Bumbling gun-lovers, world’s richest women and yet more billboards

Planet Business: How Ophelia beat Emma, and Frances McDormand’s ‘inclusion rider’

An activist wearing a mask of Forza Italia party leader Silvio Berlusconi poses during a tour, the day after Italy’s parliamentary elections, in Rome. Photograph: Max Rossi/Reuters

An activist wearing a mask of Forza Italia party leader Silvio Berlusconi poses during a tour, the day after Italy’s parliamentary elections, in Rome. Photograph: Max Rossi/Reuters

 

In numbers: Weather fix

808,000

Bumper average audience for the RTÉ Six-One news on Thursday, March 1st, as Ireland succumbed to snowfall and Storm Emma approached. It is the most-watched news bulletin of 2018 so far.

846,000

Average audience for RTÉ’s Nine O’Clock news bulletin the night before the previous “red warning” last October ahead of Storm Ophelia. This was the most-watched news bulletin of 2017.

757,000

Audience that tuned into the weather forecast after the Six-One news on Wednesday, February 28th, just as things were starting to deteriorate.

Image of the week: Three Billboards Outside the Colosseum, Rome

“If you Bunga Bunga with extremists . . . you don’t win . . . capiche, Berlusconi?” read the three billboards outside the Colosseum, Rome, a day after the result of Italy’s parliamentary election. The bad news is that the extremists did even better than Silvio Berlusconi (81), with the Forza Italia party (led by the colourful former prime minister) failing to do as well as its mates in the far-right, anti-immigrant Lega. The largest single party, however, turned out to be the populist, anti-establishment Five Star Movement co-founded by comedian Beppe Grillo. The resulting electoral stalemate didn’t seem to be troubling this activist, looking cheerful in his Berlusconi mask, and it’s a fair bet he’s also not a shareholder in Berlusconi’s Mediaset, which in the wake of the result saw its share price sink 5 per cent.

The lexicon: Inclusion rider

When a righteous Frances McDormand collected her second best-actress award in Los Angeles on Sunday, she wrapped up her speech with two words: inclusion rider. And she may have given the concept an even greater boost by not explaining on stage what she meant by this spot of industry jargon. An “inclusion rider”, the subject of a 2016 TED talk on Hollywood sexism by academic Stacy Smith, is a clause requiring a certain level of front-of-camera and/or behind-the camera diversity that more powerful actors can insist on as part of their contracts with film studios, the aim being to counter existing biases in casting and hiring processes and result in films that better reflect the real world in all its diverse glory. Other industries are now exploring similar methods by which its leaders can use their bargaining power to overturn that weird but stubborn phenomenon of people hiring people who look just like them.

Getting to know: Whitney Wolfe Herd

Whitney Wolfe Herd was a co-founder of dating app Tinder (which in 2014 settled a sexual harassment lawsuit she took against the company), and she’s gone on to become the founder and chief executive of another dating app, Bumble. She’s been in the news this week for banning almost all of its near 30 million users from posting pictures of their charming selves posing with guns (the exceptions being military and police officers in uniform). Wolfe Herd told Time that Bumble doesn’t want firearms to be “part of the conversation” of dating. For this stand, she has received “very abusive messages” from gun-lovers, as well as some heartbreaking ones from women asking, well, how will they know if someone is a gun owner now? “If you don’t want any criticism, you literally have to do nothing,” she says.

The list: Billionaire women

A record 256 women have been deemed members of “the three-comma club” by wealth-tracking magazine Forbes. These are the richest women in the world.

5. Yang Huiyan: The 36-year-old heiress to a Chinese real estate empire is worth $21.9 billion (€17.6bn). She is the second-richest billionaire under the age of 40 (behind Mark Zuckerberg).

4. Jacqueline Mars: If $23.6 billion can’t help you work, rest and play, what will?

3. Susanne Klatten: Germany’s Klatten is valued at $25 billion thanks to her inherited stake in BMW. In 2009, a “Swiss playboy” was found guilty of extortion after seducing and attempting to blackmail her. She went to the police.

2. Françoise Bettencourt Meyers: New on the list following the death of her mother Liliane Bettencourt, Bettencourt Meyers is worth $42.2 billion on the back of her beautiful 33 per cent stake in cosmetics giant L’Oréal.

1. Alice Walton: The only daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton reclaims the richest woman title with a rising fortune of $46 billion. A mere 15 men are richer than her.