Overseas Headlines – December 17, 2021

United States:

U.S. Steps Up China Pressure Over Surveillance of Uyghurs

“The Biden administration ratcheted up pressure on Beijing over its treatment of ethnic and religious minorities, as U.S. lawmakers passed a bill targeting companies that rely on forced labor from the Xinjiang region of China. The administration on Thursday added 34 entities in China, including 11 research institutes within the Academy of Military Medical Sciences, to its banned entity list, saying they are part of a network that misuses biometric surveillance technology to track and repress ethnic and religious minorities.”



U.K. Retail Sales Surge With Discounts Around Black Friday

“U.K. retail sales surged more than expected last month as Black Friday discounts drew consumers back into shops. The volume of goods sold in stores and online rose 1.4% from October, when they grew a revised 1.1%, the Office for National Statistics said Friday. Economists had expected an increase of 0.8%. Sales excluding auto fuel grew 1.1%.”



BOJ Takes Slow Lane on Paring Covid Aid as Peers Accelerate

“The Bank of Japan ended the second year of the pandemic in a very different place to other major central banks. While the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England this week took aggressive steps to pull back from crisis aid, Governor Haruhiko Kuroda and his board slow walked it, extending assistance to struggling smaller businesses for another six months and paring back help for bigger firms from April.”




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