Chinese and Russian human rights activists, jailed Illinois governor, and the Internet among the nominees for 2010 Peace Prize

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Candidates for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize include a Russian human rights group, a Chinese dissident and an inanimate object: the Internet, people who made the nominations said Tuesday....

Erna Solberg, the head of Norway's Conservative Party, put forth Russian human rights activist Svetlana Gannushkina and Memorial, a prominent rights group she works with.

Kwame Anthony Appiah, president of the PEN American Center and a Princeton philosophy professor, said in a statement that he had nominated Liu Xiaobo, a recently jailed Chinese dissident, for his "distinguished and principled leadership in the area of human and political rights and freedom of expression." The Chinese government urged the jury to disregard the submission....

Former Illinois Governor George Ryan — now imprisoned after being convicted of federal corruption charges — was nominated by Francis A. Boyle, a law professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, for his campaign to abolish the death penalty.

The Internet was proposed by the Italian version of Wired magazine, which cited its use as a tool to advance "dialogue, debate and consensus through communication" and to promote democracy. Organizers said signatories to its petition backing the nomination include 2003 peace laureate and exiled Iranian activist Shirin Ebadi — which would make it a legitimate entry.

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