World Bulletin / News Desk
Beijingers are going without barbecue. Construction sites have halted work. Factories hundreds of kilometres away have halted production.
The capital typically enjoys an unusual succession of clear days when the party holds major events, with smoke-churning factories ordered to shut down.
Even restaurants famous for flavourful shish kebabs turned off their barbecues, with a waiter telling diners at one eatery this week that the lamb delicacies would be off the menu during the congress.
President Xi Jinping had invoked the fight against air contamination during his wide-ranging speech to open the congress on Wednesday.
"We need to prevent pollution from its source, continue the action against air pollution, and win the battle for blue skies," Xi said.
But the smog appeared to have not received the party directive as it enveloped the city all week, prompting many Beijingers to don masks for protection.
The counts of PM2.5 -- harmful microscopic particles that penetrate deep into the lungs -- reached 115 Friday afternoon, according to readings from the US embassy.
The World Health Organization's recommended maximum exposure is 25 over a 24-hour period.
"It looked polluted out the window so I put on my mask," said Euphie Zheng, on the way to her IT job in central Beijing.
CDC flu season update reveals season appears to have peaked in 13 states
High levels of the flu are widespread through nearly every state in the US
Study finds compound found in asparagus can help spread deadly type of breast cancer throughout the body
Cholera outbreak has killed 83 people in the country since last October
Brussels said it was running out of patience with states -- including the EU's three biggest economies -- that had failed to take steps to improve air quality despite years of warnings.
Consignment of assorted medical supplies airlifted to Lusaka
Here is a look back at the major oil spills around the world in the past five decades:
More than 100,000 people -- half of them children -- die every year due to waterborne diseases, experts say
Located in the bustling Adjame quarter of Ivory Coast's main city and commercial hub, the haven for fake medicine has been targeted time and again by authorities and stockpiles burnt.
Seven firms to receive ecolabel certifying that their products are environment-friendly
Disasters saddle U.S. with $306 billion price tag, cause 362 deaths
Association for Prevention of Drug Abuse head says close to more than 2.5 million children are drug addicts in Bangladesh
King penguins are certainly accustomed to chilly weather, more so than species like the Humboldt that prefer somewhat warmer climes, said zoo curator Malu Celli.
Some eight million children and teenagers across the Southeast Asian nation will receive the shot to prevent further spread of the disease which is caused by a bacterial infection.
Two players vomited on the pitch, and play had to be halted briefly.