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Countries reinstate COVID measures, Malaysia flood toll mounts, McDonald’s rations fries in Japan

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Yahoo Finance’s Akiko Fujita breaks down leading world headlines as Sweden and Scotland tighten COVID restrictions, Thailand reinstates a quarantine for travelers, Malaysia flooding leaves at least 14 dead and thousands displaced, and McDonald’s rations fries in Japan amid a shortage.

Video Transcript

AKIKO FUJITA: In our World View today, more countries are imposing new restrictions to limit the spread of the Omicron variant. Sweden is now urging all employees to work from home while imposing tighter restrictions for social distancing, limiting private gatherings to 50 people. Proof of vaccinations will be required for all public events there involving more than 500 people.

Similar restrictions set to take effect in Scotland, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon effectively banning all spectators from sporting events Tuesday, calling for more vigilance to limit the spread of the virus. She did not limit Christmas gatherings, though New Year's Eve celebrations have already been canceled.

Meanwhile, in Thailand, the country reimposed a mandatory quarantine for visitors in a big blow to the country's tourism industry. The decision comes after Thailand recorded its first domestic transmission of the Omicron variant. In Malaysia, the death toll continues to climb following torrential rain that triggered the worst flooding in years.

14 people have now been confirmed dead while 70,000 people remain displaced. Outside of Kuala Lumpur, the country's wealthiest state of Selangor has been hit the hardest, with floodwaters cutting off major roads and trapping residents inside their homes. The military's now joined in the search for survivors, mobilizing personnel across the region. The monsoon that made landfall over the weekend was the strongest the country has seen since 2014, when more than 100,000 people were forced from their homes.

And a supply crunch is leaving McDonald's customers in Japan without a side of large fries. The fast food chain announcing it is rationing French fries to, in their words, ensure a continuous supply to customers. McDonald's Japan says a backlog at the Vancouver Port, brought on extreme weather in the region, have exacerbated shipping delays to import fries from Canada.

Medium and large servings will be slashed for the menu for now. And customers will receive a discount on those meal prices. The changes are set to take effect on Christmas Eve and go through December 30.

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