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Malala, Putin nominated for Nobel prize

OSLO: US whistleblower Edward Snowden, Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai and Russian President Vladimir Putin are among the nominees for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, as the Nobel Institute announced on Tuesday a record 278 candidates.

“The number of nominations increases almost every year, which shows a growing interest in the prize,” the head of the institute, Geir Lundestad, said.

The Nobel committee convened on Tuesday for the first time this year to examine the candidate list and will announce the laureate in Oslo on Oct 10.

As usual, the committee refused to reveal the identity of any of the nominees, but Lundestad said that 47 of the 278 candidates were organisations. Even though the list is kept secret for at least 50 years, the sponsors can choose to reveal the name of their nominee.

Putin is thought to be on the list, since Russian figures proposed his name in October, citing his role in the Syrian crisis.

MALALA STILL ON THE LIST: Another name likely to be on the list is Edward Snowden, former US security contractor for the National Security Agency, who has been provided asylum in Russia and is accused in his country of disclosing a large number of classified documents regarding a US global surveillance programme.

Other figures with a similar profile, such as Julian Assange — founder of WikiLeaks — and Chelsea Manning are also known to be on the list.

Pakistani 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai, who was seriously wounded when she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman at point blank range for promoting girls’ education in Pakistan, is again known to be nominated, after being considered one of the favourites last year.