December 17, Friday, 2021 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. The US Senate voted unanimously on Thursday to pass a bill that bans imports from China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in principle over concerns about alleged forced labor. The legislation will be sent to the White House for President Joe Biden’s signature to enact it. It has already been approved by the House of Representatives.
2. Major central banks are shifting their focus away from measures to stimulate the economy hit by the coronavirus pandemic, as inflation rises. The Bank of England said on Thursday that the bank’s monetary policy committee had voted to increase the Bank Rate by 0.15 percentage points, to 0.25 percent. The British central bank had kept the rate at a record low of 0.1 percent to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
3. France has adopted a law requiring large companies to meet quotas on the portion of women in their top management positions. The aim is to promote a greater diversity of opinions. The new law requires that at least 30 percent of top corporate managers at companies with 1,000 employees or more be women by 2027.