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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has visited a black church in Detroit in an attempt to claw some of the minority vote away from Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump, 70, told the congregation he “fully understands that the African American community has suffered discrimination”.

According to recent polls, Donald Trump, who is lagging behind Hillary Clinton, has low support among black and Hispanic voters.

Donald Trump was accompanied by Ben Carson, the former Republican presidential hopeful who grew up in Detroit.

The New York businessman arrived at the church to the sound of protests against him taking place outside. Inside, Donald Trump gave a scripted one-on-one interview with the church’s pastor, Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, which will be aired by Bishop Jackson’s own Impact TV network next week.

Donald Trump then attended a service at the church before addressing the congregation with a prepared speech, during which he struck an unusually measured tone.

Photo Youtube

Photo Youtube

He said: “Nothing is more sad than when we sideline young black men with tremendous potential.”

Donald Trump also said there were “wrongs that need to be made right” for the black community, and praised black churches, adding: “For centuries the African American church has been the conscience of our country.”

The Republican pledged to revive Detroit, which has fallen behind economically since the decline of its once-dominant car industry, promising “new roads and bridges everywhere”.

In his interview with Bishop Jackson, Donald Trump answered a set of pre-approved questions with replies prepared by his campaign staff and the Republican National Committee, the New York Times reported.

The Times published a leaked copy of the 12 questions and answers, which covered police killings, racial tension, and accusations that Donald Trump is racist.

He did not initially intend to address the congregation, the Times said, but a spokesman for Donald Trump’s campaign later said plans had changed to incorporate a five to 10 minute scripted address.

Donald Trump has attempted in recent weeks to appeal to both black and Hispanic voters, claiming he would create jobs in poor cities.

On September 2, he met black religious and community leaders in Philadelphia and days earlier saw black and Latino Republicans in New York.

However, months of hard-line rhetoric on immigration and social issues have done little to endear Donald Trump to minority groups.

He has been criticized by some for addressing black issues in front of largely white audiences, and for making critical statements about black communities.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Democratic Representative Brenda Lawrence are expected to speak against Donald Trump in the city on September 3.


Arthur Neal Jr., an 86-year-old man from Detroit whose family said he disappeared a day after winning $20,000 in the lottery in December was found stabbed to death in a vacant house, authorities said on February 4.

Arthur Neal Jr., who went missing on December 20, was found dead on Sunday afternoon, said Officer Nicole Kirkwood, a Detroit police spokeswoman.

The man was reported missing on December 28, Nicole Kirkwood said.

Photo WXYZ

Photo WXYZ

Family members told local media that Arthur Neal Jr. won $20,000 in the lottery on December 19. Police have not confirmed the lottery win, Nicole Kirkwood said.

A Michigan Lottery representative could not be reached immediately for comment.

An autopsy determined that Arthur Neal Jr. died from multiple stab wounds, the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office said.

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Detroit’s state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr has filed a plan to restructure the city’s debts in the wake of the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history.

The plan, awaiting approval from a bankruptcy judge, includes cuts to pensions and creditors to drive down the $18 billion debt.

Funds would also be devoted to demolishing abandoned city properties.

Detroit initially filed for bankruptcy protection in July 2013.

“We must move swiftly to emerge from bankruptcy so that the financial distress harming the city can end,” state-appointed manager Kevyn Orr said in a statement.

“We maintain that the plan provides the best path forward for all parties to resolve their respective issues and for Detroit to become once again a city in which people want to invest, live and work,” he added.

Detroit's state-appointed emergency manager has filed a plan to restructure the city's debts

Detroit’s state-appointed emergency manager has filed a plan to restructure the city’s debts

Specifics of the debt relief plan include:

  • Creditors, including bond insurers, will receive an estimated 20% of their claims
  • Police and firefighter retirees will receive at least 90% of their pensions, and cost of living allowances will be eliminated
  • The Detroit Institute of Arts will keep its city-owned art collection, with assistance from foundations and private donors
  • $1.5 billion will be allocated over 10 years to city infrastructure and technology upgrades

The plan is reportedly likely to face obstacles moving forward, including court appeals should it be approved in bankruptcy court.

