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‘Human composting’ legalized in first US state: report

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Washington on Tuesday became the first US state to legalize human composting after its eco-friendly governor signed a bill to that effect in a bid to cut carbon emissions from burials and cremations.

Under the new law that will go into effect in May of next year, people who die in the state will have the option to have their bodies transformed into soil suitable for use in gardening. The process is called recomposition.

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“Recomposition offers an alternative to embalming and burial or cremation that is natural, safe, sustainable, and will result in significant savings in carbon emissions and land usage,” said Katrina Spade, who lobbied for the law and is the founder of Recompose, a Seattle-based company set to be the first to offer the service.

“The idea of returning to nature so directly and being folded back into the cycle of life and death is actually pretty beautiful,” Spade added in a statement sent to AFP.

She said she became interested in the process about 10 years ago after turning 30 and thinking more about her mortality.

Spade then began examining the technical aspects of creating an environmentally friendly “third option” that could compete with the $20-billion US funeral industry, which offers conventional burial and cremation.

Her approach — developed with Washington State University, which did clinical trials with donor bodies — calls for a dead person to be placed in an hexagonal steel container filled with wood chips, alfalfa and straw.

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The container is then shut and the body is decomposed by microbes within 30 days. The end product is a dry, fluffy nutrient-rich soil resembling what one would buy at a local nursery and suitable for vegetable gardens.

“Everything — including bones and teeth — is recomposed,” Spade said. “That’s because our system creates the perfect environment for thermophilic (i.e. heat-loving) microbes and beneficial bacteria to break everything down quite quickly.”

The process used by Recompose is the same as that used for decades with farm animals and the clinical trials carried out by the university in Washington found that it was also safe for use with humans.a

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‘A coward and a commander’: New Lincoln Project ad contrasts Trump with James Mattis

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On Friday, the conservative anti-Trump group The Lincoln Project released a new attack ad against President Donald Trump — this time using the criticism of his former Defense Secretary James Mattis, and comparing and contrasting their leadership ability.

"This is the story of a coward and a commander," said the ad's narrator. "The coward Trump dodged the draft. Jim Mattis led American troops for forty years. While a frightened Trump hides from protesters in a deep bunker firing off tweets, Jim Mattis does what he's always done: Leads. While Donald Trump angrily attacks, General Mattis' words deserve to be heard by every American."

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NFL Commissioner Goodell apologizes for league’s indifference to players’ protests against racism

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On Friday, CNN reported that National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell is acknowledging his organization turned a blind eye when his athletes took a knee to protest racism and police violence, and issued a formal apology.

"We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest," Goodell said in a newly released Instagram video. "It has been a difficult time for our country. In particular, black people in our country. First, my condolences to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and all the families who have endured police brutality."

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Maxine Waters calls for Trump’s Cabinet initiate the 25th Amendment ‘before this would-be dictator takes us all down’

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Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) called for Donald Trump to be removed from office on Friday.

"Is there one brave member of Trump’s cabinet who would move to initiate the 25th Amendment to remove him from office?" Waters asked on the president's favorite social networking platform.

The 25th Amendment would allow Vice President Mike Pence to ascend to the presidency if a majority of Trump's cabinet declares "the president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office."

"Now is the time to save our country before this would-be dictator takes us all down!" Waters warned.

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