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Words in the News
Monday 17 June 2002
Vocabulary from the news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

Watergate anniversary
Summary: Today marks the thirtieth anniversary of Watergate, the most famous political scandal in American history. What began as a burglary led to the downfall of US President Richard Nixon. It also revealed a web of political spying, sabotage and bribery. This report from Ian Pannell in Washington.

The News Listen  
  It was June 17th 1972, early on a Saturday morning. Five intruders were caught inside the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, adjusting bugging equipment and photographing documents. The Republican Party, the FBI, the CIA, the Justice Department, the attorney-general, the White House and eventually, the president of the United States, all became embroiled in the ensuing scandal. Eventually, Richard Nixon was left with no choice but to resign. Three decades later, and the story still holds much fascination. But it also continues to inform today's political climate. The recent reform of campaign finance was partly the result of continuing efforts to make public life at least appear cleaner. There continued to be large doses of public scepticism about politics and politicians, born out of the Vietnam war but cemented in Watergate. The willingness to speak out against President Bush and his policies in the midst of the war on terrorism is perhaps the best indication of this. But Watergate was about more than just scepticism. It was also about restoring faith in a political system that limits and divides power between the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. It's this which many see as the abiding legacy of Watergate.

Ian Pannell, BBC, Washington

The Words Listen
  bugging equipment
hidden microphones used secretly to listen to private conversations

the chief law officer in the US, who also advises the government

  embroiled in
deeply involved in (usually something bad - like an argument or a scandal)

here, influence

  large doses of
large amounts of

  restoring faith in
if you restore someone’s faith in something, you help them trust it again

the part of government which makes sure that laws are carried out

the part of government which makes laws

all the country’s lawyers and judges are known together as the judiciary

  abiding legacy
lasting influence

  Read more about this story  

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