Weekly Review — October 24, 2000, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

The Texas Defender Service issued a report on the death penalty; the report said that the Texas system was “a national embarrassment” due to racial bias, prosecutorial misconduct, and other problems.One psychologist, who was expelled from the American Psychiatric Association for producing diagnoses without performing examinations, testified for the prosecution in 390 capital cases.According to a newspaper analysis of Texas governor George W. Bush’s time records, Bush spent an average of fifteen minutes reviewing each death-penalty case that crossed his desk; as governor, he worked about six hours a day.The town of Jarrell, Texas, hosted a “Running of the Bulls, Texas Style” in imitation of the annual event held in Pamplona, Spain; Hereford, Watusi, and Brahman bulls reluctantly shambled after uncomfortably sober cowboys in a large set of portable pens.No one was injured.A man who spent four days climbing Mount Everest skied down the mountain in five hours.A survey of the scrotal contents of mountain bikers found that 96 percent had “pathological abnormalities,” including sperm-containing cysts, calcium deposits in the epididymis, swelling, and benign tumors.According to the study, the vibration of the testicles against the bicycle seat and rough terrain were probably to blame.A new study found that children whose mothers received opiates or barbiturates during childbirth were up to five times more likely to abuse drugs later on.Three Falun Gong members died while in the custody of Chinesepolice; 57 have died in custody since the government banned the meditation cult last year.Amnesty International said that torture was increasingly popular worldwide.

The United Nations General Assembly was considering a motion to condemn Israel for using excessive force against Palestinians; of the 134 people who have died in the recent uprising, all but 8 were Arabs.Lori Berenson, the New Yorker convicted of aiding rebels in Peru, was released from prison in preparation for a new trial; she wore a blue turtleneck, a plaid skirt, and white, dangling fish-shaped earrings.Vice President Al Gore was still mad at President Bill Clinton for getting oral sex from an intern and lying about it.The Vatican announced that Sir Thomas More will be designated the patron saint of politicians.The Most Reverend John Ward, Archbishop of Cardiff, was being urged to resign by other BritishCatholic officials for having ordained a known pedophile who subsequently abused at least two young boys. The priest, Joseph Jordan, was also accused of attempting to pervert the course of justice by hiding a computer containing childpornography from investigators.Amnon Chemouil was convicted in a French court of raping an eleven-year-old girl in Thailand while on a “sex holiday.” Greenpeace claimed that it had caused two biotech companies to withdraw plans to patent embryos for a human-pig hybrid; both companies denied making “mixed species embryos,” though one did admit to introducing a human nucleus into a pig cell.

Farmers who planted StarLink, a type of genetically modified cornsold by Aventis CropScience, said they were not told the corn was unfit for human consumption; millions of bushels of the corn may have contaminated the nation’s corn supply.The Kellogg Company, maker of Corn Flakes and Froot Loops, temporarily closed a factory after mills were shut down to ensure they were free of StarLink.Aventis CropScience reached an agreement with government officials concerning the cleanup of California’s Iron Mountain copper mine, one of the most toxic Superfund sites in America; water from the mine is so acidic it will dissolve a steel shovel in less than a day.The U.S. Department of Energy found that it had underestimated the amount of plutonium and other radioactive elements stored in flimsy containers that either are leaking or are in danger of leaking; the actual amount of such waste is ten times higher than previously thought.The House of Representatives approved a $7.8 billion program to restore the Everglades.South Africans in KwaZulu-Natal were dying of cholera.The Ebola virus was killing people in Uganda; scientists speculated that outbreaks of the virus might be linked to abnormal weather conditions, which could lead to Ebola forecasts.Russianspace experts said that it was time to bring down the Mir space station before it crashed into a populated area; a spokesman for MirCorp, an Amsterdam company that plans to send tourists and game-show contestants to the station, said that Mir was just fine.Richmond, California, unveiled a monument to Rosie the Riveter.The Guggenheim Museum announced that it would open a branch in Las Vegas; a retrospective of the work of Giorgio Armani opened at the Guggenheim in New York City; Frank Lloyd Wright’s spiral ramp was draped with stretch scrim; 400 selections from Armani’s oeuvre illustrated the designer’s “timeless vision of modern dress.”

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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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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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"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:

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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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