April 30, 2006

Time magazine names 100 most influential

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush, Turkish writer Orhan
Pamuk, Chinese environmentalist Ma Jun, German Chancellor
Angela Merkel, and hip hop renaissance man Sean "Puffy" Combs
have made Time magazine's list of the year's 100 most
influential people.

In a series of essays, some written by celebrities, Time
lauded a few people for the second time in the three years
since the list began. The repeats were Bush, Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice, former President Bill Clinton, Microsoft CEO
Bill Gates and NBC morning news anchor Katie Couric, who will
soon jump to the CBS evening news.

Bush, despite high disapproval ratings and an unpopular
war, is "already assured a large place in history," Time wrote.

Sean Combs, whom designer Vivienne Tam described in her
essay as "a force of nature," is a product of Harlem who began
as a rapper and grew into a producer, clothing designer and

East German physicist Angela Merkel, Germany's first woman
chancellor, "now boasts stratospheric approval ratings, and the
improvement in the German economy is commonly put down to the
'Merkel effect,"' Time wrote.

Time also praised writer Orhan Pamuk, who was forced to
leave Turkey for a while in 2005 because of his book "My Name
is Red." In the novel, he "pointedly criticized his country's
all-too-willful historical blind spots," genocide of Armenians
in 1915 and suppression of Turkey's Kurdish minority.

Former journalist Ma Jun wrote "China's Water Crisis"
(1999), which "may be for China what Rachel Carson's 'Silent
Spring' was for the U.S., the country's first great
environmental call to arms."

The list also dipped into popular culture. Wildly popular
U.S. cooking show host Rachael Ray has inspired working people
to "eschew the trap of fast-food facility and truly cook --
even the easy fast stuff -- at home."