MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) -- A multi-billion dollar dream to plow a massive rival to the Panama Canal across the middle of Nicaragua has been approved by the country's leftist-controlled National Assembly. It caps a lightning-fast approval process that has provoked deep skepticism among shipping experts and concern among environmentalists.
The assembly voted Thursday to grant a 50-year concession to plan and build the canal to a Hong Kong-based company whose only previous experience appears to be in telecommunications.
The legislation expected approved Thursday contains no specific route for a canal and virtually no details of its financing.
Nicaraguans have tried for centuries to attract investors who would build a canal across the nation.