Coveted Nobel Peace Prize to be handed out amid speculation

The prestigious Nobel Peace Prize will be handed out on Friday with plenty of speculation about possible winners but no hints from the Nobel committee, which doesn’t reveal the names of candidates or nominations for 50 years.

Names flying around include 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg; Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia; German Chancellor Angela Merkel; and activists in Hong Kong.

The Norwegian Nobel Institute could also choose to acknowledge United Nations’ World Food Program, or the joint leadership of two prime ministers Greece’s Alexis Tsipras and North Macedonia’s Zoran Zaev who brought an end to 30 years of acrimony between their nations.

Outsiders include Davi Kopenawa, a spokesman for the rights of a Brazilian indigenous tribe, and U.S. President Donald Trump.

Since 1901, 99 Nobel Peace Prizes have been handed out, to individuals and 24 organizations. While the other prizes are announced in Stockholm, the peace prize is awarded in the Norwegian capital, Oslo.

So far this week, 11 Nobel laureates have been named, of whom 10 are men.

Two literature prizes were awarded Thursday- One for 2018 that went to Polish novelist Olga Tokarczuk and one for 2019 that was given to Austrian author Peter Handke.

The chemistry prize went to three scientists for their work leading to the development of lithium-ion batteries; the physics award was given to a Canadian-American and two Swiss for exploring the evolution of the universe and discovering a new kind of planet; and the physiology or medicine award went to two Americans and one British scientist for discovering details of how the body’s cells sense and react to low oxygen levels.

In his will, Alfred Nobel, the Swedish industrialist and inventor of dynamite, decided the peace prize should be awarded in Oslo. His exact reasons for having an institution in Norway handing out that prize is unclear, but during his lifetime Sweden and Norway were joined in a union, which was dissolved in 1905.

The economics prize wasn’t created by Nobel, but by Sweden’s central bank in 1968. It is awarded Monday.

With the glory comes a 9-million kronor ($918,000 cash award, a gold medal and a diploma. Even though the peace prize is awarded in Norway, the amount is denominated in Swedish kronor.

The laureates receive them at elegant ceremonies on Dec. 10 the anniversary of Nobel’s death in 1896 in Stockholm and Oslo.

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