Entries in Marriage (10)


Couple Who Met in Nazi Camp Still Married

The Kleinberg Family(TORONTO) -- An elderly Toronto couple's unlikely love story continues to prove that the strongest of romances can be forged even in the darkest of times.

Howard and Nancy Kleinberg, now both in their 80s, have been happily married for over 60 years and have four children, 11 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. But the two will likely never forget when and where they first met.

Bergen-Belsen, a Nazi concentration camp in what is today the German state of Lower Saxony, was liberated by the British on April 15, 1945. Between 1941 and 1945, approximately 70,000 inmates died there.

"You had to find a spot between corpses in order to lie down." Mr. Kleinberg told ABC News, referencing the nearly 13,000 corpses that lay strewn about the camp unburied. Kleinberg had been ordered by the fleeing Germans to carry the bodies into pits.

"I felt I had to lie down in order to meet my maker," said Mr. Kleinberg as he lay down exhausted among the bodies. "I don't recall how much time went by, but suddenly I heard voices from women checking and I could hear the voice of a young girl," he said.

"He's still alive," said Howard's future wife Nancy. "He's still alive and we should save him."

Nancy told ABC News she was able to recognize Howard because she had previously seen him while visiting her older brother in his barracks during their captivity. She spent most of the next two weeks helping to nurse Howard back to health.

"I really found him in a bad condition," said Nancy. "He was very sick, but I felt I wanted to do a good deed because I was looking for my family, perhaps if I saved this boy, somebody would find my family," she said. Nancy was the only one in her family to survive the Holocaust.

"The first week I was in the bunk sleeping most of the time," said Howard. "The second week, I opened my eyes and I see this young girl near me." Kleinberg said he asked Nancy to find him a doctor but she was unable to find one with the war still going on.

The following week, Howard crawled from his bunk and out the door onto a nearby road, where he was picked up by a military vehicle, taken to a military hospital and treated. He attempted to locate Nancy at Bergen-Belsen after being discharged, but was unable to find her.

At the end of 1945, Mr. Kleinberg was brought to Toronto to live with relatives. A month after arriving, he learned Nancy was also in Toronto.

"At that point I knew you had to be a gentlemen," said Howard. "I bought flowers and went to meet the girl who saved my life, I went over and this beautiful lady opens the door." When he asked Nancy if she remembered him, she replied simply, "I do." Three years later, she repeated those words and the couple was married.

Nancy and Howard Kleinberg will celebrate their 63rd wedding anniversary this March, and are calling their marriage "blessed."

"We came out from this experience and we were blessed with this marriage. Many people turn their backs on relationships feeling that they don't want to bring children into the world, we appreciate everything, the world is good, life is so beautiful to live, respect and love," said Howard.

"Thank God we have a very good marriage, he has always treated me like a princess," said Nancy, adding that her marriage to her husband was due to fate.

"I really wanted to go to Israel, but I was meant to meet this boy," she said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


French Government Approves Marriage and Adoption Rights for Gay Couples

BERTRAND LANGLOIS/AFP/GettyImages(PARIS) -- French lawmakers approved a bill that will make it legal for same-sex couples to marry and adopt children.

During his presidential campaign, President Francois Hollande had promised to expand rights for gay couples. France currently allows for same-sex couples to enter into civil unions.

Though Hollande says the changes would be progress "for the whole of society," more than 1,000 French mayors oppose the bill, and have signed a petition rejecting the proposal, according to BBC News. The Catholic Church is also in opposition to the changes.

The French parliament will debate the bill in January.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un Gets Married

Ed Jones/AFP/GettyImages(SEOUL, South Korea) -- North Korean state media ended weeks of speculation on Wednesday, announcing that the mystery woman who has accompanied North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on recent public events is his wife.

Referring to her as Ri Sol Ju, the station reported on the couple's visit to Neung Ra People's Resort during the 8 p.m. broadcast, identifying Ri by name for the first time, and identifying her as "wife" four times during the news report.

