Posts Tagged ‘family’
Smart says she complied with Mitchell to keep her family safe – Salt Lake Tribune
Last Updated on Tuesday, 9 November 2010 02:06 Written by admin Tuesday, 9 November 2010 02:06
To read part one of Elizabeth Smart’s testimony on Nov. 8, click here: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/50632966-76/smart-viti-yes-defendant.html.csp
To read part two of Elizabeth Smart’s testimony on Nov. 9, click here: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/50639245-76/smart-viti-yes-cable.html.csp
Elizabeth Smart took the witness stand Tuesday morning for a second day of testimony, focusing on how Brian David Mitchell forced her to comply with his demands — even as they ventured from a mountain campsite into the public.
A few weeks into her captivity at a campsite above her Salt Lake City home, Smart said Mitchell removed a cable that tethered her ankle to the site. But that didn’t mean she could leave.
“He said even though you have this cable removed of your ankle now that doesn’t change the fact that you will be killed if you try to escape. Your family will be killed,” Smart testified.
Smart said either Mitchell or his wife, Wanda Barzee, were always with her at the camp. Mitchell was a light sleeper and sleeping arrangements were also handled in a way that prevented her escape, Smart said.
When the three hiked down into Salt Lake City where Mitchell shoplifted items from a Whole Foods grocery store, Smart testified he made her wear white robes as a disguise and told her to say she was the couple’s daughter if anyone asked. Again, she said, he threatened her life and the lives of her family if she tried to escape.
At a Salt Lake City party the three attended, Mitchell again warned her he would be watching and made her wear the robes, which included a veil for her face.
“He said to stay next to him at all times and if I tried to run away I would be killed,” Smart testified. “He said that I wasn’t to talk to anybody. I wasn’t to go anywhere without him. That I needed to stay next to him at all times. And I had some blue toenail polish that my younger sister and I had painted our toenails earlier with it. There wasn’t a lot but there were remnants left of that. He said I needed to get rid of it so there couldn’t be any sort of mark or sign that I was Elizabeth Smart.”
Smart also recounted Mitchell’s failed attempt to kidnap her cousin in July of 2002, and his efforts to distance her from her family by making her refer to her parents as Ed and Lois.
Although Mitchell made Smart burn the red pajamas and shoes she was wearing when he took her from her home that June, she told jurors she tried to save parts of the items. Smart said she retrieved a safety pin from the pajamas and a piece of her shoe and put them in a three-ring binder she had at the time.
When asked why she did so on the witness stand, Smart replied: “Because I didn’t want to let go of my family, of my life.”
Other visits to Salt Lake City followed, including times the three spent the night with people Mitchell met, Smart testified. One day, Mitchell told them they were to leave Utah.
“He said that he felt like we needed to find a new city for a new life,” Smart testified. “He said he received a revelation that seven different wives were going to be from seven different cities so he wanted to go to the library to look at maps of different places.”
At the library, Smart detailed how close she came to being rescued when a Salt Lake City homicide detective approached the trio and asked Smart to lift her veil. He told her he was looking for Elizabeth Smart.
Mitchell refused to allow the detective to lift Smart’s veil, and the detective left, Smart testified.
“I felt like hope was walking out the door,” she said. “I felt terrible that the detective hadn’t pushed harder, that he had just walked away. I felt upset with myself that I hadn’t done anything, that I hadn’t taken a chance….”
Smart also went into the difficulties of life in California, where the trio traveled by bus. There, she said, she was forced to view pornography and had very little to eat when Mitchell would leave her and Barzee alone at a campsite for days without food.
Smart detailed how Mitchell changed his appearance and demeanor to interact with members of an LDS church there.
“He would brush his hair and but it into a ponytail, and he would tie his beard into a ponytail on his face. He would wear normal clothing. He tried to wash up a little bit so he didn’t smell quite as bad,” Smart testified.
Mitchell befriended a member of the church who invited him to dinner, Smart testified. He then targeted the man’s stepdaughter to take as another wife failed in a kidnapping attempt.
Smart’s testimony continues through 2 p.m. Tuesday in U.S. District Court. Smart’s mother and younger sister, Mary Katherine, told the court on Monday about the night she disappeared from the Smart family’s Federal Heights home.
Pope defends family as Spanish gays hold ‘kiss-in’ – The Associated Press
Last Updated on Sunday, 7 November 2010 05:27 Written by admin Sunday, 7 November 2010 05:27
Pope defends family as Spanish gays hold ‘kiss-in’
3 hours ago
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI strongly defended traditional families and the rights of the unborn Sunday, directly attacking Spanish laws that allow gay marriage, fast-track divorce and easier abortions as he dedicated Barcelona’s iconic church, the Sagrada Familia.
It was the second time in as many days that Benedict had criticized the policies of Spain’s Socialist government and called for Europe as a whole to rediscover Christian teachings and apply them to everyday life.
As he headed to the church named for the sacred family, about 200 gays and lesbians staged a ‘kiss-in’ to protest his visit and church policies on homosexuals, condom use and a host of other issues. Church teaching holds that gays should be treated with dignity and respect but that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered.”
Benedict has focused much of his pontificate on trying to fight secular trends in the West such as the legal recognition of same-sex unions. Benedict has visited Spain twice so far and has a third trip planned next year, an indication he sees this once staunchly Roman Catholic country as a battleground for the future of the faithful in Europe.
During his homily Sunday, Benedict noted that the Sagrada Familia church, a soaring, Art Nouveau marvel begun over a century ago, was initially conceived of as a temple to the family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
As he inaugurated the church’s main altar, he railed against same-sex marriage and divorce, saying families are built on the “indissoluble love of a man and a woman” who should be provided with financial and social benefits from governments. The pontiff also consecrated the building for use as a church in a colorful ceremony seldom seen performed by a pope.
