Posts tagged: Bowe Bergdahl
Here's a news item from the Associated Press: WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials have received a new video of captured U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl that they believe was taken within the last month, showing that the soldier is alive. The video came to light several days ago, said one senior defense official. Another official said that Bergdahl appeared in poorer health than previous videos, showing the signs of his nearly five years in captivity. Bergdahl, who is from Idaho, was taken prisoner in Afghanistan on June 30, 2009. It is believed he is being held somewhere in Pakistan. The Taliban have said they would free him in exchange for several of their most senior operatives who are being detained at the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In a statement, Bergdahl's family said that they learned Wednesday about the video. “Naturally, this is very important to us and our resolve to continue our efforts to bring Bowe home as soon as possible,” the statement said. “As we have done so many times over the past four and a half years, we request his captors to release him safely so that our only son can be reunited with his mother and father. Bowe - If (you) see this, continue to remain strong through patience. Your endurance will carry you to the finish line. Breathe!”
The yellow ribbons, some tattered, some faded, can be seen long before state Highway 75 spills into Hailey, Idaho — home to America's only prisoner of war in its conflict with Afghanistan, writes AP reporter John Miller. They hang from roadside utility poles and in front of homes near the one where Bowe Bergdahl grew up. They adorn virtually every tree and light post on Main Street, where signs in shop windows issue pleas to “Bring Bowe Home.”
The ribbons may be the most visible sign that the people of Hailey haven't forgotten the Army sergeant who, four years ago June 30, disappeared from his base in southeastern Afghanistan and was taken captive by the Taliban. But there are other reminders, too: The Norway maple trees— one for each year Bergdahl has been held — planted in the local park. Even Bergdahl's father, once the town's clean-shaven UPS deliveryman, has grown a long beard, a personal monument to his son's plight, not likely to be shorn until he is freed. Click below for Miller's full report
The Afghan Taliban is offering to free Idaho Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl of Hailey, held captive since 2009, in exchange for five of their senior operatives imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, the AP reports. The offer comes as efforts are under way to jumpstart peace talks in Qatar; the prisoner exchange is the first item on the Taliban's agenda before even opening peace talks, a top Taliban official told the AP. Click below for a full report from AP reporter Kathy Gannon in Kabul.
After a week away, it’s time to catch up. Here’s some of the news from the past week while I was gone:
* Both Coeur d’Alene and Pocatello passed city ordinances to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in housing, employment and public accommodations. The Coeur d’Alene City Council’s 5-1 vote came late Tuesday night; the Pocatello City Council’s 4-2 vote came early Friday morning. That marks the fifth and sixth Idaho cities, including Boise, to pass such ordinances, after the state Legislature refused for seven straight years to enact such protections statewide.
* First District Congressman Raul Labrador dropped out of an eight-member bipartisan group working toward compromise immigration reform legislation in the House, and said he’ll oppose the group’s legislation, due to differences over how to pay for immigrants’ health care. “We just have a different philosophy,” Labrador told reporters. “The Democratic Party believes that health insurance is a social responsibility of the nation. I believe that health insurance is an individual responsibility. And that’s a really hard philosophy to mesh.” You can read more here. Today, the Coalition for Immigrant Rights of Idaho plans a rally at Meridian City Hall to protest Labrador’s move.
* The family of Bowe Bergdahl, the American soldier from Hailey captured four years ago in Afghanistan and still held as a prisoner of war, received a letter from their son after working with the International Committee of the Red Cross. The family said it was “greatly relieved and encouraged by this letter;” read the full story here from the Associated Press.
* Idaho’s latest tax revenue figures, for the month of May, came in 2.4 percent below forecast, but that followed a big surplus in April, the state’s biggest month for tax revenue, bringing the state to 3 percent above forecast for the fiscal year to date; Idaho’s fiscal year ends June 30. You can see the general fund revenue report here.