Weekly Review — November 3, 2009, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

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

Abdullah Abdullah, presidential challenger to Hamid Karzai, announced that he was quitting the runoff election. In a choked-up voice he cited concerns about increased violence in Afghanistan and outrage at the fraudulent election process. The election was cancelled and Karzai was declared president. More U.S. troops died in Afghanistan in October than in any month since that war began eight years ago. A suicide bombing by Taliban militants killed six U.N. staff, and Major General Mike Flynn, director of intelligence for General Stanley McChrystal’s headquarters in Kabul, warned that the number of insurgents in Afghanistan (many of whom were from other countries) was now between 19,000 and 27,000, a ten-fold increase since 2004. “I wouldn’t say it’s out of control right now,” Flynn explained, “but this is a California wildfire and we’re having to bring in firemen from New York.”New York TimesWashington PostAssociated PressAirforce TimesPresident Barack Obama caved to pressure from Congress and military contractors and passed a $680,000,000,000 defense bill. Obama also hosted a Halloween event at the White House, where he distributed M&Ms and dried fruit but did not wear a costume. First Lady Michelle Obama appeared as Cat Woman, dressed in a leopard-print top, fuzzy ears, and black eye shadow. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice dressed up as Goofy. Washington PostBreitbart

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that the economy grew at a rate of 3.5 percent in the last quarter. The stimulus package was credited with much of the growth, but, because many provisions of the package will soon expire, economists believe that national growth has peaked.Associated PressNewspaper circulation in the United States declined to its lowest level in 70 years;Washington Postthe Government Accountability Office warned that a swine-flu pandemic could cause the Internet to crash as sick workers and children overwhelm local networks by using the Web from home;Washington Postand the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed a lawsuit against the Yes Men for their recent parody press conference, citing “trademark infringement, unfair competition, and false advertising.”Mother JonesTwitter closed the accounts of 33 ConnecticutRepublicans who had registered under the names of Democratic state representatives and posted tweets that state Republican chairman Chris Healy described as “satire.” “I’m not quite sure what the issue is,” said Healy of Twitter’s decision, “other than that the Democrats were successful in stopping free speech.”Hartford AdvocateCalifornia Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued a letter vetoing a bill sponsored by San Francisco assemblyman Tom Ammiano (who recently told the governor to “kiss my gay ass”) in which “Fuck You” appeared as an acrostic. San Francisco ChronicleInterstate 680 in California was closed after a pedestrian was repeatedly struck by passing cars, scattering pieces of the victim’s body on all the lanes.CBS5Scientists found that bad driving is genetic.CNN

Paul Ford of Bristol, England, was sentenced to prison after he admitted killing his partner, saying he struck her “hundreds and hundreds and hundreds” of time in the face with a lump hammer.Evening PostTwo burglars were arrested in Iowa after police spotted their getaway car and found the suspects inside with their face-masks scribbled on in black permanent marker; a would-be thief was laughed away by staff and patrons when he rushed into a Polish bank shouting, “This is a stick up!” and brandishing a spoon; and a burglar who during his trial rubbed his own excrement on his attorney’s hair and face, and flung his feces at jurors was sentenced to 31 years in prison and ordered to pay $129 to replace one juror’s briefcase.AnanovaAnanova10NewsTwo coyotes mauled to death a 19-year-old Canadian folk singer while she was hiking,The Starand a 112-year-old Somali man took a 17-year-old as his sixth bride.BBCAn 11-pound lobster named Larry, born around 1939, was on sale for $275 at a New York restaurant,Bloombergand the annual New Zealand “rabbit throw” contest, in which children compete to see how far they can toss dead rabbits, was banned.Metro.ukSwedish scientists learned that when male bedbugs, which are gender-blind, attempt gay bedbug sex, the victims release a pheromone that tells the aggressors to back off.WiredParents and teachers in the Guangdong province of China were upset by a new sculpture in a city park of an eight-inch girl with giant 16-foot breasts. “The little girls were scared and cried loudly,” said one kindergarten teacher, “asking me if they would grow those huge things.”AnanovaScientists at the Guangdong Entomological Institute discovered that the female short-nosed fruit-bat routinely provides her partner with oral sex during intercourse, making the bat the only adult animal besides humans to engage in such behavior. “We were also surprised at how often it occurred… It was difficult to provide some hypotheses for the function of the fellatio behavior,” said short-nosed-fruit-bat researcher Libiao Zhang. “We held many meetings to discuss the functions.”Live ScienceFake snow blanketed Beijing.Times of India

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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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With Child·

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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:

2

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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