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Morning Briefing: Debt-addled Detroit on the brink

City of Detroit Mayor Dave Bing talks about the future of the city during an interview in his office in Detroit, Michigan February 5, 2013. A takeover of Detroit's shaky finances by the state of Michigan can be avoided by showing that the city is willing and able to fundamentally change how it works, Bing said on Tuesday.

Rebecca Cook/Reuters

A summary of what you need to know today, compiled by The Globe's news desk on Feb. 13, 2013.

Will Motown sing the bankruptcy blues?

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing will take one, last shot at trying to stave off the humiliation of having the state take the debt-addled city over. In the latest milestone in the shocking decline of what was once the heartland of American industrial power, the mayor will outline in a speech today the measures Motown could take itself to shore up its troubled finances. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has drawn up a short list of candidates to be named emergency financial managers of the city, the first step in what could lead to a bankruptcy filing, which would be the biggest municipal collapse in U.S. history. Detroit's stature has been on the wane for some time – once the 5 th largest city in the US, it now ranks 18 th and is home to just 700,000 people.

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Pope makes first public appearance since announcing retirement

In his first public appearance since the shock announcement Monday, Pope Benedict XVI said he was resigning for "the good of the Church." Looking frail, the 85-year-old Benedict told his weekly public audience that he resigned "in full liberty" making it clear that he did not have the strength to continue. The pope was welcomed by a standing ovation in the hall that was festooned with a banner that read "Grazie Santita (Thank you Your Holiness)."

Obama plays to middle class in address

President Barack Obama dropped no clear hints about where he may come down on Canada's Keystone pipeline proposal in a State of the Union speech that laid out a vision of economic fairness for the middle class. Striking notes that will set the tone for his second term, Obama called on Congress to raise the minimum wage, boost taxes on the rich and launch a $50-billion job creation plan. "It is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many, and not just the few," the President said.

LA terror spree looks to have ended

The bizarre, week-long terror spree by Christopher Dorner appears to have ended in the ashes of a remote cabin. Police have yet to confirm definitely that the remains found in the cabin north of Los Angeles belong to Dorner, but they believe he was the man who holed up there after a gunfight with police that left one officer dead and one injured. That brought to four the number of people believed to have been killed by Dorner, who vowed to seek revenge through "unconventional and asymmetrical warfare" for his dismissal from the Los Angeles Police Department in 2008.

Russia to continue to sell arms to Syria

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Russia is standing by its ally, Syria. Despite near universal condemnation directed toward Syria, Russian offices pledged Wednesday to continue to sell arms to the Damascus regime, which is embroiled in a two year civil war that has claimed more than 70,000 lives. The head of Russia's state arms dealer said that the weapons they were sending to Syria were for "defensive" purposes.

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