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The World’s Most Powerful Women: August 26

France’s controversial burkini bans have sparked outrage on social media, a spike in sales of the full-body swimsuits, and even a beach party protesting the policy outside the French Embassy in London—complete with deck chairs and sand. Photos of French policemen enforcing the move drew comparisons to 1919, when so-called Sheriffettes monitored the length of women’s bathing suits in Rockaway Beach in Queens, New York.

But perhaps one of the most insightful pieces on the issue appeared in the Huffington Post, which interviewed a series of British Muslim women. The women, whom you can watch in a clip here, called the policy “Islamophobic,” “sexist,” and “hurtful.” Aheda Zanetti, who invented the burkini back in 2004, sounded a similar note in the Guardian, writing that the purpose of the garment is “to give women freedom, not to take it away.”

The backlash has been so great, rights groups are asking a top court in France to reverse the policy. I side with London mayor Sadiq Khan, a champion of women, who said in an appearance in Paris yesterday, “I’m quite firm on this. I don’t think anyone should tell women what they can and can’t wear.” With the court expected to rule today, we may soon know if France’s legal system agrees.


WMPW won’t publish Monday, which is a holiday in the U.K., but will be back in your inbox on Tuesday. Have a good weekend!


Merkel’s patience

Now that world leaders are back from their August holidays, Brexit negotiations have started up again. In the latest development, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she “can allow the time” for Britain to figure out its next step with the EU. As they say, patience is a virtue.


Anya’s art
Luxury designer Anya Hindmarch has a new role: guest curator at Sotheby’s. Hindmarch, an devoted art collector, says she is “constantly inspired by art and architecture as starting points for my collections.” It seems to be a good strategy, given that she now has 56 stores across nine countries selling her smart satchels and accessories.
New York Times


Nike’s nod to women
Check out the latest ad from Nike, which shines a spotlight on strong female Olympians. Among those featured are amputee triathlete Scout Bassett, gymnasts Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas, and track and field athletes Allyson Felix and English Gardner.


Turning the tide
Democratic women are leading the charge to take back the U.S. Senate from the Republicans. Of the seven states Democrats are expected to win in November, five have female candidates: Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona, Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Katie McGinty of Pennsylvania, Deborah Ross of North Carolina, and Governor Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire.


D-day for Dilma?
The Olympics are over, but another spectacle in Rio is just getting started. Yesterday marked the start of the impeachment trial of Dilma Rousseff, the suspended president who is alleged to have violated budget laws. Rousseff will testify on Monday, but her opponents think they have enough votes to convict her next week.


Bollywood boys
Bollywood films that center on women rarely make as much money as those that focus on a male hero. It’s the same story in Hollywood, which is why top actresses such as Susan Sarandon have become producers, film critic Shubhra Gupta notes in this piece.
Live Mint


Papi Jiang’s prowess
China’s popular online celebrity, Jiang Yilei, is so hot, she has more followers than those on YouTube. Jiang, who goes by the name “Papi Jiang” online, has 44 million followers, above and beyond the 16.4 million who follow YouTube’s Jenna Marbles. Chinese media call Jiang, known for her complaints about dieting and her parents, the top online celebrity of the year.
New York Times


Transcript of what Hillary Clinton said about Donald Trump and the GOP’s “radical fringe”

Iconic French fashion designer Sonia Rykiel dies at 86
New York Times

Fed’s Janet Yellen to make a major economic speech today
USA Today

Homeland Security investigates hack of Leslie Jones’s website

Amy Schumer’s book is No. 1 on NYT’s bestseller list

Scotland Police approve the hijab as a uniform option

U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo suspended for saying Swedish team was “a bunch of cowards”

Sarah Jessica Parker ends relationship with EpiPen maker



Sometimes we go through failures or tough times, but I always think that there’s a reason for it.
—Danish professional tennis player Caroline Wozniacki