Olympic pollution plan begins

Traffic restrictions and factory closures came into effect in Beijing on Sunday, in a last-ditch attempt to clean up the capital's air before next month's Olympics.

Vehicles with odd licence plates were banned from the streets on Sunday, and even-numbered cars stayed home on Monday. Reuters reported positive reactions from residents experiencing improved air quality.

The government hopes to reduce emissions by two-thirds over the two months until the end of the Paralympic Games in mid-September, state media said.

Most building work has halted and almost all earth and cement works have been closed, Reuters reported. Many factories have also been closed, including some in other provinces. Tianjin, a port city east of Beijing, has ordered 40 factories to close.

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