Weekly Review — April 10, 2007, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Babylonian lion, 1875]

In Iraq, the sixth suicide chlorine attack in two months killed 20 people in the Anbar province, New York Timesthe resurgent Mahdi army clashed with U.S. soldiers in Sadr City,Washington PostAmerican fighter jets bombed Shiite militiamen in Diwaniya,New York Timesand in Baghdad, a U.S. congressional delegation outfitted with bulletproof vests, flanked by 100 soldiers in armored Humvees, and watched over by attack helicopters, visited a local bazaar to demonstrate the success of the current security plan. It was, said Representative Mike Pence (R., Ind.), just like an “outdoor market in Indiana in the summertime.”New York TimesVice President Dick Cheney attacked the “self-appointed strategists” in Congress who were hampering the Bush Administration’s efforts to prolong the war in Iraq,.CNN.comand Secretary of Defense Robert Gates confirmed that the U.S. military was violating its “dwell time” policy, which guarantees soldiers a year between combat postings.Los Angeles TimesNorth Korea ordered its diplomats to send all but one child home as collateral against defection,BBC Newsand Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad released 15 abducted Britishmarines.Los Angeles TimesItaly banned reality programming on public television,BBC NewsThailand blocked access to YouTube,New York Timesand at the CNN Center in Atlanta, a woman died after being shot in the face by her estranged boyfriend.CNN.comLapsed AlbanianCommunists were rediscovering God,Washington PostFidel Castro called American biofuel policy an “internationalization of genocide,”BBC Newsand the market price for children in India slipped below that of buffalo.Reuters

The Food and Drug Administration proposed new labeling rules that would allow irradiated foods to be categorized merely as “pasteurized,”Washington Postand the Supreme Court forbade the Environmental Protection Agency to shirk its responsibility to regulate greenhouse gases.New York TimesResearchers used infrared and atomic-emission spectroscopy, mass spectroscopy, electron microscopy, pollen analysis, and the leading “noses” in the perfume industry to determine that a rib bone unearthed at the site where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake actually belonged to an Egyptian mummy.New York Times and XinhuaIn Beardstown, Illinois, federal agents arrested 62 undocumented immigrants in a pork plant,Reutersand in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, Hillary Clinton accused President George W. Bush of “vetoing the will of the American people.”New York TimesFrench archaeologists were using dung-eating mites to study ancient Incan relics,New York TimesBritishscientists were “baffled” by the discovery of five-footed frogs,Breitbart.comand Dr. Zahi Hawass of Egypt dismissed the Exodus story of the Jews as a “myth.”New York Times

Dr. John Billings, creator of the “Billings Method” of natural birth control and father of nine, died,New York Timesand Durex, a contraceptive company located in Knutsford, England, began assembling a “massive” panel of volunteer testers for its condom and lubricant products.BBC NewsA Chicago woman filed suit against her dance partner for “negligent dancing,”CNN.comand the estate of deceased actor James Doohan, who was best known for his performance as the space mechanic “Scotty” on Star Trek, paid $495 to have his ashes rocketed into orbit.Playfuls.comSinger/songwriter Billy Joe Shaver, author of such hits as “Georgia on a Fast Train” and “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I’m Gonna Be a Diamond Someday)” was sought by police in Texas after he shot a “drunk, aggressive stranger.”CNN.comThe North Carolina Senate expressed “profound contrition” for the state’s slave history.Washington PostA 13-year-old girl in Brooklyn, New York, was brought up on criminal mischief charges after being caught writing the word “okay” on her school desk,WCBS-tvand an elementary school principal in Toronto admitted to pelting an unruly student with feces. Toronto StarPolish burglars knocked over a sex shop in Austria, then used vibrators, prophylactics, and a vacuum cleaner to elude the police in a high-speed car chase.Metro UKXXXChurch.com, an online ministry, staged a “Porn and Pancakes” event for evangelicals in Morton, Illinois.CNN.comGaytanamo: Hardcore, a film set in the “sexiest secret military prison ever,” was being sold at a discount on the Internet.Dark Alley.com via nerve.comIn Miami, the Department of Corrections was housing registered sex offenders under a bridge.CNN.comHerding dogs were being used to control the spiraling goose population in New York’s Central Park,New York Timesand a South African farmer received a 20-year sentence for killing a man he mistakenly believed to be a baboon.BBC NewsThe Walt Disney Company announced that it will begin offering “Fairy Tale” weddings to homosexuals.Reuters

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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.

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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