Weekly Review — December 16, 2003, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Babylonian Lion, March 1875]

U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz decreed that Canada, Germany, France, Russia, and other nations that opposed the conquest of Iraq will be ineligible for $18.6 billion in reconstruction contracts. The announcement was greeted with astonishment by the blacklisted countries; Russia said that it would now refuse to consider restructuring Iraq’s $8 billion debt, and Canada said the decision would probably rule out further reconstruction aid.Boston GlobeGerman Chancellor Gerhard Schröder said the blacklist might violate international law. “International law?” the president responded. “I better call my lawyer.”Washington PostA suicide car bomber blew up outside an Iraqi police station, killing at least 17 people; a gas truck exploded in the middle of Baghdad, and an American soldier died while trying to disarm a bomb.Christian Science MonitorA bank in suburban Baghdad was robbed of about $800,000 andNew York TimesSaddam Hussein was found cowering in a pit on a farm near Tikrit.ReutersNew Jersey’s big bear hunt ended with 328 confirmed kills.GuardianVice President Dick Cheney reportedly killed more than 70 farm-raised ringneck pheasants during a “canned hunt” in which 500 of the birds were released for the pleasure of Cheney and nine companions; the men were credited with 417 pheasants and an undisclosed number of ducks.Pittsburgh Post-GazetteU.S. forces killed six children in Afghanistan, along with two adults, just four days after nine children were killed during another air strike. A military spokesman admitted that “such mistakes” might hurt America’s reputation in the area.Washington PostNewly released White House tapes revealed that President Richard Nixon disliked Ronald Reagan. Nixon said that “he’s just an uncomfortable man to be around, strange.”Associated PressOther tapes revealed that Nixon was planning to use the Justice Department and the FBI to take revenge on his enemies once the Watergate scandal blew over. Nixon also thought that New York City “should go through a cycle of destruction.”New York Times

The United States Supreme Court upheld the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law, which bans unlimited political contributions to political parties. The majority concluded that “it was not unwarranted for Congress to conclude that the selling of access gives rise to the appearance of corruption.”New York TimesSeveral officials in Las Vegas were in trouble for accepting bribes from a strip-club operator. “There’s a tendency on the part of people to think politicians are inherently corrupt,” said the mayor. “That’s unfair, but it’s a fact.”New York TimesDavid Lynch let it be known that he is helping the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi raise $1 billion to build 100 “peace palaces” around the world. “When you do [transcendental meditation],” Lynch declared, “this level of unity can be enlivening the world consciousness and it can go into the atmosphere.”GuardianCanadian psychologists found that men are unable to think rationally when they see a beautiful woman.New ScientistAl Gore endorsedHoward Dean for president; Joe Lieberman, Gore’s former running mate, was somewhat miffed.Los Angeles TimesGlaxoSmithKline’s head of genetics admitted that “the vast majority of drugs ?? more than 90 percent ?? only work in 30 or 50 percent of the people.”IndependentThe British Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency warned doctors not to give antidepressants such as Zoloft, Paxil, and Celexa to children and adolescents, because the drugs have been linked to suicide and self-harm.New York TimesMoody’s Investors Service downgraded California’s credit rating after Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger cut the registration fee for automobiles without having a plan to pay for the change, and theAssociated PressPentagon accused Halliburton, which recently removed its name from outside its corporate headquarters in Houston, of overcharging for gasoline in Iraq.ReutersPresident Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan was almost assassinated.New York TimesCanada’s Air Transport Security Authority banned fruitcakes in carry-on luggage.CBC

A new theory was put forth that global warming began 8,000 years ago, when farmers began clearing forests for agriculture and grazing large herds of livestock, which increased carbon dioxide and methane levels; by AD 1700, according to the theory, human activity had increased the global temperature by 0.8 degrees Celsius, an increase roughly equal to that caused by industrial activity since then.Climatic Change, Nature.com, New ScientistIt was reported that the earth’s magnetic field has weakened by about 10 percent over the last 150 years; scientists said that large solar storms could cause “significant but not catastrophic” damage to the ozone layer as a result.Newsday, New York TimesLightning struck a church in Swaziland and killed a priest, five children, and three others.News.com.auMick Jagger accepted a knighthood; Keith Richards was disgusted and said it was a disgrace: “It’s not what the Stones is about, is it?”Associated Press, ReutersStress, it was discovered, can make you live longer.Science DailyElephants in Thailand were said to be hijackingsugarcane shipments, andWashington TimesKeiko the killer whale died of pneumonia in a Norwegian fjord. Local officials said it was “downright sad.”Aftenposten NettutgavenScientists were studying the bombardier beetle, which can fire liquid at its enemies from its rear end at up to 300 squirts per second, in the hope of building a better airplane engine.New ScientistPhysicists at Harvard University succeeded in “freezing” a beam of light.New Scientist

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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

Months after Martin Luther King Jr. publicly called the U.S. the “world’s greatest purveyor of violence ‚” that he was killed:

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Temporary, self-absorbed sadness makes people spend money extravagantly.

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