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In its first-ever list of the world’s most powerful people, Forbes has ranked President Barack Obama No. 1, ahead of such luminaries as Pope Benedict XVI (No. 11), Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (No. 17) and Oprah Winfrey (No. 45).

The nation’s first African American president edged out China president Jintao Hu at No. 2, Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin (No. 3), Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke (No. 4) and Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page (No. 5).

Forbes held its list to 67 “based on the conceit that one can reduce the world’s 6.7 billion people to the one in every 100 million that matter.”

Its criteria consisted of: the number of people one influences; one’s ability to project power beyond one’s immediate sphere of influence; control of or access to significant financial resources; and how actively one wields power.

News Corp. chief Robert Murdoch is No. 7. Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, is No. 10. The list even includes a few of the more notorious drug traffickers, terrorists and other assorted outlaws. Osama bin Laden, for example, is No. 37.