Weekly Review — April 28, 2009, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: All In My Eye, December 1853]
An American cattleman.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control declared a public-health emergency over an outbreak of swine flu that has infected at least 20 people in California, Kansas, New York, Ohio, and Texas. The virus is believed to have originated in Mexico City, where more than 149 people, all aged between 20 and 40, have died, and at least 1,300 people have gotten sick. Mexico‘s government closed all schools, universities, and zoos, canceled church services, soccer games, and bullfights, and banned visits to beauty salons and juvenile detention centers. Swine flu has been found in Canada, China, France, Israel, New Zealand, and Spain, prompting the World Health Organization to consider raising the pandemic alert level from 3 to 4 out of 6.New York TimesYahoo NewsA hunter in Hawaii was arrested for stabbing to death a couple’s blind pet pig.Honolulu AdvisorThe International Monetary Fund released a report that predicts that the economic crisis will “be deep and long lasting,” that it will result in $4.1 trillion in losses for banks and financial institutions, and that the global economy, now in its first recession since World War II, would shrink by 1.3 percent in 2009. New York TimesBBCDavid Kellerman, the chief financial officer of Freddie Mac, hanged himself. New York TimesPresident Barack Obama convened his first official meeting with his Cabinet and told its members that they must cut spending by $100 million. Few were impressed. “Let’s say,” said economist Paul Krugman, “the administration finds $100 million in efficiencies every working day for the rest of the Obama administration’s first term. That’s still around $80 billion, or around 2 percent of one year’s federal spending.”Washington PostThe Conscience of a Liberal

The Sri Lankan government rejected a call by the Tamil Tigers for a cease-fire, instead demanding the rebel group surrender. Hundreds of Sri Lankan civilians have been killed amid the government’s recent push to wipe out the Tigers, and tens of thousands have been forced into refugee camps; at a hospital where more than 1,700 refugees have arrived seeking aid, one doctor said, “The old don’t seem to make it here. There’s a few. But I think they’re mostly dying on the way.”New York TimesNew York TimesBea Arthur, best known as Maude Findlay of “Maude” and Dorothy Zbornak of “The Golden Girls,” died.The Los Angeles TimesA writer for the Chicago Tribune who had been covering the recession for the paper in a blog titled “The Recession Diaries” was laid off,True/Slantand a live shark was dumped on the doorstep of an Australian newspaper. “We arrived,” said Constable Jarrod Dwyer, “and poured some water on it just to see if it was still breathing and it kicked around for a little while.” AnanovaA supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy billions of light-years away was found to be spewing water vapor. BBCThe U.S. Census Bureau reported that Americans were relocating at the lowest rate since the Bureau began tracking mobility six decades ago.New York TimesResearchers found that ants are better than humans at finding good homes.BBC

Philip Markoff, a 23-year-old medical student in Boston, was arrested on his way to a casino with his fiance and $1,000 in cash and charged with the murder of one masseuse and the robbery of another, both of whom he arranged to meet via Craigslist. “I think it’s really unfortunate that someone that bright would be in this much trouble,” said professor Frank Hauser, who taught Markoff at SUNY-Albany. “Since I don’t give many A’s, he was obviously an excellent student.”New York TimesWilliam Parente, a New York lawyer believed to have run a Ponzi scheme, gathered his family at a Maryland hotel, then bludgeoned and strangled his wife, Betty, and their two daughters, Stephanie, 19, and Catherine, 11, then slit his wrist and bled to death. Asked whether the economy makes domestic abuse more prevalent, Richard Gelles, a dean at the University of Pennsylvania, said, “The warning sign is when these familicide cases begin to cluster. In the past few months, they have begun to pop off across the country.”MSNBCA Salt Lake City teenager who went to steal a car and was startled to find a police officer sitting inside it, soiled himself. “Yeah,” he told the officer, “I crapped my pants.”Desert NewsA class of eighth graders taunted a moose that had wandered onto the grounds of their Alaskan middle school, frightening the animal so badly that it threw itself against a wall until it died.The FrontiersmanToxic-mining wastes in Idaho were killing tundra swans, which feed on the area’s lead-contaminated roots and tubers. “For me, it’s like bearing witness,” said Kate Healy, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “They die slow, agonizing deaths.”Anchorage Daily 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.

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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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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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