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The World’s Most Powerful Women: July 11

U.S. President Donald Trump broadcast Angela Merkel’s support of his daughter’s presence at the G20 meeting on Monday. In defending Ivanka Trump’s filling in for him at a working session on “Partnership With Africa, Migration and Health,” the president tweeted: “When I left Conference Room for short meetings with Japan and other countries, I asked Ivanka to hold seat. Very standard. Angela M agrees!”

(He also defended the move by lobbing an odd hypothetical about the Clintons, which prompted Chelsea Clinton to snap back on Twitter.)

Indeed Merkel had justified Ivanka Trump’s seat at the table, saying it was normal considering the first daughter-slash-presidential adviser’s role in her father’s inner circle.

“Ivanka Trump belonged to the American delegation, so that is in line with what other delegations do,” Merkel said. “And it is known that she works at the White House and carries responsibility for certain initiatives.”

Merkel is an unlikely defender of Ivanka Trump considering the German chancellor’s vast differences with her U.S. counterpart. Merkel has clashed repeatedly with President Trump on policy. He has, for instance, called her approach to immigration “insane” and a “disaster.” Plus, Merkel’s upbringing as the daughter of a Lutheran pastor is at complete odds with the Trumps’ lavish lifestyle.

But Merkel has invested in her relationship with Ivanka Trump ever since the new U.S. administration took office. After the two met during Merkel’s initial visit to the White House, the chancellor invited the first daughter to an event on female entrepreneurship in Berlin in April. Merkel’s overtures are beginning to pay off. After all, as the Washington Post points out, it was Ivanka—not a cabinet member or senior official—who filled in for the president.




Access denied—againThe all-girl robotics team from Afghanistan has had their visas for the U.S. denied a second time after receiving an initial rejection last month. The six female students, who wanted to show the world that Afghans can construct a hand-made robot at a competition in Washington, D.C., are the only team out of 162 to be denied access to the country, meaning they’ll have to watch the contest via video link. The State Department has not provided a reason for the denials and says it can’t comment on individual visa cases. Associated Press


Face to a name
Who is Natalia Veselnitskaya? Time has a close look at the Russian lawyer whose meeting with Donald Trump Jr. has sparked the latest round of speculation about the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with the Kremlin.

Loosening a law
Bolivia’s congress is expected to debate an article of the country’s penal code that could loosen the current abortion law, which allows the procedure only in cases of rape, incest, and danger to the health of the woman. Until recently, a judge had to authorize all terminations. Advocates want the law broadened to legalize abortions in more circumstances, such as extreme poverty, to cut down on clandestine procedures. 


A leader’s liability
Federal investigators are probing a 2010 land purchase that relocated Burlington College in Vermont to a new campus. Jane Sanders, the wife and political adviser of one-time presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, reportedly lined up a loan and additional financing for the deal, but some of the college’s trustees complain that she provided inaccurate information. The investigation is reportedly accelerating and could become a political liability for Sanders’ husband who remains the progressive moment’s most popular leader. A spokesperson for the couple denied wrongdoing last week.
Washington Post

Showing initiative
Recode has a deep dive into the new day job of Priscilla Chan, a doctor, who’s best known as “the first lady of Facebook, wife and partner to Silicon Valley’s most well known tech executive, Mark Zuckerberg.” But she’s added a new role to her resume: heading the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which Record reports “will likely be one of the most well-funded philanthropies in human history.”

Chew on this
Food historian Laura Shapiro’s new book What She Ate delves into the culinary lives of six historical women. Eater sat down with the writer to explore the secret lunch lives of remarkable women like First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, consort Eva Braun, and novelist Barbara Pym.


A blogger behind bars
One of Vietnam’s most influential bloggers, Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, known as Mother Mushroom, was sentenced to a decade in prison after being accused of defaming Vietnam’s communist regime in her blogs and interviews with foreign media. Earlier this year, U.S. First Lady Melania Trump awarded Quynh the International Women of Courage Award, an honor Vietnam said “was not appropriate and of no benefit to the development of the relations between the two countries.” Quynh’s unusually lengthy sentence raised fresh alarm among the country’s blogging community, which avoids the country’s harsh censorship of state-control print media. 

Only fore-teen
Fourteen-year-old amateur golfer Atthaya Thitikul won the Ladies European Thailand Championship on Sunday, making her the youngest known winner of a professional golf tour event.


One U.S. state just stepped up to protect reproductive rights
Mother Jones

No justice, ‘no value’ for women in a lawless Afghan province
New York Times

The story behind the Lady of the Rockies

Researchers claim first known film of South Korean ‘comfort women’

Meet the Haitian immigrant turning headwraps into a movement
Brit & Co


“Talk to me when you train for 14 years and earn 5 Olympic medals. I think kids would say otherwise. My year off is well deserved. Take a couple seats.”
—Four-time gold medalist Simone Biles, in response to a critic who said the gymnast is a bad role model for 'partying' too much.