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The World’s Most Powerful Women: November 15

Nov 15, 2016

Donald Trump used many politicians as piñatas on the campaign trail, but there's one target in particular that he may need to make nice with: German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Germany's growing economic and political influence—along with Britain's impending exit from the EU—has made the country one of America's key allies. Germany—rather than the U.K—can help the United States understand what's going on in Europe.

The need for a healthy relationship is mutual given the U.S.'s military commitment in Germany and its role as Germany's largest trading partner. Plus, as Europe contends with its own surging populism, Merkel is the last real defender of the continent's trans-Atlantic partnerhsip with the U.S. Nevertheless, Merkel and Trump could not be more different. She is as austere as he is flamboyant.

But anyone who doubts Merkel's ability to take on Trump and his machismo aught to look at her track record. Politico sums it up nicely:

Merkel’s path from unknown East German physicist to Europe’s preeminent leader is littered with bombastic men who have underestimated her. She outmaneuvered an entire generation of male rivals within her Christian Democratic party en route to the chancellorship, relying on her formidable analytical ability, instinct and even guile.

More recently, she has had to cope with some of the world’s biggest egos, such as Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Silvio Berlusconi.

Trump could soon join that list.

clairezillman

EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA

Brexit plan? What Brexit plan?

A leaked memo shows that the U.K. government has no overall Brexit plan, and it could be months before the cabinet agrees on a negotiating strategy. It criticizes PM Theresa May as "acquiring a reputation of drawing in decisions and details to settle matters herself," which is "unlikely to be sustainable." 

BBC

Ivana, the ambassador?

Speculation about the potential make-up of Trump's administration is running rampant, and even his ex-wife Ivana is getting in on it. She told The New York Post that she would make a great ambassador to her native Czech Republic.

New York Post

Facing off with neo-Nazis

Swedish activist Maria-Teresa Asplund, who goes by Tess, first gained notoriety in May when a photographer took an iconic shot of her standing against neo-Nazis. Asplund stared them down again over the weekend when the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement staged its biggest rally ever. "It was chaos," she said.

BuzzFeed

Still cookin'

Mary Berry, who recently announced she would not continue to judge The Great British Bake Off when the hit show switches from the BBC to Channel 4, is being rewarded for her loyalty. BBC Two will air a six-part show called Mary Berry Everyday, which will showcase the foods and ingredients Berry turns to most.  

Hollywood Reporter

THE AMERICAS

Where are the women?

There are few female names in the mix as Trump begins to assemble his administration. One of them is Kellyanne Conway, Trump's campaign manager, who is reportedly being considered as press secretary. Another is Ronna Romney McDaniel, who's a contender for the Republican National Committee chair position just vacated by Trump's new chief of staff Reince Priebus. McDaniel is the current chairwoman of the Michigan GOP and the niece of one of Trump's loudest critics, 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Associated Press

Ponying up to PP

Planned Parenthood has received increased donations since Trump's election, as some Americans fear his administration will clamp down on access to birth control and abortions. Pop star Katy Perry may be one of the nonprofit's biggest benefactors of late. She made a public donation of $10,000 to the organization, and credited it with educating her on her body and reproductive heath as a teenager.

Motto

Losing a legend

Journalist Gwen Ifill died yesterday after a battle with cancer. Best known as co-anchor of The PBS News Hour, Ifill became one of the first black women to preside over a major national political show when she was picked to lead what was then called Washington Week in Review in 1999. Her PBS co-host Judy Woodruff remembers Ifill's rare combination of authority and warmth, calling her "one of the most graceful interrupters I have ever seen."

Washington Post

Ushering in uncertainty

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Jo White said yesterday that she plans to step down in January. Under her leadership, the SEC has focused on tightening rules related to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, but her departure means that a Trump appointee could roll back much of that work.

Wall Street Journal

ASIA-PACIFIC

An unexpected fortune

Judith Neilson is one of Australia's wealthiest women, worth an estimated $720 million. This story looks at how she got rich in an unexpected windfall and how she's become a force in Australia's arts community.

Financial Times

China's chasm

The gender pay gap in China is 22.3%, according to a new study, but it fluctuates based on education level and location. Women with only a high school diploma make 33% less than men in the same roles, while women with PhDs earn 16.7% less. Women in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen trail their male peers by 20% on average, compared to 31% in second- and third-tier cities.

Wall Street Journal

IN BRIEF

Nasdaq gets its first female leader

Financial Times

Hillary Clinton is the first to say 'I'm sorry' in a presidential concession speech

Fortune

We're getting a hijab and a breastfeeding emoji

Huffington Post

At trial, prosecutors argue that Jo Cox's slaying was politically motivated

Wall Street Journal

How I dealt with being one of the few women at the table

Fortune

The advertising decisions that helped doom Hillary Clinton

Washington Post

Why this American Muslim woman has shunned her hijab for a hat

Refinery29

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