World Bulletin / News Desk
The European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for its historic role in uniting the continent in an award meant as a morale boost for the bloc as it struggles to resolve its debt crisis.
The EU has been a key in transforming Europe "from a continent of wars to a continent of peace," Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said in announcing the award in Oslo.
"This is a message to Europe to do everything they can to secure what they've achieved and move forward," Jagland said, saying it was a reminder of what would be lost "if the union is allowed to collapse".
He praised the 27-nation EU for rebuilding after World War Two and for its role in spreading stability after the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall.
The prize, worth $1.2 million, will be presented in Oslo on Dec. 10. The decision by the five-member panel, led by Jagland who is also Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, was unanimous.
The EU won from a field of 231 candidates including Russian dissidents and religious leaders working for Muslim-Christian reconciliation.
But the EU is mired in crisis with strains on the euro, the common currency shared by 17 nations. The prize was a surprise given the EU's current woes.
And many Norwegians are bitterly opposed to the EU, seeing it as a threat to the sovereignty of nation states. "I find this absurd," the leader of Norway's anti-EU membership organisation Heming Olaussen told NRK.
"In Latin America and other parts of the world they will view this quite differently than they will from Brussels. The union is a trade bloc that contributes to keeping many countries in poverty."
Norway, the home of the peace prize, has voted "no" twice to joining the EU, in 1972 and 1994. The country has prospered outside the EU, partly thanks to huge oil and gas resources.
The five-member committee is appointed by parliament, where parties are deeply split over EU membership. Jagland has long favoured EU membership.
Janne Haaland Matlary, Professor of International Politics at the Oslo University, who has twice nominated the EU for the prize, praised the award.
"The European Union has been the most effective creator of peace in the world since its inception with the coal and steel union in the 1950s," she told Reuters. "Today it is unthinkable with military conflict between members in the EU."
Berlin has announced it will send military supplies that will arm more than 4,000 Kurdish troops.
Two children are believed trapped in wreckage of collapsed building.
In a statement late Sunday, the government said its ministers and senior officials had faced threats and it is deemed "dangerous" for them to go to work.
Iraq has been without a government since April 30 elections won by former PM Maliki, who resigned amid criticism and was replaced by Abadi last month.
Anti-government protesters throw rocks and petrol bombs as clashes with police continue.
Libyan militiamen have occupied the US embassy in Tripoli to 'secure' it.
The bodies are believed to belong to the victims of a massacre carried out by right-wing Jewish militias in the former Arab district in 1948.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov sa'd "Only Ukraine can reach an agreement with Novorossiya, taking into account the interests of Novorossiya, and this is the only way to reach political settlement."
Iceland's largest volcanic system, which cuts a 190 km long and up to 25 km wide (118 miles by 15.5 miles) swathe across the North Atlantic island, has been hit by thousands of earthquakes over the last two weeks and scientists have been on high alert.
In a statement, the military said the drone was downed by a Patriot missile near the Quneitra border crossing between the Israeli-held Golan Heights and Syria.
President Barack Obama authorized the new military action, broadening U.S. operations in Iraq amid an international outcry over the threat to Amerli's mostly ethnic Turkmen population.
Former Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus president Mehmet Ali Talat on his official Twitter page said "I will not run for presidency as of yesterday (30 August) I told the CTP General Secretary that I will stand with our party's candidate."
On Sunday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told a news conference that Iran would respond to the sanctions "if deemed necessary."
The files that were made public by the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP) shows how American delegates agreed to Israel's refusal to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The militants detonated several explosive-laden cars before trying to break into the prison amid heavy fighting with the prison guards.
Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled al-Sabah, whose country has tried to mediate in the dispute, said Saturday's meeting had led to limited progress.