Weekly Review — May 10, 2005, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Lost Souls in Hell, 1875]

A papyrologist at Oxford University announced that new techniques in spectral imaging, which make it possible to decipher previously illegible ink on papyrus fragments, have yielded parts of a lost tragedy by Sophocles, a novel by Lucian, and an epic poem by Archilochos; researchers also applied the technique to third- and fourth-century manuscripts of the Revelation of Saint John and discovered that the number of the beast, contrary to popular belief, is 616, the area code of Grand Rapids, Michigan.National PostA Washington woman found a snake with legs,Tri-City Heraldlocusts plagued Bangladesh,NZHeraldand Zimbabwe was at risk of famine.ABC News OnlineMore than 100,000 Americans were working at home answering customer-service phone calls.Seattle Post-IntelligencerIn Iraq, two F/A-18 Hornet jets collided in mid-air,The Washington Posta suicide bomber killed sixty people at a police-recruitment center,BBC Newsand at least forty-seven people were killed in bombings and gun attacks.BBC NewsFourteen bodies, clad in white robes, were found in shallow graves,BBC Newsand Saddam Hussein’s nephew was arrested.BBC NewsPresident George W. Bush announced the capture of a “major facilitator and chief planner for the Al Qaeda network.” The captured man turned out to be a mid-level Al Qaeda operative named Abu Faraj al-Libbi. “He used to make the coffee and do the photocopying,” said a former associate.Times OnlineNevadaSenator Harry Reid said Bush was a loser,The Washington Postwhile VirginiaRepresentative Jim Moran described Bush as someone who does not read books, who surrounds himself with sycophants, and who has his ass kissed by Dick Cheney.The Raw Story

A second case of polio was reported in Indonesia,BBC Newsand an outbreak of meningitis in India killed fifteen.BBC NewsIn Peru a bus fell nearly 1,000 feet into a ravine, killing forty.BBC NewsA Providence, Rhode Island, man attacked a goose and stomped its goslings to death,TurnTo10.comand two swans were stabbed to death in the Bronx.NY1.comVietnam decided to vaccinate 600,000 birds for avian flu.New ScientistTurkey banned four porn channels from its satellite TV network,ReutersTexas lawmakers were trying to stop sexy cheerleading,Reutersand Norway declared striptease an art form.ReutersA study showed that babies have favorite colors, and they like brown the least. “Brown might mean dirt,” said a researcher.BBC NewsIBM announced that it would fire up to 13,000 employees in Europe and the United States.Ployer.comIt was the 60th anniversary of VE Day. The German ambassador to London called on Britain to change its attitude towards Germany. “They continue to see us as Nazis,” he said, “as if they have to refight the battles every evening.”The IndependentAround three thousand neo-Nazis rallied in Berlin.Knight-RidderPresident Bush attended a display of Soviet pageantry in Russia.New York Timesimes.comAn online casino bought the pope’s old Volkswagen for $244,800,Reutersand in Chicago a vandal painted the words “big lie” over a stain on a roadside wall that many people believe is an apparition of the Virgin Mary; onlookers wept as a road crew covered the stain with brown paint.Reuters

The Department of Homeland Security announced that it had wasted a great deal of money and needed much more.Boston.comU.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said that most of the allegations of abuse by detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantánamo Bay do not meet his definition of torture.MYSA.com/APThe United States was sending prisoners to Uzbekistan so that they could be tortured more fully. In Uzbekistan the most common torture techniques are beating and asphyxiation with a gas mask; however, victims can also have their genitals shocked, their toenails plucked out, and they can be boiled to death.The Seattle TimesIt was revealed that soon after September 11, 2001, the CIA sent a team of agents to Afghanistan with orders to “capture Bin Laden, kill him, and bring his head back in a box.”BBC NewsSpain gave 700,000 illegal immigrants amnesty,ISNand Faure Gnassingbe, the son of the former president of Togo, was named president of Togo. Eighteen thousand five hundred people have fled Togo as a result of election violence.ReutersA secret British memo from July 2002, summarizing a meeting between Tony Blair and his security advisors, was made public. The memo implied that President Bush had already made up his mind to go to war in Iraq, despite his claims to the contrary, and that intelligence and facts about Iraq would be “fixed around the policy.”Common DreamsEighty-eight members of Congress signed a letter, written by Representative John Conyers of Michigan, calling for an inquiry into the memo. “This should not,” wrote Conyers, “be allowed to fall down the memory hole during wall-to-wall coverage of the Michael Jackson trial and a runaway bride.”The Raw StoryIt was revealed that the runaway bride had once shoplifted.Boston HeraldTwo grenades went off outside the British consulate in New York City, damaging a flower planter,Bloombergand Tony Blair won another term as Prime Minister.ReutersEngland’s Prince Harry entered the Army.BBC NewsThe Mayor of Spokane, Washington, an opponent of gay rights, was accused of being a pedophile; he insisted that he cruised the Internet only for men of legal age.Seattle Post-IntelligencerAve Maria University, a Catholic college founded by the retired CEO of Domino’s Pizza, graduated its first class and gave an honorary degree to L. Paul Bremer, who told the assembled graduates that Muslim extremists were against the separation of church and state. Netscape NewsA Baptist church in North Carolina booted out nine of its members for being Democrats,The News & Observerand a seventeen-year-old woman was thrown out of her village in India after her stomach swelled up; villagers believed she was carrying the “devil’s child,” but the swelling turned out to be a 33-pound tumor the size of five fetuses.News24.comThe Kansas state school board began four days of hearings on how to teach the origin of life; all of the witnesses in the hearing were opposed to teaching evolution.BBC NewsTwelve new moons were discovered orbiting Saturn.BBC NewsIn Victoria, British Columbia, a man was barred from a civic meeting because he was dressed as a giant piece of feces named “Mr. Floatie,”Canada.comand in San Francisco, twelve penguins died of chlamydia.APThe FDA announced that men who have had gay sex in the last five years will not be eligible to donate sperm anonymously,CNNand a college student in New Jersey unearthed an 1888 interview with Walt Whitman in which Whitman gave advice to young men pursuing a career in literature. “First, don’t write poetry,” he said. “Second ditto; third ditto.”ABC News

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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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"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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"It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one’s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times—in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis."

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