"As welcome news played, our Marshal Kim Jong Un and his wife comrade Ri Sol Ju came to the inauguration," the announcer read.  

Ri, wearing a black skirt with a burgundy jacket in black heels, was shown walking alongside Kim at the resort followed by Kim's uncle Jang Song-Taek, known to be the power behind the new leader.  In another scene, she was seen sitting on the right side of Kim while being briefed by officials.

Ri, a short-haired woman who appears to be in her 20s or early 30s, made her first public appearance with Kim on July 5, wearing a yellow polka dot dress and white jacket, during a concert in Pyongyang.

Since then, she's been seen walking next to the new leader on a visit to the mausoleum of his father and late leader Kim Il Sung.  On Tuesday, state television aired photos of the woman standing next to Kim during a visit to a kindergarten.  She was seen smiling, as Kim hugged and talked to children, with officials standing behind the couple.

Kim took over as leader of the North Korean regime in December following the death of his father, but like so many aspects of the reclusive country, little is known about the leader.  State media did not provide specifics on when the couple had married.  

Just last week, Kim was elevated to the top of the military rank as "marshall," a title held by both his late father and grandfather, North Korean founder Kim Il Sun.  Since taking power, Kim has tried to be alter the country's austere and militaristic image.  At his inauguration, Jong Un proclaimed a new powerful nation in which people will be fed properly, hinting that he will focus on economic welfare.

The new leader, believed to be in his late twenties and educated in Switzerland, has ordered comparatively liberal policies such as allowing women to wear pants at public events and encouraging foreign restaurants to be opened.

He was seen earlier this year visiting a fastfood restaurant and commenting on the package design of hamburgers.

At the July 5 concert which showcased girl groups dressed in mini-skirts and tube top dresses, a surprise to the outside world given North Korea's past history of conservatism in women's wardrobes on state TV, Kim was spotted raising a thumb at the group singing a melody from an American movie Rocky.

The concert also featured Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Winnie the Pooh dancing on stage.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


China Hopes Love Letters Scratch Couples’ ’7-Year Itch’

Getty/George Doyle/Thinkstock(BEIJING) -- Can a love letter written in the height of newlywed bliss save a marriage down the road?

The Chinese government hopes so, and it’s betting a national campaign on it in hopes of stemming the populous country’s rising divorce rates.

Under the “China Post” program, newlywed couples can drop off sealed love letters to each other in one of China’s state-run post offices, and the government will deliver the letters back to them seven years after their wedding day.

The idea was the brainchild of Beijing post office branch manager Sun Buxin, who thought that reminding couples at the “seven-year itch” mark of why they fell in love in the first place would be the extra spark needed to stay together, and away from divorce court.

Divorce rates in Beijing alone have grown from 11,582 in 2004 to 21,013 last year, according to Chinese government data. Nationwide in China, a total of 1.96 million couples applied for divorce, up 14.5 percent from 2009.

The rising divorce rate is thought to be a consequence of the country’s rapid economic development, as the strains of finding a job, buying a home and maintaining a family catch up with even the happiest of couples.

Launched in September, China Post also gives newlyweds who sign on the chance to use special stamps, postcards and a Love Passport to be stamped on every anniversary.

In case a handwritten note is not enough, China has extended its marriage-saving mission to the courts as well. Courts there last month changed the country’s marriage law to ensure that property bought by the groom before the marriage would not be shared in the event of the divorce, a move they hoped would entrench the institution.

Couples optimistic enough early on to use China Post, but not compatible enough to make it as far as even the seven years might not want to check their mail when that anniversary date arrives, however.

“If couples don’t tell us to cancel the service,” Mr. Sun told the BBC, “we’ll still deliver the letter.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Royal Wedding Fever Hits Bhutan

Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images(PARO, Bhutan) -- This small country famous for a government program to keep track of happiness is even happier this week as it prepares for the wedding of its popular king, the world's youngest reigning monarch.

King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, 31, will marry Jetsun Perma, 21, on Oct. 13 in Bhutan's 17th century Punakha Dzong. The ceremony will be broadcast live in a country where television and the Internet were not introduced until 1999.

