June 15 - Egypt's 'new' Suez Canal is expected to open in early August, flanking the existing, historic 145-year-old waterway, reducing navigation time for ships to 11 hours from about 22 hours, and allowing two-way traffic of larger vessels.

Meanwhile, June saw engineers begin flooding a newly enlarged section of the Panama Canal to test a series of new locks that will allow the waterway to accommodate much bigger ships.

However, plans to construct a canal through Nicaragua to rival its Panamanian counterpart, have been subject to extensive protests. Demonstrators fear that the canal, which is being built by a Chinese company, will have huge environmental costs and force thousands off their land.