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Words in the News
Wednesday 06 February 2002
Vocabulary from the news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

  Tony Blair, British prime minister
British prime minister urges action on Africa
Summary: The British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, is going on a five day trip to Africa. He has warned that the West could face new terrorist threats unless African poverty is relieved. This report from Nick Robinson:

The News Listen  
  The warning couldn't be clearer, Africa could be home to the next Afghanistan, says the British Prime Minister, producing another failed state which becomes dependent on drugs and terrorism with consequences felt on the streets of the West. Tony Blair's all too aware that as he sets off on another foreign trip, many in Britain are waiting to mock his missionary zeal and his presidential style. He's seeking to remind people that self-interest, not just altruism, justifies engagement abroad. And this trip's being presented not as a solo effort, but as part of a concerted international initiative leading up to a possible Marshall Plan for Africa to be agreed at a G-8 summit in June. The British Prime Minister talks in terms of a deal - developed countries offering debt relief, trade and aid, plus diplomatic and military support in return for African initiatives to resolve regional conflicts, build strong political and economic institutions and to attract private investment. This is a trip fraught with political risk; expectations in Africa are running high after Mr. Blair memorably described the continent as a scar on the conscience of the world and insisted that the international community could heal it.

Nick Robinson, BBC

The Words Listen
  to mock
to make fun of something or someone

  missionary zeal
great enthusiasm for an idea that makes you want to get other people to support it

the attitude of always wanting to do what is best for yourself rather than for other people

thinking of the needs and happiness of other people rather than yourself

  a solo effort
trying to do something alone without other people

done by a group of people working together in order to achieve a particular result

  the Marshall Plan
an American plan which gave economic help to rebuild western Europe after the 1939-45 World War

  fraught with
filled with

  expectations in Africa are running high
if expectations are running high, then people are expecting a lot

  a scar
a permanent mark on something

  Read more about this story  

Other Words in the News archives


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