Bush, Blair among record 157 Nobel peace nominations - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Bush, Blair among record 157 Nobel peace nominations

OSLO, Norway (AP) _ A record 157 nominations ranging from President Bush to the Salvation Army have been made for this year's Nobel Peace Prize after the awards committee added six names Thursday at its first meeting of the year.

Olav Njoelstad, acting secretary of the awards committee, said the final list included 122 individuals and 35 organizations, the largest number ever nominated for the world's most coveted prize.

He also announced that this year's prize amount will be $943,000.

The five-member committee keeps the nomination list secret, although other sources reveal some of the nominations _ including those of Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair for fighting terrorism and trying to secure world peace following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Last year, there were 136 nominations, and the award was shared by the United Nations and its secretary-general, Kofi Annan, in the Nobel prize's centennial year.

Although the secretive committee does not comment on the nominees, other than to give their number and announce a winner, Njoelstad did say the terror attacks were a major factor.

``We saw that reflected in many ways in this year's nominations,'' he said.

The attacks and their aftermath came too late to influence last year's prize, which already had been decided ahead of its announcement in mid-October.

The committee accepts nominations that have been postmarked by Feb. 1, which means a final count is normally delayed until late February. The committee also adds its own names at its first meeting of the year.

Although the nomination lists are kept secret for 50 years, those making nominations often announce them.

This year, those nominated include Bush, Blair, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, the Salvation Army, the Rome-based Catholic group Church of Sant'Egidio for peace and humanitarian efforts, the Mission of Mercy humanitarian group for work in Latin America, and the SOS Children's Villages aid group.

Njoelstad said the committee prepared a short list of its candidates for further study ahead of its next meeting on April 29, at which time the list will be trimmed further. The decision will be announced in mid-October, as usual.

The Nobel Prizes are always presented on Dec. 10, the date their founder, Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, died in 1896. The peace prize is awarded in Oslo, and the others in Stockholm, Sweden.

The award money is usually the same for all the Nobel Prize categories, but the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm wouldn't confirm this year's sum before a formal announcement usually made in the spring.
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