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Tsunami generated by 8.0 quake

– A powerful earthquake in the South Pacific generated a tsunami early today that prompted warnings to several island nations.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said a tsunami of 3 feet was measured in Lata wharf, in the Solomon Islands, after an 8.0-magnitude quake. No damage was immediately reported there or in Vanuatu, which also was covered by the warning.

The statement said the waves could be destructive near the epicenter and threaten more distant coasts.

The tsunami warning also covered Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, New Caledonia, Kosrae, Fiji, Kiribati, Wallis and Futuna. A tsunami watch is in effect for American Samoa, Australia, New Zealand and eastern Indonesia.

UK advances bill for gay marriage

A bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Britain cleared a major hurdle Tuesday, as lawmakers in the House of Commons voted 400-175 in favor of the proposals championed by Prime Minister David Cameron.

The proposals require the approval of the House of Lords before they become law. The process could take months, but if approved, the bill is expected to take effect in 2015 and enable same-sex couples to get married in both civil and religious ceremonies, provided the religious institution consents.

‘Horseburger’ firm blames Polish meat

The Irish meat company at the center of Europe’s “horseburger” scandal on Tuesday blamed the contamination of its hamburger patties on the purchase last year of 170 tons of meat imported from Poland.

Poland says its own investigations of slaughterhouses identified by Ireland as suppliers to ABP Food Group have produced no evidence they have shipped horsemeat.

Ireland is the EU’s top beef exporter.