Weekly Review — September 5, 2000, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Albert Einstein’s theory that a massive spinning object will twist space-time around it received support from X-rays emanating from three neutron stars detected by the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer, a NASAsatellite. President Bill Clinton’s lawyers argued in court that disbarment was too harsh a penalty for lying in a deposition about his sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky; they also repeated the President’s claim that he did not technically lie. The Supreme Court issued an emergency stay preventing California from allowing the medical use of marijuana. President Clinton went to Colombia and met with President Andres Pastrana, who three years ago was unable to visit the United States because he had accepted a campaign contribution from Cali drug traffickers; the two men discussed “Plan Colombia,” a $7.5 billion plan to fight drug trafficking, of which $1.3 billion will be provided by America. Hugo Chvez, the president of Venezuela, warned of “the Vietnamization of the entire Amazon region.” Vietnam returned the body of a Canadian woman, minus one ear, after she was put to death for drug trafficking. President Clinton said he would not authorize the National Missile Defense program, which would violate the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and destabilize the international strategic order. It was revealed in a bail hearing that the data downloaded by Wen Ho Lee, the Los Alamos scientist who is being prosecuted for mishandling nuclear secrets, was classified only after it was discovered that Lee downloaded it; former Los Alamos counterintelligence officers testified that Lee was singled out by investigators because of his race. Hours before he was to be released on bail, an appeals court stayed Lee’s release until further notice. The U.S. and Britain bombed Iraq. European earthworms continued their relentless invasion of North America.

A bipartisan congressional report concluded that logging on public land contributed to the causes of the wildfires burning across the American West by removing the large trees that tend to resist fire and leaving smaller, more combustible vegetation behind. The Forest Service issued a bear warning in some areas of the Rockies; due to a recent drought, bears are hungrier than usual. Some 7,000 Chinesebears were being farmed for bile on 247 licensed bear farms: farmers insert a tube into a live bear’s gall bladder to extract the bile, which is sold as a traditional medicine. An economics professor sued right-wing presidential candidate Pat Buchanan for plagiarism; Buchanan underwent a gall bladder operation and cancelled public appearances. Singapore established limited freedom of speech, including the right to criticize the government, in a corner of Hong Lim Park, between 7 AM and 7 PM, daily; speakers must register in advance with police, who post their names on a wall, and avoid subjects such as race, language, or religion. Veterans of the Tiananmen Square massacre sued Li Peng, the chairman of the Chinese National People’s Congress, in a New York court. China demanded that the suit be dismissed. Turkey banned Islamic head scarves from private schools. A large group of religious leaders met and exchanged business cards at the United Nations; the Dalai Lama was excluded for fear of angering China. Former Indonesian president Suharto called in sick on the first day of his trial; his lawyers said that three strokes had left him without a memory or the ability to speak.Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree dismissing the director of the Bolshoi Theater.Europe’s tallest structure, a 1,772-foot television tower in Moscow, burned, killing at least three and disrupting television for 20 million Russians.Mastercard International, Inc. sued Ralph Nader’s presidential campaign, claiming that Nader’s television ad parodying Mastercard’s “priceless” advertising campaign was a copyright infringement.Vice-presidential candidate Dick Cheney said he would forfeit $3.5 million in stock options if he were elected; he also released tax forms showing that his income increased from $258,394 in 1992 to $4,423,289 last year.Eleven residents of Matoon, Illinois, were arrested in connection with an investment scam that took in some $12.5 million from over 10,000 suckers worldwide.

