"Beijing Starts 2017 Under A Cloud"

"Beijing woke on the first morning of the New Year covered in thick toxic fog, with a concentration of harmful particles 20 times higher than international standards.

After a long period of pollution in December, the Chinese capital was again smothered Sunday in an acrid grey haze which limited visibility to a few hundred metres.

Luminous signs on top of the skyscrapers seemed to float in the fog, while some tourists wore respiratory masks.

Levels of PM 2.5 -- microscopic particles harmful to human health -- exceeded 500 on Sunday morning, according to US Embassy estimates, vastly above the maximum threshold of 25 recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for a 24-hour exposure. "

AFP had the story January 1, 2016.

Source: AFP, 01/02/2017