This landlocked country between India and China, no larger than Vermont and New Hampshire combined, began opening its doors to the outside world when King Jigme's father ascended to the throne at just 17 years old.

Before the 1960s, Bhutan had no major roads and no national currency. Following the death of his father in 1972, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck began modernizing his country and introduced it to the concept of Gross National Happiness. Instead of judging the country's wealth on monetary factors, GHN takes into account people's happiness and well-being.

Bhutan's current King was crowned in 2008 after his father stepped aside to allow a transition to democracy. Many Bhutanese were shocked by the former King's decision, begging him not to leave the throne.

The current King Wangchuck has since become just as popular as his father. Known for his Elvis-style hair and love of basketball and mountain biking, Wangchuck was educated at Boston University and Oxford. His 21-year-old fiancée is a commoner and is currently studying at Regents College in London.

Bhutan's only airport, located in Paro, was built in 1978. Even today it only accepts flights from Druk Air -- Bhutan's national airline. The airline, which typically operates only a couple of arrivals per day, added 28 flights this month to accommodate outside guests traveling for the royal wedding.

While the ceremony takes place Oct.13, Bhutan will observe a national holiday until Oct. 15.

In Paro, an eastern Bhutanese man named Khitu stopped for a glass of Bhutanese whiskey at one of the town's many bars. The 71-year-old nomad says it took him one month to travel to Paro so that he could join in the public celebrations. On Bhutan's television network, the Bhutan Broadcasting Service, the government is airing announcements, asking people across Bhutan with vehicles to donate their services to help transport others to the ceremonies.

For tourists who have traveled to Bhutan, commemorative plates featuring the royal couple are for sale in Paro for 3,500 ngultrum, or $70 U.S. dollars. The souvenirs are too pricey for the average Bhutanese, considering the minimum monthly wage is 4,000 NU.

Tourism has become a major industry in Bhutan, where outsiders are charged a daily fee of $250 to visit. There are more than 220 registered tour operators in Bhutan, while there are only three dentists for a country with less than 700,000 people.

At a dress shop in Paro, weavers are busy threading material that will make "kiras," the elegant national dress for women. The silk outfits take months to finish and can cost as much as $3,000 U.S. dollars.

On the streets of Thimphu, the world's only capital city without a traffic light, workers are busy erecting large gates and banners for the public celebration.

In Punakha, where the actual ceremonies will take place, every hotel room is booked. Tents have been pitched outside the historic Dzong to accommodate the extra people.

No heads of state or other royal families have been invited, though thousands of members of the public will attend, hoping to catch a glimpse of the royal couple.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mexico City Considers Temporary Marriage Licenses

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(MEXICO CITY) -- Mexico City lawmakers are proposing legislation that would allow newlyweds to apply for temporary marriage licenses, instead of making the plunge into wedded life a lifetime commitment.

The change to civil code was proposed this week and would allow couples to decide the length of the commitment, with two years as the minimum. If couples are still enjoying wedded bliss when the contract ends, then they would be able to renew the license. And if they’re unhappy, the contract expires and they are both free without going through a divorce.

The legislation has proved to be controversial in Mexico, the country with the second largest Catholic population in world, after Brazil.

A vote is expected on the proposed legislation by the end of the year.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


French Woman Sues Ex-Husband for Lack of Sex

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France) -- A 51-year-old Frenchman is going to pay up for not putting out.

His now ex-wife has successfully sued him over a "lack of sex over 21 years of marriage," according to the U.K. Daily Telegraph.  The man has been ordered to pay the equivalent of nearly $10,000 in damages.

A judge in Aix-en-Provence supported the wife's citing of article 215 of France's Civil Code, which states married couples must live a "shared communal life."  The code states that "sexual relations must form part of marriage."

The woman, 47, had been granted a divorce two years ago, but sought damages in a separate legal action.

