J.K. Rowling is no doubt one of the publishing world’s most consistent money makers—if not its best ever—and she is notoriously private, especially when it comes to her vast fortune. That means her net worth is a close-kept secret and the subject of rampant speculation.
Given the success of her new film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, there’s a new estimate of her worth, courtesy of New York Times writer James B. Stewart. He crunched the numbers—$1.15 billion from the Harry Potter books, $700 million from her films, tens of millions here and there for licensing deals—and pegged her fortune at at least $1.2 billion after taxes.
Stewart's motivation for calculating the author's worth is just as interesting as watching how the numbers add up. He writes that as a member of the uber wealthy club—enriched by her own brains and literary brawn—who also pays taxes and gives generously, Rowling is a rarity among today’s business moguls and celebrities, and her self-made success is something to celebrate.
Not having it
Two of PM Theresa May's flagship business reforms—annual binding shareholder votes on pay and the publication of CEO-to-worker pay ratios—are facing a backlash from figures like the Bank of England’s chief economist and the CEO of GlaxoSmithKline. Their rejection of her proposals further strain relations between the U.K. government and the corporate world.
Ukraine's Interior Ministry has selected an unorthodox pick for its new deputy: 24-year-old Anastasia Deyeva, the youngest person to ever hold such a position. Some Ukrainians think she's unqualified for what is one of the nation's top police and security jobs, but her boss Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has come to her defense: "In the Soviet tradition, this sort of job was for a monster, but we've hired a girl. Maybe so, only we do things differently in my ministry."
Not just a pretty face
There's been a lot of talk lately about the meaning of makeup, especially as women like Alicia Keys and Hillary Clinton have made public appearances without it. Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie took on the topic as she explained her new gig as brand ambassador for the No. 7 beauty brand. "I wanted to be part of the message that women who like makeup also have important and serious things that they’re doing in their lives. And that those can co-exist, that women are a multiplicity of things," she says. "I think it’s time to really stop that ridiculous idea that somehow if you’re a serious woman you can’t and should not care about how you look."
Smoke, no fire
Green Party candidate Jill Stein, backed mainly by Hillary Clinton supporters, has raised a boatload of cash—over $4.6 million—for vote recounts in three states that helped Donald Trump win the U.S. election. Her efforts started after a few cybersecurity experts suggested evidence of suspicious results, but one of those experts has since walked back his comments and election gurus say there is little chance election results were hacked.
American women typically attribute their right to vote to the suffrage movement of early last century, but they also owe a great deal to the Iroquois Nation. Iroquois women had tremendous political authority and neighbored famous suffragists in upstate New York. Historians say the Iroquois helped inspire women's rights advocates like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and Matilda Joslyn Gage.
Lisa Davis took over the energy operations at Siemens AG in 2014 right before it paid a premium for oil-equipment maker Dresser-Rand Group and just prior to the bottom falling out of the oil market. But Davis presses on, vowing to make Siemens' energy unit more efficient with digitization and automation so it can gain a competitive edge when oil prices rebound.
The International Maritime Organization gave its award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea to Captain Radhika Menon this week after her oil tanker rescued fishermen on a stranded vessel from dangerous waters last year. Menon is the first female captain in the Indian Merchant Navy and the only woman to have ever won the award, which recognizes those who risk their own lives to save others at sea.
Aung San Suu Kyi remains in a tight spot as a UN official on Thursday accused Myanmar of carrying out an "ethnic cleansing" of its Muslim Rohingya minority. Suu Kyi has stayed relatively silent on the issue. International powers are increasingly concerned about the situation, but if she orders an investigation of soldiers' alleged abuse of the community she risks destabilizing her young government by fracturing her relationship with the army.
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"[Y]ou also realize the gender politics in the film and how important it is to show a female character who is over-prepared and ambitious and a perfectionist and that’s an okay thing for a woman to be."
--Actress Jessica Chastain on her new film, Miss Sloane