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Germany

Germany's Merkel Tops Forbes List of Powerful Women -- Again

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the world's most powerful woman, topping Forbes magazine's list of 100 women for the third year in a row. Both Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton slipped in the ranking.

Angela Merkel holding a globe in her hand

Merkel was one of only 23 politicians on the list of 100 women

Merkel and Rice, who dropped three spots from last year to rank 7th in 2008, were the only politicians among the top 10 in the magazine's annual listing.

The other eight were business executives, including runner-up Sheila Bair, who chairs the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corps. Little known Bair made her debut on the list.

Merkel, the only German on the list, is also one of only four non-Americans in the top 10.

Merkel praised for achievements

Forbes cited Merkel's economic achievements this year in Europe's largest economy, cutting unemployment and pushing through a later retirement age.

The chancellor's top ranking was also attributed to her bold approach to controversial issues, including her decision to meet with the Dalai Lama, chastise Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, and slash greenhouse emissions in Germany.

US Democratic senator and former presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton dropped three spots in the ranking to land at 28, despite claiming the most media attention of any woman on the list this year. However, Forbes also takes the women's career and economic impact into consideration.

Other prominent women on the list include France's Minister of Economy, Finance and Employment Christine Lagarde (14th), head of the Indian National Congress Sonia Gandhi (21st), US Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (35th) and talk show host Oprah Winfrey (36th).

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