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Nobel Peace Prize Winner to be Announced Friday

Former Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans and Finland's peace broker and former President Martti Ahtisaari are among the favorites to win the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, which will be announced Friday.

Norwegian public television says Evans could win the award for his role in the reconstruction of Cambodia and Vietnam. But Ahtisaari has been the bookmakers' favorite for his work in brokering peace in Indonesia's Aceh province.

Others put forward as possible winners are Russian human rights activist Sergei Kovalev, Chechen lawyer Lidia Yusupova and Chinese dissident Rebiya Kadeer, a member of the Turkic-speaking Uighur minority.

The winner will be announced by the Norwegian Nobel Committee in Oslo Friday at 0900 UTC, from a field of 191 candidates.

On Thursday, Turkey's best-known contemporary novelist, Orhan Pamuk, won the 2006 Nobel Prize for literature.

The Academy in Stockholm paid tribute to the 54-year-old writer's "quest for the melancholic soul of his native city," Istanbul. The Nobel citation says Pamuk, in his writings, "has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures."

Pamuk still lives in Istanbul, where he is considered an influential social commentator.

Pamuk was the first author in the Muslim world to publicly condemn the Iranian religious edict calling for the death of novelist Salman Rushdie.

He has 10 works published in Turkish, and many have been translated into English, German, French and Swedish. He gained wide acclaim in the West for his most recent novel, titled Kar in Turkish and Snow in the English version.

The prize for literature will be presented in Stockholm in December.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.