Chinese authorities boost smog alert level in Beijing

The authorities in the Chinese capital, Beijing, have issued their highest smog warning so far this year.

The “orange level” alert declared on Sunday is the second highest possible, requiring factories to cut production.

On Sunday, some pollution readings in parts of the city reached about 17 times the level considered safe by the World Health Organisation.

Air pollution is a chronic health-risk for those living and working in the capital and other major Chinese cities.

China’s state media says the declaration of this orange level alert requires industrial plants to reduce or shut down production.

Building sites are not allowed to transport materials or waste and heavy-duty trucks are banned from the city’s roads.

Some reports suggest that visibility has fallen to a few hundred metres in some places.

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Little boy donates his piggy bank to vandalized mosque

(CNN)After the devastating attacks in Paris, some Muslims have been threatened and even attacked.

But one little boy didn’t want to just stand by after a mosque in his hometown was desecrated.

The Islamic Center of Pflugerville, a mosque in a strip mall in the suburbs of Austin, Texas, was vandalized on Monday. On the way to morning prayers, community members of the mosque found feces smeared on the sidewalk and torn pages of the Quran, the Islamic holy book, scattered outside the center.

“It’s disgusting; it’s gross,” said Laura Swanson, who lives in Pflugerville. “It doesn’t matter what you believe, what I believe, what he believes or anybody believes, all faith is important.”

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