Pros best ASU senior in poker championship

A 24-year-old Maryland poker professional won the World Series of Poker main event, lasting nearly 12 hours in a marathon session to win the $8.53 million title early Wednesday.

On the last hand, Greg Merson beat Las Vegas card pro Jesse Sylvia, 26.

The pair outlasted the last amateur at the table, 21-year-old Jake Balsiger. The Arizona State University senior, who was hoping to become the youngest World Series of Poker champion, finished in third place.


Ash from eruption in 1912 is stirred up

JUNEAU - A smoglike haze that hung over part of Alaska's Kodiak Island this week was courtesy of a volcanic eruption - 100 years ago.

The National Weather Service said strong winds and a lack of snow on Tuesday helped stir up ash from the 1912 eruption of Novarupta, the largest volcanic blast of the 20th century.

This week, ash from the volcano drifted up to about 4,000 feet. It traveled over the Shelikof Strait and across Kodiak Island, prompting an aviation alert. The news was first reported by KMXT radio.

Weather service meteorologist Brian Hagenbuch said it isn't unheard of for ash from Novarupta to create a haze, but it isn't very common either.

Winds in the area were blowing about 35 to 40 mph, with gusts of more than 52 mph.


Snowfall ritual injures 27 AF cadets

DENVER - The Air Force Academy said 27 cadets were injured in a brawl during an unofficial ritual marking the first snowfall of the season.

Six cadets were taken to an off-campus hospital after the Oct. 25 ruckus and have been released, the academy said Wednesday. The others were treated at a cadet clinic.

The injuries included concussions, cuts and a human bite, and some cadets required stitches, Brig. Gen. Dana Born wrote in an internal email that was provided to The Associated Press and other media outlets. Academy officials confirmed the email is authentic.

Born is dean of faculty.

Academy officials were treating the incident as a "teachable moment," said Lt. Col. John Bryan, a school spokesman. He said he did not know of any plans to discipline cadets.


Candidate: 'Rape thing' no reason for abortion

OLYMPIA - A Republican congressional candidate says abortion should not be legal, even when it involves "the rape thing," according to audio provided Wednesday to The Associated Press.

An activist working on behalf of liberal group FUSE Washington asked questions of Republican hopeful John Koster during a fundraiser Sunday. Koster said he does not oppose abortion when the life of the mother is in danger but then explained he would oppose it when it involves rape or incest.

Koster twice used the phrase "the rape thing" when describing his views, first saying that he knows a woman who was raped and gave up the child for adoption without any regrets.

"But on the rape thing, it's like, how does putting more violence onto a woman's body and taking the life of an innocent child that's a consequence of this crime, how does that make it better?" Koster said in the exchange.

Koster is locked in a competitive House race against Democrat Suzan DelBene.

The Associated Press