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Three of Tonga's smaller islands badly damaged by tsunami

Three of Tonga's smaller islands suffered serious damage from tsunami waves, officials and the Red Cross said Wednesday, as a wider picture begins to emerge of the destruction caused by the eruption of an undersea volcano near the Pacific archipelago nation.

In this photo provided by the New Zealand Defense Force, volcanic ash covers roof tops and vegetation in an area of Tonga, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. (CPL Vanessa Parker/NZDF via AP)

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An infectious diseases specialist says the COVID-19 pandemic could begin pivoting to an endemic status in higher-income countries by early spring, based on how Omicron is spreading and affecting hospitalization rates.

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