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Troubled Rio de Janeiro stages 'greatest show' of samba parades

Rio de Janeiro's samba parades begin late Sunday, a chance for a city struggling with violence and poverty to stage the "greatest show on earth" -- and to attack unpopular politicians. The countdown was on to the two-night extravaganza, due to begin in the Sambodromo stadium at 9:15 pm (2315 GMT). Under a sweltering sun, hundreds of thousands of Rio residents and tourists filled the beaches or attended dozens of dancing and costume parties, which are held in the streets every day during the weeks of carnival season.
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