In Central China, more than 20,000 people were stranded at an airport over the weekend. Flights were cancelled or delayed in the city of Chengdu. The reason, an extreme combination of fog and smog. The airport called the conditions the most disruptive in years.
The world air quality index is one measurement of pollution levels. When it`s between zero and fifty, air quality is good. Pollution isn`t the problem. In Chengdu, the air quality was recently measured at 280. That puts pollution levels in the index`s very unhealthy category, an emergency level which advises everyone to either limit their outdoor activity or avoided entirely.
The pollution is the side effect of the major industrial growth seen in some Chinese cities. It`s especially dangerous for people with asthma or respiratory infections.
In the U.S. state of North Dakota, today is the deadline for thousands of people protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. Their main camp is on government land. And last week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer said that activists who refuse to leave could be arrested starting Monday. But the government also said it won`t force people to leave and many demonstrators say they`re staying put.
This is over a controversial pipeline that would connect oil rich areas of North Dakota to Illinois, where oil could then reach additional markets.
It`s a $3.7 billion project. Its developer says it will create thousands of jobs, generate millions in tax revenue, and make the U.S. less dependent on foreign oil. But it`s being built near a reservation for Native Americans, and they say the pipeline threatens their environmental and economic well-being.