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AT&T, Verizon waive fees to contact Philippines

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A woman angrily confronts the guards as she tries to queue up to receive treatment and relief supplies at Tacloban airport Monday Nov. 11, 2013, following Friday's typhoon Haiyan that lashed this city and several provinces in central Philippines.  Typhoon-ravaged Philippine islands faced an unimaginably huge recovery effort that had barely begun Monday, as bloated bodies lay uncollected and uncounted in the streets and survivors pleaded for food, water and medicine.  (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

A woman angrily confronts the guards as she tries to queue up to receive treatment and relief supplies at Tacloban airport Monday Nov. 11, 2013, following Friday’s typhoon Haiyan that lashed this city and several provinces in central Philippines. Typhoon-ravaged Philippine islands faced an unimaginably huge recovery effort that had barely begun Monday, as bloated bodies lay uncollected and uncounted in the streets and survivors pleaded for food, water and medicine. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

NEW YORK (AP) — AT&T and Verizon are offering free calls and texts to the Philippines for customers trying to contact friends and family there in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.

AT&T wireless customers will be eligible for unlimited calls and texts until Nov. 30. Landline and U-verse voice customers will get up to 60 minutes of direct-dial calling to the Philippines. The offer is retroactive to last Friday. That was when the typhoon hit the island nation, displacing more than 600,000 people. Authorities fear that thousands were killed in the country’s Leyte province.

Verizon is waiving charges on residential landlines through Dec. 7, also retroactive to Friday. Wireless customers who aren’t under prepaid plans are also eligible.

Sprint says it’s still reviewing its service-relief offerings.

Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile say they are also letting people send texts to donate $10 to selected charities. The donations will be added to phone bills. The wireless carriers are waiving the usual text messaging charges and processing fees, so that the entire amount will be forwarded to the charities.

Meanwhile, Apple is letting people donate to the American Red Cross through its iTunes online store. Apple says the entire amount will go to the charity.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

FILE -In this Nov. 1, 2013 file picture a Christie’s employee displays the considered  largest fancy vivid orange diamond in the world, during a press preview in Geneva, Switzerland.  The diamond is estimated to fetch  up to to US $ 20 million, at an auction on Tuesday  Nov. 12, 2013, in Geneva. It’s auction time for the filthy rich again in Geneva, where the week’s headline-grabbers include the largest fancy vivid orange diamond in the world and another diamond estimated to be worth more than $60 million.Christie’s is set to auction off a 14.82-carat rare gem that it says is expected to fetch up to $20 million Tuesday. Sotheby’s auctions are headlined by Wednesday’s offering of “The Pink Star,” a vivid and flawless 59.60-carat diamond estimated to be worth more than US $60 million.   (AP Photo/Keystone,Martial Trezzini,File)

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