (R) as he delivers a statement about the release of their son, prisoner of war U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, in Washington May 31, 2014.
U.S. President Barack Obama stands with Jami and Bob Bergdahl (R) as he delivers a statement about the release of their son, prisoner of war U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, in Washington May 31, 2014.
In the News - June 7, 2014
In the News - June 7, 2014i
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

From VOA Learning English, this is In The News. 
 
Five members of Afghanistan’s Taliban rejoined their families this week after 13 years in detention.  The United States had been holding the five at its prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  The U.S. government recently sent them to Qatar in exchange for the only American soldier held in Afghanistan.

Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was believed to have been held prisoner for almost five years.  U.S. officials believe his captors belong to the Haqqani network, a group with links to the Taliban.
 
Defense Department officials say Sergeant Bergdahl’s release followed several weeks of secret, indirect talks.  The government of Qatar reportedly assisted in the negotiations.
 
In Washington last Saturday, President Barack Obama praised the soldier’s release. 
 
“He wasn’t forgotten by his community in Idaho, or the military, which rallied to support the Bergdahls through thick and thin.  And he wasn’t forgotten by his country – because the United States of American does not ever leave our men and women in uniform behind.”

 
U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe BerghdalU.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Berghdal
x
U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Berghdal
U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Berghdal
Republican Party lawmakers welcomed Bowe Bergdahl’s release, but questioned the prisoner exchange.  Senator John McCain was himself a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War.  He described the five Afghans as hardened terrorists and violent extremists.  He and other Republicans wanted the Obama administration to explain what steps were taken to make sure the five never return to fight against the United States.
 
The government in Afghanistan was angered at President Obama’s decision to release the detainees.  The Afghan foreign ministry said the decision was a possible violation of international law. 
 
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has defended the agreement to exchange the detainees for Sergeant Bergdahl.  He also defended the decision not to inform Congress before the exchange took place, as required by law.
 
Secretary Hagel said he does not think the deal will endanger U.S. military personnel or civilians by inviting future deals with hostage-takers.
 
The events leading up to the capture of the American in 2009 remain unclear.  A soldier who served with him said the former prisoner is no hero. 
 
“People calling him a hero or calling him this great soldier?  It’s a spit in the face to all the soldiers who were there.”
 
That was former Army Sergeant Evan Buetow.  He was Bowe Bergdahl’s team leader in Afghanistan.  He says he is happy Sergeant Bergdahl is safe.  But he says he cannot understand celebrating a soldier he says just walked away from his base.
 
On social media, others accused Bowe Bergdahl of walking away and of getting U.S. troops killed as a result of his actions.
 
Jonah Blank is with the RAND Corporation policy group.  He notes the Army recognized the soldier with promotions not once, but twice during his captivity.  He says this suggests his actions were nothing less than honorable.
 
Army Secretary John McHugh has made clear the military’s first goal is to make sure Sergeant Bergdahl regains his health.  He says once that happens, the Army will launch what he called a “comprehensive, coordinated” investigation of the soldier’s disappearance.
 
And that’s In The News from VOA Learning English.  I’m Steve Ember.
Question image

Taliban Prisoners Exchange

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sidiqullah from: Kabul,Afghanistan
06/11/2014 5:33 AM
Good practice, hope peace came to the heart of asia.

In Response

by: Rômulo from: Brasil
06/12/2014 4:32 AM
on the contrary friend, has five more dangerous terrorists released, terror will increase.


by: Ghula Jan from: Afghanistan
06/10/2014 5:12 AM
Why you people released the Taliban because of the you people came here for war so there for 1change to 5 is it good Decide or how just kill one and get five


by: BIJU.P.Y from: SOUTH INDIA
06/09/2014 3:59 PM
The handing over of Sergeant Bergdahl was America's diplomatic victory. But handing over of 5 Taliban terrorists in exchange for this is just like taking two one step forward and two steps back. Yet saving a life from the torture grounds of the Taliban was a glorious victory for both the Americans and Mr. Bergdahl himself at large. It is a happy reunion with his family and with his nation as well. Thank you.


