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Salgueiro wins Carnival parades in Rio

SAMBA school Salgueiro was crowned champion of Rio de Janeiro's fiercely competitive Carnival parades on Wednesday in Brazil, knocking off a rival and overcoming a shooting that left three dead outside its headquarters just months ago.

Salgueiro's parade theme centered on the history of the drum and its importance to music in various cultures. An army of 4,100 marched alongside ornate floats featuring prehistoric beasts ridden by cavemen.

The school scored 399 points out of a possible 400 to win its ninth title and first since 1993. In second place with 398 points was Beija-Flor, which won five of the previous six years and beat Salgueiro in 2008.

"It's a huge win. Salgueiro really needed this victory," said a crying school president Regina Celia Duran. "Salgueiro is a family, and we are now all very happy."

Brazilians spent hours glued to their televisions, screaming in joy and groaning with disappointment, as judges announced scores for the schools' floats, costumes and how well they moved through the half-mile Sambadrome stadium.


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