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Pope Francis Among Known Candidates For Nobel Peace Prize

A woman who champions the rights of Islamic State rape victims, Pope Francis and the Afghan women's cycling team are among the known candidates for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize as the nomination window was set to close Monday.

The five-member Norwegian Nobel Committee typically receives more than 200 nominations for the prestigious prize, and keeps candidates secret for 50 years. Panel members can make their own nominations during their first judging meeting on Feb. 29.

Norwegian lawmaker Audun Lysbakken nominated Nadia Murad, a Yazidi who escaped from Islamic State sexual slavery to become a spokeswoman for those abused by IS militants.

Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu has given his backing to Pope Francis, as well as the economist Herman Daly and The Club of Rome think-tank for their "significant contributions to global understanding of sustainable development."

The Afghani women's cycling team has been nominated by 118 Italian lawmakers to promote "the most democratic means of transportation for all mankind."

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