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In the Nation

Herman Cain makes it official

ATLANTA - Herman Cain has run a pizza chain, hosted a talk radio show, and sparred with former President Bill Clinton over health care. He's never held elected office. Now the tea-party favorite wants to be president.

"In case you accidentally listen to a skeptic or doubting Thomas out there, just to be clear. . . . I'm running for president of the United States, and I'm not running for second," he told a crowd at Centennial Olympic Park on Saturday. The crowd of thousands in downtown Atlanta began chanting, "Herman!"

Cain, 65, supports a strong national defense, opposes abortion, backs replacing the federal income tax with a national sales tax, and favors a return to the gold standard.

He said President Obama "threw Israel under the bus" because he sought to base Mideast border talks partly on pre-1967 war lines, and criticized the Justice Department for challenging Arizona's tough crackdown on illegal immigration. "We shouldn't be suing Arizona," he said to cheers. "We ought to send them a prize."

- AP

First president's heirlooms sold

DALLAS - George Washington's compass and an assortment of other personal items, including pieces of his coffin, sold at auction Saturday for more than $167,000.

The items passed down through generations of Washington's family were among hundreds related to the nation's first president offered for sale by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. They were put up for auction by descendants of Washington's nephew Bushrod. The first president had no direct descendants.

Nat Washington, a longtime state senator in Washington who died in 2007, had said in his will that he wanted the items sold. The top lot was George Washington's compass, which fetched $59,750, and a Gunter's Scale, a 24-inch wooden ruler that was a precursor to the slide rule, that brought nearly $42,000. Both items sold for more than expected.

Several pieces of Washington's original coffin, including a handle, brought more than $12,000 total; his remains were placed in a marble sarcophagus in 1837.

- AP

Md. trooper dies in apparent chase

LAUREL, Md. - A Maryland state trooper killed in a crash on Interstate 95 may have been pursuing a speeding motorcycle when his vehicle struck the back of a tractor-trailer early Saturday, state police said.

Police said a witness reported being passed by a speeding motorcycle and then a state police vehicle, which the witness said struck the back of a tractor-trailer. Trooper First Class Shaft Hunter, 39, an 11-year veteran, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which occurred about 2:40 a.m., state police said.

Hunter, father of six children ages 4 to 19, was born in Bridgeport, Conn., and served six years in the Marine Corps after college before joining the state police. The tractor-trailer driver told investigators he had pulled to the side of the highway to check directions. He was not injured. He told police he was driving from Aberdeen, Md., to Virginia with a load of household bleach. - AP