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Business Highlights


Here is a look at U.S. business highlights for this week, including a new boss for the World Bank, another step toward consolidation in the U.S. telecommunications industry, and some magic in the publishing business. As VOA Economics Editor Jim Randle reports, experts expect Friday's data on U.S. job creation to show healthy growth.

The World Bank's Board of Directors approved U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz as President of the Bank on Thursday.

Critics questioned Mr. Wolfowitz's fitness for a job devoted to development because because he was an architect of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Washington traditionally nominates World Bank presidents while Europe chooses the head of the International Monetary Fund.

MCI, the second-largest U.S. long-distance company, has accepted a $7.6 billion takeover offer from Verizon.

The deal came after Verizon increased the size of its offer.

MCI choose Verizon over an even larger takeover bid from rival Qwest.

MCI officials say Verizon's large scale and expected growth will make the combined company stronger than would a merger with Qwest, the country's fourth-largest local telephone company.

Disappointed Qwest managers say they will assess the situation.

Harry Potter is about to make more magic in the book publishing business.

Harry is the courageous, talented -- and fictional -- hero of a magical world filled with wizards, dragons, and obnoxious teenage bullies.

The company publishing the next installment of Harry's adventures says it will print an all-time record 10.8 million copies in the United States.

The sixth book in the series is called "Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince."

Published reports say author J.K. Rowling's first five books about Harry's education at a school for wizards have sold a staggering 260-million copies in 62 languages.

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