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Protests target soccer game in Rio

on July 01, 2013 10:10 AM

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — More than 5,000 anti-government protesters marched Sunday near the Maracana stadium before a major international soccer match, venting their anger about the billions of dollars the Brazilian government is spending on major sporting events rather than public services.

Sharp clashes broke out several hundred yards away from the stadium about 30 minutes before the game began, as a minor scuffle between police and a few protesters escalated. Though smaller in size, the march was the latest in a wave of protests that has spread across the country in recent weeks.

The demonstrations have dwindled in size and frequency in recent days as officials from all levels of government have scrambled to calm public anger with woeful public services and a heavy tax burden.

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