Nobel Peace Prize: Pope and Merkel among favourites to win

Pope Francis and Angela Merkel are among the favourites to receive the Nobel Peace Prize when it is announced in Norway on Friday morning, the BBC reports.

The Pope’s opposition to nuclear weapons and role in a deal between the US and Cuba boosted his chances, said Norwegian state broadcaster NRK.

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, has been tipped for her stance on the refugee crisis unfolding in Europe.

But the prize committee’s decision is notoriously hard to predict.

Other contenders for the award include:

  • Mussie Zerai, an Eritrean priest who founded a humanitarian organisation for refugees
  • Denis Mukwege, a gynaecologist from the Democratic Republic of Congo who has treated thousands of gang rape victims
  • Clive Stafford-Smith, the veteran human rights campaigner and lawyer.

Among the more high profile nominees for the $1.1m prize are:

  • Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who leaked details of US surveillance programmes to the press
  • John Kerry and Javad Zarif, the US and Iranian foreign ministers who brokered a historic nuclear deal
  • The charity Medecins Sans Frontieres, for its work on the West African Ebola outbreak.
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