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Several before and after photos of Beijing's air quality, plus an article: "Pollution curbs turn Beijing into urban labo

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  Sat Aug 2, 3:50 AM ET
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A combination of two photographs shows a view of the Forbidden City in Beijing taken July 28 (L) and on August 2, 2008 (R). Beijing has vowed the Olympic Games will take place under blue skies, not the murky "sauna" haze that has shrouded the city recently, but even on apparently clear days pollution levels may not be safe for athletes.

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REUTERS/Claro Cortes IV (CHINA) (BEIJING OLYMPICS 2008 PREVIEW)


  
Fri Aug 1, 8:17 AM ET
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Combination photograph of Beijing skyline (top to bottom) taken from July 28 to August 1, 2008. Beijing has vowed the Olympic Games will take place under blue skies, not the murky "sauna" haze that has shrouded the city recently, but even on apparently clear days pollution levels may not be safe for athletes.

REUTERS/Claro Cortes IV (CHINA) (BEIJING OLYMPICS 2008 PREVIEW)


 
Tue Jul 29, 3:04 PM ET
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Graphic originally transmitted Jul. 7, 2008; Graphic shows China pollution data roundup; with Beijing clean air steps for Olympics

  
  
   Fri Aug 1, 7:29 AM ET
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A clearer sky is visible above the skyline along the central business district of Beijing August 1, 2008. Beijing has vowed the Olympic Games will take place under blue skies, not the murky "sauna" haze that has shrouded the city recently, but even on apparently clear days pollution levels may not be safe for athletes.

REUTERS/Claro Cortes IV (CHINA) (BEIJING OLYMPICS 2008 PREVIEW)

Sat Aug 2, 4:26 AM ET
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A general view of the Beijing skyline on a clear day in Beijing August 2, 2008. Beijing has vowed the Olympic Games will take place under blue skies, not the murky "sauna" haze that has shrouded the city recently, but even on apparently clear days pollution levels may not be safe for athletes.

REUTERS/Claro Cortes IV (CHINA) (BEIJING OLYMPICS 2008 PREVIEW)

  
   Sun Aug 3, 2:18 PM ET
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In this image reviewed by the Chinese military, a power station is seen through haze in Beijing Saturday Aug. 2, 2008. Like everything else done for the Olympics, China's quest to clear up notoriously polluted skies in time for opening ceremonies this week has been marked by gargantuan effort. In what scientists are calling the single largest attempt ever made to improve air quality, scores of heavily polluting factories were shut down and some 2 million vehicles were pulled off roads across Beijing and a huge swath of northern China - an area roughly the size of Alaska.

(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)


Pollution curbs turn Beijing into urban laboratory

By TINI TRAN, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 43 minutes ago  

Like everything else done for the Olympics, China's quest to clear up notoriously polluted skies in time for opening ceremonies this week has been marked by gargantuan effort.

In what scientists are calling the single largest attempt ever made to improve air quality, scores of heavily polluting factories were shut down and some 2 million vehicles were pulled off roads across Beijing and a huge swath of northern China — an area roughly the size of Alaska. During the weekend, the hazy skies finally gave way to swirling blue.

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