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Dhoni, Justin Bieber more influential than Obama!

Last updated on: April 25, 2011 11:20 IST

Dhoni, Justin Bieber more influential than Obama!

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He heads the most powerful country in the world, but yet United States President's influence in global affairs is seeing a steep decline. Last year, Obama ranked fourth on Time's Magazine list of 100 most influential people in the world. Since he first made it to the chart in 2005 he has been listed six times, but ever since his popularity has reduced drastically.

In fact, in the 2011 Time 100 Obama was ranked No 86 and beating the American president are sportspersons, actors and even some terrorists. Here's a look at some popular and not so popular faces that are more influential that Obama.

Wael Ghonim

Topping Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people is Wael Ghonim, the 30-year-old Google executive, who was the face and spokesman for the popular uprising in Egypt.             

"By emphasising that the regime would listen only when citizens exercised their right of peaceful demonstration and civil disobedience, Wael helped initiate a call for a peaceful revolution," Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed El Baradei, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, wrote in brief essay about about Ghonim.

"The response was miraculous: a movement that started with thousands on Jan 25 ended with 12 million Egyptians removing Hosni Mubarak and his regime. What Wael and the young Egyptians did spread like wildfire across the Arab world."

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Image: Internet activist Wael Ghonim of Egypt participates in a panel discussion on youth, jobs and growth in the Middle East and North Africa, during the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Spring Meetings at IMF headquarters in Washington
Photographs: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
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Mark Zuckerberg

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Zuckerberg, who was named the Time Person of the Year, ranked sixth on this list.  He received glowing praise from April Capone, the mayor of East Haven, Connecticut, who connected with -- and donated a kidney to -- one of her constituents after connecting with him on Facebook.

 

"The element of connecting via Facebook has generated interest that helps us promote health, wellness and organ and tissue donation. Every year nearly 7,000 people in the US die while awaiting a transplant. I know of at least one person who survived, thanks to Mark Zuckerberg, 26, and his little idea called Facebook," wrote the mayor.

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Image: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives for the start of a town hall meeting with U.S. President Barack
Photographs: Jonathan Ernst /Reuters
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Angela Merkel

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German chancellor Angela Merkel (No 8) was described by the Time as the first woman leader of a major continental European power, who has used her extraordinary talents to maintain the delicate balance of Germany's grand coalition.

"Alongside French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who shares her taste for decisive political action, commitment and hard work, Merkel, 56, worked tirelessly to steer Europe through the financial crisis. Her personal style combined with Germany's search for consensus has earned her country great influence around the world," wrote Chrsitine Lagarde, France's Minister for the Economy, Finance and Industry.

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Image: German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses a news conference after a prime minister meeting in Berlin
Photographs: Tobias Schwarz/Reuters
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Julian Assange

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He created quite a storm across the world with Wikileaks. Time readers chose him as the Person of the Year. In the 2011 Time 100, Julian Assange ranks ninth.

"There were many scoops but few surprises amid what we learned from WikiLeaks. Regardless of what happens to Assange, which he will almost certainly not deserve, the construction of stateless, secure and indestructible Internet drop boxes cannot be undone. Secrets will never be safe again," the magazine said.

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Image: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange holds up CD's containing data on offshore bank account holders
Photographs: Paul Hackett /Reuters
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Colin Firth

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In the list that comprises quite a few entertainers, Oscar winner Colin Firth is ranked 12th. "The two sides of Colin, 50, inform each other," wrote  Helen Mirren, an Academy Award winner herself.

"He can be the glamorous celebrity, but look closely at photos of him on the red carpet: there is a kindness in his eyes, an introspection and consideration. He actively pursues a deeper understanding of the world around him, and his humanitarianism gives a depth and wisdom to his performances."

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Image: British actor Colin Firth accepts the Oscar for best actor for his role in The King's Speech
Photographs: Gary Hershorn/Reuters
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Joe Biden

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Interestingly, United States Vice President Joe Biden, who appears 14th in the chart, has is far more influential that Obama.

"The partnership between any president and vice President is like a shotgun wedding: Sometimes it works well. Most of the time, it does not. But the relationship between Barack Obama and Joe Biden is as successful a public partnership as I have ever seen," wrote Rahim Emanuel is the mayor-elect of Chicago.

"With 36 years of experience in the US Senate and a wealth of relationships and insight, Biden has been an invaluable lieutenant on a wide variety of issues. And the President has trusted him with some of the most critical assignments, from the $787 billion Recovery Act to the transition in Iraq," he added.

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Image: US Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the 30th Street Station in Philadelphia
Photographs: Larry Downing/Reuters
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Kim Clijsters

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Ranked 16th is tennis sensation Kim Clijsters. As far as sportspersons go, she tops the list this year. In 2007, at the ripe old age of 23, Clijsters retired from professional tennis, as she wanted to start a family. She made a comeback only to win the past two US Open titles and earlier this year was the No 1 player in the world.

