Weekly Review — October 26, 2004, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Luther controlled by the Devil, 1875]
Martin Luther controlled by the Devil, 1875.

The interim Iraqi government officially notified the International Atomic Energy Agency that 380 tons of extremely powerful HMX and RDX explosives that American forces simply failed to secure have disappeared from a former military facility called Al Qaqaa. The explosives can be used to destroy buildings, arm missile warheads, and detonate nuclear devices, and it was generally conceded that the Al Qaqaa cache, which was under seal by the IAEA prior to the U.S. invasion, is the most likely source of the explosives used in the extremely effective roadside and suicide bombs that have been the primary weapon of the Iraqi insurgency. The Department of Defense has known about the loss of the explosives for more than a year.The Nelson ReportU.S. officials said that the Iraqi insurgency is at least twice as large as previously estimated and that it has “unlimited money.”New York TimesAttacks on Americans in Iraq were up about 30 percent.New York TimesTransparency International announced that Iraq is among the most corrupt countries on Earth, and theNew York Timeschief contracting officer for the Army Corps of Engineers called for an investigation of how Halliburton was awarded large government contracts for work in Iraq.New York TimesFifty new Iraqi soldiers were ambushed and killed near Mandali.New York TimesMargaret Hassan, the local director of CARE International, was kidnapped and later appeared on television begging for her life.Associated PressPat Robertson revealed that God told him the Iraq war would be a disaster and that he tried to warn President Bush, who refused to listen. “I mean, the Lord told me it was going to be (a), a disaster, and (b), messy,” Robertson said. “I warned him about casualties.”CNN

President Bush accused Senator John Kerry of using “old-style scare tactics” in his campaign for president; Vice President Dick Cheney warned that John Kerry isn’t strong enough to win the war on terrorism, especially if a nuclear bomb goes off in the middle of one of our cities.New York TimesIt was reported that the federal government has still failed to stockpile anti-radiation pills, which can prevent thyroid cancer from radiation in the event of a nuclear accident or terrorist attack, and that even the distribution study required by the Bioterrorism Act of 2002 has not been completed.New York TimesCounterterrorism officials were still having a hard time finding specific evidence to support Tom Ridge’s claim in July that Al Qaeda is planning to disrupt the November election.Washington PostAbsentee ballots missing the names of John Kerry and John Edwards were mailed to Ohio voters.Cincinnati PostTwo Polish doctors and two ambulance workers were charged with murder for killing patients in exchange for kickbacks from funeral homes.Associated PressSome Israeli rabbis were calling on soldiers to disobey orders if they are told to expel settlers from the Gaza Strip.New York TimesThe state government of Utar Pradesh in India was investigating reports that the Taj Mahal is leaning.Associated PressSecretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson said that the flu vaccine debacle is “not a health crisis,”CNNseveral states were threatening to jail or fine medical personnel who give flu shots to healthy people, andBritish Medical Journalit was reported that European countries, which prudently avoided depending too much on any one supplier, do not expect to experience shortages.New York TimesA 14-year-old Thai girl died of avian flu, andAgence France-Pressetwenty-three tigers died in a Thai zoo after they were fed infectedchickens.Associated PressSenator John Kerry killed some geese in Ohio and showed reporters his bloody hand to prove it.New York Times

Researchers at Yale University successfully grew human testicular tissue in mice; the goal of the research is to harvest sperm from the tissue so that pre-pubescent cancer victims can preserve their fertility.New ScientistBritish scientists want to create human embryos that have three genetic parents.New ScientistA recount resulted in a revised estimate of the number of human genes to between 20,000 and 25,000, andNew ScientistFrench researchers reported that the spotted green pufferfish also possesses about 25,000 genes.New York TimesSingle mothers are less likely to give birth to boys, a study found, and anotherNew Scientiststudy found that the children of older fathers have a greater risk of going crazy later in life.British Medical JournalThe U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the world’s whales had no standing to sue President Bush over the Navy’s use of sonar equipment that kills them.ReutersTribal sheiks from Falluja asked the Americans to please stop bombing their city, and aNew York TimesNational Guard jet accidentally bombed a hiking trail Pennsylvania.Associated PressAnthony Hecht died.TelegraphBoston police killed a woman with a non-lethal pepper spray projectile after the Red Sox defeated the New York Yankees to win the American League Championship Series.Associated PressNew calculations suggested that gravity may not be a constant after all.New ScientistPresident Saparmurat Niyazov of Turkmenistan inaugurated a large new mosque in Kipchak, his birthplace; the marble walls of the mosque, which covers 190,000 square feet and holds up to 10,000 worshippers, are engraved with sayings from the Koran and from the Rukhnama, Niyazov’s spiritual autobiography.Agence France-PresseSix Buddhist monks from Ratchaburi, Thailand, were arrested and defrocked for holding wild drug and alcohol parties.New York TimesThe British Armed Forces officially recognized its first Satanist, a sailor on the HMS Cumberland who will now be permitted to perform Satanic rituals on board.BBCGerman archaeologists unearthed Martin Luther’s privy.BBC

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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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