Her ex-husband blamed their lack of sex on "tiredness and health problems."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Shark Attack in Seychelles Kills Honeymooner

File photo. (Comstock/Thinkstock)(LONDON) -- A man snorkeling on his honeymoon in the Seychelle Islands was fatally attacked by a shark as his bride, who was sunning on the beach, heard his screams.

Ian Redmond, 30, died of his injures Tuesday.

Redmond had been swimming in tranquil waters of Anse Lazio beach on the island of Praslin Tuesday when the attack occurred.

He and his wife of two weeks, Gemma Houghton, were one of thousands of couples who flock to the Indian Ocean islands from Europe yearly. Newlyweds Prince William and Duchess Kate visited North Island in Seychelles for their honeymoon earlier this year.

Sunbathers and fellow tourists were alerted to the deadly incident when they heard Redmond's cries for help.

One American tourist who witnessed the attack told The Telegraph, "I saw a swimmer who was missing a huge chunk of flesh from his left leg - so much so that I could see the bone of his thigh. He was sickeningly pale, but still had his flippers on both feet. "

Redmond was pulled to shore by witnesses in a boat and died shortly afterwards of blood loss in a hospital.

This is the latest in a recent outbreak of shark attacks on the beach of Anse Lazio in the Seychelles. A French tourist was killed two weeks ago by a shark under similar circumstances while snorkeling in the waters during late afternoon.

Seychelles ambassador to the U.S., Ronald Jumeau, told ABC News that reports circulating about the killer shark's size of 6 feet were false.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Pakistani Army Helps 45 Poor Couples Wed

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ISLAMABAD, Pakistan) – Thanks to the Pakistani Army, 45 couples were married at a mass wedding in Islamabad despite that fact that their families have no money.

The ceremony, held in the Swat Valley, gave daughters from poor parents an opportunity to get married that they otherwise would not have had due to their family’s financial constraints.

"I have no words to express my joy," Mahboob Ali, one of the 45 bridegrooms, told the Express Tribune. "I was sad because I could not bear the expenses of a wedding ceremony as my financial status is very weak. But then the army selected me on merit and provided this opportunity which has gotten me very excited," Ali said.

The Labaik Foundation, an NGO that assisted in organizing the event, said that the militancy and floods have left many of the region’s poor without a source of income, let alone the finances to marry.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


William and Kate: The Guest List, Protocol and Dress

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LONDON) -- Details of the April royal wedding have trickled out as Kate and William's big day draws nearer. But until the guest list is confirmed, speculation will abound about who has made the cut. One member of the royal family who has been coy about her chances of receiving a wedding invitation is William's aunt, Sarah Ferguson. In an interview with Canadian TV channel CBC News, the Duchess of York refused to confirm whether she will be attending.

Ferguson is the ex-wife of Prince Andrew and mother of the princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. Fergie, as she is known, is no stranger to controversy. She caused great embarrassment to the royal family in May after being caught on camera taking an $800,000 bribe in exchange for attempting to broker a meeting with Andrew, who's the younger brother of William's father, Prince Charles.

Ferguson's marriage into the royal family in July 1986 also took place in Westminster Abbey, the same venue chosen by William and Kate Middleton: "It's wonderful to just see great love," Ferguson told CBC. "I remember those days of Andrew and I, you know, and getting married at Westminster Abbey."

For the 600 guests who are invited to attend the ceremony, there will be strict protocol to follow.

"The bride's relatives will be on the left and the groom's on the right as you walk in," Judy Wade, royal correspondent for Hello magazine, said. "The more senior you are, the later you arrive. The Queen will arrive just before Kate."

Middleton is expected to travel by car rather than the traditional carriage, but speculation is still rife about what the bride will wear.

On recent occasions, she has chosen a mixture of items from the high end, as well as from mid-range designers such as Issa London, who made the blue dress she wore when the couple announced their engagement. The dress sold out in a day and has inspired several replicas. But stores, brands and designers be warned because a decree has gone out from the palace -- sell or market anything under the Kate Middleton name and you'll be facing a royal lawsuit.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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