Pastor dies from snake bite

A snake-handling pastor who appeared on the National Geographic television reality show "Snake Salvation" has died after being bitten by a snake. Jamie Coots was handling a rattlesnake during a Saturday night service at his Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name Church in Middlesboro when he was bit, according to another preacher, Cody Winn. In January 2013, Coots was caught transporting three rattlesnakes and two copperheads through Knoxville, Tenn. Wildlife officials confiscated the snakes, and Coots pleaded guilty to illegal possession of wildlife.


2 skiers killed in large avalanche

Two skiers were killed and three others were injured in a large avalanche in Lake County, marking the third deadly slide in the state in less than a week, authorities said. Susan Matthews, a spokeswoman for the Lake County Office of Emergency Management, said seven skiers on Star Mountain near Leadville triggered the slide about 5 p.m. Saturday. Search and rescue crews found the bodies of two skiers Sunday afternoon. Three skiers were hospitalized with injuries that included a broken leg, a broken ankle and a possible broken rib and collapsed lung. One skier has since been discharged from the hospital. The state Avalanche Information Center had been warning of dangerous conditions across much of Colorado's mountains after two weeks of heavy snow that lured backcountry skiers and snowboarders to the high country.


Opposition leader to turn himself in

Opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, the target of a police manhunt for allegedly inciting violence at anti-government protests that ended with three deaths, said that he will surrender after staging one more demonstration. In a video shot in an undisclosed location, Lopez said he didn't fear arrest but accused authorities of trying to violate his constitutional right to protest against President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government. He urged supporters to gather Tuesday in white shirts and march peacefully with him to the Interior Ministry, where he said he would deliver a petition demanding a full investigation of the government's role in the deaths. He said he also would turn himself over to authorities Tuesday.


Syrian opposition leader sacked

The U.S.-backed leader of the moderate wing of the Free Syrian Army was fired Sunday in what appeared to be an attempt to revive the moribund rebel command ahead of a promised arrival of weapons. Gen. Salim Idriss, who was anointed last year by Secretary of State John Kerry as the sole conduit for aid to Syria's rebels, was voted out of office by the 30-member Supreme Military Council at a meeting at a hotel in the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep, according to commanders who were present. He was replaced by Abdul-Illah al-Bashir, a little-known rebel leader from the province of Quneitra who is fighting on the southern front and did not attend the meeting, the commanders said.

news services