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Forbes Lists Most Powerful Women 2012

Forbes magazine has released its annual “Most Powerful Women” list, ranking German Chancellor Angela Merkel the most powerful woman in the world for the second year in a row, noting her resolve in preserving the European Union and her influence over the euro zone’s ongoing debt crisis.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton placed second, noted for her handling of crises such as the release of a trove of diplomatic cables by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, followed by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, cited for her leadership of the world’s eighth-largest economy and approval ratings within her country, making the top three spots unchanged from last year.

The list named women involved in policymaking, entertainment, technology and nonprofit organizations, among other fields. They were ranked according to influence, the amount of money they control or earn, and media presence.

“These power women exert influence in very different ways and to very different ends, and all with very different impacts on the global community,” said Moira Forbes, president and publisher of ForbesWoman.

The average age of the 100 power brokers from 28 countries was 55. They had a combined 90 million Twitter followers, Forbes said.

Also in the top five were Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and wife of Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates, and Jill Abramson, executive editor of the New York Times.

Newcomers included actress and performer Jennifer Lopez and billionaire philanthropist and widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs, Laurene Powell Jobs.

See the full list here.

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