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Switzerland

Death To Vinyl: Pressing Ashes Of The Departed Into Records, Other Keepsakes

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust? Not always. Human remains can also be manufactured into diamonds, drugs and fertilizers. Or, in some very special cases, vinyl discs.

Urn your place in your loved ones' lives (dblackadder)
Urn your place in your loved ones' lives (dblackadder)
Thomas Wyss

ZURICH - Tupac Shakur ended up as a joint. The long-circulated rumor was recently confirmed by two members of his former band Outlawz, EDI Mean and Young Noble. In 1996, the two musicians actually mixed the ashes of the assassinated hip-hop star with marijuana and smoked it just like Tupac had asked in his song Black Jesus: "Last Wishes, niggas, smoke my ashes."

Of course, Tupac's last wish is hardly common. Still, it isn't as unusual as one may think. The number of people choosing an alternative to the peaceful coffin or urn of ashes is increasing every year. If fate has already gambled away half of your battle, the reasoning goes, you should at least be able to organize your departure entirely on your own terms.

In Switzerland, natural burials are very popular, due in part to the "ash freedom" laws: anyone who chooses to be cremated may also decide where the ashes are cast. Scattered under a favorite tree? Along a favorite trail? In the river, on whose banks you stole your first kiss? Basically everything is permitted.

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Society

End Of Roe v. Wade, The World Is Watching

As the Supreme Court decides to overturn the 1973 decision that guaranteed abortion rights, many fear an imminent threat to abortion rights in the U.S. But in other countries, the global fight for sexual and reproductive rights is going in different directions.

"Don't abort my right" At 2019 pro-choice march In Toulouse, France.

Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via ZUMA
Hannah Steinkopf-Frank and Sophia Constantino

PARIS — Nearly 50 years after it ensured the right to abortion to Americans, the United States Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade case, meaning that millions of women in the U.S. may lose their constitutional right to abortion.

The groundbreaking decision is likely to set off a range of restrictions on abortion access in multiple states in the U.S., half of which are expected to implement new bans on the procedure. Thirteen have already passed "trigger laws" that will automatically make abortion illegal.

U.S. President Joe Biden called the ruling "a tragic error" and urged individual states to enact laws to allow the procedure.

In a country divided on such a polarizing topic, the decision is likely to cause major shifts in American law and undoubtedly spark outrage among the country’s pro-choice groups. Yet the impact of such a momentous shift, like others in the United States, is also likely to reverberate around the world — and perhaps, eventually, back again in the 50 States.

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