Now hear only this

DINNER parties can be tiresome ordeals, particularly if you find yourself next to an individual keen to show off worldly credentials, such as a journalist. But they can be even more trying for the hard-of-hearing. Modern hearing aids are capable and discreet. Where they are left wanting, however, is in reducing the background hubbub and…

Mustard plants not mustard gas

OF ALL the nasty ways people have devised to harm each other, chemical weapons are among the worst. But even they have varying levels of unpleasantness. Mustard gas blisters the skin and lungs but is an inefficient way of killing. Nerve agents such as sarin, soman and VX are much more deadly. These can linger…

The Economist explains: What happened to Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal

HIGH pressure in the North Atlantic in recent days has enabled the smooth passage of the Ark Futura, a Danish vessel, from Syria to Britain. The stable conditions are helpful, as the Ark Futura is carrying the worst of the remaining Syrian chemical weapons arsenal. The task of decommissioning Syria’s weapons programme has gathered speed…