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In our news wrap Wednesday, a federal judge approved plans for the city of Detroit to shed $7 billion of its $18 billion in debt, clearing the way for an end to the largest municipal bankruptcy in history. Also, a national Brazilian commission released a report on systematic torture and killings committed during nearly two decades of military dictatorship.
The plunging price of oil fell toward new five-year lows today with no end in sight. It came as the Energy Department reported higher U.S. stockpiles and OPEC projected sharply lower demand. In New York, oil dropped nearly 5 percent to just under $61 a barrel. That's a 17 percent drop in just two weeks.
The oil sell-off dragged down energy stocks and sent the rest of Wall Street sharply lower. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 268 points to close at 17533; the Nasdaq fell 82 points to close at 4684; and the S&P 500 shed 33 to finish at 2026.
The city of Detroit will officially emerge from the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history at midnight. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced it today, now that a federal judge has approved plans to shed $7 billion of the city's $18 billion in debt.
GOV. RICK SNYDER, (R) Michigan: This has been an extremely difficult and hard process for many people. But people worked together, and I think we have got an outstanding outcome, far better than people's expectation. And now, most importantly, we have the city poised for a new chapter, a new chapter that's about the growth of the city of Detroit.
The state, foundations, and the Detroit Institute of Art have pitched in to ease pension cuts and protect the city's art collection from sale.
In Brazil, a national truth commission today issued a sweeping report on torture and other abuses during a long military dictatorship. The Brazilian commission detailed systematic torture and hundreds of killings and disappearances between 1964 and 1985. It also called for revoking an amnesty and prosecuting those responsible.
Tensions have flared anew between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, with the death of a Palestinian cabinet official.
Ziad Abu Ein died today after a confrontation in the West Bank. Video showed an Israeli border policeman grabbing Ein and shoving him back. Minutes later, he collapsed, clutching his chest. He died en route to a hospital.
The U.N.'s refugee agency is urging governments worldwide to help refugees who brave the open seas, so-called boat people. The agency reported today that a record 348,000 people sailed in rickety, crowded vessels this year to reach safe shores. More than 200,000 of them arrived in Europe, after leaving the Middle East and North Africa. But, overall, nearly 4,300 people have died in the risky sea crossings.
This was awards day for the recipients of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel laureate ever, accepted the honor in Oslo, Norway.
Richard Pallot of Independent Television News reports.
Malala, please come forward.
She has achieved what some of the greatest states men and women spend their lifetime striving for. And like for most teenaged triumphs, mom and dad came along, too. Only, their daughter wasn't getting a school prize, but the Nobel Peace Prize.
MALALA YOUSAFZAI, Nobel Laureate, Peace:
This award is not just for me. It is for those forgotten children who want education. It is for those frightened children who want peace.
It is a little over two years since the Taliban shot Malala in the head for championing girls' rights to education. But that brutality has, ironically, opened the door to young females here.
Students talk of how both sexes are now taught alongside one another, equally, fairly, more safely. As for Malala, well, she's now at school in Birmingham, and having all-too-familiar issues.
I'm pretty certain that I'm also the first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize who still fights with her younger brothers.
So it seems the only place she doesn't bring peace is at home.
Yousafzai shared the award with Indian child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi.
Back in this country, National Football League owners have approved a new personal conduct policy. The vote taken in Irving, Texas, follows domestic violence and child abuse cases involving star professional players. Team owners expanded the list of banned conduct and called for hiring a special counsel for investigations.
League commissioner Roger Goodell:
ROGER GOODELL, Commissioner, National Football League:
The policy is comprehensive, it is strong, it is tough, and it is better for everyone associated with the NFL. I have stated it many times. Being a part of the NFL is a privilege. It is not a right.
The NFL Players Union had called for negotiations on changing the personnel conduct policy. Today's owners' vote could trigger a union grievance.
And there are new developments on commercial drone flights. The Federal Aviation Administration granted permission today for four companies to use drones in surveillance, construction site monitoring, and oil rig inspections. That makes 13 U.S. companies with permits so far.
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