Weekly Review — February 17, 2004, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A Christian martyr, 1855]

Republican operatives were looking high and low for anyone who could remember serving in the National Guard with President George W. Bush between May 1972 and May 1973; one group of Vietnam veterans was offering a $1,000 reward for proof that the president met his military obligations.New York TimesWhite House officials tried unsuccessfully to wriggle out of a promise Bush made on national television to release his entire military file, though they continued to insist that the president has nothing to hide.Washington Post, USA TodayA dental chart from 1973 suggested that the future president had been neglecting his teeth; anotherNew York Timesdocument revealed that Bush suffered from a hemorrhoid when he applied to the National Guard.New York TimesA former Texas National Guard officer charged that in 1997 he overheard a superior and a Bush adviser discussing ways to “cleanse” Bush’s file to remove embarrassing information. The officer said he later saw papers with Bush’s name on them in a garbage can.USA Today, New York TimesOne hundred twenty-five people died in various attacks in Iraq.New York TimesDefense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said that he did not recall British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s prewar claim that Iraq could deploy weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes. “I don’t remember the statement being made, to be perfectly honest.” The chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, General Richard Myers, didn’t remember it either.Sydney Morning HeraldA new poll found that most Americans believe that President Bush lied or knowingly exaggerated evidence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. The poll also showed Senator John Kerry beating the president by nine percentage points.Washington PostBill O’Reilly of Fox News apologized on national television for his uncritical support of the Bush Administration’s claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. “I was wrong,” he said. “I am not pleased about it at all and I think all Americans should be concerned about this.”San Diego Union-TribuneThe chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers said that the outsourcing of American jobs to other countries is “a good thing” that is “probably a plus for the economy in the long run.”New York TimesFour Nigerians were charged with stealing a 13-year-old boy’s eyes to use in an invisibility potion.The AgeAn elderly Florida man robbed a bank to pay for his wife’s medical bills.Ananova

Attorney General John Ashcroft defended issuing subpoenas for abortion records and said that the records were necessary to find out whether doctors who have sued to overturn the ban on so-called partial-birth abortions are telling the truth when they say they have performed the procedure out of medical necessity.New York TimesSouth Africa’s health minister, who has repeatedly expressed doubts that HIV causes AIDS, said that a diet with lots of garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice would help fight the disease.New York TimesPeople in Jakarta were watching out for the kolor ijo, or green underpants monster, that has been attacking people and raping women.News.com.auThree pharmacists were fired in Denton, Texas, for refusing to fill a prescription for emergency contraception.New York TimesChinese officials cancelled the opening of the Vagina Monologues in Shanghai.New York TimesPolice chiefs from around the country were trying to defeat a Senate bill that would give gunmakers and dealers immunity from lawsuits.New York TimesSupreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia defended his duck-hunting trip with Dick Cheney and said he did not plan to recuse himself from a case involving the Vice President’s shadowy energy task force.Associated PressFrench prosecutors were investigating $11.4 million in bank transfers to accounts controlled by Yasir Arafat’s wife, and theNew York Timesfamily of Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qureia was accused of supplying concrete for Israel’s West Bank Wall.TelegraphU.S. officials said that the president might support Israel’s new plan to unilaterally withdraw from the Gaza Strip and that some of the inhabitants of the prison camps in Guantnamo Bay, Cuba, might never get out.New York TimesFlorida’s state department decreed that touch-screen votes need not be included in manual recounts of elections, and aAssociated Pressgrand-jury investigation was under way in Texas into a political action committee controlled by House speaker Tom DeLay.New York TimesIn Finland, a sausage heir was fined $216,000 for speeding.Reuters

South Korean scientists created 30 human clone embryos and harvested embryonic stem cells from one of them; the stem cells were then injected into mice, where they formed cartilage, muscle, bone, and other tissues.New ScientistAn FDA advisory panel recommended widespread testing for mad cow disease, saying that absent such testing there is no way to assess the risk of transmission from meat, drugs, vaccines, cosmetics, or dietary supplements.New York TimesThe United States Department of Agriculture concluded its investigation into the mad cow outbreak.New York TimesBird flu continued to spread in Asia; some Thai fighting cocks were found to be infected, and a clouded leopard died of the disease in a zoo near Bangkok.ReutersSeveral farms in Delaware and Maryland were under quarantine because of a bird-flu outbreak, and aAssociated Pressdifferent strain of the virus showed up in Pennsylvania.ForbesPluto was crushed to death by a parade float near Splash Mountain in Disneyworld.News4Jax.comThe British Medical Association reported that smoking increases the risk of impotence, infertility, cervical cancer, miscarriage, stillbirth, sudden infant death syndrome, low birth weight, placental complications, and cleft palate.New ScientistThe U.S. infant-mortality rate was up, and aNew York Timestwo-headed baby died after doctors removed its “parasitic head.”New ScientistScientists created a new kind of mouse by moving mitochondrial DNA from one species into another, and fatUniversity of Rochester Medical Centerrats lost weight after they were given a gene-therapy shot.New ScientistSouth Korea cracked down on lewd candy and cakes, and itAgence France-Pressewas discovered that people are quite good at avoiding feelings of regret.American Psychological Society

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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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