Wired compiles statistics and reports on the air pollution in Beijing. According to BBC numbers, the anti-smog efforts of the government have done almost nothing to lower pollution- but steady rainfall helps. According to the Chinese government, everything is great! Breath deeply! The IOC says everything is just fine, too, but the numbers from the WHO and the BBC would indicate otherwise.
Meanwhile, some of the US Olympic cycling team wore respiratory masks while arriving in Beijing, over concerns about the pollution. They’ve since apologized for it, since apparently their gracious hosts are a bit embarrassed about their dirty air- which sounds perfectly polite and reasonable, as long as they keep the masks on if the air pollution continues to be bad. (Via Huffington Post)