Short items

Korean tanks vulnerable 
Few South Korean army battle tanks have protection against biological or  chemical attacks , making them vulnerable to North Korea’s possible use of these weapons, worries a member of South Korea’s National Defence Committee. Kong Sung-jin, who also belongs to the country’s main opposition political party, said that only 30 of the army’s total 2,200 tank force had adequate protection against toxic agents. 
The Korea Times, 16 October 2006   

Pesticides backlash 
The Australian Pesticides Veterinary Medicines Authority’s decision to ban 24 products containing the  pesticide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) has provoked strong reaction from farmers. Australia’s Agriculture Minister Peter McGauran is now allowing continued use of the pesticide under a permit system until 30 April 2007.  
The West Australian, 12 October 2006   

Chemical deadline 
Qatar has made it mandatory for companies and individuals handling chemicals to label and classify them properly. Companies have until 18 April 2007 to comply with new regulations and bylaws. Qatar is also preparing to comply with the  Dubai Declaration , which suggests that each country should have a strategy on the safe management of chemicals. 
Gulf Times, 20 September 2006   

High School forensics 
Two high schools in Minnesota, US, are running a course on forensic science this autumn. Students learn how to approach a  crime scene , take fingerprints, analyse hair and fibres, and spot a forged signature. Most students in the class also take biology and chemistry, and usually cited their admiration for crime drama TV shows to explain why the class appealed to them. 
Star Tribune, 19 September 2006