Tsipras wears tie to celebrate debt deal

For once sporting a necktie, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Friday pledged to tread the path of fiscal prudence after international creditors announced new debt relief measures to wean his country off its eight-year bailout program.

Tsipras said the deal hammered out early Friday in Luxembourg was a historic milestone for his austerity-battered country, whose third — and last — bailout deal runs out two months from now.

“Greece is once again becoming a normal country, regaining its political and financial independence,” Tsipras told a gathering of the 153 lawmakers in his left-led governing coalition in Athens.

Greek bond markets rose on the news of the deal, leading to a drop in the government’s borrowing rates.

For the only time since he first assumed office in January 2015, Tsipras donned a tie. The left-wing politician eschews neckties but said after his election that he would wear one when Greece had settled its debt problems.

The agreement concluded by finance ministers from the 19-member euro zone grants Greece a 10-year extension in repaying a large chunk of its crippling debt load and provides it with enough ready cash to coast over nearly two more years, without having to resort to expensive international bond markets after bailout loans run out in August.

— Associated Press

Netflix official steps down over remarks

Netflix’s top spokesman said Friday that he is leaving the company after having made inappropriate remarks to colleagues.

“Leaders have to be beyond reproach in the example we set and unfortunately I fell short of that standard when I was insensitive in speaking to my team about words that offend in comedy,” Jonathan Friedland, chief communications officer, said in a series of tweets. “I feel awful about the distress this lapse caused to people at a company I love and where I want everyone to feel included and appreciated.”

Friedland didn’t elaborate on what he said that led him to leave the streaming service. He joins the growing ranks of executives felled by misconduct in recent months. Intel removed chief executive Brian Krzanich earlier this week after he had a consensual relationship with an employee. Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush stepped down earlier this month after a series of allegations about misconduct involving women.

Netflix declined to comment.

Friedland spent more than seven years at Netflix, helping hone its image as it became the world’s largest streaming TV service. He became the head of communications in 2012.

— Bloomberg News

Also in Business

Bitcoin dropped to a more than four-month low on Friday, continuing a downtrend after more negative headlines, including Japan's financial regulator ordering six digital currency exchanges to make improvements on their anti-money laundering systems. The original virtual currency fell as low as $6,085.59 on Bitstamp, the lowest since early February and not far from this year's trough of just below $6,000. So far in 2018, bitcoin has fallen nearly 56 percent, after soaring more than 1,300 percent last year.

A labor relations panel has upheld most of a judge's ruling that a Teamsters union representing Disney World workers committed an unfair labor practice when it ignored members' requests to resign from the union. The three-person National Labor Relations Board panel upheld the decision earlier this week. The panel ordered union officials to reimburse some of the former members who had dues deducted after they had made their resignation requests. Local 385 represents costumed characters and bus drivers at Disney World.

A nuclear technology firm says it will start developing products in Alabama that include a propulsion system that could send rockets to Mars. News outlets reported BWX Technologies opened an office Thursday in Huntsville. Jonathan Certain, BWX vice president for advanced technical programs, said the company has a contract with NASA to create conceptual designs for a nuclear thermal reactor that could power a spaceship to the Red Planet. BWX, based in Lynchburg, Va., will develop it at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Certain said.

— From news reports