Scientists in Oxford, England, will begin testing an experimental AIDS vaccine on humans; another vaccine trial will begin in Thailand.Researchers sequenced the genome of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a ubiquitous bacterium that kills people with compromised immune systems.Agriculture department inspectors were asked to spend more time looking for rotten meat and less checking to make sure that Italian sausage was properly spiced with either fennel or anise.The Pope condemned human cloning.Computer scientists developed a robot that designs and builds other, simpler, robots, inspiring commentators to indulge in speculations about artificial intelligence and cybernetic evolution.The IRS ruled that the parents of a child who has been kidnapped may continue to take a deduction for the first year the child is missing, but not thereafter.JonBenet Ramsey’s parents were questioned again by police in the continuing investigation of the child beauty queen’s 1996 murder.A new study found that postal workers are one third less likely to be murdered on the job than other workers.The mine in Arizona that provided much of the pumice used to stonewash jeans over the last few decades was closed.Elin Gonzlez appeared once again on the front page of newspapers; it was his first day of school; he recited a pledge that included the line: “Pioneers for Communism, we will be like Che!” One wire service noted that Elin was “arguably Cuba’s most famous boy.” Harrod’s owner Mohammed Al Fayed sued the United States government and demanded the release of any and all information about the fatal crash of his son Dodi and Diana, the Princess of Wales.Five British soldiers who were taken hostage in Sierra Leone were freed.Abu Sayyaf, a militant Islamic group in the Philippines, received a ransom, arranged by Libya, of $1 million each for six European hostages and reportedly will spend its new fortune on arms, ammunition, 10 motorcycles, and a speedboat; the group also kidnapped an American, whom they said they might behead, and demanded $18 million.A spokesman said they had been trying to catch an American for some time.A fisherman’s head was found in the belly of a large codfish in Australia shortly after he was lost at sea.A 69-year-old man was eaten by a shark while swimming in Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway, in shallow water just ten feet away from his backyard; the man’s wife said she saw the shark’s dorsal fin as her husband struggled to get away.Reverend Sun Myung Moon was arrested and fined $250 for catching too many salmon on a fishing trip.People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was planning to paint a naked woman as a tiger and put her in a cage to protest the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus.Unusually tall corn was causing automobile accidents in Iowa.

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Ashley arrived for her prenatal appointment at Black Hills Obstetrics and Gynecology, in Rapid City, South Dakota, wearing a black zip-up hoodie and Converse sneakers.1 To explain her absence from work that morning — a Tuesday in April 2015 — she had told a co-worker that she was having “female issues.” She was twenty-five years old and eight weeks pregnant. She had been separated from her husband, with whom she had a five-year-old son, for the better part of a year. The guy who’d gotten her pregnant was someone she’d met at the gym, and he’d made it abundantly clear that he wanted nothing more to do with her. Ashley found herself hoping that the doctor would discover some kind of fetal defect, so that her decision would be easier. She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. “Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.”

In the exam room, she perched on the table with her feet crossed at the ankles, her blond hair brushing the back of her pink hospital gown. “I don’t know what’s available for me here,” she told her doctor, Katherine Degen, who sat facing her on a stool. “I figured nothing.”

 Some names and identifying details have been changed. 

“Big, fat zero, unfortunately,” Degen said, making a 0 with her fingers. The last doctor who provided abortions in Rapid City retired in 1986, three years before Ashley was born.

The baby was due in November, when Ashley, who was a nurse, hoped to be enrolled in a graduate program to become a nurse practitioner. Getting pregnant as a teenager had forced her to put that dream on hold, but she had thought that she was finally ready; she had even submitted her application shortly before the March 15 deadline. For the first time in her adult life, Ashley felt as if her plans were coming together. Then she missed her period.

It would be too difficult to attend school as a single mother of two, Ashley knew. She had made an appointment for three weeks from now at the nearest abortion clinic, in Billings, Montana, 318 miles away. But just a week and a half ago, her husband had said he wanted to get back together and offered to raise the child as his own. Was it a sign that she was meant to continue the pregnancy? As a rule, Ashley approached her problems with resolve. She was capable and tough; she liked shooting guns and lifting weights. She kept track of her stats and checked off her goals as she achieved them one by one. Yet the dilemma before her had shaken her confidence. She leaned back and turned to watch the ultrasound screen. The black-and-white image danced. A sharp, fast thumping emerged from the machine. As Degen removed the wand, Ashley wiped the corner of her eye.

Photograph (detail) by Brian Frank
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A Window To The World·

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Ashley arrived for her prenatal appointment at Black Hills Obstetrics and Gynecology, in Rapid City, South Dakota, wearing a black zip-up hoodie and Converse sneakers.1 To explain her absence from work that morning — a Tuesday in April 2015 — she had told a co-worker that she was having “female issues.” She was twenty-five years old and eight weeks pregnant. She had been separated from her husband, with whom she had a five-year-old son, for the better part of a year. The guy who’d gotten her pregnant was someone she’d met at the gym, and he’d made it abundantly clear that he wanted nothing more to do with her. Ashley found herself hoping that the doctor would discover some kind of fetal defect, so that her decision would be easier. She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. “Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.”

