Weekly Review — March 12, 2012, 6:26 pm

Weekly Review

saluting_the_town_350x278 In Afghanistan, a 38-year-old U.S. Army staff sergeant assigned to support Green Beret village-stabilization operations turned himself in after killing sixteen villagers, nine of them children, in the middle of the night, then setting fire to eleven of the corpses, including those of four girls under the age of six. “He came to my uncle’s home, he was running after women, he was tearing their dresses, insulting them,” said a 15-year-old boy who reported being shot in the leg. “He killed my uncle and killed our servant and killed my grandma. He shot dead my uncle’s son, his daughter.” Hundreds of Afghans protested the murders outside Camp Belambay, Afghanistan’s lower house of parliament issued a statement saying Afghans had “run out of patience” with foreign forces, and President Hamid Karzai called the attacks “unforgivable.” Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich reiterated his call for Karzai to apologize for attacks on U.S. soldiers following the burning of Korans outside a NATO base last month. “It’s got to be a two-way street,” said Gingrich.[1][2][3][4][5] NATO admitted that some of its officials had revealed personal information to foreign spies who friended them with a fake Facebook account for NATO’s most senior commander.[6] Three of Osama bin Laden’s widows were charged with illegally entering and residing in Pakistan, where the justice ministry objected to a bill raising the age of criminal responsibility to 12, arguing that the hot climate, poverty, and spicy food made Pakistani children mature faster.[7][8] Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko addressed an accusation by Germany’s foreign minister that he was “Europe’s last dictator.” “Better to be a dictator than gay,” said Lukashenko.[9] In Iraq, officials and human rights groups estimated that 58 young people identified as “emo” have been killed in recent weeks. An Iraqi police officer said police were urging clerics to help them prevent violence against “the emo or the vampires or Satan worshippers.” “The emo of today,” said a Kurdish lawmaker, “could be any person tomorrow.”[10][11]

Voting results in ten states on Super Tuesday failed to establish a clear frontrunner for the Republican presidential candidacy. Mitt Romney won in Alaska, Idaho, Massachusetts, Ohio, Vermont, and Virginia, while Rick Santorum won in North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. After winning his home state of Georgia, Gingrich compared himself to a tortoise fighting “lots of bunny rabbits” as his supporters waved “Newt-a-Mania” banners.[12][13] A Tipp City, Ohio, woman interrupted a Santorum campaign event at a hamburger restaurant with an offer to make a cash donation. “Donate to Romney!” the woman yelled, then handed Santorum two $20 bills. “He needs our money!”[14] At a Southern Methodist University conference on the influence of first ladies, Barbara Bush called the 2012 presidential campaign the worst she’d ever seen. “The rest of the world is looking at us these days,” she remarked, “and saying, ‘What are you doing?’”[15] The grounds outside a Maryland courthouse were evacuated after a deputy spotted a suspicious-looking coconut, and residents of the English town of Saltburn-by-the-Sea theorized that an Olympics-themed scarf found tied to a local pier was the work of the Saltburn Yarnbomber, a “guerrilla knitter” also presumed responsible for The Secret Cardigan and A Ripping Yarn, a pair of knitted books left outside the Saltburn library earlier this year. “It’s a classic whodunit,” said a local reporter of the knitter’s identity. “Personally, I think it’s a group of people,” he added. “One person couldn’t do all that knitting on their own.”[16][17]

A fox in Orpington, England, cornered a man and stole his garlic loaf. “If a fox is jumping at your shopping bag,” said a British wildlife expert, “the best thing to use is a water pistol.”[18] Godzilla, a wild turkey, was reportedly stalking a woman in Commerce Township, Michigan. “Every time I eat turkey I smile,” she told reporters. “I’d like to do that to him.”[19] An Anchorage funeral-home owner known as the “Mushing Mortician” performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to save one of his huskies during the Iditarod sled-dog race.[20] Twin sisters Patricia and Joan Miller, who appeared on the television show The Hoffman Hayride in the 1950s, were reported to have died within hours of each other in South Lake Tahoe, California, and the Canadian province of Alberta revealed that two girls born there in 2011 were named “Unique.”[21][22] Two humanoid robots pole-danced to beats from a DJ robot with a megaphone-shaped head at a technology fair in Germany.[23] Restaurateurs in Austria proposed changing the names of “gypsy schnitzel” and “Moor’s shirt” on Austrian menus to “cutlet with pepper sauce” and “chocolate dessert with cream.”[24] An eBay bidder backed out of an agreement to pay a Nebraska woman $8,100 for a three-year-old Chicken McNugget resembling George Washington.[25] Pat Robertson confirmed his support for the legalization of marijuana, suggesting it was something Jesus would have endorsed.[26] “I don’t think he was a teetotaler,” said Robertson. Barack Obama’s one-time Indonesian nanny, Evie, who was born as a boy named Turdi, was found again living as a man in Jakarta, having endured years of discrimination. “Now when people call me scum,” she said, “I can just say, ‘But I was the nanny for the president of the United States!’”[27]

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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

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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