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Nicaragua high court denies farmers' appeal of canal project

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — Nicaragua's Supreme Court has rejected a farmer group's appeal seeking to block a proposed $50 billion interoceanic canal.

The legal challenge had sought to overturn a 2013 law under which the canal concession was granted to a Chinese company.

The court's decision late Monday is in line with similar rulings it made previously.

President Daniel Ortega's government says a canal would create tens of thousands of jobs and stimulate the poor Central American nation's economy.

Detractors argue it poses serious environmental risks, would displace thousands of families in the countryside and is financially unfeasible.

No work on the canal itself has been done, though ground has been broken for some access roads related to the project.

The farmers group criticized the ruling and announced another anti-canal protest for April 22.