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GM suspends production of Chevy Volt due to weak demand

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CHICAGO — General Motors said Friday it has suspended production of its electric Chevy Volt for five weeks in order to match supply to weak demand.

“We’re going to take five weeks of downtime at the plant as we are going to build to what the market demands,” spokeswoman Michelle Bunker Malcho told AFP.

“We had a great month in February (over 1,000 in sales) and are very pleased with what we see happening in the marketplace especially with Volt now being eligible for HOV lanes in California.”

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GM sold 8,000 Volts last year, less than the 10,000 units forecast in its first year.

Despite the low volumes, the Volt has paid dividends in terms of helping the once-struggling automaker’s attract new customers and burnishing its green credentials. The Volt was the first plug-in to reach the US market.

GM’s head of product planning said the automaker should know by May or June if the Volt has the “legs” to succeed in the market.

“The fact that GM is now facing an oversupply of Volts suggests that consumer demand is just not that strong for these vehicles,” said Lacey Plache, chief economist at the automotive website Edmunds.com.

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“The price premium on the Volt just doesn’t make economic sense for the average consumer when there are so many fuel-efficient gasoline-powered cars available, typically for thousands of dollars less.”

Copyright © 2012 AFP. All rights reserved.

Photo by Mariordo (Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz) (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Millions around the world joined #ClimateStrike — demanding bold climate action

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Masses of children skipped school Friday to join a global strike against climate change that teen activist Greta Thunberg said was "only the beginning" in the fight against environmental disaster.

Some four million people filled city streets around the world, organizers said, in what was billed as the biggest ever protest against the threat posed to the planet by rising temperatures.

Youngsters and adults alike chanted slogans and waved placards in demonstrations that started in Asia and the Pacific, spread across Africa, Europe and Latin America, before culminating in the United States where Thunberg rallied.

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Trump announces new sanctions on Iran — and deploys US troops to the Middle East

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The United States announced Friday that it was sending military reinforcements to the Gulf region following attacks on Saudi oil facilities that it attributes to Iran, just hours after President Donald Trump ordered new sanctions on Tehran.

Trump said the sanctions were the toughest-ever against another country, but indicated he did not plan a military strike, calling restraint a sign of strength.

The Treasury Department renewed action against Iran's central bank after US officials said Tehran carried out weekend attacks on rival Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure, which triggered a spike in global crude prices.

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‘Do a lot of stupid sh*t as quickly as possible’: Ambassador Power breaks down ’The Trump Doctrine’

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The former ambassador to the United Nations explained "The Trump Doctrine" during a Friday evening interview with comedian Bill Maher on HBO's "Real Time."

Samantha Power, the author of the new book, The Education of an Idealist, was asked by Maher about the foreign policy mantra of the Obama administration.

"Obama's foreign policy doctrine was famously summarized as 'don't do stupid sh*t," Maher noted. "Trump's, of course, is 'Do stupid sh*t.'"

"Do stupid sh*t as quickly as possible," Power clarified.

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