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Construction begins on disputed Nicaragua canal linking Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean

The construction of Nicaragua's controversial US$50-billion (S$62.52 billion) canal linking the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean begins Monday, with workers breaking ground on the secretive project that is opposed by some farmers and native peoples.

President Daniel Ortega and Chinese-firm HKND are scheduled to inaugurate the canal in a ceremony in the capital Managua.

The project intends to open up a lucrative trans-ocean shipping route to rival the Panama canal further south. It could be a major financial boon for the Central American country.

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