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Yoho airs concerns on Guantanamo prisoner release

Congressman Ted Yoho disagrees with the prisoner swap of 5 Afghan detainees in Guantanamo for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

"It's the policy of the United States of America. We don't negotiate with terrorists."

Congressman Yoho says the decision to release the detainees in exchange for a soldier the U.S. military says walked away from his post in Afghanistan was poor leadership. He also believes it sets a bad precedent.

"Our enemies don't fear or respect us and I think respect is the most important part here."

Yoho warns it could heighten the risk of other Americans being snatched as bargaining chips. He tells WOKV he's also concerned it sends mixed signals to U.S. allies, he fears some will lose trust in the United States.

The White House defended the decision to not give Congress a heads up, saying it was "the right thing to do." White House Spokesman Jay Carney said, "It was the judgment of the team and the president that there was enough urgency here to ensure that Sergeant Bergdahl was safely recovered that a 30-day window of hoping that that opportunity remained open was not an option."

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The Latest News Headlines

  • Three teens who overpowered staff at a juvenile detention center in Jacksonville last week, have been caught by police. Justin Silva, Luther Davis and Derek Browley were found together on Old Kings Road shortly after 10 a.m. Saturday. They had been on the run since escaping from the Jacksonville Youth Academy, which is operated by G4S Youth Services, on June 18.  The president and CEO of G4S Youth Services told WOKV the boys, ranging in age from 15 to 16 years old, ambushed a youth care worker, stole keys to the facility and escaped over a high fence. Police described the attempt as a coordinated plan.  WOKV will continue to update this story as more information is released.  
  • A Memphis, Tennessee, woman turned the tables on a suspect who twice pointed a gun at her during an attempted robbery, police say. >> Read more trending news According to a police report, the woman was pumping gas Wednesday evening when an unknown man approached her. The suspect put a gun into her side and demanded her money and car keys, the report said. The woman told police she pushed the gun away and turned to face the suspect. Police said the man then pointed his gun at the victim’s chest, but she punched him in the face, grabbed the gun and hit the suspect in the face with it four times. A second suspect then rushed toward the woman, and she hit him in the face with the gun one time, according to police. The two suspects ran away, and no arrests have been made at this time, police said.
  • Responding to concerns about personal security for lawmakers after last week’s gun attack at a Congressional baseball practice, U.S. House leaders are moving to provide extra money to members for protection back home, as well as new funding to bolster the work of police and security officials on Capitol Hill. Under a plan approved by a House spending subcommittee on Friday, the Congress would provide an extra $7.5 million next year to the Capitol Police for an “increased security posture” around the Capitol, along with $5 million to the House Sergeant at Arms to help with security for lawmakers back in their districts. “We are taking a new fresh look at security,” said Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS), the Chairman of subcommittee that deals with funding for the Legislative Branch. Our FY18 Legislative Branch funding bill increases efficiency & transparency in Congress, enhances security for Members & our constituents. pic.twitter.com/FI36tF2XeH — Rep. Kevin Yoder (@RepKevinYoder) June 22, 2017 “The tragic events of June 14 weigh heavily on these deliberations,” said Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, which could vote on the extra money as early as this next week. Also being put into motion is a separate plan to funnel an extra $25,000 to each member of the House – about $11 million in all – to help them increase security back in their districts. “The scariest part for us is there used to be this impression by the public that we all had security everywhere we went,” said Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH). “Now, everyone knows that isn’t the case,” Ryan added, as he lent his support to the extra funding for security as well. The money in this budget bill would not take effect until the new fiscal year – which starts October 1 – so, House leaders are ready to okay extra money immediately for members worried about security back in their districts. Roll Call newspaper reported that could be approved in coming days by the House Administration Committee. Yoder said Congressional leaders are also waiting to see if money raised in campaign contributions for House elections could be put to use for security as well. “Pending an FEC (Federal Election Commission) decision, we’re also looking at whether campaign funds could be used to continue to support security upgrades at personal residences,” Yoder added.
  • Thousands of residents in a north London housing complex were evacuated from their apartments Friday night after fire checks revealed the buildings were unsafe, Reuters reported. >> Read more trending news The checks were done in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire on June 14. Residents, along with their children and pets were removed from five tower blocks and headed to a local sports center to sleep on air beds, Reuters reported. “I know it’s difficult but Grenfell changes everything,” Georgia Gould, leader of Camden Council, said in the statement. “I don’t believe we can take any risks with our residents’ safety.” The London Fire Brigade said it had found a number of fire safety issues at the Chalcots Estate in Camden and advised residents to leave the building until they were resolved, Reuters reported.

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