5-speed listening (Level 3)

Smog makes Beijing puts sunrise on giant TVs



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People in Beijing cannot see the sun. The air is full of smog (a mixture of smoke and fog). The smog is so thick that it blocks the sun all day. People really miss seeing the sun. Beijing's leaders decided to do something so people could see the sunrise. They put giant LED screens across the city. People stand in front of the digital screens and watch the sunrise. The screen in Tiananmen Square also had a special message on it. It was a public announcement that read: "Protecting the atmosphere and environment is everyone's responsibility." The live, digital sunrise is already a hit with tourists. Ricardo Hernandez from Mexico said: "It looks like science fiction. It's kind of cool, but it's also worrying. This smog sucks."

The air quality in China's cities often becomes bad in winter. People burn more coal for heating in the winter months. This makes more pollution. Beijing's mayor promised to make the air cleaner. He said the city would spend $2.4 billion this year to improve the air quality. Many workers wore face masks on their way to work. They did not want to breathe the poisonous air. One man told reporters: "I couldn't see the tall buildings across the street this morning. The smog has become worse in the last two to three years." He said the smog usually makes him feel bad: "I often cough and my nose is always running,'' he said. The US embassy advised people to, "avoid all physical activity outdoors”.

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