He criticized policies allowing for abortions, saying “the life of children (must) be defended as sacred and inviolable from the moment of their conception.”
To press his point, Benedict was to visit a Spanish church-run home for children with developmental and behavioral problems later Sunday before returning to Rome.
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s Socialist government has supported a legislative agenda that has deeply angered the Vatican, allowing gay marriage, quicker divorces and easier abortions.
Spain’s new abortion law allows the procedure without restrictions in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, bringing Spain more in line with its European neighbors.
As he arrived Saturday, Benedict blasted such policies, saying today’s “aggressive” anti-church, secular movement in Spain was reminiscent of the 1930s, when the church suffered violent persecution as the country lurched from an unstable democracy to civil war.
The reference was striking, given the scale of violence back then: poverty-stricken and disgruntled Spaniards burned churches and murdered priests and nuns whom they considered obstacles to much-needed change. The church claims 4,184 clergy were killed by the government, or Republican side, which accused the church of backing fascist Gen. Francisco Franco.
In his homily Sunday, Benedict again called for the West to embrace God and shun secular trends. He said the dedication of the Sagrada Familia church was of great importance “at a time in which man claims to be able to build his life without God, as if God had nothing to say to him.”
During the ritual-filled dedication ceremony, Benedict poured holy oil over the marble altar and spread it across all four corners with his hands, an apron protecting his vestments. He then lit a brass incense burner on the altar as Spain’s King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia looked on.
Afterward, four nuns dressed in black mopped up the remaining oil from the altar and placed fresh linens on it.
The church, which was being declared a basilica, is the masterwork of Antoni Gaudi, a Barcelona architect and staunch Catholic who dedicated his life to the project but died in 1926, only a few years after it was begun. He is on the path to possible sainthood.
The light-filled basilica is awash in Christian symbolism and imagery; its planned 18 towers which pierce Barcelona’s skyline represent the 12 apostles, the four evangelists, Mary and Jesus; the basilica’s three main exterior facades depict Christ’s birth, death and resurrection; the 52 palm treelike columns inside represent the 52 Sundays of the year.
Benedict praised Gaudi for integrating nature, scripture and liturgy in his masterpiece in a way that overcame the distinction between the temporal and the eternal world.
“Antoni Gaudi did this not with words but with stones, lines, planes and points,” Benedict said. “Indeed, beauty is one of mankind’s greatest needs; it is the root from which the branches of our peace and the fruits of our hope come forth.”
Thousands of Spaniards lined Benedict’s motorcade route, cheering and waving the yellow and white flags of the Holy See. Mixed among the throngs outside Barcelona’s cathedral were 200 members of the gay ‘kiss-in’ who smooched as his popemobile went by.
Sergi Benavent, a 22-year-old nursing student, said he protested to show his opposition to those “who want to love in just one way.”
“This is a peaceful demonstration that there are more ways of expressing one’s love,” he said.
His partner, Andreu Martinez, a 27-year-old administrative assistant, concurred, saying he wanted to protest the church’s “antiquated, homophobic and sexist hierarchy.”
Associated Press writers Joseph Wilson in Barcelona and Harold Heckle in Madrid contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Rare Intra-Korean Family Reunions Underway – Voice of America
Last Updated on Saturday, 30 October 2010 07:26 Written by admin Saturday, 30 October 2010 07:26
30 October 2010
More than 400 South Koreans, from nearly 100 families, are beginning a reunion in North Korea with relatives from whom they have been separated since the early 1950s. This is the first such event in more than a year.
It is a long-awaited and emotional encounter for the long-separated relatives from about 100 families.
Most of those reuniting are in their 80s, who expressed a desire to see loved ones a final time before they die.
Two batches of relatives from each side of the heavily fortified border will be reunited for three days. The second group will meet next Wednesday at the same location, the Mt. Kumgang resort.
The last reunion was held 13 months ago. They began a decade ago amid warming relations and political conciliation.
Relations chilled again between Seoul and Pyongyang after the sinking in March of a South Korean naval vessel in the Yellow Sea. An international investigation concluded the Cheonan warship exploded after being hit by a North Korean torpedo. Forty-six South Korean sailors died.
North Korea is demanding South Korea donate hundreds of thousands of tons of rice and fertilizer as a prerequisite for family reunions to resume on a regular basis.
Professor Lee Woo Young at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul says this is a typical demand from Pyongyang.
Lee says North Korea always uses the family reunions to gain economic benefits, noting every time one is held such aid has been sent to Pyongyang. This, he says, emphasizes the fact the impoverished North requires outside assistance.
More than 20,000 South Koreans have been briefly reunited with relatives in the North since the Red Cross-organized program began.
The latest reunion went ahead despite an incident Friday afternoon along the border. Seoul says two shots were fired from North Korea at a South Korean guard post, 90 kilometers northeast of Seoul.
A Defense Ministry official here says South Korean soldiers returned three shots from a machine gun under established procedures. It is uncertain whether the initial firing by North Korea was deliberate or accidental.
The U.S.-led United Nations command, which oversees the 1953 armistice, is to investigate the incident. It will determine whether the firing violated the agreement that halted the Korean War.
The Korean peninsula has lived under the uneasy truce for nearly 60 years. During that time there has been no communication between ordinary citizens across the border.
Hundreds of Koreans hold first family reunions for two years – Monsters and Critics.com
Last Updated on Saturday, 30 October 2010 02:26 Written by admin Saturday, 30 October 2010 02:26