log in to manage your profile and account
- Create your account
- Receive up-to-date newsletters
- Set up text alerts
Published: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 @ 5:51 PM
Updated: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 @ 5:51 PM
SALT LAKE CITY — A 7-year-old Venezuelan girl has made it to the United States after a long fight to take her away from the turbulent South American nation where her jailed mother and the mom's American husband are fighting for their freedom.
The couple, Joshua Holt of Utah and Thamara Candelo of Venezuela, made the difficult decision that the girl would be better off in Utah with Holt's parents than in Venezuela, which has been stricken by severe shortages of food and medicine.
U.S. authorities say Holt and Candelo were arrested by Venezuelan police in June 2016 under trumped-up weapons charges. They are trying to get them released, though the Holts are still awaiting news on when the trial will begin.
The girl, Nathalia Carrasco, is Candelo's daughter from a previous marriage, and her father died a year ago. She had been living with her grandmother in a government housing project in the hills outside Caracas.
Laurie Holt said Wednesday that she and her husband picked up Nathalia on Saturday night at the airport in Miami in an emotional first meeting and brought her to their home outside Salt Lake City on Sunday.
"I was crying even before she walked to me. She just had the biggest grin on her face, and I couldn't wait to just hold her," Holt said. "It's like a part of Josh is here. She brought a smile to my face for the first time in a long, long time."
She said she had begun to lose hope after a year of seeking permission to bring the girl to Utah. While they waited for Venezuela's child welfare agency to grant approval, Holt and Nathalia would text each other regularly using emoticons on the WhatsApp messaging service. In the U.S., Holt is the girl's legal guardian.
Communication is challenging because the Holts don't speak Spanish and Nathalia is just learning English, so they rely on an online translating app and family members and a lawyer who speak Spanish.
"She's had us in stitches all the time," Holt said. "She makes fun of us saying things she knows we won't understand."
They have been to the mall to get some clothes and toys; Nathalia loves items from the movie "Frozen" and My Little Pony stuffed animals. She's also had a doctor's checkup that determined she's in good health. Her first day at school was Wednesday.
Holt dreams of the day her son and his wife can be reunited with Nathalia and all of them can live together in Utah. She said Nathalia had been visiting the couple in jail once a week for last 20 months.
"Even if he's not her biological father, I know she adores him and calls him papi," Holt said.
Venezuela authorities allege Joshua Holt used his wife's apartment to stockpile weapons and have linked him to unspecified attempts by the U.S. to undermine President Nicolas Maduro's rule amid deep economic and political turbulence. Holt's family says an assault rifle and a grenade found in the apartment were planted.
The case has become a major thorn in relations between the U.S. and Venezuela, which were already tense from previous U.S. administrations. The Trump administration has slapped sanctions on dozens of senior Venezuelan officials with the goal of weakening Maduro's grip on power.
The new top U.S. diplomat in Venezuela, Todd Robinson, has ratcheted up the pressure, calling it a "tragedy" that Holt has been imprisoned. The diplomat said he is holding Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza personally responsible if anything happens to Holt in jail.
U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah also has been working for Holt's freedom. His office on Wednesday released a photo of Holt taken last Friday during a consular visit. He's holding a letter that Hatch sent him, including words of encouragement and imploring Holt not to give up.
"I ask that you stand strong in your faith as we continue to pray on your behalf," Hatch wrote. "I am confident that this dark chapter will close and you will soon be reunited with your family."
Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 10:20 AM
— People are mourning the loss of influential evangelist Billy Graham after news of his death broke early Wednesday. He was 99.
Born William Franklin Graham in North Carolina, the religious leader was known as “America’s pastor.” He also had a huge global following through his radio and television ministry, reaching millions.
Throughout his career, which spanned more than 70 years, he developed relationships with politicians and activists, including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Presidents Harry Truman, Richard Nixon and Barack Obama.
As details regarding his death hit the internet, many flocked to social media to write condolences. Several said they were sad to hear about his passing.
Sad to hear about the homegoing of Rev. Billy Graham. We will be praying for his family, but we as Believers know that the moment he closed his eyes here on earth, he opened them in the portals of Glory. @Franklin_Graham— Gabriel Swaggart (@GabeSwaggart) February 21, 2018
Sad news... Reverend Billy Graham has passed away at the age of 99. #RIP— Buck Lanford (@BuckFOX5) February 21, 2018
I was sad to learn of the passing of Billy Graham at age 99. He was a godly man who preached the Gospel faithfully. May each one of us be faithful to the end. #John3:16— Michael A Youssef (@MichaelAYoussef) February 21, 2018
Some praised him for his dedication and passion, while also reflecting on the lives he affected. Many called him “kind” and “amazing.”
