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50 People Who Matter 2011

From pop stars and dissident activists to tech gurus and heads of state, the people doing most to sh

1. (8) Angela Merkel

2. (12) David Petraeus

3. (-) Ai Wei Wei

4. (-) Tim Cook

5. (2) Barack Obama

6. (9) Larry Page, Sergey Brin
and Eric Schmidt

7. (-) Christine Lagarde

8. (-) Liang Guanglie

9. (1) Rupert Murdoch

10. (-) Wael Ghonim

11. (-) Recep Tayyip Erdogan

12. (-) Nicolas Sarkozy

13. (-) Ben Bernanke

14. (7) Ashfaq Kayani

15. (-) Paul Krugman

16. (15) David Cameron

17. (16) Bill Gates

18. (11) Binyamin Netanyahu

19. (-) Jack Dorsey

20. (-) Mario Draghi

21. (-) Dilma Rousseff

22. (19) Warren Buffett

23. (-) Usain Bolt

24. (20) Vladimir Putin

25. (-) Richard Dawkins

26. (44) Lady Gaga

27. (25) Hillary Clinton

28. (27) Ratan Tata

29. (29) Sonia Gandhi

30. (3) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

31. (-) David Beers

32. (-) Michele Bachmann

33. (-) J K Rowling

34. (33) Moqtada al-Sadr

35. (-) Jon Stewart

36. (-) Jacob Zuma

37. (-) Anwar al-Awlaki

38. (6) Pope Benedict XVI

39. (41) Simon Cowell

40. (23) Julian Assange

41. (-) Mark Thompson

42. (34) Aung San Suu Kyi

43. (-) Roger Ailes

44. (-) Robin Li

45. (-) The Koch brothers

46. (-) Nicki Minaj

47. (48) Han Han

48. (49) Paul Kagame

49. (-) Matt Damon

50. (-) Lionel Messi


This article first appeared in the 26 September 2011 issue of the New Statesman, The fifty people who matter

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Russia begins airstrikes in Syria “at the request of Bashar al-Assad”

Sources in Washington report being given an hour to clear Syrian airspace as Russia votes for military intervention.

Russia has reportedly begun airstrikes against Isis in Syria “at the request of the Syrian president”.

Following diplomatic friction between US president Barack Obama and Russian premiere Vladimir Putin at the UN general assembly, Reuters reports that Russia gave the US an hour to clear Syrian airspace before beginning flights.

State sources revealed this morning that Federation Council, the upper house in Russia’s parliament, voted unanimously for military intervention. Russia is expected to only use its air force and will not send in ground troops.

The last time the Federation Council authorised the use of military force outside the confederation was in March of last year, when it gave permission for Putin to send forces into Ukraine.

Russia’s TASS news agency stresses that the strikes comply with international law, following a request from the government of the state in question. “Baghdad has earlier sent the respective request to the international coalition”.

Journalists in Washington, however, are reporting that the first strikes appear to have hit not Isis controlled areas, but Rebels in Homs:

On Monday, Obama and Putin exchanged thinly-veiled blows on the subject.

While both David Cameron and Obama have indicated that Bashar al-Assad must not remain in government in Syria in the long-term, Putin called the president “legitimate”. These air strikes will be seen as further support for his regime.

The strikes follow news that the Pentagon’s top Russia official resigned yesterday amidst debates over how the US should respond to Russia’s actions in Ukraine and the Syria.

Stephanie Boland is digital assistant at the New Statesman. She tweets at @stephanieboland