In short

Published: Wednesday 30 November 2005

bacco off the shelf: Thailand has taken a strong step against tobacco sales in the country. They ordered vendors in September to remove all cigarettes from display or risk a US $50,000 fine. Activists say cigarette packets are also effectively an advertisement and so should be hidden from view.

sa for total asbestos ban: South Africa has finally decided to ban asbestos completely, from a wide range of day-to-day buildings, piping and motor car products to protect public health. A draft regulation in this regard was published in the Government Gazette on October 4, 2005.

b>amazonian drought: Thousands of Brazilians across seven states, surrounding Manaquiri lake in the Amazon region, have been hit this year by the worst drought in four decades. The drought, meteorologists say, is the result of warmer ocean water, which is also to blame for one of the most violent hurricane seasons on record around the Gulf of Mexico.

lead paint lawsuit: Rhode Island has sued four lead-based paint makers a second time for endangering the health of children and contaminating thousands of homes. The companies called the lawsuit unfair and say they are being targeted for a problem they didn't create.

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