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The World’s Most Powerful Women: May 10

On Tuesday, Politico released its own (unauthorized) White House visitor log. The database is inevitably incomplete, partly because the Trump administration—unlike the previous one—refuses to release a public record of its visitors. Thus, the database was compiled using sources like the White House schedules and news stories. While not comprehensive, the log does give a broad idea of who has president Trump’s ear, and it’s pretty much who you might expect. According to Politico, 79% of Trump’s visitors have been men. Almost 63% of them have been white men.

This news comes a day after it was revealed that the group of politicians working to revise a major U.S. health care bill consists of 13 male senators—and not a single woman. Although Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky insisted that “Nobody’s being excluded based upon gender,” critics are still asking why no effort was made to include female senators like Maine Sen. Susan Collins. She told reporters yesterday: “I’ve worked on health care for many years. I spent five years in state government overseeing the bureau of insurance many years ago, and I think I can bring some experience to the debate that will be helpful.”

The fact that there are so few women in positions of power—less than 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs are female and less than 20% of Congress members are female—means that most of the people making decisions about issues that affect our day-to-day lives (like health care) are men. It’s up to those men to make sure that the few women who are at the table are included in the conversation.

— Valentina Zarya (@valzarya)


Bahraining controversyMembers of the U.K. parliament and rights groups are up in arms over the use of government funds to pay for a Royal Marines band to play in Bahrain for Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday. The issue isn’t simply the £25,000 price tag footed by taxpayers; the Bahrainian government has been linked to dozens of deaths since February 2011, when the country’s Shia majority launched pro-democracy protests in the Sunni-ruled kingdom.The Guardian


Comey out—thanks to Clinton?
U.S. President Donald Trump has fired FBI director James Comey—citing his controversial handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. While some Democrats are suggesting that the move is actually an attempt to influence the Comey-led probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, a Clinton spokesperson told CNN that the former candidate herself has no comment.

Alice in founderland
Dell and the Circular Board, a virtual accelerator for female entrepreneurs, have joined forces to launch Hello Alice, a new machine-learning platform designed specifically for female entrepreneurs. The platform will connect users with information, mentors, referrals, and other resources.

Pioneers or guinea pigs?
This Washington Post retrospective dives into the fascinating—and controversial—history of the birth control pill, which was first tested on humans at a public housing project in Puerto Rico in the 1950s. Many of the women who participated were illiterate and not fully informed about what they were getting themselves into. 
Washington Post


A milestone for moms
Australian senator Larissa Waters became the first politician to breastfeed in the country’s parliament on Tuesday. The milestone comes after Waters instigated changes to Senate rules last year, allowing mothers to breastfeed in the chamber and fathers to briefly care for their infants on the parliament’s floor.
Sydney Morning Herald

Goddess scientist goes to Princeton
American-trained life scientist Nieng Yan is leaving Tsinghua University to rejoin Princeton University this autumn after a decade of working in China. Losing the “Goddess scientist” (so-named on social media for her style and smarts) is sparking soul-searching about whether the Middle Kingdom’s unwelcoming research environment is sabotaging its efforts to retain talent.
South China Morning Post

Carrie’s white flag
Hong Kong’s next chief executive Carrie Lam held her first meeting with the opposition pan-democratic coalition since winning the election in March. Lam said she wanted to heal divisions in the city and promised to establish a mechanism for regular dialogue with the democrats. She reportedly wants to hire a top opposition leader into her cabinet as a way of extending an olive branch, but that is against the party’s rules.
South China Morning Post

News summaries by Valentina Zarya @valzarya


Dove body wash bottles show how using feminism to sell products can backfire

This female-founded startup wants to be the Spotify for meditation

‘The Circle’ tells an old, tired story of women controlled by technology
The Atlantic

White men run one of America’s most diverse companies

10 female artists to watch


“Smiling doesn’t win you gold medals.”
—Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles, responding to feedback from a 'Dancing with the Stars' judge that she needs to smile more.