December 16, Thursday, 2021 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has met with a group of visiting French lawmakers and expressed hope that France and the European Union will further boost ties with Taiwan.
2. Organizers of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing are increasing vigilance against the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. With 50 days to go before the Olympics open on February 4, the organizing committee for the Winter Games held a news conference in Beijing on Thursday. A committee official in charge of media relations stressed a sense of caution over Omicron as two cases of the variant were reported in Tianjin and Guangzhou this week. The cases are the first found in China.
3. Policy makers at the US Federal Reserve say they are going to end their bond-purchase program in March. The move is aimed at curbing inflation and will take place sooner and faster than originally planned.