Pierce, Neb. – A handful of barely driven vintage Chevrolets fetched more than half a million dollars Saturday at an auction that drew thousands of car buffs from around the world to a small northeast Nebraska town.
The collection belonged to Ray Lambrecht and his wife, Mildred, who ran a Chevrolet dealership in downtown Pierce for five decades before retiring in 1996. Unlike most dealers, Ray Lambrecht stashed many of his unsold cars in a warehouse, at his farm and other spots around town if they didn’t sell in the first year.
Event organizers said an estimated 10,000 people traveled from as far as Norway and Brazil to see the sale in person, and more than 3,800 had registered online to bid at an auction website by midday Saturday. The auction of more than 500 old cars and pickups was expected to continue today.
Jackson to mediate release of veteran
Havana – The Rev. Jesse Jackson said Saturday that he had agreed to mediate in the case of a former U.S. soldier held captive by Colombia’s largest guerrilla group since June, calling the American’s release “imminent.”
The U.S. civil rights activist announced his intervention in the case of Kevin Scott Sutay after meeting late into the previous night with leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.
FARC and Colombian government negotiators have been holding peace talks in Havana since November 2012.
Sutay, a former Army combat engineer and private who served in Afghanistan, was detained by the rebels in June while walking through the jungle southeast of the Colombian capital, Bogota. According to the FARC, he was wearing military fatigues and carrying surveillance equipment.
Crisis may fracture fragile coalition
Milan, Italy – Italy’s fragile coalition government was pushed into a full-fledged crisis Saturday after five ministers from former Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s political party announced their resignations.
The move drew the ire of Premier Enrico Letta, who accused Berlusconi of a “crazy” gesture aimed at covering up his personal affairs.
The five-month-old government has teetered for weeks since the high court confirmed Berlusconi’s tax fraud conviction.
Berlusconi’s center-right People of Liberty Party is in an unusual coalition of rival forces with Letta’s center-left Democratic Party, and the resignations signal the end of the alliance.
The resignations must be submitted to President Giorgio Napolitano, who must decide if there is any way to continue the government or if new elections must be held.