Thursday, December 14, 2017
News Roundup

Stockton, Calif., is largest U.S. city to seek bankruptcy

Stockton, calif.

city largest in u.s. to seek bankruptcy

The city of Stockton, Calif., has filed for Chapter 9 protection, making it the largest American city ever to declare bankruptcy.

City Manager Bob Deis said officials sought the status Thursday in federal bankruptcy court in Sacramento, as expected.

The filing comes after officials were unable to reach a deal with the city's creditors to restructure hundreds of millions of dollars of debt under a new state law designed to help municipalities avoid bankruptcy.

Stockton, a river port of 290,000 in central California, was one of fewer than a half dozen larger governments to seek Chapter 9 protection in U.S. history, according to James Spiotto, a Chicago bankruptcy attorney who tracks municipal bankruptcies.

It's the first California city to file for bankruptcy since Vallejo, which sought protection in 2008.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands

U.N. court throws out one Karadzic charge

The Yugoslav war crimes tribunal acquitted former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic of one charge of genocide Thursday but upheld 10 other war crimes counts related to atrocities in Bosnia's bloody war.

While the decision was a setback for prosecutors and angered survivors in Bosnia, the 10 pending charges against Karadzic include another genocide count covering his alleged involvement in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys.

The charge that was dismissed covered the mass killings, expulsions and persecution by Serb forces of Muslims and Croats from Bosnian towns early in the country's 1992-95 war, which left 100,000 dead. Presiding Judge Oh-Gon Kwon said prosecutors did not provide enough evidence to "be capable of supporting a conviction of genocide in the (Bosnian) municipalities."

NEWARK, N.J.

No stowaways found in search of ship

A cargo ship that U.S. authorities thought might be carrying stowaways was expected to leave Port Newark on Friday after a search of more than 160 sealed containers turned up no one.

The Department of Homeland Security said Thursday that the search, triggered by a reported knocking sound, had ended with no stowaways found. The agency declined to answer questions about what may have caused the false alarm.

The last port of call for the ship was in Egypt on June 15. It is headed to Norfolk, Va.

WASHINGTON

Solar firm declares bankruptcy after loan

A Colorado-based solar panel maker that received a $400 million loan guarantee from the Obama administration said Thursday it will file for bankruptcy, the latest setback for an industry battered by the recession and stiff competition from companies in China.

Abound Solar of Loveland, Colo., received about $70 million from the Energy Department before officials froze its credit line last year.

Abound is the third clean-energy company to file for bankruptcy after receiving a loan from the Energy Department under the economic stimulus law. California solar panel maker Solyndra and Beacon Power, a Massachusetts energy-storage firm, declared bankruptcy last year. Solyndra received a $528 million federal loan, while Beacon Power got a $43 million loan guarantee.

LOS ANGELES

Saturn moon Titan may harbor ocean

Scientists reported Thursday on the strongest sign yet that Saturn's giant moon may have a salty ocean beneath its chilly surface.

The finding by an international team of researchers was released online Thursday by the journal Science.

Elsewhere

Iraq: Bombings and shootings around Iraq killed 22 people and wounded more than 50 on Thursday, authorities said.

Egypt: Newly elected President Mohammed Morsi will be sworn in Saturday before a high court, the MENA news agency reported Thursday.

Times wires

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