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."
Security Council members are considering sanctions on South Sudan's warring parties and U.N. peacekeeping chief demanded "serious consequences" be imposed to force an end to the violence
The four warplanes will be sent to Malbork in northern Poland on April 28 on a double mission
"The partition itself has already been done. Now there only remains the declaration of independence," said Abdel Nasser Mahamat Youssouf, member of a youth group lobbying for the secession
A town councillor from the prime minister's party, Rybak was kidnapped last week and his mutilated body was found in a river near Slaviansk
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said "We are forced to react to such a development of the situation."
“Today we commemorate the Meds Yeghern and honor those who perished in one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century” Obama said.
Israeli media reports said that Israel would impose economic sanctions on the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Lieberman, who has helped to mastermind Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's policy of closer relations with Russia, made no apology for the government's fence-sitting on Ukraine
Mariupol, an industrial port city of nearly half a million people, is one of a series of flashpoints across eastern Ukraine
Wade's impending return has heightened tensions in one of Africa's most stable democracy
Women and children are among the group, some of whom suffer from poor health.
EU leaders consider the takeover as illegal and have asked the EU executive arm, the European Commission, to propose economic, trade and financial restrictions on Crimea for rapid implementation.
The Greens criticised the scale of Germany's defence equipment sales to Russia and urged Berlin to push for a European-wide embargo on arms sales to the country.
Preliminary results based on 82.6 percent of the vote from the 34 provinces showed Abdullah in the lead with 43.8 percent, followed by Ghani with 32.9 percent
The Asian Development Bank said around 733 million people in Asia-Pacific live on US$1.25 a day - the extreme poverty threshold.
Costa Rica condemned an alleged US campaign against Cuba communist regime being conducted from San Jose.