World Events: Highlights of February 27, 2017
Donald Trump, as U.S. president, announced his budget proposal.to focus on public safety and national security. He proposes increasing the Defense budget by $54 billion, while he warned that the Health Care system was in danger of imploding . . .Cosby trial to have outside jury; In Philadelphia a judge ruled that a jury from outside the area would hear the sexual assault case against actor Bill Cosby. . . Iraqi forces pushed deeper into Mosul… An otter pup is receiving care at a UK animal facilty after a storm caused him to get lost….
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Story Of Today, February 27, 2017
Rio Carnival Is Alive With Sambas, Floats, And Colorful Costumes
In Perspective: Facing Problems With Celebration
Music, laughter, and intense cheers filled the Sambodromo Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. 70,000 people swayed and danced in its bleachers, cheering on the parades of samba schools competing for the title of Rio Carnival Samba Parade Champion. A sudden gasp swept through the stadium when something on the ground went terribly wrong . . .
The float at the end of Paraiso do Tuiuti samba school’s parade was having problems. It was too close to the fence as it turned into the stadium. Handlers on the ground tried to maneuver the three-ton float, but it veered out of control, pinning a group of onlookers against a wall. Dancers atop the float’s platforms stood in horror as rescuers pulled injured spectators to safety. Eight people were rushed to a hospital. And the celebration went on . . .
Brazil’s ups and downs this past year would not take anything away from this celebration. The Summer Olympics – a first for South America and Brazil’s high point for the last year – did not boost
the economy as much as many hoped it would. The country still faces a 13% unemployment rate and little faith in its political leaders to fix things.
Dilma Roussef, Brazil’s first female president, was impeached and removed from office after allegations – still unsubstantiated – of corruption. Controversy surrounded all proceedings, including when Michel Temer replaced Rousseff as president. His government is also under investigation for corruption. The people expect more on this after Carnival.
This year’s Carnival celebration, known as the world’s biggest party, has already drawn about one-and-a-half million tourists. This is the largest turnout in a long time. Brazilians are expecting tourists to inject nearly a billion dollars into the economy. With figures like these, it is easy to see why people of Rio de Janeiro put so much into this festival.
In a way, the celebration takes people’s attention away from the daily problems of the country. On the other hand, some themes chosen by the samba schools call direct attention to the country’s social and political issues.
The Imperatriz Leopoldinense Samba School brought attention to the ongoing destruction of the Amazon rainforest. Their parade displayed the plight of the rainforest, and the indigenous people who live there. Agribusinesses that expand by slashing and burning into the forest have taken issue with Imperatriz Leopoldinense. Their criticism of the samba school’s theme may actually aid in raising awareness of the problems.
Rio’s Carnival is more than just the biggest party in the world. It is more than just the revenue it brings in. In addition to highlighting issues that concern the people of Brazil and the world, the annual celebration serves as testimony that “life goes on.”
An accident did not stop the parade. Rain did not diminish either the performances or the crowds. The social and political problems will be there after the Carnival celebrations have ended. So will problems that face all the world. Rio’s Carnival has shown us how we may confront whatever issues and problems we face. Celebrate the relentless life that goes on with or without the problems.
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