12:51 01 November 2013
Russian President Vladimir Putin has beaten US President Barack Obama after he topped Forbes’ list to uncover the globe’s most powerful person. This news has expectedly sparked debate as to who really holds the most power.
Forbes cites several reasons why the US president was toppled by the Russian president. Among the reasons include the recent US government shutdown and the NSA leaks fiasco. Meanwhile, Russia was able to turn Washington’s threat against Syria into a UN agreement on chemical weapons.
However, some people do not agree with the report and this includes Seamus Milne in The Guardian. He said that US continues to be “overwhelmingly the most powerful state in the world” both militarily and economically.
He added: "Its 'defence' spending is larger than that of the next dozen states combined. It has bases and forces stationed in a majority of countries of the world – and continues to use them without restraint, from Libya to Pakistan. By contrast, Russia has one military facility outside the former Soviet Union, in Syria."
Meanwhile, Britain’s own leader – Prime Minister David Cameron – settled for 11th place.
Top 20 most powerful people according to Forbes:
1. Vladimir Putin, president of Russia
2. Barack Obama, president of US
3. Xi Jinping, China's president
4. Pope Francis
5. Angela Merkel, German chancellor
6. Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
7. Ben Bernanke, chairman of the US Federal Reserve
8. Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia
9. Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank
10. Michael Duke, CEO of Wal-Mart Stores
11. David Cameron, UK Prime Minister
12. Carlos Slim Helu & family, honorary chairman of América Móvil
13. Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway
14. Li Keqiang, China's premier
15. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon
16. Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil
17. Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google
18. Larry Page, CEO of Google
19. Francois Hollande, president of France
20. Timothy Cook, CEO of Apple
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