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NEXUS card wins support from travellers

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NIAGARA FALLS -- Being a member does have its benefits. Government officials on both sides of the border view it as the best thing to come along since portable x-ray machines and drug-sniffing dogs. It’s the mighty NEXUS card. Travellers who use them admit it’s not faster than a speeding bullet, but it’s certainly better then having to wait behind a long row of cars when trying to cross the border. Over the past few years, more people have shown an interest in the program and membership is approaching the one million mark, according to a letter issued to NEXUS members by Luc Portelance, president of the Canada Border Services Agency. The program is administered by CBSA in partnership with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Officials admit it’s not perfect, but they are continually trying to modernize and improve the program. 

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Bigger Panama Canal opens in 2015

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PANAMA -- The Big Ditch is about to get bigger – and busier. Despite a nasty contract dispute this year that provoked work stoppages and cost overruns, a new, larger set of locks on the Panamá Canal is expected to begin operating in December 2015, according to Jorge Quijano, administrator of the Panamá Canal Authority, known by its Spanish initials ACP. That’s about a year later than the original deadline, but Quijano claims it will be worth the wait. The new locks at either end of the canal will be wider and feature deeper channels in order to accommodate vessels that are too big for the two sets of original locks. The canal will also be widened where it cuts through the mountains at the Continental Divide. 

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