Philippines observes Christmas in wake of deadly typhoon

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of people in the Philippines, Asia’s largest Roman Catholic nation, are marking Christmas without homes, adequate food and water, electricity and cellphone connections after a powerful typhoon left at least 375 people dead last week and devastated mostly central island provinces. Elsewhere, New Zealanders are celebrating Christmas in the warmth of mid-summer with few restrictions, in one of the few countries in the world largely untouched by the omicron variant of COVID-19, and Australia is marking the holiday amid a surge of COVID-19 cases, worse than at any stage of the pandemic, which has forced states to reinstate mask mandates and other preventative measures.

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