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U.S. olive oil pushing government to test imported oils
Written by MARY CLARE JALONICK, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 18 February 2014 07:30

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's a pressing matter for the tiny U.S. olive oil industry: American shoppers more often are going for European imports, which are cheaper and viewed as more authentic.

And that's pitting U.S. producers against importers of the European oil, with some likening the battle to the California wine industry's struggles to gain acceptance decades ago.

The tiny California olive industry says European olive oil filling U.S. shelves often is mislabeled and lower-grade oil, and they're pushing the federal government to give more scrutiny to imported varieties. One congressman-farmer even goes so far as suggesting labels on imported oil say "extra rancid" rather than "extra virgin."

Imposing stricter standards might help American producers grab more market share from the Europeans, who produce in bulk and now have 97 percent of the U.S. market.

Olive oil production is growing steadily. The domestic industry, with mostly high-end specialty brands, has gone from 1 percent of the national olive oil market five years ago to 3 percent today. Most of the production is in California, although there are smaller operations in Texas, Georgia and a few other states.

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Two Seattle teens hurt working on science project
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 17 February 2014 07:22

SEATTLE (AP) — Two teenage boys apparently working on a school science project involving model rockets were seriously injured after an explosion at a Seattle home, police said late Sunday.

The boys are cousins and suffered fragmentation wounds in the blast that knocked out windows in the living room and kitchen and shot debris into the backyard, Detective Renee Witt said in a statement.

Authorities received a report of the loud explosion at the home of one of the teens just before noon Sunday.

The injured boys were taken to a local hospital. Seattle fire Lt. Sue Stangl told the Seattle Times (http://bit.ly/1dXIVKL ) that the boys, who weren't named, were transported in serious condition.

The father of one of the teens was sleeping in another room but wasn't injured, Witt said. Police said he told them that his son and his nephew were working on a project involving model rockets.

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Ethiopian plane hijacked to Geneva by co-pilot
Written by JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press   
Monday, 17 February 2014 07:13

GENEVA (AP) — An Ethiopian Airlines co-pilot hijacked a plane bound for Rome on Monday and flew it to Geneva, where he wanted to seek asylum, officials said.

The Boeing 767-300 plane with 202 passengers and crew aboard had taken off from the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, and landed in the Swiss city at about 6 a.m. (0500 GMT). Officials said no one on the flight was injured.

Geneva airport chief executive Robert Deillon told reporters that the co-pilot, an Ethiopian man born in 1983, took control of the plane when the pilot ventured outside the cockpit.

"The pilot went to the toilet and he (the co-pilot) locked himself in the cockpit," Deillon said.

The man "wanted asylum in Switzerland," he said. "That's the motivation of the hijacking."

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All three aboard die as small plane crashes in Colorado
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 17 February 2014 07:19

DENVER (AP) — A single-engine plane carrying three people crashed near the airport of a Colorado ski town, killing all aboard, authorities said.

The private Beechcraft Bonanza took off from Telluride Regional Airport airport at 11:20 a.m. Sunday on its way to Cortez, a city in southwest Colorado about 75 miles away, San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters said in a news release.

Air traffic control at the Telluride and Denver airports lost contact with the plane, prompting a search by the sheriff's office at 12:40 p.m. It was found crashed into a cliff band about a mile west of the airport at 5:17 p.m., and deputies confirmed there were no survivors, the sheriff said.

"This is certainly not the outcome we were hoping for, it's just a terrible, terrible tragedy," Masters said.

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Snake-handling Kentucky pastor dies from snake bite
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 17 February 2014 07:12

MIDDLESBORO, Ky. (AP) — A snake-handling pastor who appeared on the National Geographic television reality show "Snake Salvation" has died after being bitten by a snake during a weekend church service in Kentucky.

Jamie Coots was handling a rattlesnake at his Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name Church in Middlesboro when he was bitten on the hand Saturday night, another preacher, Cody Winn, told WBIR-TV (http://on.wbir.com/1cLrs8A ). After the bite, Coots dropped the snakes, but then picked them back up and continued on. Within minutes, Winn said Coots headed to the bathroom.

"He had one of the rattlers in his hand, he came over and he was standing beside me. It was plain view, it just turned its head and bit him in the back of the hand ... within a second," Winn said.

When an ambulance arrived at the church at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, they were told Coots had gone home, the Middlesboro Police Department said in a statement. Contacted at his house, Coots refused medical treatment.

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