After more than five years of negotiations, delegates from 64 countries reached broad consensus here Thursday on a new international agreement regulating the recycling of ships. They scheduled a final meeting Friday to approve and sign the pact.

China has recorded its first case of the virus commonly known as swine flu, a 30-year-old man who flew last Friday from St. Louis to Chengdu, the Health Ministry said Monday.

China's frenetic construction of coal-fired power plants has raised worries around the world about the effect on climate change. China uses more coal than the United States, Europe and Japan combined, making it the world's largest emitter of gases that are warming the planet.

Japan confirmed its fourth case of the A(H1N1) flu virus on Sunday in a teenager who returned from a school trip to Canada with the three other Japanese who contracted the ailment, commonly known as swine flu.

Powered by solar energy generated onits roof, Taipei 101, the world

The Australian government delayed on Monday its much-vaunted carbon-emissions trading plan by a year, bowing to industry demands for more relief in a recession while opening the door to an even deeper long-term reduction.

With swine flu now widespread in the United States, the World Health Organization reported Monday that the disease had widened globally, too, with 20 countries reporting 985 laboratory confirmed cases, compared with 18 countries reporting 898 confirmed cases on Sunday.

Slowly but surely, the virus commonly known as swine flu continued to spread across the globe Friday, as the number of confirmed cases rose from 257 to 331, the World Health Organization in Geneva reported.

With diminished rice harvests, seawater seeping into aquifers and islands vanishing into rising oceans, Southeast Asia will be among the regions seeing the worst effects of global warming, according to a report released Monday by the Asian Development Bank.
The rise in sea levels may force the sprawling archipelago of Indonesia to redraw its sea boundaries, the report said.