For the third successive year, influential Forbes magazine has declared Russian President Vladimir Putin the world's most powerful man. President-elect Donald Trump is the runner-up. Trump has leaped 70 spots from his 2015 rank. "The world’s most powerful person for four years running, Russia’s president has exerted his country’s influence in nearly every corner of the globe; from the motherland to Syria to the US presidential elections, Putin continues to get what he wants," Forbes wrote. The magazine added that the former KGB officer's "reach has magnified in the recent years."
 
"In second place, President-elect Donald Trump has a seeming immunity to scandal, both houses of Congress on his side, and a personal net worth in the billions," Forbes reported.
 
President Barack Obama was nowhere near. Forbes placed the Chief Executive of the United States at 48. German Chancellor Angela Merkel came in third. China's leader Xi Jinping came in fourth, while Pope Francis finished fifth.
 
ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, who has been chosen to serve under Trump as secretary of state, was ranked at No. 24.
 
21st Century Fox Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch at 35th on the list, while Michael Bloomberg, CEO of Bloomberg News came in at 55.

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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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