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The World’s Most Powerful Women: October 31

Oct 31, 2016

Of all the potential outcomes resulting from the FBI's renewed examination of Hillary Clinton's emails, one that's especially fascinating is what the scandal means for Clinton's relationship with Huma Abedin, her longtime aide. Abedin is the estranged wife of disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner, whose alleged sexual misconduct led investigators to the new trove of emails, but she's also someone Clinton considers a type of surrogate daughter.

Clinton and Abedin are intricately linked, professionally and personally—to an almost bizarre degree. Abedin, at age 19, first interned for Clinton when she was first lady and worked for Clinton when she was secretary of state. Clinton—in an unbelievable instance of irony—is credited with introducing Abedin and Weiner. Bill Clinton officiated at their wedding. And both Abedin and her boss share the unique trait of enduring the public humiliation of a cheating husband and, at least initially, making the decision to stay married despite the indiscretions. (Abedin announced her separation from Weiner in August.)

After all that, and a week away from the election they've both worked toward, their 20-year bond is facing the ultimate test.

clairezillman

EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA

Opening the floodgates

Theresa May's government has denied providing Nissan with a "sweetheart" deal in exchange for the automaker's renewed commitment to a factory in Sunderland, England, but it did promise that Nissan would not be hurt by Brexit, according to a report by Reuters. The assurance has prompted other carmakers such as Jaguar Land Rover and Ford to say they need the same kind of guarantee.

Reuters

Change of scenery

Kristalina Georgieva, who was one of the seven female candidates for UN secretary general, has quit her job as VP of the European Commission for the CEO role at the World Bank. Georgieva, from Bulgaria, worked in a role akin to the Commission’s chief operating officer, but reportedly had become frustrated with how the institution has handled migration and Brexit.

Politico

Pirates in parliament

Iceland's Pirate Party, founded by Birgitta Jónsdóttir in 2012, tripled its number of seats in parliament in a weekend election. With an alliance of three other left-of-centre parties, it won a total of 27 seats, but the group came up five short of a majority that would have put it in a position to form a government. 

Guardian

Frustrated feedback

After publishing a documentary on the first election in Saudi Arabia in which women could run for office and vote, the New York Times asked women there to describe their lives and aspirations. Nearly 6,000 women wrote in, and many expressed frustration at the kingdom's male guardianship rule. Said one respondent: “Every time I want to travel, I have to tell my teenage son to allow me.” 

New York Times

THE AMERICAS

On defense

After FBI Director Jim Comey announced his agency would examine new emails related to Clinton's private email server, her team sprung into the defensive position. On the campaign trail, Clinton demanded more clarity from Comey and called his disclosure so close to the election "deeply troubling."  On Sunday, Democratic Senator Harry Reid went a step further, accusing Comey of interfering with the presidential race and holding Clinton to a double-standard. Reid suggested that Comey was keeping alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia confidential while publicizing the “slightest innuendo related to Secretary Clinton.”

Wall Street Journal

History, repeating itself

The clash of politics and perceived gender norms in the on-going U.S. election is startling, but not without precedent. The meme-fication of feminism during the suffrage movement in the early 20th century mirrors what's happening today.

Atlantic

ASIA-PACIFIC

Extra support

Tiya Fazelbhoy, along with two colleagues, created a bra to encourage breast cancer awareness among women in Pakistan. The nation has the highest incidence of the disease in Asia with 40,000 women dying from it annually. Yet it remains a taboo topic. The bra is a subtle effort to break the silence. It's white with raised pink outlines of fingerprints to show where to conduct a self-exam. It's also printed with self-exam instructions and illustrations for those who are illiterate.

NPR

Apologies all around

Choi Soon-sil, the woman suspected of having undue authority in the administration of South Korean President Park Geun-hye, apologized yesterday for upsetting the public. Park issued her own apology last week, but protesters are still calling for her resignation. The scandal is growing in oddity. In addition to influence-peddling, it involves spiritual guidance from a "Shamanistic prophet," voices from the dead, and dressage, a competitive version of horse-dancing.

Bloomberg

IN BRIEF

British chef April Bloomfield finally found her country retreat

Wall Street Journal

John Lewis’s first female boss took a conventional route to top

Financial Times

The overlooked story of Diwali is actually about respecting women’s dignity

Quartz

Meet the publisher who rejected Jane Austen

LitHub

PARTING WORDS

"If you are going to do an international beauty pageant, you at least have to be able to see international beauty."

--Miss Iceland 2015 Arna Ýr Jónsdóttir, who dropped out of the Miss Grand International pageant after the owner said she needed to lose weight.

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