Greece: ‘Major Breakthrough’ in Debt Deal
Eurozone finance ministers say they have reached a "major breakthrough" in negotiating the latest debt relief deal for Greece after hours of discussion in Brussels Tuesday night.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had demanded a reduction in Greece's debt burden as a condition of further IMF bailout funds.
Greece will receive the first part of an $11.4 billion bailout in June, following EU approval of its recent reform efforts.
This is the latest bailout in a six-year saga of economic troubles which have led to Greece's current public debt of about 180 percent of gross domestic product.
The difficult political agreement was met with resistance, particularly by Eurozone powerhouse Germany which, having continuously called for more austerity, claims this bailout was not necessary.
But Greece urgently needs the first tranche of $8.4 billion to pay off loans to the European Central bank and the IMF by July.
Taliban IDs New Leader, Confirms Mansoor Death
Afghanistan’s Taliban says Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada has been appointed the new chief of the group following the death of Mullah Akhtar Mansoor.
In a Pashto language statement on Wednesday, the Tailban also formally confirmed Mansoor was killed in a U.S. drone attack last week.
“Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada has been appointed as the new leader of the Islamic Emirate (Taliban) after a unanimous agreement in the shura (the supreme council), and all the members of shura pledged allegiance to him,” the Taliban statement said.
U.S. President Barack Obama confirmed on Monday that Mansoor was eliminated because he was blocking Afghan peace and reconciliation efforts.
The new Taliban leader was a deputy to Mansoor along with Sirajuddin Haqqani, the leader of the notorious Haqqani network.
Haqqani has retained his position while the son of the group’s founder, Mullah Yaqoob, has been appointed as a second deputy to the new Taliban chief.