An estimated $12 billion of Detroit’s $18 billion debt is said to be unsecured, with no taxes or other revenue streams to pay it down.

Ongoing negotiations with stakeholders are also reportedly expected to result in changes to the plan, Kevyn Orr told US media.

The city has seen a dramatic decline in economic activity and population, as the big carmakers – once the city’s main source of employment – shifted production to cheaper locations in the US and overseas.

Detroit is now home to about 700,000 residents, down from the peak of 1.8 million in 1950.

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For the fourth years in a row, Forbes.com has rated Detroit, Michigan, as the most dangerous city in the United States with a violent crime rate of 2,137 per 100,000 residents.

Detroit was once the industrial capital of the nation. But, decades of economic decline and a ruinous recession have turned the Motor City into America’s crime capital.

Many of the other places on the list are also declining industrial powerhouse cities that have been left ravaged by dwindling blue-collar jobs and rising unemployment.

Baltimore, Maryland, ranked number seven; Cleveland, Ohio, number nine; and Buffalo, New York, number ten; all share Detroit’s fate to one degree or another.

Seismic changes in the auto industry have left tens of thousands of people out of work in Detroit as automakers and parts suppliers shrank in size and began to rely more heavily on labor-saving technology.

The unemployment rate is currently 19.65, nearly two and a half times the national average.

Crime is so bad in Detroit that at a recent town hall meeting, Mayor Dave Bing was booed and heckled by his own police officers.

“What are you doing to stop the attack as far as blight, the drugs, the murder?” officer Marcus Cummings demanded, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Detroit has lost more than 200,000 residents in the last decade as citizens fled the blighted city for better-off suburbs with lower crime and better school.

Forbes pointed out that even with the population drop, there were 344 murders last year, compared with 395 in 2001.

The police department was forced to fire 200 police officers last year as the city struggled to cope with massive budget shortfalls from declining tax revenue as people left and businesses closed their doors.

Poverty and high unemployment figure prominently among the most violent cities in the nation. Each of them has higher unemployment rates than the rest of the nation.

Oakland, California, number three; Memphis, Tennessee, number four; Birmingham Alabama, number five; and Stockton, California, number eight; have all struggled with high poverty rates for many years.

Unemployment in Stockton, 17.8%, is only marginally lower than it is in Detroit.

St Louis, Missouri, number two, and Atlanta, Georgia, number six, both stand at the crossroads of major drug trafficking corridors and are plagued by especially violent drug crime. Stockton also lies on a key drug trafficking route – between the Mexican cartels and the Pacific Northwest.

Criminologists, and police chiefs in the cities themselves, warn that the data behind the ranking, the FBI Uniform Crime Statistics, offers shaky ground for comparing cities.

The FBI’s numbers depend on how thoroughly the local police departments record and report their own crime statistics.

However, most of the cities listed have been ranked among the most dangerous for years.

And most of them also have the highest murder rates — one crime stat that’s hard to fudge.

After all, as the saying goes, it’s possible for police commanders massage robberies to make them look like thefts, and downplay nonfatal shootings. It’s much more difficult to hide a body.


The ten most dangerous cities in the U.S.

The following is Forbes’ list of the ten most dangerous cities in the country, based on the violent crime rate, which lists the number of murders, rapes, robberies and assaults per 100,000 residents.

1. Detroit, Michigan – 2,137

2. St Louis, Missouri – 1,857

3. Oakland, California – 1,653

4. Memphis, Tennessee – 1,583

5. Birmingham, Alabama – 1,483

6. Atlanta, Georgia – 1,433

7. Baltimore, Maryland – 1,417

8. Stockton, California – 1,408

9. Cleveland, Ohio – 1,363

10. Buffalo, New York – 1,238