Facing an estimated $18 billion in debt, Detroit has become the largest U.S. municipality to file for bankruptcy. It is a grim milestone in the decline of what was once the country’s fourth largest city. Known as the Motor City and the birthplace of the middle class, Detroit’s auto industry and manufacturing sector have collapsed. A steady decline in population has decimated its tax base, leaving the city with massive cuts to basic services and one of the nation’s highest rates of violent crime. The Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing has set off what could be a prolonged legal battle with thousands of current and former city employees entitled to pensions and medical benefits. Detroit’s unelected Emergency Manager has said that cutting pensions will be vital to restoring basic services that have shrunk with the decline of city revenues over the years. We’re joined by Mark Binelli, author of "Detroit City Is the Place to Be: The Afterlife of an American Metropolis."
A leaked Pakistani government report has bolstered claims that civilian casualties from U.S. drone strikes are far higher than the Obama administration has been willing to admit. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has released figures from the Pakistani government’s own research into casualties from drone attacks in Pakistan’s tribal areas. The Pakistani report investigates 75 CIAdrone strikes and five operations by NATO between 2006 and 2009. It finds that the attacks left at least 746 people dead, including at least 147 civilians, 94 of them children — a conservative count given the omission of key data. The high number of civilian casualties directly contradicts statements made by senior Obama administration officials and top lawmakers. We go London to speak with Chris Woods, a reporter with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s drones investigation team, which won the Martha Gellhorn Prize for journalism last month.
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