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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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Geopolitics

How Ukraine Keeps Getting The West To Flip On Arms Supplies

The open debate on weapon deliveries to Ukraine is highly unusual, but Kyiv has figured out how to use the public moral suasion — and patience — to repeatedly shift the question in its favor. But will it work now for fighter jets?

Photo of a sunset over the USS Nimitz with a man guiding fighter jets ready for takeoff

U.S fighter jets ready for takeoff on the USS Nimitz

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — In what other war have arms deliveries been negotiated so openly in the public sphere?

On Monday, a journalist asked Joe Biden if he plans on supplying F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. He answered “No”. A few hours later, the same question was asked to Emmanuel Macron, about French fighter jets. Macron did not rule it out.

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Visiting Paris on Tuesday, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksïï Reznikov recalled that a year ago, the United States had refused him ground-air Stinger missiles deliveries. Eleven months later, Washington is delivering heavy tanks, in addition to everything else. The 'no' of yesterday is the green light of tomorrow: this is the lesson that the very pragmatic minister seemed to learn.

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