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Treviso's attempt at a record-breaking
Treviso's attempt at a record-breaking

TREVISO — Not just a token sheep, but a flock of sheep. Not just Joseph and Mary, but all their neighbors, plus angels and wise men, bands of bagpipes, ancient tools, tables and cutlery, traditional dances and, yes, a thatched hut sheltering the Madonna and baby Jesus — several in fact, dressed for those roles, so as to keep the scene alive around the clock.

La Stampa reported on the sights and scale of a massive living nativity scene put on near the Italian city of Treviso this past Sunday, with the aim of breaking the Guinness World Record for such a Christmas spectacle.

The living nativity, or presepe in Italian, totalling 95 hectares (235 acres) in the Storga and Sant'Artemio parks, was organized by 14 different associations with local government support, with the aim of raising money for several charities.

The wise men and women at the Guinness offices in London will study the details and images, including videos shot with drones, to see if the Trevigiano nativity scene unseats the reigning record set last year in Provo, Utah, which included 1,039 humans and at least one camel.

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Geopolitics

Capitol Riot, Brazil Style? The Specter Of Violence If Bolsonaro Loses The Presidency

Brazilian politics has a long history tainted with violence. As President Jair Bolsonaro threatens to not accept the results if he loses his reelection bid Sunday, the country could explode in ways similar to, or even worse, than the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol after Donald Trump refused to accept his defeat.

Supporters of Brazil presidential candidates Bolsonaro and Lula cross the streets of Brasilia with banners ahead of the first round of the elections on Oct. 2.

Angela Alonso

-Analysis-

SÂO PAULO — Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro delivered a message to his nation this year on the anniversary of its independence day, September 7. He recalled what he saw as the nation’s good times, and bad, and declared: “Now, 2022, history may repeat itself. Good has always triumphed over evil. We are here because we believe in our people and our people believe in God.”

It was a moment that’s typical of how this president seeks to challenge the democratic rules. Bolsonaro has been seen as part of a new populist global wave. Ahead of Sunday's first round of voting, the sitting president is trailing in the polls, and former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva could even tally more than 50% to win the race outright and avoid an Oct. 30 runoff. Bolsonaro has said he might not accept the results of the race, which could spark violence from his supporters.

However, Brazil has a tradition of political violence. There is a national myth that the political elite prefer negotiation and avoid armed conflicts. Facts do not support the myth. If it did all major political change would have been peaceful: there would have been no independence war in 1822, no civil war in 1889 (when the republic replaced the monarchy) and, even the military coup, in 1964, would have been bloodless.

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