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Time magazine names 100 most influential

By Staff
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WASHINGTON, May 1 (Reuters) U S President George W 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 yesterday.

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 philanthropist.

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.'' Reuters RL DB0854

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