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Whale killed by cruise ship PM reassures over atheism Man killed in bear attack

A cruise ship operating in Alaska fatally struck a whale.

Princess Cruises said the dead whale became stuck at the bow of the Sapphire Princess, and the vessel was stopped south of Douglas Island until the carcass could be removed.

Princess spokesman Kirby Day said the dead whale was noticed as the ship travelled from Ketchikan to Juneau.

Kaja Brix, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said the animal appears to have been a juvenile humpback whale.

Ms Brix said the ship had to increase power to maintain speed, indicating the strike occurred then.

PM reassures over atheism

Fledgling Prime Minister Julia Gillard assured Australia's Christian majority that her atheism will not affect government funding to church-run schools if she is re-elected next month.

Ms Gillard, Australia's first woman prime minister, last month also became the first premier in the federation's 109-year history to take an affirmation of office instead of swearing on a bible.

Ms Gillard said her lack of religious faith would not affect government policies such as funding for church-run schools or churches' tax-free status.

Man killed in bear attack

At least one bear attacked three people at a campground near a US national park, killing one person and injuring two other.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Ron Aasheim said a male died in the pre-dawn attack at Yellowstone National Park near a campground.

A female suffered severe lacerations from bites on her arms, while another male was bitten on his calf and taken to a hospital in Wyoming.