Names & Faces for Aug. 20, 2009

(Al Grillo - AP)
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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Levi's Mom Pleads Guilty

Levi Johnston's mother, Sherry, has pleaded guilty in Alaska to one count of possession with intent to deliver OxyContin. A plea deal will help her avoid the brunt of a 20-year jail sentence, the Associated Press reports.

After entering her plea, Johnston was placed in pink handcuffs ("That's pretty," she remarked) and taken to a correctional facility, where she'll stay until her Nov. 20 sentencing. Her deal with prosecutors includes a five-year sentence, with two years suspended. Five other felony counts against her were dropped.

The case against Johnston began last September, when investigators intercepted a package containing 179 OxyContin pills. She was later videotaped selling OxyContin to a police informant. Police arrested her in December, shortly before Sarah Palin's daughter, Bristol, gave birth to Levi Johnston's son.

Madoff's Willard Affair

A new tell-all book claims that Washington -- the Willard InterContinental Hotel, to be exact -- was where jailbird Bernard Madoff began an affair in 1993 with Sheryl Weinstein, whose organization had invested millions of dollars with him five years earlier.

Weinstein's book, "Madoff's Other Secret: Money, Love, Bernie, and Me," details the relationship, which lasted for months but ended cordially. Weinstein remained Madoff's friend and trusted him with her life savings. (We all know how that worked out.)

In June, Bloomberg reports, an enraged Weinstein appeared before a federal judge in New York, calling Madoff "a beast" and "an equal opportunity destroyer." Shortly thereafter, the 71-year-old Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison.

The Powers That Be

This one's for the ladies.

On Wednesday, Forbes magazine released its latest "100 Most Powerful Women" roster, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel nabbing the No. 1 spot for the fourth year running, just in time for Germany's general elections next month.

No. 2: Sheila Bair, who chairs the FDIC. No. 3: Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo's chief executive.

Farther down the list, you'll find Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at No. 36, and first lady (and shorts-wearer) Michelle Obama at, perhaps, a surprisingly low No. 40, which puts the first lady below House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Melinda Gates and Avon CEO Andrea Jung, to name a few. Oprah Winfrey slides in just below Obama at No. 41.

This year's "100 Most Powerful Women" differs from past iterations (the list has been around for six years) in that editors Mary Ellen Egan and Chana Schoenberger decided to exclude female media figures from the list.

"Instead of listing all the media figures, we decided they were just interesting subsets, so we broke out and gave them a list of their own," Schoenberger says.

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