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Drought emergency declared for northern Italy, frees up aid

ROME (AP) — The Italian government has declared a state of emergency for much of the rain-parched north, freeing up 36.5 million euros (about $38 million) in funds for the heavily agricultural regions. Premier Mario Draghi’s office said the aid was approved at a Cabinet meeting Monday night in Rome. The Po River, whose waters help irrigate rice paddies, farm fields and grazing land for cows, is at its lowest level in some 70 years. Emergency decrees were decided for five regions: Emilia Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lombardy, Piedmont and Veneto. Some cities and towns in the north have put restrictions on water use by citizens.

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The Associated Press

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