By Doug Mellgren
OSLO, Norway — Former vice president and environmental advocate Al Gore is believed to be among 181 nominees for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
In releasing the final count Thursday, awards committee secretary Geir Lundestad would only give a total number – 135 individuals and 46 organizations – without listing any names, in keeping with the prize rules.
The five-member awards committee keeps its list of candidates secret for 50 years, and refuses to indicate who might be under consideration. However, those making nominations sometimes announce them.
This year, those include Gore, for campaigning to draw attention to the threat of global warming, Irena Sendler, a Polish woman who saved the lives of Jewish children during World War II, and American TV host Oprah Winfrey.
Other announced nominees include Canadian Intuit environmentalist Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Bolivian President Evo Morales and U.N. AIDS envoy to Africa Stephen Lewis.
Those with nomination rights include former peace laureates, the awards committee and its staff, members of national governments and legislatures, selected university professors and others.
The winner is usually announced in October. The prize always is presented on Dec. 10, the anniversary of the death of its creator, Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel.
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