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PAULISTANA, Brazil — Brazil plowed billions of dollars into building a railroad across arid backlands, only for the long-delayed project to fall prey to metal scavengers. Curvaceous new public buildings designed by the famed architect Oscar Niemeyer were abandoned right after being constructed.
There was even an ill-fated UFO museum built with federal funds. Its skeletal remains now sit like a lost ship among the weeds.
As Brazil sprints to get ready for the World Cup in June, it has run up against a catalog of delays — some caused by deadly construction accidents at stadiums — and cost overruns. It is building bus and rail systems for spectators that will not be finished until long after the games are done.