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HAARETZ (Israel), BBC NEWS (UK)

Worldcrunch

GAZA CITY – Airstrikes carried out by the Israeli Defense Forces killed four militants Tuesday night in Gaza, reports BBC News.

Israel military forces said three of the militants were hit overnight as they prepared to fire rockets.

A fourth militant, reported to be a gunman from the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades -- Hamas's military wing -- was killed Wednesday morning by Tzahal.

Two large explosions shook Gaza City on Wednesday morning, reports Haaretz.

Israel said the strikes were in response to 52 rockets fired at Southern Israel from the Gaza Strip, which wounded at least three people.

Israeli and Palestinian schools on each side of the border have been closed amid fears of further armed exchanges.

This new wave of violence comes only a day after the emir of Qatar became the first foreign head of state to visit Gaza since Hamas took power in 2007.

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President Vladimir Putin will sign an agreement on the annexation of 18% of Ukrainian territories

Cameron Manley, Chloe Touchard, Sophia Constantino, and Emma Albright

Russian President Vladimir Putin will sign the annexation Friday of four occupied regions of Ukraine to become part of Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced this morning.

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The Kremlin will host a ceremony on Friday where agreements will be signed on the annexation of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. Peskov said the ceremony would take place on Friday at 3 p.m. local time. Taken together the regions in the east and south make up 18% of Ukraine’s territory. The move follows the 2014 annexation of Crimea, which many consider the less violent pre-cursor to Russia's all-out invasion of Ukraine.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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