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.
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.