Chemical warfare

Chemical warfare involves using the toxic properties of chemical substances as weapons. This type of warfare is distinct from nuclear warfare and biological warfare, which together make up NBC, the military acronym for nuclear and chemical, all of which are considered "weapons of mass destruction". None of these fall under the term conventional weapons which are effective due to their destructive potential. In theory, with proper protective equipment and decontamination measures, the primary effects of chemical weapons can be overcome. In practice, they continue to cause much suffering. Many nations possess vast stockpiles of weaponized agents in preparation for wartime use; the threat and the perceived threat have become strategic tools in planning both measures and counter-measures. The use of chemical weapons is prohibited under customary international humanitarian law. Chemical warfare is different from the use of conventional weapons or nuclear weapons because the destructive effects of chemical weapons are not due to any explosive force.

The offensive use of living organisms is considered biological warfare rather than chemical warfare. Under this Convention, any toxic chemical, regardless of its origin, is considered a chemical weapon unless it is used for purposes that are not prohibited. About 70 different chemicals have been used or stockpiled as chemical warfare agents during the 20th century; the entire class known as Lethal Unitary Chemical Agents and Munitions have been scheduled for elimination by the CWC. Under the Convention, chemicals that are toxic enough to be used as chemical weapons, or that may be used to manufacture such chemicals, are divided into three groups according to their purpose and treatment: Schedule 1 – Have few, if any, legitimate uses; these may only be produced or used for research, pharmaceutical or protective purposes. Examples include nerve agents, ricin and mustard gas. Any production over 100 g must be reported to the OPCW and a country can have a stockpile of no more than one tonne of these chemicals.

Schedule 2 – Have no large-scale industrial uses, but may have legitimate small-scale uses. Examples include dimethyl methylphosphonate, a precursor to sarin used as a flame retardant, thiodiglycol, a precursor chemical used in the manufacture of mustard gas but widely used as a solvent in inks. Schedule 3 – Have legitimate large-scale industrial uses. Examples include chloropicrin. Both have been used as chemical weapons but phosgene is an important precursor in the manufacture of plastics and chloropicrin is used as a fumigant; the OPCW must be notified of, may inspect, any plant producing more than 30 tons per year. Chemical weapons have been a part of warfare in most societies, although their use has been controversial since the 20th century. Although crude chemical warfare has been employed in many parts of the world for thousands of years, "modern" chemical warfare began during World War I - see Chemical weapons in World War I. Only well-known commercially available chemicals and their variants were used.

These included phosgene gas. The methods used to disperse these agents during battle were unrefined and inefficient. So, casualties could be heavy, due to the static troop positions which were characteristic features of trench warfare. Germany, the first side to employ chemical warfare on the battlefield opened canisters of chlorine upwind of the opposing side and let the prevailing winds do the dissemination. Soon after, the French modified artillery munitions to contain phosgene – a much more effective method that became the principal means of delivery. Since the development of modern chemical warfare in World War I, nations have pursued research and development on chemical weapons that falls into four major categories: new and more deadly agents. A chemical used in warfare is called a chemical warfare agent. About 70 different chemicals have been used or stockpiled as chemical warfare agents during the 20th and 21st centuries; these agents may be in gas or solid form. Liquid agents that evaporate are said to be volatile or have a high vapor pressure.

Many chemical agents are made volatile. The earliest target of chemical warfare agent research was not toxicity, but development of agents that can affect a target through the skin and clothing, rendering protective gas masks useless. In July 1917, the Germans employed sulfur mustard. Mustard agents penetrates leather and fabric to inflict painful burns on the skin. Chemical warfare agents are divided into incapacitating categories. A substance is classified as incapacitating if less than 1/100 of the lethal dose causes incapacitation, e.g. through nausea or visual problems. The distinction between lethal and incapacitating substances is not fixed, but relies on a statistical average called the LD50. Chemical warfare agents can be classified according to their persistency, a measure of the length of time that a chemical agent remains effective after dissemination. Chemical agents are classified as persi

Geographical issues in Armenia

Armenia is a landlocked country in the South Caucasus. The country is bordered on the north by Iran to the south. Located in the Caucasus region between Asia and Europe, Armenia has a educated workforce and the Government of Armenia welcomes foreign investment. With a population of 3 million, Armenia has a small domestic market. Armenia's accession to Eurasian Economic Union opened markets of large countries like Russia and Kazakhstan for Armenian products. Various issues typical for a developing economy are exacerbated by Armenia's poor geographic location and by ongoing blockade through Turkey and Azerbaijan; as a landlocked country with no direct access to main shipping routes, Armenia must trade across borders to reach major world markets in North America and Europe in order to maintain sustainable economic growth and development. Cross-border trading, incurs higher transaction costs and reduces competitiveness and trade volume. In Armenia, poor existing physical infrastructure such as roads and railways compounds this problem by further raising the risk and cost of transport.

Much of Armenia's infrastructure was built during the Soviet period and is in need of repair and renovation. Most landlocked countries are vulnerable to external shocks due to their dependence on neighboring countries and Armenia is no exception. Poor ties with Turkey and Azerbaijan only serve to strengthen Armenia's dependence on Georgia and Russia, it imports nearly all of its refined petroleum products through Georgia and most of its energy fuel from Russia. The 2008 South Ossetia War between Russia and Georgia resulted in disruption to fuel and food imports. Armenia Armenia-Azerbaijan relations Armenia-Georgia relations Armenia-Iran relations Armenia-Turkey relations Caucasus Mountains Economy of Armenia Foreign relations of Armenia Nagorno-Karabakh

Totland Church

Totland Church is a parish church of the Church of Norway in Stad Municipality in Vestland county, Norway. It is located along the north shore of the Nordfjorden, it is the church for the Totland parish, part of the Nordfjord prosti in the Diocese of Bjørgvin. The white, wooden church was built in a long church style in 1912 by the architect Lars Sølvberg and Jens Sølvberg; the church seats about 250 people. The church was built in 1912 to serve the people of the old Davik municipality who lived on the north side of the Nordfjorden. From 1912 until 1953, the chapel at Totland was an annex of the Rugsund Church parish across the fjord. In 1953, Totland became its own parish. In 1965, the municipality of Davik was split up and merged into other neighboring municipalities and the parish area of Totland was merged into Vågsøy Municipality. List of churches in Bjørgvin