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China

The Missing Teeth Of China's New Environmental Law

Two full decades after its previous version was voted in, the country's newly amended environmental protection was cited for its toughness. But the challenge is in the execution.

A man walks in a fog-shrouded city in northeast China's Jilin Province, in February 2014.
A man walks in a fog-shrouded city in northeast China's Jilin Province, in February 2014.
Qi Yue

BEIJING — It took lawmakers more than 20 years of twists and turns to amend it. Cited by some as "the world's harshest environmental law," China's new Environmental Protection Law was recently published by the government, and will take effect in less than a year, on January 1, 2015.

Both lawmakers and the public are placing high hopes that this new text can truly push China to urgently face its environmental challenges. Pollution in the country is no longer anecdotal — it has become a full-blown emergency. Daily smog has become the norm for many urban residents. Only 40% of cities at and above prefectural level met with national air quality standards in 2012.

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Coronavirus

The Main COVID Risk Now: Long COVID

Death rates are down, masks are off, but many who have been infected by COVID have still not recovered. Long COVID continues to be hard to diagnose and treatments are still in the developmental stage.

Long COVID feels like a never-ending nightmare for those who suffer from it.

Jessica Berthereau

PARIS — The medical examination took longer than expected in the Parc de Castelnau-le-Lez clinic, near the southern French city of Montpellier. Jocelyne had come to see a specialist for long COVID-19, and exits the appointment slowly with help from her son. The meeting lasted more than an hour, twice as long as planned.

“I’m a fighter, you know, I’ve done a lot of things in my life, I’ve been around the world twice… I’m not saying this to brag, but to tell you my background," says the 40-year-old. "These days, I’m exhausted, I’m not hungry, I no longer drive, I can’t work anymore, I have restless legs syndrome.” She pauses before adding sadly: “I can’t read anymore either.”

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