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8 'Least Powerful' People in the World

A certain former pope makes the list

(Newser) - Lists of the "most powerful" people are easy to find, but 24/7 Wall St takes the opposite tack with this one. The website set out to find the "least powerful" people in the world, defined as those who once held mighty clout but then suffered a "precipitous... More »

Powerful People Don't Exactly Speak Softly

Margaret Thatcher underwent vocal training when she became prime minister

(Newser) - When we want to be perceived as powerful—think parents scolding misbehaving kids or shoppers haggling with car dealers—we tend to focus not just on our words, but the way we deliver them. Researchers at San Diego State University report in the journal Psychological Science that when people want... More »

China's 'Princelings' Rolling in Cash, Power

Relatives of top leaders enjoy 'Red Nobility'

(Newser) - The wealth of Bo Xilai's family members was no anomaly. Known as "princelings," close relatives of many Chinese leaders are on a fast track to fortune and power, the New York Times reports. The president's son used to head a company with a security-scanner monopoly; the... More »

Santa Ana Winds Rip Up West

Worst Santa Ana winds in decade knock out power for thousands

(Newser) - Winds topping 80mph blew down people and power lines and upended enormous trees that crushed cars and houses in a freak storm that raged through Southern California and the Southwest. The craziest Santa Ana winds in more than a decade left hundreds of thousands of people without power. "In... More »

New York Cuts Power in Zuccotti Park

Cops seize protesters' generators

(Newser) - Lights out at Zuccotti Park: New York officials seized generators and gas canisters from Occupy Wall Street protesters today, the New York Daily News reports. Police and firefighters arrived at the site this morning to ask protesters for the items, citing safety concerns. “They made an announcement on a... More »

Worker 'Moving Equipment' Plunged 6M Into Darkness

But probers wonder how simple screw-up spread so far, so fast

(Newser) - Power company officials believe a worker moving a piece of monitoring equipment in an Arizona utility substation likely turned off the lights yesterday for a massive 6 million customers stretching through southern California and Mexico. "This was not a deliberate act. The employee was just switching out a piece... More »

Michelle Obama: World's Most Powerful Woman

The first lady beats Hillary Clinton ... and Lady Gaga and Beyonce

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton is pretty powerful, but she’s still no Oprah Winfrey. The secretary of state does, however, wield more heft than Lady Gaga on Forbes ’ annual list of the world’s 100 most powerful women. This year's list still took wealth into account, but gave more weight to... More »

Phone Dead? Just Add Water

Pocket-sized charger could be boon in developing world

(Newser) - A Swedish company has produced a pocket-sized hydrogen fuel cell, which will allow users to charge cell phones and other devices using just water and a little hydrogen fuel. The H3 charger will be released by myFC in Scandinavia in December, globally in 2011, and will cost about $45. The... More »

Obama: I'm No Jimmy Carter

President set out to prove he's got the muscle to pass health reform

(Newser) - President Obama’s speech on health care last night wasn’t just a bid for Congressional support for reform: It was a reassertion of Obama’s political strength, writes Adam Nagourney in the New York Times. He had to “display his authority to a Congress that had begun to... More »

Oprah's Mag Puts New Twist on Power List

(Newser) - Nobody’s No. 1 on O, the Oprah Magazine’s inaugural “Power List.” Indeed, no one’s any other number either.  “Power can be so many things,” the editors reason, so they’re honoring women who are powerful in different ways. A sampling:
  • The Power
... More »

Women of the Future: Powerful, Stressed

Women feel overworked amid gains in economic clout

(Newser) - Women are gaining economic clout, but they’re also feeling overburdened, a survey of 12,000 women in 21 countries finds. Women spend some 70% of consumer dollars globally and are set to produce 70% of household income growth in the next 5 years—meaning entrepreneurs who can help them... More »

Courting Obama, Pols Harbor Hoop Hopes

Elite tune up their game in hopes of playing with prez

(Newser) - In Washington, everyone wants to be on the inside. How do you know you’re in? “A pickup game with Obama,” says a former Clinton press secretary. “That's the inner, inner, inner sanctum.” So aspiring members of the inner, inner circle are hitting the court, working... More »

Power Returns to Kabul, but Bribes Persist

Deal boosts electricity access, business in struggling Afghan capital

(Newser) - For the first time since the fall of the Taliban, the glow of light hangs over Kabul late into the night, GlobalPost reports. An energy deal with Uzbekistan is bringing unprecedented access to electricity to the Afghan capital, where most neighborhoods only had power for about four hours every second... More »

Raising Saddam's Specter, Maliki Aims to Solidify Power

Maliki looks to increase party's power even as some see Saddam-like authority grabs

(Newser) - Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki is looking to extend his reach with party gains on the provincial level in elections Saturday, the New York Times reports. But despite his assurances that “the iron centralization has ended,” many Iraqis fear a return to rule by a single leader with power... More »

Pelosi Among Most Powerful of Speakers

(Newser) - Nancy Pelosi may wield her influence behind the scenes, but she is the most powerful woman in the history of US politics, Politico reports, and with recent Democratic gains in Congress, she's poised to have power few other speakers could match. Though she’s nice about it, “whatever Nancy... More »

Pelosi: 'I Am Not Giving the Gavel Away to Anyone'

Speaker muses on wielding power in contentious era

(Newser) - Newly minted author Nancy Pelosi launched her book tour this week, and one of the first stops is a sit-down with Politico. Of her hard-nosed blockade of GOP attempts to authorize offshore drilling, she says, “I’m trying to save the planet. I will not have this debate trivialized... More »

China Is an Unlikely Superpower

Despite Americans inflates sense of country's dominance

(Newser) - American pundits are constantly claiming that China will soon overtake the US as the world’s dominant power—but if you look at the facts, that’s just not true, writes John Pomfret in the Washington Post. “Dire demographics, an overrated economy, an environment under siege, and an ideology... More »

Superclass Exposes Global Elite . . .Sort Of

Ultra-powerful rule the world, author argues, and that's not all bad

(Newser) - What do Bill Clinton, Osama Bin Laden, and Bono have in common? All are members of the powerful global elite that’s reshaping the planet, David Rothkopf argues in his new book Superclass. But Rothkopf’s isn’t a conspiracy-laden indictment, writes Salon’s Laura Miller. Rather, he contends that... More »

China Snow Crisis Turns Deadly

Wild weather continues to strand thousands, cripple power supply

(Newser) - China’s record snowstorm has killed at least 25 people when the bus they were riding in careened off a slick mountain road in the southwestern province of Guizhou, reports Reuters. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao today visited hordes of stranded train passengers in Hunan province, and the government urged migrant... More »

Snowstorm Disrupts Chinese Travel, Power

Holdup comes week before Lunar New Year travel season

(Newser) - The biggest snowstorm in 50 years is wreaking havoc with China’s transportation and power-supply infrastructure and triggering widespread shortages the week before the Lunar New Year. Over a foot of snow fell in Nanjing, reports Bloomberg. "We face a very severe situation in ensuring supplies of coal, electricity,... More »

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