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Nicaraguan Prez's Running Mate: His Own Wife

Opponent says move is 'absolutist, totalitarian'

(Newser) - A plot straight out of House of Cards is playing out in Nicaragua: On Tuesday, President Daniel Ortega chose his wife as his running mate ahead of a November election that he's "heavily favored to win," securing a third consecutive term, reports Reuters . Ortega, 70, of the... More »

Nicaragua Breaks Ground on Panama Canal Rival

Chinese project unpopular with farmers, environmentalists

(Newser) - Nicaragua broke ground yesterday on a much contested $50 billion transoceanic waterway predicted to rival the Panama Canal . President Daniel Ortega, with the president of Chinese contracting firm HKND Group, said the canal will change the economy of Nicaragua, one of Latin America's poorest countries, as well as the... More »

Farmers' Creepy New Gig: Collecting Tarantulas

They provide the animals to pet breeders

(Newser) - After a drought this summer, some Nicaraguan farmers have struggled to make ends meet. But some have found a new way to make money: by collecting members of the local tarantula population, AFP reports. Over a two-week period, one family was able to collect 400 of the creatures. "We... More »

WWII German U-Boat Found Just Off North Carolina

Nicaraguan-flagged wreck also found

(Newser) - Just 30 miles off the coast of North Carolina, two World War II wrecks lie underwater—one a member of a 24-ship American convoy, and one a German U-boat. US-led researchers recently discovered the Nicaragua-flagged freighter Bluefields and Germany's U-576, missing for some 70 years, just 240 yards apart,... More »

Crater Mystery Has Nicaragua Stumped

If a passing asteroid didn't create the huge hole, then what did?

(Newser) - When an asteroid passed by Earth and then a huge crater showed up in Nicaragua, the government there put two and two together and figured an errant piece of space rock was responsible for the hole. But scientists have since cast doubt on the theory, and now Nicaragua is asking... More »

Passing Asteroid Tied to Blast in Nicaragua

Scientists say 'Pitbull' 2014 RC caused Managua blast

(Newser) - A house-sized asteroid nicknamed "Pitbull" came close to Earth over the weekend—and appears to have taken a bite out of Nicaragua. There was a mysterious blast in the capital, Managua, late Saturday night, and government scientists believe it's connected to asteroid 2014 RC, reports Reuters . The explosion... More »

Nicaragua Frees 22 Trapped Miners

But 4 are still missing after collapse

(Newser) - Nicaraguan rescuers have saved 22 of at least 26 workers trapped in a mine collapse and were working to find the rest. First lady Rosario Murillo said 20 of the miners were freed late yesterday, in addition to two who made their way to safety shortly after the Thursday morning... More »

Nicaragua Sets Path of Panama Canal Rival

A man, a plan, a canal—not Panama!

(Newser) - Nicaragua's government and Hong Kong-based HKND Group yesterday unveiled the route of a proposed $40 billion inter-ocean canal to compete with the Panama Canal that Sandinista officials hope will lift the Central American country out of poverty. While the canal has the support of President Daniel Ortega and most... More »

Nicaragua Puts 3 on Trial Over 2-Banana Theft

Bananas were worth 32 cents each, and the trial will cost $600

(Newser) - A court's decision to hold three men for trial for the attempted theft of two bananas is drawing surprise and ridicule from lawyers in Nicaragua. The bananas stolen are valued at 32 cents, while the trial is expected to cost at least $600. Prosecutors said in preliminary proceedings yesterday... More »

Nicaragua Threatens to Reclaim 20% of Costa Rica

Daniel Ortega wants to go to International Court of Justice

(Newser) - Nicaragua's president warned once again yesterday that his country might seek to reclaim 20% of neighboring Costa Rica, AFP reports. "Costa Rica did not win that territory in an international court, but rather by force, with arms," said Daniel Ortega at a military ceremony. He was referring... More »

Venezuela, Nicaragua Say Snowden Is Welcome

Latin American nations willing to offer asylum

(Newser) - He wasn't on that plane to Bolivia , but Edward Snowden may yet end up in Latin America. Venezuela and Nicaragua said yesterday they'd be willing to grant asylum to the NSA leaker, reports the BBC . Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega was a little less expansive, saying his country would... More »

China Plots Own Panama Canal— in Nicaragua

Chinese-aided project could double Nicaragua's GDP

(Newser) - The Panama Canal could soon have a rival to the northwest. Nicaragua is itching to get started on a new route between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, one that would measure 130 miles and take as long as 11 years and $40 billion to dig. And just as the US... More »

Nicaragua Nabs FBI Most-Wanted Fugitive

Child porn suspect Eric Toth detained by police

(Newser) - Police in Nicaragua have detained a US man who was on the FBI's 10 most-wanted fugitives as a suspect in a child pornography investigation, authorities confirmed today. Former school teacher Eric Justin Toth was detained Saturday in Esteli, a city near Nicaragua's border with Honduras, said Nicaragua's... More »

Nicaragua Volcano Blows, 1.5K Evacuated

Authorities fear health impacts from gas, ash

(Newser) - At least 1,500 Nicaraguans have been evacuated after a volcano suddenly erupted Saturday in the western part of the country, shooting gas and ash more than two miles into the air. "I have seen it bring ashes, but not like now," says a nearby resident. "It... More »

Nicaragua Quake Survivors Get Homes—40 Years Later

Government relocates hundreds of refugees from 1972 quake

(Newser) - In the aftermath of a 1972 earthquake that leveled 50,000 buildings and killed 10,000 in Nicaragua's capital city of Managua, many of the country's poor had no place to go. While 250,000 of their middle- and upper-class counterparts migrated to safer, more habitable locales, the... More »

Google Maps Mistake Triggers Invasion

Nicaragua uses border goof to justify incursion into Costa Rica

(Newser) - Google officials have apologized and promised to fix a flaw in a map that exacerbated a territorial dispute and triggered a Central American invasion. "We determined that there was indeed an error," said a statement from Google after a Nicaraguan commander used the flawed map as justification for... More »

Diplomat's Throat Slashed in NY

Nicaraguan consul found in Bronx home

(Newser) - Nicaragua's chief diplomat in New York was found dead with his throat slashed in his Bronx home yesterday. The body of Cesar Mercado, 34, was discovered when his driver arrived to pick him up for a meeting with Nicaraguan officials attending the United Nations General Assembly, CNN reports. No suspects... More »

Nicaragua's Ortega Rewrites Constitution Overnight

To give his buddies more time term in office

(Newser) - What do you do when your country’s pesky constitution won’t let your buddies have another term in office? Why, declare a national holiday, and then rewrite the darn thing while everyone’s vacationing, of course. That’s what Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega did last week, reports the Christian ... More »

Zelaya Returns to Honduras

Ousted leader announces return on TV, but interim government denies it

(Newser) - Manuel Zelaya is back in Honduras, the ousted president told a Honduran TV station today, prompting thousands of his supporters to gather outside the UN building in the capital to celebrate. “I am here for the restoration of democracy, to call for dialogue,” Zelaya declared. The US State... More »

Fearing Bloodshed, Zelaya Leaves Honduras

Ousted prez takes action after negotiations fall apart

(Newser) - Ousted President Manuel Zelaya took a symbolic step into his homeland today, vowing to reclaim his post a month after soldiers flew him into exile. But he stayed less than 30 minutes before returning to Nicaragua, saying the risk of bloodshed was too great. He said he would give talks... More »

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