"Sure, it's easier to balance work and family when you're making a lot of money. But Kim has turned that balance into an art form. She has kept her feet on the ground and knows that her tennis skills do not make her a great person," said the legendary Martina Navratilova, who has won 59 Grand Slam titles

Whenever there's an opportunity for players to do something charitable, she's the first to sign up. On the court, Kim doesn't play any mind games. She won't throw tantrums or call for bathroom breaks to throw off her opponent. Kim just gets on with it," she added.

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Image: Kim Clijsters of Belgium returns a shot to Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in Florida
Photographs: Andrew Innerarity/Reuters
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Ahmed Shuja Pasha

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Close on the heels of Clijsters is an interesting entrant Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence head Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha.

Pasha's profile on the magazine's website was written by former Central Intelligence Aagency director Michael Hayden, who described him as "a Pakistani patriot and American partner" trying to manage the difficult task of reconciling the two roles.   

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Image: Ahmed Shuja Pasha, ISI's head head lieutenant general

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Aung San Suu Kyi

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Ranked 18th is Myanmar's democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi. "As the leader of Burma's democracy movement and winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, 65-year-old-Aung San Suu Kyi, is an Asian hero and global inspiration," wrote Wang Dan, a Chinese democracy activist.

"Even after spending most of the past two decades in detention, Suu Kyi is determined to return to the front lines of the battle for democracy."

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Image: Aung San Suu Kyi

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US First Lady Michelle Obama

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Michelle Obama is placed 22nd on the list, way ahead of her President husband.

Declaring herself "first mom," Michelle Obama got right to work on the defining issues of her children's generation: obesity and improving the health of America's kids. Her Let's Move campaign put obesity in the headlines. She convinced her husband to establish America's first Childhood Obesity Task Force.

She planted a teaching garden at the White House and reminded Americans that to know their farmers is to know their food She's encouraging mayors around the country to embrace obesity-prevention programmes.

"While she knows none of these changes are easy, she's stood firm in her conviction that if we all just eat better and move more, then we can fight obesity. For her inspirational work, I salute First Lady Michelle Obama -- a true revolutionary," said celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, who founded the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation.

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Image: US President Barack Obama (L) kisses his wife first lady Michelle Obama
Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters
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Dilma Rousseff

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Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff is ranked 27th on the chart.

"Brazil is living a unique moment in its history, one of great opportunity, which requires a leader with solid experience and firm ideals. Dilma offers precisely that virtuous combination of wisdom and conviction that her country needs. Brazil's new president is a courageous fighter who stood up to its former military dictatorship and has dedicated her life to building a democratic alternative for development, social equality and women's rights," said Michelle Bachelet, the former president of Chile and the first executive director of United Nations Women.

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Image: Dilma Rousseff
Photographs: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters
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Nicolas Sarkozy

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The French President appears 32nd on the list of Time's Magazine list of 100 most influential people in the world. On March 19, Nicolas Sarkozy his country's military involvement in Libya. His move saw France assume control of a crisis seemingly lacking in international leadership.

"It is a serious decision that we have been forced to take. Together with our Arab, European and North American partners, France has decided to take up its role, its role in the face of history," he said. 

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Image: France's president Nicolas Sarkozy
Photographs: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters
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Lisa Jackson

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Ranked 37th is the Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson. Clean air and clean water, healthy communities and a prosperous, clean energy economy. Those are the goals Jackson has been fighting for every day for 25 years.

"Lisa, grew up in New Orleans a city that exemplifies perseverance, courage and hope, while maintaining its own unique style andrhythm. Lisa exudes all those qualities. During this time of challenge and opportunity, she is what our nation needs," the Time said.

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Image: EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson
Photographs: Hyungwon Kang/Reuters
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Justin Bieber

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Teen sensation Justin Bieber has joined the likes of the Obamas to appear 39th on Time magazine list. At 17, is the youngest name among the influential lot.

"From the minute I met Justin, I knew this kid possessed a certain confidence that only a star could have. He was born a star," wrote Usher is a Grammy-winning recording artist.

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Image: Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber performs on stage during his concert in Singapore
Photographs: Tim Chong/Reuters
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Prince William and Kate Middleton

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They are the talk of the town with their D-day fast approaching. Prince William and Kate Middleton are ranked 40th on the list.

To quote Prince Harry: "It's not just a normal wedding." And no, it's not. It's the culmination of a nine-year relationship between a 28-year-old royal and a 29-year-old commoner, a beautiful and modern young woman and a handsome prince. It's no wonder the news media have wound themselves up into a mad frenzy!

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Image: Britain's Prince William (R) and his Kate Middleton visit Witton Country Park in northern England
Photographs: Alastair Grant/Pool/Reuters
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Hillary Clinton

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The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appears 43rd on the list.

"When China was overassertive about the South China Sea last year, she rallied other nations; when Libya's Muammar Gaddafi threatened to massacre civilians in Benghazi, she was key in building support in the UN for the multilateral military action that is helping to protect those civilians. She has strengthened American alliances in Europe and Asia while also engaging the emerging powers of China, India and Brazil. But above all, Hillary, 63, has set a model of how to be a member of a team of rivals," the Time said.

