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Move over, Haas: USDA clears way for Hawaii to ship avocados to 32 mainland US states

HONOLULU, Hawaii - Guacamole connoisseurs around the U.S. will soon have a new domestic avocado to try — not from California or Florida, but Hawaii. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is changing its rules for Hawaii growers to allow them to ship Sharwil avocados to 32 mainland U.S. states and the District of Columbia between November and March.

400-year-old Hong Kong tree to be chopped down

A 400-year-old banyan tree in Hong Kong will be cut down, authorities said Friday, after being hit by a fungal disease brought on when a park development starved its roots of oxygen and nutrients. Nestled in the heart of the city in Kowloon Park, the tree, Hong Kong's oldest Chinese banyan, has been infected with the deadly brown root rot disease that authorities fear could spread to others nearby.

NYPA activates power reduction program in New York due to heat

(Reuters) - The state-owned New York Power Authority (NYPA) on Monday activated its program to reduce electricity use in New York City for the first time this summer as consumers crank up their air conditioners to escape the hot, humid weather. NYPA said it may also activate the so-called peak reduction program on Tuesday. The power company said it can activate the program for up to 15 days between June 1 and September 1.

In response to hepatitis A outbreak, FDA to detain import of Turkish firm's pomegranate seeds

WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration says it will detain shipments of pomegranate seeds from a Turkish company when offered for import because of a multistate outbreak of hepatitis A illnesses linked to a frozen-food blend containing pomegranate seed mix. The FDA says the action follows an investigation by its officials and those with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as state and local health authorities.

Top Mexican chef closes restaurant to begin new project

Mexico City, Jun 18 (EFE).- Mexican chef Patricia Quintana will close her restaurant Izote to begin a new project, a personalized banquet service business. "A goodbye is a see-you-later and ... the moment has come to close Izote, which flourished like the flower of the yucca palm," said Quintana in a farewell letter. The chef is saying goodbye after 13 years heading the restaurant, located on the exclusive Masaryk Ave. in the Mexican capital.

Agency says 1,200 Canadians bought berry mix linked to hepatitis outbreak

OTTAWA - The Public Health Agency of Canada says about 1,200 Canadians bought a blend of frozen berries linked to a hepatitis A outbreak in the United States. It says the consumers, most of whom live in British Columbia and Alberta, bought the product from U.S. Costco stores in West Coast states. The product, Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berry and pomegranate mix, was not sold in Canada. Its Orgeon producer has recalled the mix, also sold under the name Harris Teeter Organic Antioxidant Berry Blend.

Human coconut peeler in Panama claims he is Guinness-worthy

With jaws of steel that have earned him the nickname "Coconut Peeler," Andres Gardin, at the tender age of 64, is hell-bent on gnawing his way into the Guinness Book of World Records. Sure, lots of gents his age might be thinking about retirement or whiling away time at the bar. But when you have a set of vice-like teeth, you have a duty, don't you?

'Jane Doe' actress appeals IMDb verdict

By Tim Kenneally LOS ANGELES ( - Huong "Junie" Hoang, the actress who sued IMDb for revealing her real age on her IMDb Pro profile, isn't taking no for an answer. Hoang, who lost her case against IMDb in April after a jury ruled in the online movie database's favor, has filed a notice of appeal in the case. Hoang is filing with the Ninth Circuit court of appeals.

DENR to reforest Corregidor

Some 200 hectares of land on the historic Corregidor island will be planted with trees endemic to the area to boost its biological diversity and promote the tourist spot as a bird-watching sanctuary, officials said.Manuel Escasura, acting regional technical director for ecosystems research and development service of the Department of Environment and Resources’ office in Region IV-A, said a mix of forest tree species and fruit-bearing trees would be used to reforest the island and make it more attractive to birds.“We will plant fruit-bearing trees which will serve as food for

DAR farmers receive grant from DOLE

Agrarian reform beneficiaries belonging to the Barangay Liptong Small Coconut Farmers’ Association (Bliscofa) recently received a decorticating machine worth P760,000 from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).With its farming assistance program, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) proposed to DOLE this processing machine for mass production of virgin coconut oil (VCO) that the farmers’ organization can venture into.“Aside from its health benefits, the market for VCO is huge and is yet to be exploited.
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