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No breast implants, please: Brazil samba school tells recruits

Two months before Rio's famed Carnival gets under way, a samba school said it was looking for dancers "without silicone breast implants" and would offer a free costume in exchange. The school wants to recruit 20 dancers "with beautiful and natural" breasts "whatever the size," the news website G1 reported Friday, citing Paulo Menezes, Carnival producer for the Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel samba school. In this tropical country where the female body is flaunted, plastic surgery is very common.

Carnival faces new fiasco a year after Concordia

A year after the tragic Costa Concordia shipwreck, cruise industry leader Carnival faces a new public relations fiasco that reveals the downsides of the sector's recent high-speed growth. Late Thursday, the company's crippled Triumph limped ashore in Alabama after an engine room fire on Sunday left the ship without the power needed to operate air conditioners, prepare meals or flush toilets. It ended a miserable ordeal for some 4,000 people that had triggered days of news reports around the world about the disastrous hygiene conditions on board.

Brazil's Carnival reaches its crescendo

Rio's Carnival festivities reached their crescendo late Monday with a final night of samba school parades, part of a contest appropriately dubbed the greatest show on earth. The top dance schools showcased elaborate floats decked with scantily-clad beauty queens writhing to the beat of samba music blasted from giant speakers on flatbed trucks.
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