Reverend Billy Graham...a great man....he prayed with and for everyone. He was very kind and very humble. pic.twitter.com/K2mLJbrcdB— Greta Van Susteren (@greta) February 21, 2018
I am reminded of my childhood with my baptist grandmother watching dubbed Billy Graham sermons. He was kind of a rockstar. RIP— De las Mercedes (@fdlm) February 21, 2018
Rev. Billy Graham was an amazing man of God who truly affected the world for Jesus. What a man with a passion for wanting to know Jesus and tell everyone else about Him. https://t.co/nNRbJa5Ae4— Joseph Martin (@jjmart7) February 21, 2018
I thank God for the integrity and faithful walk that Billy Graham modeled for us. Appreciated his passion for seeing people come to know Jesus.— Mike Leake (@mikeleake) February 21, 2018
Others chimed in with their favorite quotes from Graham.
I am not going to Heaven because I have preached to great crowds or read the Bible many times. I'm going to Heaven just like the thief on the cross who said in that last moment: 'Lord, remember me.' - Billy Graham pic.twitter.com/zYAxDq6osG— Building 429 (@building429) February 21, 2018
“(When I’m gone) I want to hear 1 person say something nice about me...& that’s the Lord—‘Well done, good & faithful servant!’”— Kirk Cousins (@KirkCousins8) February 21, 2018
Billy heard those words this morning & so will 3 million others b/c of his life
"Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God." Billy Graham— David Platt (@plattdavid) February 21, 2018
While a few criticized some of his preachings and political ideas, they still expressed their respect for him.
While I can't say I agree with all of his Billy Graham's views (mostly political), unlike most of so called evangelicals today, he actually lived his life like Jesus teaches you to. I just wish his movement wasn't taken over by men who used it for profit over teachings— Jose Mendez (@mikenicetwin89) February 21, 2018
Billy Graham died today at the ripe old age of 99.— Greg Leichty (@CuriousGreg) February 21, 2018
I sometimes didn't agree with him, but I always respected him.
Ive been critical of many evangelicals...to the point of hate...but never billy Graham wansnt perfect but always preached faith over politics...gods love over hate...RIP good man...may your followers learn a lesson in humanity and peace before it is too late https://t.co/1c9dkn167n— The Starkman (@Starkman88) February 21, 2018
I know there’s a negative stigma attached to televangelists, but I always had a favorable opinion of Billy Graham. RIP, sir.— Marcus (@ShyMarcus) February 21, 2018
Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 11:44 AM
CARTEGENA, Colombia — A Capuchin monkey and a dog have made an unlikely pair in Colombia.
Now the two are the best of unusual friends, Sky News reported.
But their friendship may soon be forced to come to an end.
The monkey becomes upset when anyone gets near them, so the Environmental and Ecological Protection Police took the dog and monkey and could separate them, returning the monkey to the wild, the Independent reported. But there could be a hiccup to their plan. The Independent reported that the Capuchins in the wild may not welcome the monkey into their group.
Published: Thursday, February 15, 2018 @ 11:30 AM
ALBERTA, Canada — A couple in Canada can now start rebuilding their lives after they were big winners in the Atlantic Lottery.
Bill Pendergast and his wife accepted a $1 million check this month, nearly two years after their home and all their belongings were destroyed in a wildfire.
The May 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire destroyed their home, along with about 10 percent of the Alberta, Canada, town, the BBC reported.
Pendergast was recently visiting his sick father in Newfoundland, who ask him to get a soda at a store, the BBC reported. He bought a ticket at the local gas station on a whim. The next morning, he found out he was a new millionaire, CNN reported. He then called his wife, who hopped on a plane to Newfoundland to help her husband cash in on his newfound money, CNN reported.
The money, the couple said, will be used mostly to help put the pieces back together, including finishing construction on their new home, CBC reported.
“Our rebuild should be finished in the next two to four months, so this is going to go a long way towards that,” Pendergast told CBC.
The family, including the couple’s five sons, is also going to take a family vacation, CBC reported.
But there is one thing the lucky winner always wanted that will now become a reality.
“I have always wanted a Mustang, and I will finally have one, I’m 100% sure of that,” Pendergast told CNN.
Published: Monday, February 12, 2018 @ 1:59 PM
Updated: Monday, February 12, 2018 @ 1:59 PM
LONDON — All flights in and out of London City Airport were canceled Monday after a 500-kilogram (1,100-pound) unexploded World War II-era bomb was found nearby in the River Thames.
The Metropolitan Police service cleared an area within 214 meters (700 feet) of the bomb, including several residential streets, as officers worked with specialists from the Royal Navy to remove the device.
Police said the bomb was discovered Sunday at the George V Dock during pre-planned work at City Airport. They described it as a 1.5-meter (5-foot) shell that was lying in a bed of dense silt.
"The first stage of the removal operation is to free the shell from the silt so that it can be floated for removal," police said in a statement.
Local officials offered emergency accommodations to residents and said work to remove the bomb would continue into Tuesday.
Airport CEO Robert Sinclair said he recognizes that passengers will be inconvenienced but said the airport is cooperating fully with authorities "to resolve the situation as quickly as possible."