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U.S. Air Force picks Boeing 747-8 to replace Air Force One: sources
The U.S. Air Force plans to announce on Wednesday that it has decided to use Boeing Co's commercial 747-8 airliner to replace its current fleet of Air Force One presidential aircraft, two sources familiar with the decision said on Wednesday. The decision comes a month after Boeing said it would slow production of the 747-8 aircraft from 1.5 a month to 1.3 a month.
Fed to remain 'patient,' expects inflation to rise in 'medium term'
* The Fed acknowledged that inflation had declined further below its longer-run objective and that market-based inflation measures had fallen substantially - a more negative assessment of inflation pressures than in December. “On the bond market, the fact that they are kind of seeing some spillover of lower oil prices into measured inflation and inflation expectations shouldn’t be new news, but the market took it that way. People are buying (30 year Treasuries) on the lower inflation expectations although they were pretty upbeat on growth overall. “The Fed statement shows the tension within the Fed. Growth is doing well and the labor is improving, but inflation is very uncertain and that’s a concern for them.
Jordan prisoner swap on hold, fate of Japanese IS hostage unclear
By Suleiman Al-Khalidi AMMAN (Reuters) - Jordan said on Wednesday it had received no assurance that one of its pilots captured by Islamic State insurgents was safe and that it would go ahead with a proposed prisoner swap only if he was freed. The fate of air force pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh was thought to be tied to that of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto, a veteran war reporter who is also being held by the insurgent group. A video was released on Tuesday purporting to show the Japanese national saying he had 24 hours to live unless Jordan released Sajida al-Rishawi, an Iraqi woman on death row for her role in a 2005 suicide bomb attack. Government spokesman Mohammad al-Momani said Jordan was ready to release al-Rishawi if Kasaesbeh was spared, but made clear that she was still being held until the pilot was freed.
Greek PM Tsipras freezes privatizations, markets tumble
By Lefteris Papadimas and Renee Maltezou ATHENS (Reuters) - Leftwing Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras threw down an open challenge to international creditors on Wednesday by halting privatization plans agreed under the country's bailout deal, prompting a third day of heavy losses on financial markets. A swift series of announcements signaled the newly installed government would stand by its anti-austerity pledges, setting it on course for a clash with European partners, led by Germany, which has said it will not renegotiate the aid package needed to help Greece pay its debts. Tsipras, who was congratulated by U.S. President Barack Obama in a phone call for his decisive election victory on Sunday, told the first meeting of his cabinet members that they could not afford to disappoint voters. After announcing a halt to the privatization of the port of Piraeus on Tuesday, for which China's Cosco Group [COSCO.UL] and four others had been short-listed, the government indicated it would put the whole program on hold.
Hezbollah will pay 'full price' for deadly attack: Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Lebanon's Hezbollah it will pay the "full price" after missiles killed two Israeli soldiers Wednesday in an attack that raised fears of another all-out war. A Spanish UN peacekeeper was killed as Israel and Hezbollah exchanged artillery fire -- the most serious clashes between the bitter enemies in years -- following the attack by the Shiite militant group. The two soldiers were killed when Hezbollah fired an anti-tank missile at a military convoy in an Israeli-occupied border area, the army said. Israel responded with "combined aerial and ground strikes" on southern Lebanon after the attack -- an apparent retaliation for a recent Israeli strike on the Golan Heights that killed senior Hezbollah members.