Weekly Review — November 13, 2007, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Storks, 1864]

Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf said that the country will hold parliamentary elections in January but refused to give a date for ending his emergency decree or stepping down as head of the military. Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was placed under house arrest when she tried to attend a political rally. President George W. Bush said that General Musharraf has been an “indispensable ally.”NY TimesBBCnews.comBurma’s military junta permitted pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for 12 of the past 18 years, to meet with her party.BBCnews.comAt an Ibero-American summit in Chile, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called Spain’s former prime minister a fascist, adding, “fascists are not human. A snake is more human.” “Why don’t you shut up?” asked the king of Spain.BBCnews.comThe Senate approved Michael Mukasey as U.S. Attorney General even though he refused to condemn waterboarding.BBCnews.comCongress overrode President Bush‘s veto for the first time, on a water bill that earmarked money for the Everglades and the Gulf Coast,Breitbart.comand half of New Orleans streetcars were still broken.CNN.comCongress cheered a speech by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. “You just heard a Ronald Reagan speech from a president of France,” said a Republican senator from Kentucky.NY TimesOne full year remained before the U.S. presidential election. Ron Paul raised $4.2 million in 24 hours; Mitt Romney said that children were better off with dead straight rather than living gay parents; and Ben Cohen, the co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s, denied that there were plans for a John Edwards flavor of ice cream, but said that a hypothetical Edwards ice cream would not be a “very fluffy flavor” and suggested it be called “Captain Courageous Crunch.”CBNNews.comRocky Mountain NewsReal Clear PoliticsIt was reported that more American troops were killed in 2007 than in any year since the start of the Iraq war,CNN.comand at least 75 people, including 59 children, were killed in Afghanistan’s deadliest suicide bombing since the fall of the Taliban.Guardian unlimited

Wrestler Mary Lillian Ellison, known as the Fabulous Moolah, died at 84, as did writer and wife-stabber Norman Mailer.NY TimesBBCnews.comMembers of the Writers Guild of America went on strike to demand a share in the profits from new forms of media, television networks hired “loyalty consulting firms” to figure out how to lure back viewers,variety.comand a North Carolina researcher found that female spadefoot toads will mate with other species of toad in order to increase the survival rate of their tadpoles.BBCnews.comCanadian scientists discovered that women are more likely to swing their hips seductively when they are at their least fertile,Times Onlineand researchers in Pittsburgh found that women with big hips and small waists had smarter children.New ScientistObesity was found to cause cancer in women,BBCnews.comand researchers announced that ten years after a woman stops taking birth-control pills her heightened risk of cervical cancer returns to normal.BBCnews.comTed Klaudt, a former Republican South Dakota state legislator, was convicted of raping his teenage foster daughters. Klaudt convinced the girls that he was a licensed gynecologist and massaged their breasts (“to get the fibroids out”) and vaginas regularly to ascertain their capability for egg donation.YahoonewsA London woman, who says she only called herself the “Lyrical Terrorist” because “it sounded cool,” was convicted under the UK Terrorism Act for posting poems on the Internet praising Osama bin Laden and for owning terrorist manuals. “You have been in many respects,” said the judge, “a complete enigma to me.”BBCnews.comVoters in Great Britain decided that their most ridiculous law was one that makes it illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament.BBCnews.com

Italian police discovered the Mafia’s Ten Commandments. “Always being available for Cosa Nostra is a duty,” reads number five, “even if your wife’s about to give birth.”BBCnews.comCompanies in Florida were forbidding their employees to smoke, even in private. “If you are an alcoholic and we have the right to fire you, we will do so,” said the president of Westgate Resorts. “And if you are obese and there is a way for us not to hire you or to fire you, we will do that, too.”Local6.comDesperate to protect themselves from crime, many South Africans were attending martial arts classes taught by Bruce Lee’s top student, Grandmaster Richard Bustillo. “I was born in 1975 and Bruce died in 1973,” said one pupil. “He was a Chinese guy but maybe he came back as an African?”BBCnews.comNigeria was suing American tobacco companies for promoting underage smoking,BBCnews.comand California was suing the federal government for preventing it from reducing car pollution.BBCnews.comSoon after “Aqua Dots,” a China-made bead toy aimed at children four and older, was named Australia’s toy of the year, 4.2 million units were recalled because chemicals in the tiny beads, when metabolized, turn into the date-rape drug GHB.CNN.comEight-year-old twins from Ohio were nationally recognized for inventing wedgie-proof underpants,Breitbart.comand doctors performed a 40-hour operation to remove four limbs from an eight-limbed Indian girl, who is believed by some to be an incarnation of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi.Telegraph.co.uk

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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

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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