October 15th, 2012
07:17 AM ET

Nobel Prize for economics awarded to two U.S. economists

Alvin E. Roth of Harvard University and Lloyd Shapley of UCLA have been awarded the Nobel Prize in economics, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Monday.

The economics prize is the sixth and final of the annual awards that spotlight the world's top scholars and peacemakers.

The economics award was not among the original prizes created in 1895 by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel to honor work in physics, medicine, chemistry, literature and peace. It was added as a category in 1969 by the

Swedish central bank in memory of the industrialist.

As such, the economics prize is given by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences - following the same principles used to determine the other Nobel Prize winners, according to the Nobel committee.

The monetary award that accompanies the Nobel Prize was lowered by the foundation this year by 20% from 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.5 million) to 8 million kronor ($1.2 million) because of the turbulence that hit the financial markets.

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China's Mo Yan wins literature Nobel
Mo Yan of China won the Nobel Prize in literature, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Thursday.
October 11th, 2012
07:10 AM ET

China's Mo Yan wins literature Nobel

Writer Mo Yan of China won the Nobel Prize in literature, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Thursday.

On the Nobel website, he was called a writer "who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary".

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Americans win Nobel chemistry prize
Research by Robert J. Lefkowitz (L) and Brian K. Kobilka (R) on have increased understanding of how cells sense chemicals.
October 10th, 2012
05:54 AM ET

Americans win Nobel chemistry prize

Two American scientists won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their work revealing protein receptors on the surface of cells that tell them what is going on in the human body. The achievements have allowed drug makers to develop medication with fewer side effects.

Over four decades of research by Robert J. Lefkowitz and Brian K. Kobilka on "G-protein-coupled receptors," have increased understanding of how cells sense chemicals in the bloodstream, according to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awarded the prize.

"I'm feeling very, very excited," Lefkowitz said in a predawn phone call from the United States to the committee in Stockholm, Sweden. The announcement caught him by surprise.

"Did I even have any inkling that it was coming?" he said. "I'd have to say no."

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October 9th, 2012
06:01 AM ET

Nobel for physics highlights quantum systems

The Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded jointly to Serge Haroche, a French man, and David J. Wineland, an American, "for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring & manipulation of individual quantum systems," the Nobel Prize committee announced Tuesday.

The award surprised those who expected the prize this year to be related to the discovery of the Higgs boson.

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3 share Nobel Peace Prize
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of LIberia is Africa's first elected female head of state.
October 7th, 2011
05:48 AM ET

3 share Nobel Peace Prize

This year's Nobel Peace Prize is divided among three women, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Tawakkul Karman of Yemen, the Nobel committee in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, announced Friday.

The women were awarded the prize "for their nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work," the committee said.

"We cannot achieve democracy and lasting peace in the world unless women obtain the same opportunities as men to influence developments at all levels of society."

Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia's 72-year-old president, is Africa's first elected female head of state. Her political resilience and tough reputation have earned her the nickname "Iron Lady."

She is campaigning for re-election.

Medina Wesseh, chairman of her re-election campaign, told CNN the award was greatly deserved "for all of her life's works and activities, for the women of Africa, for the Liberian people and for the world at large."

The Harvard graduate's commencement address in high school in 1972 sharply criticized the government, a rare defiance in Africa, especially at the time.

Johnson Sirleaf has also worked at the World Bank and the United Nations.

Gbowee, a founder and executive director of Women Peace and Security Network-Africa, was also a recipient in 2009 of the John F Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.

She was the focus of the documentary "Pray the Devil Back to Hell," which shows how women confronted Liberian President Charles Taylor with a demand for peace to end a bloody 14-year civil war.

She "mobilized and organized women across ethnic and religious dividing lines to bring an end to the long war in Liberia," the Nobel committee said.

And in Yemen, Karman has played a leading role in the struggle for women's rights for democracy and peace, the committee said.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said it hoped that the prize will help end suppression of women in many countries and to "realize the great potential for democracy and peace that women can represent."

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Thursday's intriguing people
Fashion designer Kenneth Cole put his foot in his mouth -- but what was he wearing?
February 3rd, 2011
03:12 PM ET

Thursday's intriguing people

Kenneth Cole

The fashion designer issued a quick apology Thursday after Twitter followers were not amused by his attempt at an Egypt-related joke.

"Millions are in an uproar in #Cairo," he tweeted. "Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is available online at http://bit.ly/KCairo -KC"

That went over like an orange-and-yellow-plaid evening jacket.

It wasn't long before Cole tweeted his regrets:

"Re Egypt tweet: we weren't intending to make light of a serious situation. We understand the sensitivity of this historic moment."

