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SMELLY TOILETS CAUSE FLUSHES IN BEIJING

With the Asian Games 85 days away, Beijing residents say they fret as much about their medieval public toilets as they do about the city's slovenly service and sluggish me-first traffic, the China Daily reported Thursday.

Anxious city officials have launched a crack effort to upgrade the 780 public lavatories, most little more than a hole in the floorboards above a malodorous cesspool."Polls show that the usually dirty, simple, foul-smelling and fly-infested toilets in Beijing are considered one of the three most serious problems that might cast a shadow over a successful Asian Games," the report said. The others are snarled traffic and languid service, it said.

China is sparing no effort to ensure the Asian Games are a success. The late September event is the first major international sports festival the country has hosted.