April 21, 2007 in Nation/World

In brief: Board intensifies probe of Wolfowitz

The Spokesman-Review
 

Paul D. Wolfowitz’s chances of remaining World Bank president grew more uncertain Friday after the governing board for the multinational aid agency expanded its probe into his role in a job promotion and pay raise his girlfriend received.

The bank’s 24-member executive board, which could oust Wolfowitz, expressed “great concern” about the controversy and created its second “ad hoc group” to look into the matter. The first one, which reported earlier this month, served as an information-gathering panel.

In setting up the new group, the board said some issues needed further investigation. It did not specify them, other than to say they involved “conflict-of-interest, ethical, reputational and other relevant standards.”

Wolfowitz has rejected a call from the group that represents the bank’s 13,000 employees and consultants that he resign. But some familiar with the bank’s workings said they viewed the expanded probe by the executive board, composed of representatives of 24 nations, as a possible prelude to forcing him out.

Berlin

Americans warned of security threat

U.S. diplomatic buildings in Germany have increased security in response to a “heightened threat,” and the U.S. Embassy warned Americans in the country to take precautions, officials said Friday.

German officials also said they have stepped up security outside U.S. bases, but left any specific danger unclear.

An embassy e-mail announcement encouraged “Americans in Germany to increase their vigilance and take appropriate steps to bolster their own security.”

In Washington, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack would not specify the nature of the threat but said the United States took it seriously enough to review security at the Berlin embassy and U.S. missions in Bonn, Bremen, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Leipzig and Munich.

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