Obama 'in running for Nobel peace prize'

The US president Barack Obama and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy are believed to be among the record 205 nominations received for the 2009 Nobel peace prize.

The awards committee, based on Oslo, Norway, refuses to say who is nominated. It just says that 172 individuals and 33 organisations were on the final count released today.

The previous record was 199 in 2005.

Thousand of people have nomination rights for the coveted prize and sometimes announce their selections.

This year those names include Mr Obama, Mr Sarkozy, American musician Pete Seeger, Macedonian humanitarian Zivko Popovski-Cvetin, Austrian children's charity SOS-Kinderdorf International, Vietnamese religious leader Thich Quang Do, and American Greg Mortenson for his Asian school-building charity.