GOP elects first black national party chairman

WASHINGTON - Michael Steele was elected Republican National Committee chairman on Friday, defeating the incumbent party chief and three other challengers over six rounds of voting to become the first black to lead the GOP.

The former Maryland lieutenant governor takes over a beleaguered GOP as Republicans seek to rebound from back-to-back defeats in national elections that gave Democrats control of Congress and the White House.

'As a little boy growing up in this town, this is awesome,' said Steele, the most moderate candidate in the field and considered an outsider because he's not a committee member.

Gluttony rules at Philly Wing Bowl

PHILADELPHIA - In a gut-busting display of championship eating, a man nicknamed Super Squibb has won Philadelphia's Wing Bowl by downing 203 chicken wings in about 20 minutes.

For his efforts, 23-year-old John Squibb of Berlin, N.J., gets a car, a $7,500 diamond ring and a crown of miniature chickens. And maybe a case of indigestion.

Thousands attend the early morning gorge-fest held every year on the Friday before the Super Bowl. It also features scantily clad 'Wingettes' and a cast of sickened contestants.

Professional eaters were not allowed in this year's Wing Bowl, but organizers said they'll be back next year.

Police: Sister beat up bride at reception

HEBRON, Ind. - A woman who wasn't invited to her sister's wedding reception showed up anyway and attacked the bride, pulling out clumps of her hair, police said.

Annmarie Bricker, 23, of Valparaiso, was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of battery.

Jeremy Glotzbach told police he was hosting a reception for newlyweds Nicholas Landry and Lori Kappes at his home on Jan. 23 when Bricker, Kappes' sister, attacked Kappes on the front porch.

Bricker pulled out clumps of Kappes' hair, struck her head and took the bride to the ground during a struggle, according to the Porter County Sheriff's Department.

Mother of octuplets has 6 other children

WHITTIER, Calif. - The woman who gave birth to octuplets this week already had six children but refused the option of reducing the number of embryos she was carrying last year, her mother said.

Angela Suleman said good news for her daughter is all the babies appear healthy.

Suleman's daughter gave birth to the octuplets Monday at Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center but had requested that doctors keep her name confidential.

She also was counseled about the risks of her pregnancy - then in its 12th week - and about the option of aborting some fetuses when she arrived at the hospital, Dr. Harold Henry said.

Embattled Fla. House speaker steps down

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The speaker of Florida's House of Representatives said Friday he is stepping down temporarily to deal with a probe into his hiring by a state college for which he obtained millions of dollars in funding.

Speaker Ray Sansom said fellow Republican Larry Cretul of Ocala will replace him for now. Sansom will continue representing the Florida Panhandle resort city of Destin as a regular House member.

He faces grand jury and state ethics commission investigations after taking a $110,000-a-year job as the chief fundraiser for Northwest Florida State College on Nov. 18, the same day he became speaker. Critics charge Sansom was given the job as payback for channeling more than $25 million in state funds to the school - 25 times the amount state education officials had originally allocated.

Feds allege plot to destroy Fannie Mae data

HAGERSTOWN, Md. - A fired Fannie Mae contract worker pleaded not guilty on Friday to charges he planted a virus designed to destroy all the data on the mortgage giant's 4,000 computer servers nationwide, according to federal prosecutors.

If the virus had been released as planned on Saturday, the Justice Department said the disruption could have cost millions of dollars and shut down operations for a week at the largest U.S. mortgage finance company.