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."
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.
1.assist vt. 帮助；援助
Do you need anybody to assist you in your work?
It never occurs to them to question the doctor's decisions...
3.hardened adj. 变硬的，坚毅的
4.anger vt.& vi. 激怒；使发怒
The decision to allow more offshore oil drilling angered some Californians.
5.inform vi. 通知
It was remiss of them not to inform us of these changes sooner.
6.endanger vt. 危及
You will endanger your health if you smoke.
When the chance of promotion arose, he was passed over.
1.The U.S. government recently sent them to Qatar in exchange for the only American soldier held in Afghanistan.
in exchange for交换
The trade unions bargained away their rights in exchange for a small pay raise.
2.U.S. officials believe his captors belong to the Haqqani network, a group with links to the Taliban.
He did not belong to his set of friends.
3.He wasn't forgotten by his community in Idaho, or the military, which rallied to support the Bergdahls through thick and thin.
through thick and thin不畏艰险； 历经甘苦
His wife stuck faithfully to him through thick and thin.
4.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.
lead up to导致
The disease can lead up to a vicious circle of further trouble.
本周，被关押了13年之后，5名阿富汗塔利班分子重新与家人团聚。此前，美国将这5名囚犯关押在古巴关塔纳摩监狱 。美国政府最近将他们送往卡塔尔，换取被阿富汗俘获的唯一一名美国士兵 。
据信，陆军中士鲍·伯格达尔(Bowe Bergdahl)被关押了接近五年的时间。美国官员相信俘虏他的人隶属哈卡尼网络，与塔利班分子存在关联 。
共和党议员们对鲍·伯格达尔(Bowe Bergdahl)的获释表示欢迎，但是对囚徒交换提出质疑。参议员约翰·麦凯恩本身曾经是越南战争的囚犯 。
美国国防部长查克·哈格尔(Chuck Hagel)为用囚犯交换伯格达尔中士的协议作出辩护。关于未按照法律要求在交换囚徒前通知国会的决定，他也作出了辩护 。
这是前陆军中士Evan Buetow。他曾经是阿富汗鲍·伯格达尔(Bowe Bergdahl)所在的小组的负责人 。他说，他很高兴伯格达尔终于安全了 。但是他说，他不能理解一位自行离开基地的士兵获释有什么值得庆祝的 。
Jonah Blank是兰德公司政策小组成员。他指出，军方曾在伯格达尔被俘期间对他进行了两次晋升 。他说，这表明他的行为是非常值得尊重的 。
美国陆军部长约翰·麦克休(John McHugh)明确表示，军方的首要目标是确保鲍·伯格达尔(Bowe Bergdahl)恢复身体健康。他说，在这之后，军方将对这位士兵的失踪进行“综合的，全面的”调查 。
以上就是今天的美国之音慢速学英语时事新闻。我是Steve Ember 。