Wednesday saw another huge Russian strike on the southern Ukrainian port city of Odesa, resulting in a massive fire, local media reported. The target appears to have been the privately-owned Nova Poshta warehouse. It follows Tuesday’s missile strike, which killed 9 and injured three dozen people. As of Wednesday evening, there were at least 14 injured.

The parliament of Georgia Wednesday to advance a controversial 'foreign agent' bill that has sparked weeks of mass protests in the capital, Tbilisi, and warnings from Brussels that it would damage Georgia's hopes of becoming a member of the EU - RFE/RL

The Israeli government warned the Biden administration that if the International Criminal Court issues arrest warrants against Israeli leaders, it will take retaliatory steps against the Palestinian Authority that could lead to its collapse, two Israeli and U.S. officials said. Israeli officials have grown increasingly concerned over the last two weeks that the International Criminal Court (ICC) is preparing to issue arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Israel Defense Forces chief of staff Herzi Halevi. The ICC, which is based in The Hague, Netherlands, has been investigating since 2021 possible war crimes by both Israeli forces and Palestinian militants dating back to the 2014 Israel-Hamas war. - Axios


The US accused Russia of breaching a global chemical weapons ban by deploying the choking agent chloropicrin against Ukrainian troops. The State Department also accused Russia of using riot control agents "as a method of warfare" in Ukraine. "The use of such chemicals is not an isolated incident and is probably driven by Russian forces' desire to dislodge Ukrainian forces from fortified positions and achieve tactical gains on the battlefield," the State Department said in a statement. Additionally, Russian forces have used grenades loaded with CS and CN gases, according to the Ukrainian military. It said at least 500 Ukrainian soldiers have been treated for exposure to toxic substances, and one was killed by suffocating on tear gas. - VOA


Colombia is set to break diplomatic relations with Israel over its actions in Gaza. President Gustavo Petro said that the country "will break diplomatic relations with the state of Israel" on Thursday, calling its government "genocidal…Palestine dies, humanity dies, and we are not going to let it die," he said. Israel has strongly denied committing genocide in its war against Hamas in Gaza. "History will remember that Gustavo Petro decided to side with the most despicable monsters known to mankind," Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said said in a post on X, formerly Twitter. - NPR

Corporate Japan is starting to wonder if the weak yen has become too much of a good thing. The currency fell to a 34-year low on Monday and has lost about a quarter of its value against the surging U.S. dollar in a little more than two years. Typically, a weak yen is seen as a boon for Japan Inc., as it makes cars and other goods cheaper overseas and lifts profits when earnings from abroad are brought home.But it has also pushed up costs of raw materials, food and fuel, battering sectors from farmers who import fertilizers to small manufacturers that rely on parts from China. The biggest squeeze has been for households, which for years have seen little wage growth. Their plight — and that of Japan's legions of struggling small businesses — may say more about the state of the country's still-limping economy than the windfall for exporters such as Toyota Motor or the stock market's climb to a record high. - Japan Times

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