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Detroit Emerges from Biggest City Bankruptcy in US History

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan speaks at a news conference in Detroit, Dec. 10, 2014.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says it is a "fresh start" for his city, which emerged Wednesday from the biggest-ever bankruptcy for a U.S. city.

Duggan says Detroit will do the best it can to deliver the services its residents deserve.

Under a plan approved by a federal bankruptcy court, the city will shed $7 billion of its $18 billion debt and reinvest almost $2 billion into city services and infrastructure.

A once-thriving midwestern city that was headquarters of the world's car industry, Detroit has been struggling with debt and budget deficits for more than 20 years. It filed for bankruptcy last year.

Its population stood at more than 1 million as late as 1990, but has since plummeted to about 700,000. Tens of thousands of stores, factories and once beautiful homes are now empty crumbling shells. Some city services became non-existent and the crime rate soared.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says the administration is pleased that Detroit is emerging from bankruptcy. He said such federal agencies as the Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development will work closely with city officials to help Detroit recover.