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Learning English - Words in the News
13 April, 2007 - Published 12:38 GMT
World Bank to decide its president's fate
Paul Wolfowitz

The World Bank's president Paul Wolfowitz is facing calls for his resignation after it was revealed that a promotion was awarded to his girlfriend. Mr Wolfowitz said the way he handled the matter was a mistake and he apologised. This report from Justin Webb:

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When Mr Wolfowitz took over the presidency of the bank, his partner, Shaha Riza, was an employee. Under bank rules, she could not work directly to him, so she was seconded to the State Department, but at the same time, given a large salary increase and a promotion.

The World Bank Staff Association claims that she received preferential treatment on the orders of Mr Wolfowitz. He doesn't accept that, but he does accept that he made mistakes in handling the issue and he's apologised. Still, the Staff Association wants him to resign.

Even before this crisis, Mr Wolfowitz's leadership of the bank had been highly controversial. He clashed frequently with insiders who regarded his management style and his policies as unacceptable, in particular, his insistence that bank help for poor nations be tied in future to their willingness to root out corruption.

Justin Webb, BBC News, Washington

Listen to the words

took over the presidency
became president, assumed leadership of the bank

transferred to another position in a different company/department while still remaining an employee of your original company/department

raising to a higher position in your job

says (but there is no way to prove that what is being said is true)

received preferential treatment
was treated better than others

dealing with

to resign
to give up his job, to stop being the bank's president

highly controversial
causing strong feelings of disapproval and disagreement

disagreed and argued

to root out corruption
to expose and stop morally wrong and/or illegal practices by people in positions of authority or power

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