This Afternoon's Top News Stories

Here's a quick look at some of the items making news this Friday afternoon.

Another Suntech Power executive steps down
Suntech Power
(NYS: STP) Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Beebe has resigned for personal reasons, according to a Reuters report. Beebe's resignation comes less than a month after company founder and chief executive Zhengrong Shi resigned, and the company says it won't seek a replacement for Beebe, Reuters reports. Shares of China-based Suntech have ranged from $0.75 to $4.40 over the past year.

Good news if you need time to pay
Sears Holdings
' (NAS: SHLD) Sears and Kmart stores are doing away with layaway fees, USA TODAY has reported, noting that this follows Toys R Us' announcement that it would drop layaway fees and Wal-Mart's move to lower its layaway fees. A Kmart spokeswoman said the layaway overhaul was not in response to Toys R Us or Wal-Mart, reported USA TODAY. Target said this week that it would be sitting out the low-price wars this holiday season.

Gender in the ECB
Concerns about a lack of women on the executive board of the European Central Bank have delayed a vote to confirm Yves Mersch (a man) to the board, according to a report on the Public Service Europe website.

"There is now not a single woman sitting on the main board of what is one of the most powerful and essential institutions in the European Union," Sharon Bowles, chairwoman of the economic and monetary affairs committee of the European Parliament, said in a statement this week. "The symbolic and practical effects of this absence are not without note."

The report notes that this action, which likely will delay and not derail a vote, comes as the EU eyes implementing rules on the number of women companies must have on their boards.

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