The Latest: Nobel Peace Prize to be announced in Oslo; Pope Francis, Merkel among favorites

The Norwegian Nobel Committee is set to announce the 2015 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize amid speculation that the prize could highlight Europe's migration crisis, peace talks in Colombia or a U.S.-Iran nuclear deal.

Pope Francis is among the nominees for this year's award though the committee has been reluctant in the past to consider popes — none has been honored since the first Nobel Prizes in 1901.

The five-member committee has released no hints ahead of the announcement, scheduled for 0900 GMT.

A favorite among those placing bets is German Chancellor Angela Merkel for pledging to keep her country's borders open to hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing from Syria and other countries.

Others mentioned in the buzz include the Rev. Mussi Zerai, an Eritrean priest who helps coordinate rescue missions for migrants crossing the Mediterranean, and Saudi blogger Raif Badawi.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif could be candidates for their July deal on Iran's nuclear program, as could Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and rebel leader Rodrigo Londono.