It's also extremely useful in practice to have a list of repaired bugs in NEWS!
[Martin v. Löwis]
I'm not convinced about that - it makes the NEWS file almost unreadable, as the noise is now so high if every tiny change is listed; it is very hard to see what the important changes are.
My experience disagrees, and I gave a specific example from just the last day. High-level coverage of the important bits is served (and served well) by Andrew's "What's New in Python" doc. (Although I'll note that when I did releases, I tried to sort section contents in NEWS, to put the more important items at the top.)
In any case, you snipped the other part here: a brief summary of changes is required by the licenses, and they don't distinguish between changes due to features or bugs. If, for example, we didn't note that tuple hashing changed in NEWS, we would be required to note that in some other file. NEWS is the historical place for it, and works fine for this purpose (according to me <wink>).