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Water conservation in Cape Town pushes 'Day Zero' back to July

People wait in line for water in Cape Town. Photo: Kyodo News via Getty Images

Officials in Cape Town on Tuesday moved the date when taps are expected to run dry in the drought-stricken city to July 9 from June 4, after residents cut back on their water usage.

  • The backdrop: "Day Zero" for South Africa's second most populous city was initially slated for April 22 and has gradually been pushed back. The city has experienced three consecutive years of drought, and rains needed to refill dams have not come. The hope is that by July, South Africa's winter, rains will return and push Day Zero off indefinitely.
  • Until then: The Daily Maverick reports that water usage restrictions are still in place and many retail outlets are limiting how much bottled water customers can buy — "rest assured that the city will be quick to shame said residents should they use too much water yet again."
Haley Britzky 8 hours ago
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Russia continues pointing fingers after ex-spy poisoning

Russian President Vladimir Putin poses with medalists of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Paralympic Games
Russian President Vladimir Putin poses with medalists of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Paralympic Games. Photo: Yuri Kadobnov / AFP / Getty Images

It's become relatively understood with world leaders that Russia probably poisoned ex-spy Sergei Skripal.

The bigger picture: The U.S. has said so, the E.U. recently voiced support for the U.K. in saying so; the only person who won't say is Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Kremlin has "spread a flurry of theories" to explain the nerve-agent attack, with "one common theme: It was anyone but Russia."

Zachary Basu 18 hours ago
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What to watch for in Egypt's sham election

Sisi billboard
A billboard in Cairo voicing support for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in the upcoming election. Photo by KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images.

Egyptians will vote March 26-28 in a presidential election that is sure to see incumbent strongman Abdel Fattah el-Sisi handily defeat Mousa Mostafa Mousa — the sole challenger who hasn't been jailed or intimidated into dropping out.

The backdrop: Sisi, the former minister of defense and commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces, led a military coup to topple President Mohamed Morsi in 2013. He formally came to power in 2014 after winning 96% of the vote in the presidential election, but has since seen his popularity wane under deteriorating economic conditions and an oppressive human rights record.