It also wasn't long before a fake Kenneth Cole PR account was created to make fun of him. A couple of its latest tweets:

"Check out our new colab with @BP_America - slick looks for spring!"

"People of Haiti, fall into our store for earth-shattering savings!"

"Iran is enriching uranium. Our shoes will enrich your suits."

Snorre Valen

The 26-year-old member of Norway's parliament said he nominated WikiLeaks for a Nobel Peace Prize because it has helped "redraw the map of information freedom."

"Publishing material that is deemed classified by the government is an obvious right that newspapers and media have practiced for many, many decades," Valen wrote on his blog. "This way, the public has become aware of abuses of power that governments should be held accountable for.

"The internet doesn't change this - it merely makes information more accessible, easier to distribute, and more democratic in the sense that virtually anyone with an internet connection can contribute."

Valen is a keyboardist, a member of the bands Amish 82 and Peevish Penfriend. He is a former member of Gallery.

Laban Coblentz

Coblentz, a longtime aide to Mohamed ElBaradei, says the Egyptian opposition figure previously had no ambitions for office in Egypt, according to a Wall Street Journal article.

"When people were first approaching him saying, 'Will you run for president of Egypt in 2011?' he was very dismissive of it," Coblentz told The Journal.

Coblentz helped ElBaradei write a memoir that is due out in April, The Journal reported.

After ElBaradei learned how to use social networking on the internet, he learned he was more popular than he had realized, Coblentz told The Journal.

"It was really this last 14 months, where someone I knew as not being particularly computer savvy, taught himself to use Facebook and Twitter and YouTube and started to do in virtual space which was forbidden to do by the Mubarak regime, the freedom of assembly by large groups," Coblentz said, according to The Journal.

Michael B. Colbert

Colbert is the first minority appointed to new Ohio Gov. John Kasich's Cabinet.

Kasich has been criticized for his string of white appointees, but Colbert, who is black, broke the string when Kasich named him to lead the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Colbert had been interim director of the department, The Columbus Dispatch newspaper reported.

"I am comfortable with who I am," Colbert said at the announcement of his appointment, according to the Dispatch. "I understand my heritage. I'm very proud of that heritage. I'm very proud of those that paved the way for me to get this position. Additionally, I know the job that I'm doing. I've been doing this for the last three years on the financial side, and I understand what we need to do to get services to Ohioans."

Ohio hadn't had an all-white Cabinet since 1962, when Democrat Michael DiSalle was governor, according to The Dispatch.

Tuesday's intriguing people
December 7th, 2010
12:49 PM ET

Tuesday's intriguing people

Navi Pillay

The U.N. high commissioner for human rights says she has a good reason for not attending the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

Friday’s ceremony coincides with Human Rights Day, and Pillay is scheduled to host a meeting with human rights defenders in Switzerland, spokesman Richard Colville told Foreign Policy.

Yang Jianli, another Chinese dissident who represents Liu before the Nobel committee, isn’t buying it. He called Pillay's decision not to attend “a clear and unequivocal abdication of her responsibilities as high commissioner.”

He also blasted U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for failing to raise Liu’s case when he met with Chinese President Hu Jintao shortly after the Nobel committee’s announcement.

Though Yang claims that the U.N. is buckling to pressure from China, Colville said Pillay – a South African lawyer who got her start defending opponents of apartheid – simply couldn’t bow out of the Swiss event.

According to BBC, 19 countries including China will not attend the ceremony in Oslo, Norway. Forty-four will attend.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Jiang Yu told the BBC that China would not change because of “interference by a few clowns.”

China has mounted a campaign to dissuade nations from attending the ceremony and said through its state-run media that 100 countries back its stance. Xinhua further cited a professor as saying that Liu was a “Chinese criminal [who] challenged China’s judicial authority and interfered in China’s internal affairs."

The Nobel Committee, of course, sees it differently and applauds Liu’s calls for multi-party democracy and human rights reforms.

In other developments this week: Liu’s lawyers said they were prevented from appealing their client’s charges; they say they were also prevented from visiting Liu’s wife, who has been under house arrest since the Nobel announcement; and an Australian-based Chinese dissident was detained in Shanghai en route to Oslo, The Australian reported.


November 15th, 2010
09:41 AM ET

On the Radar: Suu Kyi, Fort Hood, Rangel, lame ducks

Aung San Suu Kyi has spent much of the last two decades under house arrest.

Still open for dialogue - Freed activist Aung San Suu Kyi said she would continue working on matters of democracy and human rights in Myanmar and doesn’t worry about being detained again.

The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize recipient has spent 15 of the past 21 years under house arrest for her dogged opposition to authoritarian rule in Myanmar. She insists all parties  - both inside and outside of the country - must continue working together.

Suu Kyi said she’d like to begin engaging Gen. Than Shwe, Myanmar's top military leader and head of state, in dialogue.


