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Last Updated: Friday, 1 September 2006, 12:04 GMT 13:04 UK
Merkel trumps Rice on power list
German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel has taken the top spot from Condoleezza Rice
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has overtaken US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as the world's most powerful woman, says Forbes magazine.

Power changed hands after a two-year reign by Ms Rice, who came second in this year's top 100 list.

UK Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett put Britain at 29 but the UK PM's wife, Cherie Blair, slid out of the list altogether from 62nd place.

The index is based on visibility in the media as well as economic impact.

Mrs Merkel did not have any ranking in the Forbes top 100 index in 2005.

TOP 10 MOST POWERFUL WOMEN
Angela Merkel, German chancellor
Condoleezza Rice, US secretary of state
Wu Yi, Chinese vice-premier
Indra Nooyi, chief executive-designate, PepsiCo
Anne Mulcahy, chairman and chief executive, Xerox
Sallie Krawcheck, chief financial officer, Citigroup
Patricia Woertz, chief executive, Archer Daniels Midland
Anne Lauvergeon, chairman Areva
Brenda Barnes, chairman and chief executive, Sara Lee
Zoe Cruz, co-president, Morgan Stanley

Likewise, her Chilean, Liberian and South Korean counterparts all appeared this year for the first time.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet entered at number 17 while Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf took 51st position and South Korean Prime Minister Han Myung-sook made it onto the list at 68.

Other leading ladies include the Chinese Vice-Premier Wu Yi, known in China as the "iron lady", who dropped one place to number three.

The rest of the top 10 feature women from the world of business. At number four is PepsiCo's chief executive-designate, Indian-born Indra Nooyi.

The UK's Queen Elizabeth II gained in stature, rising to 46th position, up 29 places from last year's 75th ranking.


SEE ALSO
Spielberg tops stars' income list
14 Aug 06 |  Entertainment
Tom Cruise tops star power list
16 Jun 06 |  Entertainment
Forbes reports billionaire boom
10 Mar 06 |  Business

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