October 22, 2014 23:56 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

  • Armed officers approach Parliament Hilll following a shooting incident in Ottawa, Oct. 22, 2014.

    Video Deadly Attack Shocks Canada's Capital

    Also, Kurdish lawmakers in Iraq vote to send Kurdish forces to the Syrian town of Kobani. China said 43 people tested for possible Ebola infection do not have the virus. Russia and Ukraine are still working to reach an agreement on Ukraine's payments for natural Gas. More

  • Survivors of the Ebola virus pose for a picture outside a clinic near Tubmanburg, October 15, 2014. A total of 4,493 people have died from the world's worst Ebola outbreak on record as of Oct. 12, statistics released by the World Health Organization showe

    Audio Ebola Survivors Speak Out about Their Experience

    The number of Ebola cases continues rising. But there is some hope for those who survive the disease. Recently, a conference for Ebola survivors was held for the first time in eastern Sierra Leone. The goal was to offer advice to survivors and increase understanding of the disease. More

  • FBI Director James Comey speaks about the impact of technology on law enforcement, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, at Brookings Institution in Washington.

    Audio Apple, FBI Battle Over Privacy Rules

    Apple recently said it was increasing security settings on its latest operating system for the company’s wireless devices. Apple said its new encryption rules are designed to protect users from search and seizure of their iPhones. But the changes are of concern to federal investigators. More

  • Men convicted of drug related crimes hear the public announcement for their death sentences in Shenzhen, China, on August 15, 1996.  (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)

    Audio Activists: China Executed 2,400 People in 2013

    The number of executions in China is lower than in earlier years. However, it is more than three times higher than the number of executions in the rest of the world combined. That information comes from Amnesty International. Death penalty numbers are a state secret in China. More

  • Ebola-CDC brief

    Audio  WHO: Ebola Vaccine Could Be in Use by January

    Also, student leaders in Hong Kong not satisfied with first talks with government officials. North Korea has releases one of three American prisoners. And South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to five years in prison for the deadly shooting of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. More

Featured Stories

  • Audio Iron Ships Clash at Sea

    The American Civil War was fought not only on land, but at sea. In 1862, Confederate and Union forces fought a new kind of navy battle in waters off Hampton Roads, Virginia. It was the first battle between iron ships. On the Confederate side was a ship called the Virginia. | The Making of a Nation More

  • Audio San Francisco Radio Stations Ban Lorde's 'Royals'

    The California baseball team, San Francisco Giants, is playing the Kansas City Royals for the 2014 Major League Baseball championship, the World Series. Two radio stations in San Francisco banned the hit song "Royals." In return, another station in Kansas City chose to play the song once every hour. More

  • A neurovascular unit on a chip being developed by Vanderbilt University researchers. (Vanderbilt University Photo/John Wikswo)

    Video Scientists Design Chips to Act Like Human Organs

    Testing new drugs for safety and effectiveness is a costly process in the United States. It also can take a lot of time. Some scientists are now designing silicon computer chips that act like human organs. The scientists think they have found a way to make the process faster and more economical. More

  • Brain Resource Infographic

    Audio Dealing with Distractions and Overreactions

    Five million American children and teenagers have Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD. ADHD makes it difficult - if not impossible - to stay with a duty until it is complete. Katherine Ellison knows the problem well. | Health Report More

  • Millions of years of history, which can be found on the ocean floor, are collected and analyzed at the Core Repository in New York.

    Video Scientists Create New Maps of Ocean Floor

    Until recently, scientists had mapped only about 20 percent of the sea floor. But our knowledge of the deep seas is changing because of information from satellites. Scientists have produced a new map that provides a detailed picture of the oceans. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner BlogConfessions of an English Learner Blog

Tell us About Our Programs