Greece faces Eurozone showdown

The European Central Bank turned up the heat on the newly-elected Greek government, which is seeking to ease the terms of its €240bn bailout. After a meeting between Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis and ECB President Mario Draghi, the ECB said that as of next week, it would no longer accept Greek government bonds as collateral for loans to its banks.

Here’s what the ECB did and why, via Marketwatch.

Varoufakis (pictured) is to meet German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble on Thursday, with Germany set to take a strong line on Greece’s obligations.

Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis answers journlist's questions at restaurant in Frankfurt  (image: Reuters)

* WORLD * As Jordan’s King Abdullah vowed a “relentless war” against Islamic State amid widespread anger and grief at the brutal murder of Lt. Muath Al-Kaseasbeh, it emerged that the UAE had withdrawn from coalition air strikes against IS after the capture of the Jordanian pilot, according to US officials.

The US military is moving more assets into Iraq to battle IS, while British MPs will on Thursday urge a stepping up of the country’s “strikingly modest” role in the coalition effort.

US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk in Kiev on Thursday, to discuss the worsening crisis.

Rescuers have been searching for 12 people unaccounted for after the TransAsia Airways crash in Taiwan.  Thirty-one people have been confirmed killed in the accident, while 15 were pulled from the wreckage.

As if Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner didn’t have enough problems, she has apparently kicked up a diplomatic storm on Twitter during a visit to China.

Another leader having a rough time thanks to social media is Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto, who inspired the #YaSeQueNoAplauden hashtag after an off-the-cuff remark about not being applauded at a press conference.

* POLITICS * Jeb Bush picked Detroit to deliver a speech ostensibly kicking off his 2016 campaign for the GOP presidential nomination and touting his ‘Right to Rise’ economic vision – also the name of his PAC.

Lawmakers in California moved to introduce legislation that would abolish parents’ ‘personal beliefs’ exemption to the requirement for children to be vaccinated before entering schools. The Los Angeles Times reports that Gov Jerry Brown “appears open” to restricting vaccine waivers.

Illinois congressman Aaron Schock said he would personally pay for the renovations and redesign of his ‘Downton Abbey’-themed office – as revealed the other day by the Washington Post‘s Ben Terris – after a watchdog group said the makeover may have violated House ethics rules on gifts.

schockABC(image: ABC News)

* MEDIA * In an op-ed in Wired, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler expands on his proposed new rules “to preserve the internet as an open platform for innovation and free expression.” He writes:

..I am submitting to my colleagues the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the FCC. These enforceable, bright-line rules will ban paid prioritization, and the blocking and throttling of lawful content and services. I propose to fully apply—for the first time ever—those bright-line rules to mobile broadband.

My proposal assures the rights of internet users to go where they want, when they want, and the rights of innovators to introduce new products without asking anyone’s permission

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams acknowledged that he had falsely claimed to have been on a helicopter that was shot down by enemy fire in Iraq in 2003.

Meanwhile, The Wrap reports on an “impending shakeup” at MSNBC, but  says that a “bright spot” for the network has been its digital division and the launch of its video channel shift.

Ricardo Bilton writes at Digiday on how some leading publishers are starting to use Snapchat.

* BUSINESS * RadioShack appears very close to a deal with its creditors and others that could see it enter bankruptcy by Thursday, Bloomberg reports.

Wednesday marked one year since Satya Nadella took over as CEO at Microsoft. CNBC’s Josh Lipton looks at the boss’s ups and downs over that period.

 

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