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Image: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gets on a car after arriving at Haneda airport in Tokyo
Photographs: Issei Kato/Reuters
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Muqtada al-Sadr

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Next on the list is Muqtada al-Sadr, the Iraqi Shi'ite radical leader. To the US military, Muqtada al-Sadr, 37, was a nuisance; to Iraq's Sunni minority, he is a nemesis.

Al-Sadr's Shi'ite militia, the Mahdi Army, is thought to have killed tens of thousands during the sectarian war of 2006-07. Now the ayatullah in training wields political power and militia might: his bloc of parliamentarians can make or break the Iraqi government, the magazine wrote.

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Image: Iraqi Shi'ite radical leader Muqtada al-Sadr delivers a sermon to worshippers in Najaf, Baghdad
Photographs: Ali Abu Shish/Reuters
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Saif al-Islam Gaddafi

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Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the second son of Libyan leader Gaddafi, is ranked 47. "We will not be tolerant. We will fight to the end. We will never, ever surrender to these people," the 38-year-old, on his resolve to crush the popular rebellion against his father.

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Image: Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's most prominent son, Saif al-Islam
Photographs: Chris Helgren/Reuters
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Mahendra Singh Dhoni

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Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who led India to a World Cup after 28 long years, has been ranked 52nd.

"Dhoni is now universally acknowledged as India's best captain ever. He's also its most likable, exuding both cool confidence and down-to-earth humility," wrote author Chetan Bhagat.

"Dhoni doesn't just lead a cricket team; he's also India's captain of hope. And he didn't just win India the World Cup; he also taught India how to win," he added. 

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Image: India's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni lifts the trophy at the Taj hotel
Photographs: Philip Brown/Reuters
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David Cameron

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Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron is ranked 59 on the charts.Former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger acknowledged Cameron as his "political soul mate."

"When he talked about governing for the people and not for his Conservative Party, he was giving advice that applies just as much in Washington or Sacramento as it does in the British Parliament," he wrote.

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Image: Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron
Photographs: Owen Humphreys/Pool/Reuters
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Mukesh Ambani

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Mukesh Ambani is India's first industrialist on the Time magazine list and he is ranked is ranked 61st.

"Ambani, 54, also took the firm his father founded -- Reliance Industries -- and turned it into India's largest private-sector company, a $45 billion petrochemicals giant. It's a new kind of Indian company, built through adroit manipulation of governments and the stock market but also enriching millions of shareholders.

"We have taken money from ordinary Indians, and we are their trustees," he says. As long as the money keeps coming, they may forgive his excesses," wrote Suketu Mehta, the author of Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found.

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Image: Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters
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Margaret Woodward

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Major General Margaret Woodward (No 63) is not like any other women in combat. She is a woman commanding others in combat. In March, Air Force Major General Margaret "Maggie" Woodward ran the opening 11 days of the war against Libya. So she rightly deserves at place in the list of the most influential people in the world.  

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Image: Major General Margaret Woodward

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David Petraeus

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US General David Petraeus, top commander of US and NATO-led troops in Afghanistan appears 67th on the list. "A decade of war has produced one of the most battle-tested, adaptive and innovative generations of military leaders the United States has ever known. At the pinnacle of that group is US Army General David Petraeus," wrote Robert Gates, US secretary of defence.

"He is the premier soldier-scholar of his time, an officer who has twice altered the course of military history for the better and an American patriot worthy of our deepest gratitude and respect," he added.

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Image: General David Petraeus
Photographs: Omar Sobhani/Reuters
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Sting

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Ten places above Obama is pop singer Sting.

"Sting's songwriting is what I'm most inspired by when I think about my own endeavors. He's found the perfect balance of being able to write very avant-garde songs that are accessible to people who wouldn't otherwise consider themselves jazz fans. My music doesn't sound like Sting's, and it never will. But I hope to have his bravery when it comes to writing songs that mainstream audiences can access," wrote Esperanza Spalding, a jazz bassist, won the Best New Artist award at the 2011 Grammys.

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Image: British musician Sting sings at the Bilbao Exhibition Centre
Photographs: Vincent West/Reuters
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Xi Ping

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Ranked 83 is China's Vice President Xi Ping, who is likely to be appointed president in 2012. Ping is an engineer, like most of China's leaders, but he also has a law degree and a breadth of knowledge that many of his colleagues lack.

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Image: China's Vice President Xi Jinping waves to photographers as he visits the Bellver Castle in Spain
Photographs: Enrique Calvo/Reuters
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Barack Obama

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The United States President did make it to the list, but was surprisingly ranked 86th. 

"Obama, 49, has looked beyond the near horizon. He has paid the political price of setting far-visioned initiatives on health care and financial reform ahead of short-term relief. And he has tried to persuade his countrymen to shed some of their youthful illusions," the magazine wrote.


Image: US President Barack Obama takes part in a town-hall meeting at ElectraTherm Inc in Reno, Nevada
Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters
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