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Julia Lira, 7, queen of the drums' section of Viradouro samba school, dances Monday.
Julia Lira, 7, queen of the drums' section of Viradouro samba school, dances Monday.
Martin Mejia, Associated Press

Samba group with tiny queen finishes last

RIO DE JANEIRO — A samba group that enraged child-welfare advocates by choosing a 7-year-old as a drums corps queen finished last Wednesday in the extravagant parade competition, relegating them to the minor leagues next year.

Julia Lira, daughter of Viradouro samba group president Marco Lira, was reduced to tears under the intense focus of photographers and television cameras but eventually danced on at the helm of the parade Monday.

The role of drums corps queen is normally reserved for sensuous models and actresses. A Rio state child welfare agency asked a judge to block her participation, but that move was rejected by a court.

The samba groups are judged by 10 criteria, one of which is the drum corps. Viradouro placed last out of 12 schools in the drum corps category and scored even lower in the float category.

Clinton blames heart woes on dearth of sleep

NEW YORK — Bill Clinton says failing to get enough sleep while working on behalf of Haiti earthquake victims probably accelerated his heart problem. The former president also says he is going to try to manage his stress better.

Just days after undergoing a procedure to unclog a blocked artery, Clinton talked to children about childhood obesity. He spoke Wednesday at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which works to promote heart health.

Clinton says he doesn't intend to stop working as hard as he can.

Wayne Newton's tribe gets official recognition

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia has granted official recognition for the Patawomeck Indians, the tribe of Virginia-born entertainer Wayne Newton.

The Senate passed a resolution on Tuesday to grant state tribal recognition. The resolution already was passed by the House and takes effect immediately.

The state recognition gives the tribe a seat with the Virginia Council on Indians. Newton and Patawomeck Chief Robert Green said the move would help them protect sacred burial grounds.