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Friday, December 7, 2012
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Forbes Ranking

Obama tops list of most powerful

The US president leads it, of course, and then there's the Pope, and Angela Merkel, and Facebook's founder, and other global rainmakers on Forbes' ranking of the mightiest earthlings.

The ranking features 71 names, a figure Forbes said it set as a cutoff because there are an estimated 7.1 billion people in the world and thus the ranking works out to one very heavy hitter for every 100 million people.

For the second year in a row, US President Barack Obama led the ranking, with Forbes noting that he won the popular vote, an electoral college majority, and seven of the seven toss-up states in the November election.

The silver medal of power went to Merkel, the German chancellor, whom Forbes described as the backbone of the 27-member European Union.

Third place went to Russian President Vladimir Putin. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg 16th on the list. Microsoft founder Bill Gates was fourth, while Pope Benedict XVI, leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, ranked fifth.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was 25th. He dropped from 9th in last year's ranking.

One less-than-savory name on the list: Mexican billionaire drug cartel leader Joaquin Guzman Loera, alias "El Chapo," the Sinaloa cartel leader who Forbes said is responsible for many of the illegal narcotics entering the United States every year. He was ranked 63rd.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, 29, who took over from his late father Kim Jong-Il this year, ranked 44th.

Forbes said it assembled the list using four criteria: power over lots of people, financial resources controlled, whether the person has power in various spheres of life, and whether that person actively uses their power.

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