Forbes has released its annual list of the world’s 100 most powerful women, and for the second year in a row, Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany, is ranked No. 1. The highest ranked U.S. woman is Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, at No. 4, followed by Pepsico Chairman and CEO Indra K. Nooyi at No. 5.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is ranked No. 20, just ahead of Oprah Winfrey and ebay Chief Executive Margaret Whitman. New York Sen. Hillary Clinton comes in at No. 25.

Also see the interesting yet poorly titled slideshows of “the woman behind the woman” (these women are top executives in their own right), the “junior power league” and the “finance fatales.” Too bad Forbes seems unable to rid itself of sexist terminology while celebrating women with political, economic and cultural clout.

Plus: Bridget Kendall, BBC diplomatic correspondent, discusses who made the list and why on today’s “Newshour” (listen here).

Keiko Tsuyama, 43, the first woman to work in the business department of Kyodo, Japan’s largest newswire, and the first to be posted in North America, is profiled in today’s Women’s eNews. Tsuyama has decided to stay in New York as a freelancer. “If the Japanese government and companies don’t make an effort to treat equally and support women to continue working, independent and efficient women like Keiko will go overseas more,” said Kaoru Shiraki, an industry colleague.

Argentina Sen. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is likely to succeed her husband in Argentina’s Oct. 28 presidential election. If elected, de Kirchner would be the first woman elected president of Argentina and South America’s second sitting female president, joining Chile’s Michelle Bachelet, reports the L.A. Times.

Kelly Kleiman reports for Chicago Public Radio on the KCR Ensemble, a nine-member all-women, all-black ensemble featuring instrumentalists who, in the tradition of earlier big bands, are “mostly unknown and, you should pardon the expression, unsung.” One of the members, Blanche Manning, who plays tenor saxophone, is a U.S. District Court judge. The ensemble echoes the sound of the interracial International Sweethearts of Rhythm, which toured in the 1940s.

“[W]hose fault is it that [Glenn] Close and [Holly] Hunter are on television? Or Lili Taylor, Parker Posey, Mary-Louise Parker or Kyra Sedgwick?” asks Mary McNamara in the L.A. Times. “A few years ago, these were all film actresses and now they each have their own series. Even Susan Sarandon is back as the bodacious babe on ‘Rescue Me.’ Which is, don’t get me wrong, totally terrific for us, the audience members, but unless the movie industry has made peace with being the purveyors of blockbusters, Judd Apatow comedies and not much else, why are they letting go of some of their best talent?”

Christine

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