Weekly Review — June 11, 2012, 5:42 pm

Weekly Review

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After denying for weeks that it would request an aid package from other Eurozone nations, Spain accepted a $125 billion bailout in order to recapitalize its insolvent banks and stabilize its financial markets in advance of what are expected to be tumultuous Greek elections. “Nobody pressured me,” said Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy. “I was the one who pressured to get credit.”[1][2][3] The spokesman for Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn party assaulted two liberal female politicians during a live broadcast of a morning talk show, and U.S. senator John McCain (R., Ariz.) accused the Obama Administration of disclosing for political gain classified information about a successful cyberattack on Iran’s nuclear program and about initiatives to target terrorists for assassination by drone. “They’re intentionally leaking information to enhance President Obama’s image as a tough guy for the elections,” said McCain. Obama called such claims “offensive” and “wrong,” and Attorney General Eric Holder appointed two U.S. attorneys to lead criminal investigations into the leaks.[4][5][6] Abu Yahya al-Libi, Al Qaeda’s second-in-command, was killed by a drone strike in Pakistan, and Canadian officials put to death a black bear that had eaten the decomposing remains of a convicted murderer.[7][8] Archaeologists uncovered two medieval skeletons impaled by vampire-hunting villagers in Bulgaria, the world’s oldest fishing implements in the Baltic Sea, and the onetime home of Shakespeare’s players, the Curtain Theatre, in London.[9][10][11] Chipping Campden, England, hosted the British shin-kicking championship. “[I] get quite annoyed,” said event judge James Wiseman, “when people think that shin-kicking is quite literally two guys facing each other and kicking each other as hard as possible in the shins.”[12]

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker (R.), whose antiunion policies led more than 900,000 people to sign a petition for his recall, became the first governor in U.S. history to survive a recall election, winning 53 percent of the vote over Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett. “Bringing our state together will take some time,” said Walker after his victory. “There’s just no doubt about it.”[13][14] In response to New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban soft-drink servings of more than 16 ounces, a consumer-advocacy group placed an advertisement in the New York Times that portrayed the mayor as a nanny. “Would I wear a dress like that?” asked Bloomberg. “No! It was one of the more unflattering dresses.”[15][16][17] The Japanese Atomic Energy Agency removed a public-awareness website comparing radioactive material with an angry woman, and some 50 Egyptian women demonstrating against sexual harassment in Cairo’s Tahrir Square were chased down, groped, and beaten by hundreds of men.[18][19] The U.S. Centers for Disease Control found that in recent years two New York City newborns have died and at least two others have suffered brain damage from herpes contracted following their participation in an Orthodox Jewish ritual in which a mohel sucks blood from a freshly circumcised penis. “There is no safe way to perform oral suction on any open wound in a newborn,” said the city’s health commissioner.[20] Swiss scientists concluded that, on average, people are 13.8 percent more likely to die on their birthdays than on any other day of the year. “There are two camps. One is the camp that suggests you eat too much and you’re getting on a bit and that causes you to die,” said psychologist Richard Wiseman. “The other is a placebo effect. . . . You kept yourself going until your birthday. You think, ‘That’s it, I’ve had enough, I’m out of here.’ ”[21][22][23]

Writer Ray Bradbury died at 91, and the Queen’s English Society, which was founded in 1972 to promote proper grammar and punctuation, announced that it would disband because of declining membership. “People don’t want to join societies like they used to,” said the group’s chairwoman.[24][25] Researchers determined that the personality of a Gouldian finch can be discerned from the color of its head, that virgin male moths intent on pursuing attractive females fly prematurely, and that Bieber fever is more infectious than measles.[26][27][28] A truck accident spilled thousands of gallons of pancake syrup beneath Kentucky’s Buttermilk Pike, and Georgia transportation officials were reviewing an application by the Ku Klux Klan to adopt one mile of a Union County highway. “We just want to clean up the doggone road,” said the realm’s exalted cyclops, Harley Hanson. “We’re not going to be out there in robes.”[29][30][31] A Canadian mother removed her 13-year-old son from school after its staff allowed him and another student to be tricked into eating moose droppings that a chaperone claimed were chocolate-covered almonds. “You have braces on your teeth and you cannot get excrement out of your teeth because of what your principal did to you,” said antibullying expert Rosalind Wiseman. “That is not a practical joke.”[32]

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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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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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