Weekly Review — August 15, 2006, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: a very upset, poisoned cat.]

Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman lost the DemocraticSenate primary election to anti-Iraq-war candidate Ned Lamont. Lieberman then announced that he would run as an independent candidate, and that “Team Connecticut” would “surge forward to victory.” Vice President Dick Cheney said that Lamont’s victory was encouraging to “Al Qaeda types.”Chicago Sun-TimesUnder pressure from U.S. officials, authorities in the United Kingdom announced the discovery of a terrorist plot to blow up as many as ten passenger planes in the air, possibly by using explosive liquids hidden inside sports-drink bottles. Twenty-one suspects were arrested. Britain raised its threat level to “critical”; the United States raised its threat level “for all commercial flights flying from the United Kingdom to the United States” to “red.” Carry-on luggage was banned on flights in and out of Heathrow airport, and classical and traditional musicians, who normally keep their fragile instruments with them while traveling, were forced to check them as baggage and risk damage. “These restrictions,” said a cellist, “are a disaster for me.” Bagpipers planning to attend the World Pipe Band Championships were particularly worried about the effects of the ban. Prime Minister Tony Blair, on vacation in the Caribbean, thanked U.K. security services for their “hard work,” and President George W. Bush, who had been monitoring the progress of the investigation while on vacation in Crawford, Texas (where he was reading The Stranger, by Albert Camus), flew to Wisconsin and called the arrests “a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists.”The New York TimesBBC NewsBush’s approval rating once again fell to 33 percent,MSNBCReady.govABC NewsBBC NewsBreitbart.comAMNBC News via MSNBCABC 7 Newsand light, sweet crude was trading at $76.98 per barrel.BBC NewsThe Federal Reserve allowed the U.S. interest rate to remain at 5.25 percent.Bloomberg.comCoke and Pepsi were banned in the state of Kerala, India, because of their high levels of pesticide residue,MSN.co.inand Scotland banned the sale of swords, with religious swords exempted.BBC News

Astronomers were trying to decide whether Pluto was or was not a planet. “So far,” said an astronomer, “it looks like a stalemate.”CNN.comHezbollah accepted a U.N. ceasefire resolution, and agreed to allow Lebanese and U.N. troops to serve as peacekeepers in southern Lebanon.CNN.comAriel Sharon’s cerebral condition was reportedly growing worse.CNN.comIn Queens, New York, a cat named Fred Wheezy, a recipient of the New York City Police Department’s Law Enforcement Achievement Award, was struck and killed by a car.The New York TimesCuban leader Fidel Castro, it was reported, looked good after surgery, and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez visited his bedside. “I ask you all to be optimistic,” said Castro in a statement, “and at the same time to be ready to face any adverse news.” BBC NewsIranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was writing a blog.Times OnlineReuters via Yahoo! NewsGnter Grass announced that he had once been a member of the Nazi SS.Telegraph.co.ukA Hiroshima man was arrested for making 37,760 silent phone calls to directory assistance because he wanted “to hear these women’s voices.”The AustralianIt was pointed out that the United States has been fighting in Iraq for as long as it fought Germany during World War II.The Chicago Tribune

Spain,Sicily, and North Africa were on jellyfish alert, with over 30,000 people stung so far this summer. The jellyfish explosion, a researcher explained, is due to overfishing and global warming.BBC NewsAmerica Online released the search query data of 658,000 people to the Web, then pulled the information because it could be used to violate user privacy. User 88112, for instance, searched for “christian beliefs and sex outside of marrigae” and “penis abnormalities in children,” while user 843043 searched for “fungal meningitis and coma” and “eastercookie recipe for jesus’ suffering.” “This,” said an AOL representative, “was a screw up.”eWeekIt was reported that NASA had lost the original high-resolution tapes of the July 1969 moon landing.AOL Log SearchThe IndependentIn Texas a truck carrying zoo animals overturned, immediately killing one penguin; three more penguins were killed by oncoming traffic. The octopus was not harmed.The GuardianMarine biologists discovered a huge hypoxic “dead zone” off the Oregon coast. “We can’t be sure what happened to all the fish,” said a researcher, “but it’s clear they are gone.”Science DailyIn Florida a man was missing after a large turtle pulled him into the sea,Local6.comand, for the first time in over 60 years, a corpse flower bloomed in New York City.Chron.com

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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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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.

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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.'"
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