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Detroit formally declared bankrupt in landmark ruling

Smoke and flames rise from a deteriorating building at a former Packard plant in Detroit. Credit: Reuters

The city of Detroit - once a symbol of America's industrial supremacy - has been formally declared bankrupt by a judge.

The judge cited the city's dismal finances and $18 billion owed to a multitude of creditors in support of the landmark ruling.

Funeral for US teen shot dead after knocking for help

Supporters of Renisha McBride want a full investigation into her death. Credit: Reuters/Joshua Lott

The funeral of a black 19-year-old woman shot dead in Detroit last week is to be held today. Renisha McBride was killed on a doorstep after she knocked for help in the early hours of Saturday morning, following a car accident in a predominately white suburb of the city.

The gunman, who has not been identified by police, is understood to have claimed he discharged his gun accidentally after he mistook Ms McBride for an intruder.

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US teen shot dead as she asks for help after car accident

Demonstrators protested against the killing of Renisha McBride outside Detroit Credit: Reuters/Joshua Lott

Friends and relatives of a black 19-year-old woman shot dead in the US city of Detroit are demanding police to investigate whether she was attacked because of the colour of her skin.

Renisha McBride was killed on a doorstep after she knocked for help following a car accident in a predominately white suburb.

About 40 of her supporters gathered outside the local police station last night demanding justice and questioning the actions of the homeowner, who has not been identified by officers.

“He shot her in the head...for what? For knocking on his door. If he felt scared or threatened, he should have called 911”, the teenager’s aunt told Detroit News.

Judge orders Detroit to withdraw bankruptcy petition

A ruling in a US state court has raised questions about whether Detroit's bankruptcy will stand up under legal review.

The state court judge in Michigan's capital of Lansing ordered Detroit's Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr to withdraw the bankruptcy petition because the state law that allowed Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to approve the bankruptcy violated the Michigan Constitution.

Orr, who was appointed by Snyder in March to try to resolve the city's financial crisis and tackle its $18.5 billion in long-term debt, acknowledged that court battles over the need for a bankruptcy filing could be protracted and difficult.

Governor: 'Now we can stop 60 years of Detroit decline'

Michigan governor Rick Snyder. Credit: Detroit Free Press/ABACA/Press Association Images

Governor Rick Snyder has said declaring the US city as bankrupt is an "opportunity to stop 60 years of decline in Detroit".

He told a press conference: "That's why we wanted this, to reassure the citizens of Detroit that normal operations will continue. People will be paid, people can do services.

"I don't view this as a terrible answer. Now is our opportunity to stop 60 years of decline. This is fundamental."

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Detroit official: 'Bankruptcy gives us breathing room'

Detroit's state-appointed emergency manager has told a press conference that the move to bankruptcy was "tool" to give the city "breathing room".

Bankruptcy is a tool in our toolbox to get at the goals that we want to achieve.

It gives us breathing room. We are being sued on almost a weekly basis and that's the very thing that I have pleaded for - not to happen.

– Detroit's state appointed bankruptcy manager Kevyn Orr

Detroit files for bankruptcy: The city in numbers

Detroit was once synonymous with US manufacturing prowess - now it has become synonymous with decline, decay and crime:

  • The city's debt is estimated to be $18.5 billion
  • Detroit's population fell to 700,000 from a peak of 1.8 million in 1950
  • It has nearly 78,000 abandoned buildings
  • The city's murder rate is at its highest in 40 years
  • Only one third of its ambulances were in service in the first quarter of 2013

GM 'hoped' day of Detroit bankruptcy would not come

General Motors (GM), the only major US vehicle manufacturer headquartered in Detroit, said the city's bankruptcy declaration was "a day that we and others hoped would not come".

General Motors' Global Headquarters in Detroit, Michigan. Credit: DAVE CHIDLEY/The Canadian Press/Press Association Images

GM, which filed and emerged from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, said in a statement that it does not anticipate any impact to its daily operations.

The firm added, "We believe, however, that today also can mark a clean start for the city".

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