US Senate Voting on Yellen as Central Bank Chief
The U.S. Senate appears set to confirm Janet Yellen as the new chair of the country's central bank, making her one of the most powerful figures in world economic circles.
The Senate is scheduled to vote late Monday on her nomination as chair of the Federal Reserve and analysts say she has enough votes to win confirmation. She would become the first woman to head the 100-year-old agency and replace Ben Bernanke when his eight-year tenure expires at the end of January.
The head of the U.S. Federal Reserve has often influenced world economic decisions. Economists are predicting that the 67-year-old Yellen, the Fed's current vice chair, will continue many of Bernanke's policies. They both have called for a gradual end to the central bank's direct support of the U.S. economy and continued low interest rates.
The chief economist at the country's biggest bank, James Glassman of JPMorgan Chase, tells VOA that Federal Reserve policies will be shaped by the performance of the world's largest economy as it recovers from its steep recession in 2008 and 2009.
South Korea Calls for Renewed Family Reunions
South Korea's president has called for resuming reunions of families separated by the Korean War, and promised increased humanitarian aid to the impoverished North.
At her televised New Year news conference Monday, President Park Geun-hye said she wants the reunions to take place on the Lunar New Year's Day on January 31 to "heal wounded hearts."
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called last week for improved ties in his New Year's Day speech, which also included a threat of nuclear war.
President Park responded Monday that what is important is not words, but action and sincerity. She told reporters that since the execution of Kim Jong Un's uncle, Jang Song Thaek last month, it has been harder to predict what the North might do next.
North Korea canceled a round of reunions last year, blaming hostility from the South.