Weekly Review — July 8, 2008, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Storks, 1864]

Colombian military commandos infiltrated a settlement operated by the guerilla group FARC and freed 15 hostages, among them three U.S. contractors and the Colombian-French politician Ingrid Betancourt. President George W. Bush called Colombian President Alvaro Uribe to congratulate him. “What a joyous occasion it must be to know that the plan had worked,” said Bush. “That people who were unjustly held were now free to be with their families.”WhiteHouse.govA federal appeals court ruled that evidence against Hozaifa Parhat, a ChineseMuslim held at Guantanamo Bay for six years, consisted of nothing more than the reassertion of his guilt in three top-secret documents. “Lewis Carroll notwithstanding,” wrote one judge, quoting “The Hunting of the Snark,” “the fact the government has ‘said it thrice’ does not make the allegation true.”CNN.comFormer inmates of Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison were suing contractors in four American states for subjecting them to electrical shocks, mock executions, and forced nudity, and the Iraqi government announced that the United States had agreed to strip private security contractors of their legal immunity, though the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad refused to confirm the statement.BreitbartBBCnews.comA survey found that Americans feared terrorist attacks less than at any point since September 11, 2001,CNN.comand President Bush removed Nelson Mandela from the terrorism watchlist.BBCnews.comA poll revealed that a third of Welsh college students believe that a flirtatious or drunk woman is to blame for being raped, and a survey of the National Assembly for Wales found that 3 of the 8 legislators who responded had been raped but had not reported the crime.BBCnews.comIn Australia, where inflation is at a 16-year-high, Treasury Secretary Ken Henry left his post to look after 115 endangered hairy-nosed wombats for five weeks. “I think,” said an opposition politician, “we all love the hairy-nosed wombat.” BBCnews.com

Bozo the Clown and Jesse Helms died, and the new waxwork Hitler at the Berlin Madame Tussauds museum was beheaded.CNN.comBBCNews.comBBCnews.comFifteen boys were killed and 90 hospitalized in Eastern Cape, South Africa, due to botched circumcisions,BBCnews.comOttawa firefighters sprayed children with E. coli-contaminated water to celebrate Canada Day,CBCNews.caand a Dublin, Ohio, man was arrested again for using Saran Wrap to collect and drink little boys’ urine.10TV NewsGoogle co-founder Sergey Brin explained that he had decided to raise his company’s on-site daycare fee to $57,000 a year because he was tired of employees who felt entitled to free “bottled water and M&Ms” (although a spokesman denied that he had said this),NYTimes.comand a judge ruled that Google subsidiary YouTube must provide Viacom, which is suing over copyright claims, with details of the viewing habits of everyone who has logged in and watched a video.BBCNews.comPsychologist Himanshu Tyagi claimed that children raised to use online social networking sites will “put less value on their real world identities” and may be in danger of “impulsive behaviour or even suicide.”BBCnews.comBritishstudies warned that eating junk food during pregnancy might cause lasting damage to the child, and that eating too much tofu could lead to dementia.BBCnews.comBBCnews.comResearchers at Texas A&M’s Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center found that watermelons have a “Viagra-like effect,” but a researcher in Oklahama pointed out that this benefit may be offset by the melon’s diuretic properties.Associated Press

The Dow Jones Industrial Average officially entered a bear market. The cost of oil surged, and shares of General Motors fell to their lowest price since 1954.Bloomberg.comSpeeding drivers in Holly Springs, Georgia, were paying police a fuel surcharge to cover the price of their pursuit,BBCnews.coma Kentucky woman was arrested after trading sex for a $100 Speedway gas card,Smoking Gunand Nevada brothels were offering customers “double your stimulus” incentives that included $100 gas cards.CNN.comThe United Nations brought female excrement carriers from India to New York City to appear on the catwalk alongside top models at a fashion show, crowning one woman the princess of sanitation workers. “This is the dream coming true of Indian independence hero Gandhi-ji,” said an organizer.BBCnews.comAn unemployed former trucking company owner posing as a federal agent was under investigation after he worked with local police to search homes and make methamphetamine arrests in a Missouri town,NY Timesand a fake priest was caught trying to take confessions in St. Peter’s Basilica.CNN.comIt was reported that a stone tablet inscribed decades before the birth of Jesus described a messiah who would come back to life after three days. “What happens in the New Testament,” said Bible scholar Israel Knohl, “was adopted by Jesus and his followers based on an earlier messiah story.”NY TimesThe George Washington Foundation unearthed the founding father’s childhood home in Fredericksburg, Virginia, uncovering slave quarters and a Civil War trench but no cherry tree. “I don’t think we’ll ever find the cherry tree,” an archaeologist said.CNN.comMercury was shrinking,BBCnews.comand Earth, said scientists who study radio waves, is shrieking.Yahoo 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

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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