BRAZIL: Constitutional & Healthful

Technically, Rio has always been a temporary capital. The Constitution of Independence in 1824 called for a federal district (on U.S. lines) somewhere near the geographical center of the country; four succeeding constitutions repeated the provision. But nothing ever came of the idea, despite its periodic champions. Last week, poker-faced President Dutra said that he was dead serious about building a permanent federal capital in the dry, wild, highland cattle country of the deep interior.

The President and his fellow champion of the capital switch, a hustling henchman named General Djalma Polly...

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