Weekly Review — November 21, 2006, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

George W. Bush in Vietnam (White House photo).

In Hillah, Iraq, a man promising work lured day-laborers into a minivan, then blew it up, killing 22 people. “The ground was covered with the remains of people and blood,” said a laborer, “and survivors ran in all directions.” Thirty people were killed in attacks in Mosul, Baquba, and Baghdad, four American security contractors and an Austrian were kidnapped in Basra, and a deputy health minister was kidnapped in Baghdad. “Where is the government?” yelled a woman in Mashtal, after multiple bombs killed 11 civilians. “Women and children were killed. God is great, God is great.” ABC NewsSenator John McCain said that American troops in Iraq were “fighting and dying for a failed policy”; Henry Kissinger said that he didn’t believe a military victory in Iraq is possible;The New York Timesand Army Specialist James Barker admitted that he had raped a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and helped murder her family in March 2006.BBC NewsTony Blair told Al Jazeera that western intervention in Iraq had been “pretty much of a disaster,”Times Onlineand 40 firefighters in the United Kingdom carried out a two-hour rescue operation to bring a sheep down from a ledge.Sky NewsSyria’s foreign minister visited Iraq to discuss renewing diplomatic relations between the two nations,Al Jazeeraand a researcher in Germany claimed that the swords of Damascus, which were made from a type of steel known as wootz, have a microstructure of carbon nanotubes.NatureEconomistMilton Friedman diedThe New York Timesand the price of oil stabilized;BBC Newsfootball coach Bo Schembechler died and Ohio State beat Michigan 42-39.ESPNThe New York Times

Forests were expanding in Spain, Ukraine, Vietnam, and China.Times OnlineA sea lion in San Francisco bit 14 people,SFGate.comand, despite the best efforts of Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi, Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland was elected House Majority Leader over RepresentativeJohn Murtha.ReutersSenator Trent Lott was elected Minority Whip,The Washington Postand a study found that people with viciousdogs, like pit bulls, have more criminal convictions than people who own nice dogs, like beagles and collies.ReutersIt was reported that a Braziliancat named Mimi had mated with a dog and birthed hybrid kitten-pups,Reutersand Tom Cruise married Katie Holmes in a Scientology ceremony in Italy.Canada.comActor Michael Richards, who played Kramer on the TV show Seinfeld, was videotaped repeatedly screaming a racial epithet at a heckler,MSNBCand the city council of Greenleaf, Idaho, passed an ordinance that makes it mandatory for most residents to own a gun so that the town will be able to protect itself from refugees from natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina.MSNBCParents in Illinois were lodging complaints against an elementary school library for carrying And Tango Makes Three, a children’s book based on a true story about gay male penguins.CBS 3In response to widespread public criticism, Rupert Murdoch announced that he would not publish If I Did It, a book by O. J. Simpson in which the former football star describes how he carried out the 1994 killings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.The New York TimesTimes OnlineA British man testified that he picked up his ten-month-old niece by the ankles and smashed her to death because there was within him a “beast that shows his ugly head every now and then.” The beast, he said, told him to make her feel “a little bit of pain.”BBC News

Across the United States, violent fights broke out among people waiting in line to buy a Playstation 3, even though reviewers said that the Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii were better gaming consoles.MSNBCEngadgetThe New York TimesThere was a fistula epidemic in Congo; doctors said this was because after gang-raping women, men were shoving sticks, pipes, or gun barrels into their victims’ vaginas.MSNBCFloods in the Horn of Africa had affected 1.8 million people; in Somalia crocodiles that washed into villages killed at least nine people.BBC NewsSome women in Japan were reportedly experiencing constant orgasms; their condition, known as persistent sexual arousal syndrome, or PSAS, is colloquially known as iku iku byo, or “cum cum disease.”MAINICHI DAILY NEWSDeep-fried American flags were removed from an art exhibit in Tennessee,CNN.comand a Danishartist named Kristian von Hornsleth was giving animals to Ugandan villagers who agreed to take his name. “Africans adopting European names for gifts??that’s nothing new,” said George Sabadu Hornsleth, who received a pig. “We’ve been doing that since colonial times. Why do you think I’m called George?”Yahoo! NewsPresident George W. Bush visited Vietnam and avoided all contact with regular Vietnamese citizens. “The president has been doing a lot of waving,” said National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley, “and getting a lot of waving and smiles.”The New York TimesDemocraticRepresentative Charles Rangel called for the reinstatement of the draft.Boston.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.

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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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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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