World in Brief: Rebels try to oust Chad’s president
Hundreds of rebels charged into Chad’s capital aboard pickup trucks Saturday, clashing with government troops around the presidential palace in the most forceful attempt yet to oust President Idriss Deby.
The violence endangered a $300 million global aid operation supporting millions of people in the former French colony and also delayed the deployment of the European Union’s peacekeeping mission.
Libya’s official news agency, JANA, reported that Chadian rebel leader Mahamat Nouri agreed to a cease-fire Saturday night after speaking to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, who was appointed by the African Union to mediate in the crisis.
Chad, a French colony until 1960, has been convulsed by civil wars and invasions since independence, and the recent discovery of oil has increased the intensity of the struggle for power.
General Motors builds hybrid trucks
General Motors Corp. will introduce a new hybrid full-size pickup and a concept hybrid truck this week at the Chicago Auto Show, betting that pickup drivers have been itching to jump on the hybrid bandwagon.
GM says the 2009 GMC Sierra hybrid gets a 25 percent improvement in fuel economy without compromising performance, while its GMC Denali XT concept – a low-slung, muscular utility vehicle – gets 50 percent better fuel economy than a comparable small pickup.
The company’s new two-mode hybrid system has already been introduced on the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon sport utility vehicles and the Chevrolet Silverado pickup.
Phil predicts more winter
Brace yourself for more wintry weather.
Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow Saturday, leading the groundhog to forecast six more weeks of winter.
The rodent was pulled from his stump by members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club Inner Circle, top-hat- and tuxedo-wearing businessmen who carry out the tradition.
Each Feb. 2, thousands of people descend on Punxsutawney, a town of about 6,100 people some 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, to celebrate what had essentially been a German superstition.
The tradition is that if a hibernating animal sees a shadow on Feb. 2 – the Christian holiday of Candlemas – winter will last another six weeks. If no shadow is seen, legend says spring will come early.