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Armed soldiers from the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) patrol at the gates of Maponya Mall following rioting in the Soweto district of Johannesburg, South Africa. Photo: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The South African government started deploying 25,000 troops on Thursday to assist local police in curbing the widespread looting and violence that erupted after the incarceration of former President Jacob Zuma, AP reports.

Why it matters: The deployment marks one of the country's largest since 1994, when white-minority rule ended. The government said at least 10,000 soldiers had taken to the streets as of Thursday morning.

  • Authorities say at least 117 people have been killed in the ongoing violence in the area, per AP.
  • Over 2,200 people have been arrested for theft and vandalism, according to Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, the acting minister in the presidency.

The big picture: Riots broke out after the former president began his 15-month prison sentence for contempt of court last week.

  • Zuma had refused a court order to share evidence in an inquiry into corruption allegations during his presidential term, which lasted from 2009 to 2018.

What to watch: South Africa's highest court agreed to hear Zuma's application to have his prison sentence rescinded. The judges have yet to announce their decision.

What they're saying: “Lives have been lost," the Minister of Police Bheki Cele said during a news conference Thursday, per AP. "The communities have a stand-off and are in a bad way because it is the Indian community and the neighboring communities, who are African."

Go deeper: Death toll in South Africa riots rises to 72

Go deeper

Biden's SCOTUS commission to hold first public meeting on court reform

President Biden speaks in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden's bipartisan commission on the U.S. Supreme Court will hold a public meeting on Friday to discuss expanding the court, term limits and more, the White House announced Thursday.

Why it matters: The six-month commission will offer an analysis of the principal arguments surrounding the divisive subject. Progressives are pushing for more seats after former President Trump appointed three justices to the court.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

Updated 4 hours ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.