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The World’s Most Powerful Women: January 11

Clare Hollingworth, a British reporter who uncovered one of the biggest scoops of modern times, died yesterday at 105.

You should know Hollingworth (even if you work outside journalism) not just for the one moment that made her famous, but because she trail-blazed despite the physical—not to mention reputational—risks.

In 1939 at age 27, Hollingworth broke the news that Germany was about to invade Poland—an event that would mark the outbreak of World War II. That story launched Hollingworth’s career as a war correspondent, a profession so dominated by men at the time that a British commander once ejected her from his press contingent saying women did not belong on the front lines.

But Hollingworth didn’t let her gender or her stature—barely 5 feet tall—deter her. She embedded with American troops under General Dwight D. Eisenhower, learned to parachute and pilot a plane, was nearly killed by a sniper in Vietnam, and regularly slept on the floor of her apartment to acclimate herself to the conditions of covering conflict.

“It was essential to be able to go without washing, sleep in the open desert and live on bully-beef and biscuits for days on end,” she wrote in 1990. “Many male correspondents got themselves sent back…because they could not take it.”

Yet she downplayed her achievements. “I enjoy action,” she told the Telegraph in 2011. “I’m not brave, I just enjoy it. I don’t know why. God made me like this. I’m not frightened.”

@clairezillman

EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA

Back on her feetBritish designer Tamara Mellon, a co-founder of Jimmy Choo, left the shoe brand as chief creative officer to launch her own eponymous company in 2013. The venture failed and she filed for bankruptcy less than two years after she started. She’s now back with a direct-to-consumer line of shoes and she talked to Fast Company about her journey.Fast Company

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Show her the money
National Front leader Marine Le Pen, who recently borrowed money from her father’s political fund, said French banks have refused to meet with her to discuss financing her presidential campaign. She called banks’ hesitancy to lend “a real problem for democracy.” French candidates receive public money to repay what they borrow, but only if they win at least 5% of the votes. Polls show Le Pen at 20%.
Bloomberg

THE AMERICAS

Listen up
In the latest episode of the Most Powerful Women OnStage podcast, former American Apparel CEO Paula Schneider tells war stories from her attempts to turn the retailer around (including a tale of employees bashing a Schneider-shaped piñata).
iTunes
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A DeVos debrief
President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for education secretary Betsy DeVos had her confirmation hearing postponed yesterday. A Senate committee said the delay was to accommodate the chamber’s schedule. But that doesn’t mean the nominee isn’t controversial. Here are five factors that could hang up her confirmation.
Fortune
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Oh really?
New documents obtained by the New York Times show that Fox News parent 21st Century Fox settled sexual harassment allegations against TV host Bill O’Reilly just weeks after network chairman and CEO Roger Ailes resigned amid similar claims. Fox News employee Juliet Huddy accused O’Reilly of pursuing a sexual relationship with her in 2011. When Huddy rejected his advances, O’Reilly reportedly attempted “to derail her career.” Reps for O’Reilly deny the allegations. 
Fortune

ASIA-PACIFIC

Leading by example
As the first woman to serve as U.S. ambassador to male-dominated Japan, Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy, sought to empower women across the country. Kennedy, a lawyer and mother of three, served as a sort of role model in the nation where few women hold positions of authority. “I just think being a woman ambassador, and I think visible women in positions of leadership, does help change attitudes,” she says.
New York Times
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Caught up
The probe surrounding South Korean President Park Geun-hye has engulfed the de facto head of Samsung Group as special prosecutors investigating the influence-peddling scandal summoned Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee. Prosecutors are investigating whether Samsung effectively paid Choi Soon-sil, the shadowy confidant of Park, to win support for a contentious merger.
Bloomberg

 

IN BRIEF

How GM CEO Mary Barra plans to get more female engineers
Fortune

Women now outnumber men in Canada’s cabinet
Guardian

Marissa Mayer was never going to be your feminist hero
Money

Beyonce interviews her sister Solange
Interview

Emmy Rossum’s ‘Shameless’ salary negotiation draws praise from Showtime
Bustle

The mysterious masked women of Iran
BBC

AMD CEO Lisa Su says it’s good to be the ‘smaller guy’
Yahoo

PARTING WORDS

“I don’t believe there’s a certain age where you can’t say and feel and be who you want to be.”
--Madonna, in an interview with Roxane Gay on election-night prayers, aging, and bad wine.