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Peking bans bangs

The municipal People's Congress yesterday banned fireworks in Peking, threatening a boisterous tradition that has symbolised China since their invention, claimed by Chinese alchemists centuries ago, Reuter reports from Peking. The congress standing committee prohibited citizens from lighting fireworks from 1 December, calling them a public safety nuisance. Since 1987, about 2,462 fireworks-related injuries have been reported.