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In China, Electric Pole Sit-ups Workout Sparks Power Outage

In China, Electric Pole Sit-ups Workout Sparks Power Outage
Hannah Steinkopf-Frank

A good workout leaves you feeling the burn, but a parkour-style stunt in China could have wound up sparking disaster — and ultimately part of a mega-city blacked out.

It began Sunday night in Chengdu, the central Chinese capital of Sichuan Province, when a 22-year-old man climbed an electric pole to do sit-ups. His gym was too crowded? A search for extra "energy"? A gut instinct to gain celebrity status? Well, no word on the motivation...

The ambitious climber-cruncher finally descended, uninjured. Still, for extra precaution, the local electric company cut power to tens of thousands in Chengdu, with a population of over 16.3 million.

A video of the incident quickly spread on the Chinese social media site Weibo. In the clip (which has so far garnered more than 1.7 million views), the unnamed man can be seen suspended about 10 meters above the ground, feet holding on to the electric pole.

"I was annoyed because we had no electricity, and when I watched the news and found out why I felt annoyed and amused at the same time," said one Weibo user, as reported in Shine.

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Iran's War On Abortion Rights, A Toxic Mix Of Theocracy And Demographic Panic

Ending a pregnancy has become a major complication, and a crime, for Iranian women who cannot or will not have children in a country wracked by socio-economic woes and a leadership.

photo of a young child surrounded by women in chadors

Iran's government wants to boost the birth rate at all costs

Office of Supreme Leader/ZUMA
Firoozeh Nordstrom

Keen to boost the population, Iran's Islamic regime has reversed its half-hearted family planning policies of earlier years and is curbing birth control with measures that include banning abortion.

Its (2021) Law to Support the Family and Rejuvenate the Population (Qanun-e hemayat az khanevadeh va javani-e jam'iyat) threatens to fine the women who want to abort, and fine, imprison, and dismiss the performing physician, if the pregnancy is not deemed to be life-threatening. The law also bans contraceptives.

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The measures are in line with the dictates of Iran's Supreme leader, Ali Khamenei. He was already denouncing birth control policies by 2018-19, though conservative elements among Iran's rulers have always dismissed birth control as a piece of Western corruption.

Today, measures to boost families include land and credit incentives for young couples, but it is difficult to say how far they will counter a marked reluctance among Iranians to marry and procreate. Kayhan-London had an online conversation with individuals affected by the new rules in Iran.

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