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World will rally around 2011 Peace Prize pick: Nobel chief

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The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize will be seen as a unifying choice and will be less controversial than last year’s award, the head of the prize committee said Thursday, a day before the announcement.

“I think (this year’s prize) will be well-received all over the world,”Nobel Committee chief Thorbjoern Jagland told Norwegian public broadcaster NRK late Thursday.

At 11:00 am (0900 GMT) Friday, the committee will announce a Peace Prize that is “very powerful… but at the same time very unifying,” he said, adding though that the pick “is not without conflict.”

At the same time, he stressed, the prize would “not create as strong reactions from a single country as it did last year,” when the choice of jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo outraged Beijing.

Nobel observers have long speculated that the Arab Spring uprising, which brought the overthrow of autocratic regimes in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya and rattled those in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain, will colour this year’s prize, with cyber activists from North Africa seen as the front-runners.

Jagland, however, played down that option Thursday, pointing out that “there are many other positive developments in the world that we have looked at.”

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“I think it is a little strange that researchers and others have not seen them,” he said, without providing any more hints.

The list of candidates — this year a record 241 names long — is always a closely-kept secret, each year resulting in frenzied speculation up until the last moment.

Other names that have been circulating are Sima Samar, an Afghan doctor and women’s rights activist, and Russian activist Svetlana Gannushkina and her human rights group Memorial.

The European Union, currently in full crisis mode due to the spiralling debt problems in the eurozone, has meanwhile been increasingly mentioned as a possible winner for its role in keeping the peace in most of Europe for more than half a century.

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Although Norway is not a member of the EU, Jagland is an outspoken supporter of the bloc.

In an article published by Norwegian daily VG Wednesday, the Nobel Committee chief confided that this year’s prize would “go to something that has been important to me all my life.”

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Orange County Republican under fire after 3 women come forward with #MeToo allegations of sexual misconduct

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Republicans in Orange County are in chaos after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced at a GOP endorsement meeting.

"As Orange County Republicans considered a 2020 endorsement last week for Assemblyman Bill Brough, R-Dana Point, one local official made a surprising public declaration," the Sacramento Bee reported Monday. "County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett accused Brough of making unwanted sexual advances during their time together on the Dana Point City Council."

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US foes are goading Trump because they know he’s a ‘blow-hard and full of bluster’: CNN analyst

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President Donald Trump walked back from the brink of atrocities last week, from calling off a military strike against Iran to pushing back planned Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids in major American cities.

On Monday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin told anchor Wolf Blitzer how foreign adversaries have been emboldened to challenge Trump — because for all his bombast, they know they are calling a bluff.

"I think Donald Trump is pretty well a known quantity at this point," said Toobin. "I mean, I think people around the world know he's a blowhard, knows he's full of bluster. But that's no reason to get into a war."

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New York Times admits they ‘downplayed’ the rape allegation against Trump

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On Monday, The New York Times issued a mea culpa for the nature of their coverage of the allegation by advice columnist E. Jean Carroll that President Donald Trump raped her in a department store in the 1990s.

"After an article last week reported the advice columnist E. Jean Carroll's rape allegations against President Trump, some readers accused The Times of downplaying the story," wrote staff editor Laura Takenaga. "Many have written to ask us why we didn't give the allegations more attention on our website and in print ... Some questioned whether the lack of prominence showed too much deference to the president's denials, or whether it even suggested misogyny or an unwillingness to believe a victim's account."

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