World

After 18 years in power, it appeared that Jamaica's People's National Party was narrowly defeated in Monday's election, in which preliminary results showed the opposition Jamaica Labour Party winning 31 of 60 parliamentary seats. A recount is likely, but if the results hold, JLP leader Bruce Golding would become prime minister, ending the 18-month tenure of Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaica's first woman prime minister.

Panama began a $5.25 billion canal-expansion project Monday. It's expected to double the 50-mile waterway's capacity, allowing wider vessels to squeeze through with more cargo. New locks should benefit world trade along the 93-year-old passageway, which is used in moving 4 percent of the world's cargo. Completion is scheduled by 2014 or 2015.

In a major effort to clean up its notorious smog and improve crippling traffic congestion, Mexico City's government has introduced a "Green Plan" that will gradually roll out a series of measures from now to 2009. The initiatives involve mandatory busing for schools, creation of pedestrian zones, renovation of bus and taxi fleets, and an extension of driving restrictions.

On his first visit to Sudan, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he would try to resolve sticking points in the rollout of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended over two decades of conflicts between the northern government and southern rebels.

Two pictures taken by a sophisticated new astronomical camera – one of a star cluster 25,000 light-years away and another of the Cat's Eye Nebula – are among the clearest images ever taken of outer space from the Earth, the BBC said. The images were taken by a team of US and British astronomers using an "adaptive optics" system invented by British astronomer Craig Mackay. The system eliminates the distortions normally associated with ground-based telescopes.

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said she is preparing a $10.7 million amnesty program that will offer communist rebels willing to surrender help in setting up small businesses and farms. Although Arroyo discontinued efforts by three predecessors to offer amnesty, she said reviving the program should strengthen political stability and sustain economic growth.

A Swiss court gave suspended prison sentences and a monetary fine to four employees of a Swiss air traffic control company Tuesday found guilty of negligence in a 2002 midair plane collision that killed 71 people. The controller on duty at the time was stabbed to death in 2004 by a Russian man whose wife and children had died in the crash.

The planned three-day strike of British subway workers created chaos for commuters on Tuesday, its second day, as hundreds of thousands of people struggled to get to work by bus, bike, cab, and on foot. Nine of 12 Underground lines were shut down.

Hurricane Felix, which bore down near the Honduras-Nicaragua border Tuesday with wind speeds near 155 m.p.h., is projected to slam into southern Belize on Wednesday and then cut across northern Guatemala and southern Mexico.

The 18-coach Eurostar train set a record Tuesday, reaching speeds of more than 200 m.p.h. as it completed the journey from Paris to London on a new, dedicated high-speed route in just over two hours.

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