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National gas average dips below $3

A gallon of regular gasoline fell .049 cents Saturday to a new national average of $2.991, according to AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and Wright Express. Prices have not been below $3 nationally since Feb. 16.

Saturday's price is slightly above the national average price of $2.81 a year ago, but 27 percent lower than the all-time high of $4.114 reached July 17.

According to AAA, gas was the least expensive in Oklahoma, with a gallon of regular at $2.58. The most expensive was Alaska, with a gallon at nearly $3.92. In North Carolina, the average price was $3.18; in South Carolina, it was $2.90. Drivers in the Charlotte area were paying an average of $3.20. Associated Press

TORONTO

Canada declared bisphenol A, a chemical widely used in food packaging, a toxic substance Saturday and will move to ban baby bottles containing it. The toxic classification makes Canada the first country to classify the chemical commonly used in the lining of food cans, eyeglass lenses and hundreds of household items, as risky. BPA, used to make plastic hard and shatterproof, can leach into food and beverages when heated, officials said. Associated Press

Rome

Italian prosecutors accused a U.S. student of fatally stabbing her British house mate in a Satanic rite and asked a court to put an alleged African accomplice in prison for life. The American, Amanda Knox, 21, proclaimed her innocence at the closed-door hearing Saturday in the Umbrian university town of Perugia and accused police of hitting her and calling her a liar, defense lawyers said. At his lawyers' request, a fast-track trial is being conducted for Rudy Hermann Guede, the Ivorian accused in the case. He has acknowledged being in the bedroom where Meredith Kercher's body, stabbed in the neck and lying in a pool of blood, was found in November 2007 in the house she rented with Knox.

Associated Press

London

The last surviving Titanic passenger received more than $50,000 in an auction of items from the liner to raise money to pay her nursing home fees, auctioneers said Saturday. Millvina Dean, 96, was 2 months old when she arrived in New York with her mother and brother after surviving the sinking. Dean sold a small wicker suitcase filled with clothes given to her by New York residents, along with other mementoes of the ocean liner. The sale raised $53,906 – ten times the amount she had hoped to make. The suitcase sold for $18,650. Associated Press

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