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Obama regains Number One power slot

US president Barack Obama has reclaimed top position as the world's most powerful man.

Forbes magazine's third annual ranking of the 70 most powerful people in the world has returned the number one spot to Mr Obama while WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has fallen off the list.

Mr Obama was the first to be listed as the most powerful man in the world when the ranking began in 2009 but last year he lost it to Chinese president Hu Jintao. But he has fallen a few rungs to come in third this year.

Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin is ranked as the second most powerful person. German chancellor Angela Merkel came in fourth and Microsoft chairman Bill Gates fifth.

Among the 10 people who failed to rank this time were Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Mr Assange and Oprah Winfrey.

Prime Minister David Cameron was ranked as the 10th most powerful, while the only other Briton to make the cut, steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, was number 47.

Ahead of him in sixth place is Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud, followed by Pope Benedict XVI (seventh), US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke (eighth) and Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg (ninth).

Among the 14 newcomers on the list are Chinese premier Wen Jiabao (14th), Opec president Rostam Ghasemi (32nd), IMF managing director Christine Lagarde (39th), Apple chief executive Tim Cook (58th), New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson (64th) and US House speaker John Boehner (67th).

The four factors used to select the top 70 were: 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 full rankings can be found at


From Belfast Telegraph