Weekly Review — October 12, 2004, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Caught in the Web, 1860]
Caught in the Web.

The Labor Department reported that the economy created a mere 96,000 jobs last month, thus failing to keep pace with the expansion of the nation’s work force and confirming that George W. Bush has the worst job creation record of any president since Herbert Hoover. The White House reacted to the bad news by declaring that the poor job numbers prove that the president’s tax cuts have been working.New York TimesThe Iraq Survey Group issued its final report and concluded that Saddam Hussein dismantled his nuclear weapons program in 1991 and did not attempt to revive it. The inspectors said that there was no evidence that Iraq continued to possess chemical or biological weapons, and they concluded that Hussein refused to admit he had disarmed because he wanted to maintain a deterrent against Iran.New York TimesPresident Bush said that the report proved that Iraq was “a gathering threat.”New York TimesL. Paul Bremer, President Bush’s former proconsul in Iraq, told an audience of insurance agents that “we never had enough troops on the ground” and that “the single most important change ?? the one thing that would have improved the situation ?? would have been having more troops in Iraq at the beginning and throughout.” Bremer said that he had argued for more troops but that his requests were denied. The Bush Administration first denied that Bremer asked for more troops and then admitted that, yes, in fact, he did.Washington PostJacques Derrida died of pancreatic cancer.New York TimesSecretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld visited Iraq and told soldiers that the violence there will probably get worse; while he was in the country two car bombs went off in Baghdad, killing 11 people.Los Angeles TimesAlu Alkhanov was sworn in as president of Chechnya.New York TimesOpposition politicians complained that the Afghan presidential election was fraudulent, and anNew York TimesIraqi politician was indicted for suggesting that the country open negotiations with Israel.New York TimesBombings in three Egyptian resort towns killed at least 33 people and wounded 149. Many of the victims were vacationing Israelis.New York TimesA suicide car bombing killed at least 39 people at a rally in central Pakistan, and theReutersgovernment banned public meetings except for Friday prayers.New York TimesRebels and government soldiers were abducting, torturing, and killing civilians in Nepal.ReutersThe genocide in Sudan was continuing.New York TimesIn Haiti, supporters of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide were going after policemen with machetes; some were beheaded.New York TimesA Washington, D.C., policeman arrested, cuffed, and jailed a woman for eating a candy bar in the subway.Associated Press

The Bush campaign denied rumors that the president was wired with an earpiece to receive help during his first debate with Senator John Kerry.Associated PressRepublicans in Michigan were calling on authorities to prosecute Michael Moore for offering to give clean underwear to college students if they would promise to vote.Associated PressRepublicans in Oklahoma were running television ads showing dark-skinned hands accepting welfare checks, andAssociated PressHouse majority leader Tom DeLay was again rebuked by the House Ethics Committee for having “created an appearance that donors were being provided special access to you regarding” pending legislation.New York TimesVice President Dick Cheney and Senator John Edwards had harsh words for each other during their debate;New York TimesCheneyclaimed that he had never before met Senator Edwards; newspapers then published a photograph of the two men smiling and speaking together at a prayer breakfast.New York TimesMartha Stewart began her five-month prison sentence for telling lies.Associated PressSwaziland’s police commissioner was detained for several hours in the Atlanta airport when he was traveling to the Interpol General Assembly in Mexico.New York TimesKing Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia abdicated his throne.New York TimesRodney Dangerfield died.New York TimesFederal tax revenue was lower than it was in 2000,New York TimesChicago experienced its first murder-free night in five years, andNew York TimesSupreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said that “sexual orgies eliminate social tensions and ought to be encouraged.”Guardian

Britain suspended the license of the factory in Liverpool that was supposed to manufacture almost half the American supply of this year’s flu vaccine.New York TimesPublic health experts have long warned that it is insane for the United States to depend on two companies for the country’s flu vaccine.New York TimesThe World Health Organization released a study, based on an unscientific “spot-check” sampling, concluding that Indonesian villagers in Buyat Bay, Sulawesi, have not been poisoned by a gold mine, owned by the Newmont Mining Corporation, that dumped about 2,000 tons of mine tailings a day into nearby waters.New York TimesThe Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations called on hospitals to prevent “anesthesia awareness,” which is the term for when a patient can feel the pain of surgery but is unable to move or cry out.Associated PressCongress agreed to permit the Energy Department to redefine some highly radioactive nuclear waste in South Carolina and Idaho so that it can be left in tanks rather than being pumped out for deep burial.New York TimesThree hundred pounds of weapons-grade plutonium from the United States arrived in France.New York TimesMexico declined to stop the construction of a Wal-Mart next to the ancient ruins of Teotihuacán, and paleontologistsReutersin China discovered 130-million-year-old fossils of Dilong paradoxus, an ancestor of Tyrannosaurus rex, with impressions of feathers all over its body.New York TimesScientists sequenced the genome of a Hereford cow.Associated PressWeather experts said that the United States experienced a record number of tornadoes in August and September, andNew York TimesElfriede Jelinek, the Austrian novelist, won the Nobel Prize in Literature.Associated PressScientists were investigating the appearance of hermaphrodite fish in Colorado’s South Platte River; the fish were found near two wastewater discharge pipes.USA TodayKorean and Italian researchers developed a tiny robot with multiple legs designed to crawl through a patient’s guts.New ScientistScientists with NIZO Food Research developed an artificial throat that breathes, salivates, and swallows.New ScientistA nineteen-year-old Singapore man set a world record for the number of hamburgers he could stuff in his mouth. “I’m on top of the world right now,” he said,” because everyone’s going to know that I can shove more than three burgers in my mouth.”Associated Press

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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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