by: Alex from: Sankt-Peterburg
06/08/2014 11:31 AM
The phrase 'through thick and thin' in Russian can be translated 'throuh fire and water'.


by: long
06/07/2014 2:57 AM
good

Learn with The News

  • Mideast Islamic State US

    Audio Top Islamic State Leaders Killed in Airstrikes

    Three top Islamic State leaders were killed in a series of targeted airstrikes in Iraq. U.S. not ruling out White House visit by Cuban President Raul Castro. Suspected Boko Haram gunmen kidnap over 100 women, children. Putin says Russia’s economy will improve in two years. More

  • the interview

    Video Sony Criticized for Cancelling 'The Interview'

    The company acted after a group of computer hackers attacked the company and threatened to attack movie theaters that show the film. Most people have criticized Sony’s decision to cancel the release. The US says North Korea was behind the cyber attack. North Korea denies the accusation. More

  • The MOM Incubator could save more babies in refugee camps who die due to complications of premature birth.

    Audio Low-Cost Incubator May Save More Babies

    Premature birth is the biggest killer of children worldwide. About one million babies around the world die of problems because they are born too early. Many of these babies could have been saved if they had been placed in an incubator. A young British researcher says he has found a solution. More

  • A screenshot from Cuban television shows President Raul Castro addressing the country, in Havana, Dec. 17, 2014.

    Audio US, Cuba Normalize Relations

    After the release of Alan Gross from prison, U.S. and Cuba announce policy changes that end more than 50 years of diplomatic isolation that began in the Cold War. Also in the news, India joins Pakistan in mourning after Tuesday's Taliban attack. And Sony Pictures cancels release of "The Interview." More

  • Audio How Much of You Does Facebook Own?

    If you use Facebook, your friends may have posted an update recently saying Facebook is not permitted to violate their privacy. But how much of your data -- things you post -- does Facebook legally own? Experts say Facebook's terms of service agreement clearly says they own most of what you post. More

Featured Stories

  • Video Music Shows in Private Homes Gain Popularity

    Attending a live musical performance, be it in a huge arena or a small cafe, is an exciting experience. But here in the U.S., a very different kind of performance is gaining popularity: house concerts. “There's just a totally unique experience as opposed to playing like a coffee shop or a bar." More

  • Lee Surrenders to Grant at Appomatox

    Audio Southern General Robert E. Lee Surrenders at Appomattox

    General Robert E. Lee’s military skill and intelligence helped extend the war between the states. But even his skill could not save the South from the industrial power of the North and its mighty armies -- armies that were better-fed and better-equipped. On Sunday, August 9, Lee surrendered. More

  • Uganda Playground for Disabled Children

    Audio Helping Uganda’s Disabled Children Play

    You may think that all children have freedom to play. But for children who look differently from others or have physical disabilities, the idea of play can seem far away. An organization in Uganda is seeking to change that. Read on to learn words needed to talk about this sometimes difficult topic. More

  • A microneedle used to inject glaucoma medications into the eye is shown next to a liquid drop from a conventional eye dropper. (Georgia Tech Photo: Gary Meek

    Audio Tiny Needles Treat Eye Disease

    Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness around the world. In the United States, more than two million people suffer from the disease. Now, researchers are developing very small needles that may offer a more effective and painless treatment for glaucoma and other eye diseases. More

  • The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement in Las Vegas

    Audio Mob Museum Tells About the Mafia in America

    The U.S. government has long used public money to fight organized crime. Now, public money is also paying for a museum in Las Vegas to tell about "The Mob,” and not everyone is happy about that. But some say it helps the local economy by bringing people to a part of Las Vegas that few visit. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner BlogConfessions of an English Learner Blog

Tell us About Our Programs