- - Sunday, November 6, 2011

ITALY

Naples braces for flooding after heavy rains

ROME — The mayor of Naples ordered a long-awaited soccer match scrapped Sunday for fear tens of thousands of fans could be trapped by flooding, while authorities in northern Italy closely monitored the rain-swollen Po River.

Luigi De Magistris said he ordered the Serie A match between Napoli and Juventus postponed to some later date, partly because the field already was soggy, but mainly because of concern some 65,000 fans could be trapped in flooding or cause traffic problems as they drove to or from the stadium.

The sprawling outdoor ruins of ancient Pompeii on the outskirts of Naples were temporarily closed for fear of flooding, but later were reopened to tourists, authorities said.

The area has been pounded by torrential rain that already has claimed one life. Near the Naples suburb of Pozzuoli, a tree fell on a car, killing the driver, local fire chief Giovanni Fricano told Sky TG24.

Much of Italy, especially the northwest, has been pummeled by heavy rains and flooding over the last two weeks.

The latest worry in the north concerned the Po River, the waters of which swelled from two rain-fed tributaries, said Franco Gabrielli, the head of Italy’s Civil Protection agency. He told reporters that Sunday evening could be a crucial time for the Po’s level, if the rain becomes heavier.

GREAT BRITAIN

Report: Murdoch gave Brooks $2.7 million payoff

LONDON — The British newspaper the Guardian is reporting that media baron Rupert Murdoch paid former News International chief Rebekah Brooks $2.7 million and the use of an office as part of her severance package.

The newspaper said, without citing sources, that the high-profile CEO of the now-closed tabloid News of the World also was granted continued access to her company limousine and driver for two years.

The report said Ms. Brooks was given a central London office, adding that her spokesman asked the paper not to reveal the location of the office.

Ms. Brooks resigned earlier this year as a phone-hacking scandal shook Mr. Murdoch’s media empire and forced the News of the World to close. She was arrested by police investigating the claims, but was not charged.

News International declined comment Sunday.

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