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October 25th, 2010
07:21 PM ET

Nobel laureates call for 2010 peace prize winner's release

A group of Nobel laureates sent a letter Monday to the leaders of the G-20, requesting their help in calling for the release of 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, a leading Chinese dissident.

Liu is serving an 11-year prison term after repeatedly calling for human rights and democratization. His wife, Liu Xia, was placed under house arrest after the Nobel Committee announced her husband as the winner earlier this month.

The letter - signed by 15 Nobel laureates, including former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, the Dalai Lama, Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu - urged the leaders while at next month's G-20 summit to "personally impress upon Chinese President Hu Jintao that the release of Dr. Liu would not only be welcome, but is necessary."

They also called on them to ask the Chinese government to release Liu Xia from her house arrest and "enable her to communicate freely with whomever she wishes." Since her house arrest, Liu Xia's communication with the outside world has largely been cut off, prompting protests from human rights organizations.


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October 11th, 2010
07:16 AM ET

Trio awarded Nobel for economics

The Nobel Prize in economics for 2010 has been awarded to two Americans and a British-Cypriot citizen for a collaborative market analysis.

The prize was awarded jointly to Peter A. Diamond of MIT, Dale T. Mortensen of Northwestern University and Christopher A. Pissarides of the London School of Economics and Political Science "for their analysis of markets with search frictions."


Filed under: Nobel
October 8th, 2010
07:06 AM ET

China calls Nobel decision 'blasphemy'; West praises it

[Update 7:55 a.m.] The Dalai Lama commented on the awarding Friday of the Nobel Peace Prize to jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

"Awarding the Peace Prize to him is the international community's recognition of the increasing voices among the Chinese people in pushing China towards political, legal and constitutional reforms," he said. "I believe in the years ahead, future generations of Chinese will be able to enjoy the fruits of the efforts that the current Chinese citizens are making towards responsible governance."

[Update 7:08 a.m.] The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo was "blasphemy against the peace prize," a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Friday. The decision could harm relations between the nation and Norway, according to China's state media.

"Liu Xiaobo is a convicted criminal sentenced to jail by Chinese justice authorities for violation of Chinese law. His acts are in complete contradiction to the purpose of the Nobel Peace Prize," foreign ministry spokesman Mao Zhaoxu said.


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October 8th, 2010
05:04 AM ET

Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo awarded Nobel Peace Prize

Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2010.


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October 7th, 2010
02:10 PM ET

Nobel laureate once punched fellow author, paper says

In 1976, writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, left, caught a punch to the eye from Mario Vargas Llosa. Both men have Nobel prizes for their literary works.

[Update 2:10 p.m.] The "cuentas iguales" tweet attributed to Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez was a hoax.

Gina Sosa of Garcia Marquez's Iberoamerican New Journalism Foundation says the famed author does not have a Twitter account. She referred CNN to the foundation's Twitter account, where Director Jaime Abello explained the account in question belongs to either imitators or the author's followers.

The Twitter account greets visitors with a smiling photo of Garcia Marquez and proclaims in its bio, "I am Gabo, writer and journalist," using Garcia Marquez's sobriquet. The tweets, which began in 2007, are in first person as if they are from the author. They include book promotions, pontifications on the state of journalism and links to articles at Garcia Marquez’s foundation.

The account has more than 132,000 followers, as opposed to about 7,000 at the foundation's account.

CNN and several other media outlets, including BBC and The Associated Press,  reported news of the seemingly conciliatory tweet, so the hoaxster - whoever he or she is - duped a few of journalism's big dogs.

[Updated 12:17 p.m.] It is a tale of literary rivals, romantic intrigue, divergent politics, a black eye and a Nobel laureate taking to Twitter in what may be a fitting end to a 34-year saga.


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October 7th, 2010
07:27 AM ET

Peruvian wins Nobel for literature

Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa won the Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday, the Swedish Academy said.

Vargas Llosa won the prize "for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individuals resistance, revolt, and defeat," the academy said.

"I am very grateful to have received this privilege," Vargas Llosa told CNN en Espanol.

"The truth is I did not expect it," he said in the televised interview. "It was a surprise ... but a pleasant surprise."

Vargas Llosa felt "very moved and enthused" by the prize, said Andina, the official Peruvian news agency, citing Peter Englund, president of the Nobel literature prize jury.

Vargas Llosa is in the United States, teaching two courses at Princeton University.

"He had gotten up at 5 a.m. to prepare for a class when he received our call at quarter to seven, while he was working intensively," Englund told Andina.

Vargas Llosa is one of Latin America's leading novelists and essayists. He rose to prominence in the 1960s. Some of his best known novels include "The Green House" and "The War of the End of the World."


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