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Quake sparks tsunami alert

A major earthquake with an initial magnitude of 7.2 hit the Pacific Ocean off Alaska's remote Aleutian Islands, prompting a tsunami alert and sending people fleeing to high ground.

The Alaska Earthquake information centre said the quake was felt through the central Aleutians and as far east as Dutch Harbour and Unalaska. There are no immediate reports of damage.

The West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Centre posted a tsunami warning for certain coastal areas of Alaska, but cancelled the alert about an hour after the quake.

China expands Red members

China's Communist Party, the world's largest political party, has grown even bigger, with the number of members totalling more than 80 million people.

The party's deputy organisation minister, Wang Qinfeng, said membership at the end of 2010 hit 80.27 million -- an increase of more than two million from 2009.

Membership in the party is seen as a ticket to the ruling class elite and a means of getting ahead.

Playboy editor avoids prison

Playboy Indonesia's former editor, serving a two-year prison sentence for publishing pictures of scantily clad women, has been acquitted by the Supreme Court.

The long-running case has highlighted the growing militancy of a vocal fringe seeking the implementation of Islamic-based laws in Indonesia, a moderate democracy that is the world's most populous Muslim nation.

Judge rules out abortion poster

A judge has ordered a man in Alamogordo, New Mexico, to immediately take down a billboard that implies his ex-girlfriend had an abortion.

State District Judge James Waylon ruled in favour of the woman who had sought a protective order after her ex-boyfriend took out the sign on the city's main thoroughfare.

The sign shows 35-year-old Greg Fultz holding the outline of an infant. The text reads: "This Would Have Been A Picture Of My 2-Month Old Baby If The Mother Had Decided To Not KILL Our Child!"