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Despite Smog Alert, Beijing Says Air Quality Improving

The Chinese capital was on the second-highest level of smog alert Tuesday, but city officials said the air quality was improving overall, citing data for last year. Hundreds of flights were canceled and highways were closed across northern China over the new year holiday as average concentrations of small breathable particles known as PM2.5 soared above 500 micrograms per cubic meter in Beijing and surrounding regions. Pollution alerts are common in northern China, especially during...

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