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In parched Central Valley, a message of aid and a warning from Obama

The president outlines more than $160 million in federal assistance to California. He ties the drought directly to global warming.

By Diana Marcum and Evan Halper

February 14, 2014, 9:14 p.m.

President Obama in the Central Valley

FIREBAUGH, Calif. — Standing Friday afternoon on cracked, parched earth where melons would usually grow, President Obama brought both a message of aid and an ominous warning to drought-stricken California as he outlined more than $160 million in federal assistance.

The directives include aid for ranchers struggling to feed their livestock because of the drought, and for food banks serving families in hard-hit areas. Obama also called on U.S. government facilities in California to curb water use.

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