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Forbes Power List: Barack Obama And Angela Merkel Top, But Facebook, Rupert Murdoch Slipping

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Politicians are the most powerful people in the world, and media owners, internet entrepreneurs and businessmen are feeling the reins of power slip through their fingers, according to the new Forbes Power rankings which put Barack Obama on top.

The annual list named the world's 71 most-powerful people, who exert their influence over the 7.1 billion global population.

Fresh from his election victory, Obama comfortably took the number one spot, but media mogul Rupert Murdoch, perhaps in the wake of the Leveson inquiry and the continued allegations of phone hacking on News International, slipped down the list, dropping two places to 26.

david cameron

David Cameron is 10th on the list

And Facebook's CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg has plummeted out of the top 10, to number 25.

He was number nine in 2011.

David Cameron scrapes into the top 10 at number 10, the only Brit on the list.

According to Forbes, 2012 has seen the influence of German chancellor Angela Merkel swell, and she leapfrogs to second place, up from fourth.

There are only six women on the list.


Andrea Caesar
More than half of the Forbes' list of the World's Most Powerful People attended the same 11 schools. Power Factories

She is followed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Pope Benedict XVI.

Sixth is US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S Bernanke, followed by Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, and the newly elected General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Xi Jinping.

But despite the slip of media and internet tycoons like Murdoch and Zuckerberg, new entries on the list have a distinctly new media flavour.

They include LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, last on the list at number 71, and Elon Musk, one of the co-founders of Paypal.

hilary clinton

Slipping Down: Hillary Clinton is no longer on the list

There is a changing of the guard as old faces announced retirement from politics for 2013, including outgoing Chinese President Hu Jintao, last year's third most powerful person, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Both fail to make the list after announcing their retirements.

Four factors are taken into account; how many people they have power over; the financial resources they control; if they have influence in more than one sphere; and how actively they wield their power to change the world.

The entire list can be found at www.forbes.com/power.

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