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Nicaragua Unveils $18 Billion Plan for 2nd Pacific-Atlantic Canal

Nicaragua's President has unveiled a plan to build a new canal linking the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

President Enrique Bolanos says the project would cost $18 billion and take 12 years to complete. He says the proposed waterway would handle ships too large for the Panama Canal, which has been in operation since 1914.

Mr. Bolanos presented the plan Monday at a meeting of Western hemisphere defense ministers in the Nicaraguan capital, Managua.

The Nicaraguan leader says a new waterway is needed because even an expanded Panama Canal would not be able to meet growing demands of international shipping.

Panama's government has proposed widening its waterway, and will hold a referendum on the issue later this month, October 22.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.