In the exam room, she perched on the table with her feet crossed at the ankles, her blond hair brushing the back of her pink hospital gown. “I don’t know what’s available for me here,” she told her doctor, Katherine Degen, who sat facing her on a stool. “I figured nothing.”

 Some names and identifying details have been changed. 

“Big, fat zero, unfortunately,” Degen said, making a 0 with her fingers. The last doctor who provided abortions in Rapid City retired in 1986, three years before Ashley was born.

The baby was due in November, when Ashley, who was a nurse, hoped to be enrolled in a graduate program to become a nurse practitioner. Getting pregnant as a teenager had forced her to put that dream on hold, but she had thought that she was finally ready; she had even submitted her application shortly before the March 15 deadline. For the first time in her adult life, Ashley felt as if her plans were coming together. Then she missed her period.

It would be too difficult to attend school as a single mother of two, Ashley knew. She had made an appointment for three weeks from now at the nearest abortion clinic, in Billings, Montana, 318 miles away. But just a week and a half ago, her husband had said he wanted to get back together and offered to raise the child as his own. Was it a sign that she was meant to continue the pregnancy? As a rule, Ashley approached her problems with resolve. She was capable and tough; she liked shooting guns and lifting weights. She kept track of her stats and checked off her goals as she achieved them one by one. Yet the dilemma before her had shaken her confidence. She leaned back and turned to watch the ultrasound screen. The black-and-white image danced. A sharp, fast thumping emerged from the machine. As Degen removed the wand, Ashley wiped the corner of her eye.

Artwork by Imre Kinszki © Imre Kinszki Estate
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The Lords of Lambeau·

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Ashley arrived for her prenatal appointment at Black Hills Obstetrics and Gynecology, in Rapid City, South Dakota, wearing a black zip-up hoodie and Converse sneakers.1 To explain her absence from work that morning — a Tuesday in April 2015 — she had told a co-worker that she was having “female issues.” She was twenty-five years old and eight weeks pregnant. She had been separated from her husband, with whom she had a five-year-old son, for the better part of a year. The guy who’d gotten her pregnant was someone she’d met at the gym, and he’d made it abundantly clear that he wanted nothing more to do with her. Ashley found herself hoping that the doctor would discover some kind of fetal defect, so that her decision would be easier. She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. “Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.”

In the exam room, she perched on the table with her feet crossed at the ankles, her blond hair brushing the back of her pink hospital gown. “I don’t know what’s available for me here,” she told her doctor, Katherine Degen, who sat facing her on a stool. “I figured nothing.”

 Some names and identifying details have been changed. 

“Big, fat zero, unfortunately,” Degen said, making a 0 with her fingers. The last doctor who provided abortions in Rapid City retired in 1986, three years before Ashley was born.

The baby was due in November, when Ashley, who was a nurse, hoped to be enrolled in a graduate program to become a nurse practitioner. Getting pregnant as a teenager had forced her to put that dream on hold, but she had thought that she was finally ready; she had even submitted her application shortly before the March 15 deadline. For the first time in her adult life, Ashley felt as if her plans were coming together. Then she missed her period.

It would be too difficult to attend school as a single mother of two, Ashley knew. She had made an appointment for three weeks from now at the nearest abortion clinic, in Billings, Montana, 318 miles away. But just a week and a half ago, her husband had said he wanted to get back together and offered to raise the child as his own. Was it a sign that she was meant to continue the pregnancy? As a rule, Ashley approached her problems with resolve. She was capable and tough; she liked shooting guns and lifting weights. She kept track of her stats and checked off her goals as she achieved them one by one. Yet the dilemma before her had shaken her confidence. She leaned back and turned to watch the ultrasound screen. The black-and-white image danced. A sharp, fast thumping emerged from the machine. As Degen removed the wand, Ashley wiped the corner of her eye.

Photograph (detail) by Balazs Gardi
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With Child·

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"She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. 'Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.'"
Photograph (detail) by Lara Shipley

Price of ten pencils made from “recycled twigs,” from the Nature Company:

$39.50

A loggerhead turtle in a Kobe aquarium at last achieved swimming success with her twenty-seventh set of prosthetic fins. “When her children hatch,” said the aquarium’s director, “well, I just feel that would make all the trauma in her life worthwhile.”

In Colombia, U.N. delegates sent to serve as impartial observers of the peace process aimed at ending the half-century-long war between the FARC and the Colombian government were chastised after they were filmed dancing and getting drunk with FARC fighters at a New Year’s Eve party.

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