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The World’s Most Powerful Women: June 28

As the Brexit vote shot more shockwaves through the financial markets, pressuring the FTSE100 Index, sending the British pound to its lowest level against the dollar in over three decades, and leading S&P and Fitch to downgrade the U.K.’s credit rating, a spotlight is shining on Angela Merkel.

The German chancellor, who heads Europe’s strongest economy and has the longest tenure of any EU leader, reacted to the Brexit crisis by urging caution. Reuters Breakingviews said it was the right call. And Adam Posen, the well-respected president of the Peterson Institute, told Bloomberg TV Merkel is “behaving like the states person she is—the grown-up in the room.”

While she’s arguably Europe’s most powerful leader, she faces a ticklish task. Having faced criticism over her positions on austerity in the eurozone and the Greek bailout, she can’t afford to be overly aggressive on Brexit. Merkel, whose country is now likely to become the U.S.’s key ally in Europe, also wants to prevent other nations from leaving the bloc.

So diplomatically, Merkel, who hosted the French and Italian presidents in Berlin yesterday, has signaled she wants key discussions about the mechanics of Brexit to occur among EU leaders in Brussels. Today, Prime Minister David Cameron will address the officials in the Belgian capital. But tomorrow, there will be a summit of 27 EU leaders. That’s right—27 leaders. Britain won’t be attending.

Laura Cohn



A strong EU
In the aftermath of the Brexit vote, U.S. officials are signaling that they value a “strong EU.” That’s how U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry characterized it, as he met with Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign policy chief, in Brussels, adding that the U.S. must work with Europe on immigration and climate protection.
New York Times


Theresa May as leader?
When the finality of the Brexit vote first came to light, it looked as if an election in May was a foregone conclusion. But, according to the Guardian, if U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May declares her candidacy for Conservative leader and wins more support than former London Mayor Boris Johnson, there may not have to be a general election.


Making the cut
In non-Brexit news (yes, there is some), the Scottish golf club that refused to allow female members is having another vote on the matter. The Muirfield golf course, which lost its right to host the Open championship as a result of its exclusion of women, said it will bring the issue to a vote by the end of the year.

Eyes on Google
It looks like Margrethe Vestager, EU competition commissioner, is going after Google again. This time, she is aiming to hit the company with an antitrust complaint, claiming its advertising services violate competition rules.


Hailing the Supreme Court
Hillary Clinton said the Supreme Court’s latest abortion ruling was a “victory for women across America.” The ruling struck down a Texas law that would have put limits on abortion.

Another unwanted gender gap
This is disturbing, particularly in light of the threatening tweets female MPs in the U.K. have been receiving: An analysis of online abuse of the world’s politicians found that Hillary Clinton was on the receiving end of nearly twice as much abuse as Bernie Sanders.


A path to GM
GM is one of seven companies providing a re-entry path for female engineers who took career breaks of two years or more. The auto giant—along with industry titans Cummins, Intel, Booz Allen Hamilton, Caterpillar, Johnson Controls and IBM—is offering technical internships through a program with the Society of Women Engineers and iRelaunch.
Detroit News


Scrubbing an ad in China
China’s Hangzhou Dianzi University came under fire after its online recruitment ad said its female students are “not that few” and “good looking.” The ad, which appeared on WeChat and was criticized online for being sexist, has been removed. At least there’s that.


Tsai’s tough times
It looks like Taiwan’s first female president, Tsai Ing-wen, is in hot water with Beijing again. After delivering a personal attack against her last month, China said it has halted contact with Taiwan’s diplomats because Tsai won’t support a unified China.
New York Times

Wearing heels in Japan
Given the brouhaha in London a few weeks ago when a woman was sent home for not wearing high heels, this made me laugh. The Japan High Heel Association is urging women to wear pumps as a means of empowerment.


Michelle Obama visits girls in Liberia as she kicks off Africa trip
New York Times

Watch Amy Schumer, Seth Rogen tackle gender equality in Bud Light ad

Egyptian authorities detain well-known TV host Liliane Daoud
New York Times

Polish PM Beata Szydlo urges U.K. to let Poles living there keep their rights
Financial Times

How China’s new generation of women is “leaning in”

Only 3% of global ads feature working women


It has been a particularly grim couple of days.
—British journalist Libby Purves, on Brexit