Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

The President's outreach to Muslims cited as reason for the award; some see a slap at the previous administration.

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President Obama was awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Friday for his work to improve international diplomacy and rid the world of nuclear weapons -- a stunning decision to celebrate a figure virtually unknown in the world before he launched his campaign for the White House nearly three years ago.

In awarding the coveted prize to Obama, 48, the Norwegian Nobel Committee echoed a global embrace of the U.S. president that has seen his popularity overseas often exceed his support at home. Though Obama's name surfaced early among contenders, the announcement stunned observers -- and drew gasps from the audience in Oslo -- in part because Obama assumed office less than two weeks before the Feb. 1 deadline for nominations.

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