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The World’s Most Powerful Women: July 26

The string of recent tragedies in Germany—the hatchet rampage on a commuter train, the shooting spree in Munich, and Sunday’s suicide bombing in Bavaria—have resulted in a bump for the Chancellor that Germans only half-mockingly refer to as “Mutti” or “Mommy.”

Politico reports that recent polls (albeit taken before the weekend attacks) indicate that Angela Merkel has largely made up the ground she lost after critics took sharp aim at her refugee policy in the wake of the New Year’s Eve attacks in Cologne. Her approval rating landed at 59% this month—its highest since September 2015. That increase is especially notable since Merkel will face a general election contest next year.

The jolt is evidence of skittish Germans flocking to Merkel as a well-known voice of reason and reflects an easing of the refugee crisis. Germans’ embrace of Merkel is not totally unexpected since research shows that one way people cope with terrorism fears is to look for a leader to protect them. Research also indicates that being a woman leader in such circumstances could be a disadvantage (heads up, Hillary Clinton), but that takeaway came from a study in which people considered both men and women leaders. As Politico points out, in Germany, there’s really “no alternative” to Merkel.

Still, the Chancellor and her supporters should in no way get comfortable with her higher favorables. The recent uptick in violence proves that the world’s current social and political environment is nothing if not completely unpredictable.

Fortune writer Claire Zillman

@clairezillman

(filling in for Laura this week)

EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA

Keeping Scotland’s options open
Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon has renewed her position that Scotland should have the chance to hold another independence referendum depending on the shape of Britain’s future ties with the EU. Interestingly enough, Scots don’t think there should be a second bid.
Reuters

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THE AMERICAS



Stealing the spotlight
The first night of the Democratic Convention was reserved for runner-up Bernie Sanders, but Michelle Obama ended up stealing the show. The First Lady’s emotional speech transcended the ugliness of the presidential race by focusing on just how far the country has come. 
Washington Post
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Marissa’s not moving
Verizon finally announced that it’s buying Yahoo’s core Internet business for $4.83 billion. The long-anticipated deal did come with one surprise: Marissa Mayer, who’s rumored to have a massive $57 million exit package, told employees she’s not going anywhere, at least in the near future: “For me personally, I’m planning to stay.”
Fortune
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Verizon’s merger master
The task of integrating Verizon’s recent mega purchases—Yahoo and AOL—will fall to its executive vice president and president of product innovation Marni Walden. The high-profile role is a far cry from where the Wyoming native and possible CEO successor started her career: selling handsets at a kiosk in a home-improvement store.
Fortune
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“We’re incredibly aggressive”
This openly gay former basketball player is garnering a reputation for crushing political opponents and following in Senator Elizabeth Warren’s woman-of-the-people footsteps. Meet Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.
Ozy

ASIA-PACIFIC



Chasing China’s “bottom” line
Women’s increasing confidence in buying for themselves, coupled with President Xi Jinping’s drive against conspicuous consumption, is boosting China’s lingerie sales. Chiara Scaglia, Asia chief of La Perla, one of many brands adding stores in China says: “Luxury is … not about buying to show off, it’s about buying items that make you feel good.”
Fortune
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Fatali-teas
This story examines how the tea industry in Assam, India, which supplies makers of major global brands like Lipton, Twinings, and Tetley, has turned into a veritable death trap for pregnant workers.
Quartz

IN BRIEF

Why Vladimir Putin hates Hillary Clinton
Politico

Mothers whose slain children inspired Black Lives Matter will speak at the DNC
Fusion

How to find a female mentor in a sea of male entrepreneurs
Fortune

This startup marketer left Silicon Valley to work on a beach in Belize
Fast Company

Male or female, the best leaders know how to do this
Fortune

PARTING WORDS

Being unplugged for 25 hours every week is one of the ways I’ve managed to not burn out.
—360i's Sarah Hofstetter on how being an Orthodox Jewish mom—including keeping the Sabbath—makes her a better CEO