Spending an expensive penny

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The start of the Rio Carnival brought with it an unsavoury problem on the city's streets and beaches. Rio's chronic lack of public bathrooms, copious amounts of beer and the general carefree abandon of Carnival conspired to create rivers of urine that could shock the uninitiated.

City officials are now calling time on the yellow tide, which they say is a top complaint of Carnival visitors. Eager to clean up Rio's act ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, the city is slapping people who relieve themselves in public with fines and even jail time of up to two years. " We are tightening the circle, " municipal public order secretary Rodrigo Bethlem said. " People caught peeing will be taken to police stations and charged with obscenity. " Seventy–seven transgressors including women, were arrested in street parties on Friday 12 February alone, when street parties in the annual festival of debauchery began in earnest. Meanwhile, the city has quadrupled the number of chemical toilets to 4, 000 to give revellers a fighting chance of urinating legally.

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