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Northern China choked under some of the worst smog this year on Monday, with Beijing's pollution soaring to 22 times healthy limits, triggering the city's second-highest air alert on the eve of global climate change talks. Thick haze blanketed cities across the country after President Xi Jinping arrived in Paris for the talks where China, the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, will be central to discussions. Concentration of PM2.5, tiny airborne particles which embed deeply in the lungs, reached over 560 micrograms per cubic metre in the capital, according to the US embassy -- well over the recommended maximum of 25 micrograms.
Niger's main opposition party chose Seyni Oumarou on Sunday as its candidate to contest an election in February against President Mahamadou Issoufou who is seeking a second five-year term, party officials said. Issoufou is a key Western ally in the fight against Islamist militants in West Africa including Boko Haram and the ruling Niger Party for Democracy and Socialism expects him to win re-election in the first round.