Among Nobel Nominees: Pope, Merkel ... Trump?

And also against 374 other nominees in a record year
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2016 9:07 AM CST
Among Nobel Nominees: Pope, Merkel ... Trump?
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, accompanied by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, left, speaks during a news conference on Super Tuesday at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Donald Trump may have settled his recent beef with Pope Francis, but there may be a new skirmish brewing between the two—this time over the Nobel Peace Prize. The GOP frontrunner and the pontiff are both among the record number of nominees this year, the Guardian reports. The previous record of 278 nominations in 2014 has been surpassed by the 376—228 people and 148 organizations—suggested this year, a phenomenon that the head of the Nobel Institute suggests is due to so much happening around the globe. "We live in a world where there are a lot of conflicts and where there are also a certain number of processes that are heading in a more positive direction," Olav Njolstad says. "Clearly, this has inspired a lot of people to exercise their right to nominate someone."

The list of nominees is supposed to remain under wraps for at least 50 years, though names are apparently fair game if the person or group who selected a nominee decides to make that recommendation public. Names already leaked this way include Trump, the pope, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and actress Susan Sarandon (the Wall Street Journal notes Edward Snowden's on the list, too). Only certain people—including members of national assemblies and governments, ex-Nobel laureates, and certain academic and institutional bigwigs—are allowed to cast a nomination, and in Trump's case, his name was offered by an anonymous American who selected Trump for his "peace through strength ideology," the director of Norway's Peace Research Institute tells the Journal (he also notes Trump isn't likely to win). The prize will be announced in October. (One group that's been making headlines in the run for the prize: Greek islanders assisting refugees.)

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