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Tensions rose higher still between the ex-Soviet republic of Georgia and the Kremlin Monday over accusations that a Russian jet fighter had shot down an unmanned reconnaissance plane. To back up the claim, Georgian authorities released video footage of the incident, which they said had taken place over the breakaway Abkhazia region. A Russian Air Force spokesman called the accusation "nonsense." Last week, Georgia accused the Kremlin of a de facto annexation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, a second breakaway region.Skip to next paragraph
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Former Roman Catholic Bishop Fernando Lugo won the presidency of landlocked Paraguay Sunday, ending the world's longest hold on power by a single political party and ushering in another leftist government in South America. Lugo (above, r., celebrating election victory with his running mate, Federico Franco) defeated Blanca Ovelar, the candidate of the Colorado Party, which has ruled for 61 years. Leftists already hold power in Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Argentina.
Critics appeared unimpressed at the announcement of a $100 billion plan by the Bank of England (BoE) to soften the impact of the subprime mortgage problem originating in the US. The BoE said Monday local banks will be given the opportunity to swap mortgage debt on their books at the end of last year for secure government bonds. Local banks have found their mortgage portfolios difficult to sell or trade in the current economic climate. The plan is effective immediately. But analysts called it "prohibitively expensive" and questioned whether it would lead to cheaper mortgages.
US Coast Guardsmen rescued three survivors and were searching for others off Nassau in the Bahamas after a boat carrying migrants from Haiti and Honduras capsized. At least 20 people drowned. Local fishermen alerted authorities to the accident Saturday after hearing screams for help.