National Press Club

Garrison Keillor proposes 15 things to make America a better place

May 27, 2015 | By John M. Rosenberg |

Humorist and best-selling author Garrison Keillor, making his first appearance at the Club since 1994, delivered a speech titled “15 things that need to change right away.” In prefacing the speech, Keillor expressed regret that in his 40 years of hosting the “A Prairie Home Companion” radio program listeners had come away remembering nothing in particular that he had said.

In his May 22 luncheon address, the 72-year-old Minnesota native said he wanted to present the Club audience with specific messages, whereby a level of discussion might ensue.

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Peter Yarrow and Bernie Williams talk about need for music education at Newsmaker

May 20, 2015 | By Jennifer Ejim |

Folk legend Peter Yarrow and former New York Yankees centerfielder Bernie Williams joined a May 19 Club Newsmaker panel to talk about the need for music education in elementary andf secondary schools.

A survey found 77 percent of teachers and 64 percent of parents saying that music is very important, and more than three-quarters of teachers saying that music positively affects students who take music education, said Peter Grunwald, an education researcher and president of Grunwald Associates LLC.

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Claims of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction was CIA failure, former deputy director says

May 19, 2015 | By Keith M.Hill |

The claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction was one of the Central Intelligence Agency’s biggest failures of the last 20 years, former deputy director Michael Morell said at a Newsmaker May 18. Morell said that most of the world’s intelligence agencies made the same mistake.

Morell talked about the CIA’s successes and failures, which are discussed in his new book, “The Great Was of Our Time: The CIA’s Fight Against Terrorism‑‑‑From al Qaida to ISIS.” Morell’s presentation focused primarily on the Middle East, particularly Iraq and Syria.

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Airline executives charge Qatar, UAE with trade violations, urge U.S. government action

May 16, 2015 | By Lorna Aldrich |

Leaders of American, Delta and United Airlines charged the governments of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates with violating trade agreements by subsidizing their national airlines and urged the U.S. government to open consultations on the agreements at a May 15 National Press Club luncheon.

"Of 114 open skies agreements, two are being heavily abused," said Jeff Smisek, chairman, president and chief executive of United Airlines.

Open skies pacts are intergovernmental agreements that set rules for flying in other countries' airspace.

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Levin seeks transparency on Asian trade pact

May 16, 2015 | By Mike Smith |

As the Senate works its way through trade legislation, the bigger struggle will happen in the House, one of the key players in the debate said at a Club Newsmaker on May 14.

“The real story is going to be in the House,” said Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich. and ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee. “We are working to produce a progressive trade policy – the administration is talking about [trade promotion authority] being the most progressive policy, but it is flawed.”

Levin called for “leveling the playing field” with global trading partners.

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Peter, Paul and Mary musician, former Yankees center fielder turned jazz guitarist to release music education survey, 10 am May 19

May 15, 2015 | By Herb Perone |

Legendary musician Peter Yarrow of Peter Paul and Mary fame, Disney Channel star Doc Shaw and New York Yankees center fielder turned jazz guitarist Bernie Williams will join a panel of researchers and music experts at a Newsmakers news conference at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 19, in the Murrow Room to unveil a new nationwide study of 1,000 teachers and 800 parents on music education.

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Veteran freelancers offer tips on how to succeed at business

May 13, 2015 | By Stephenie Overman |

Veteran freelancers shared their insight on how to maintain a roster of clients that provides a steady stream of income and gave other tips to fellow freelancers and those considering that career path at a May 8 National Press Club event.

“The word of the day is ‘anchor client,’” said Scott Sowers, who writes about architecture, design and energy.

That was just one tip panelists offered to a sell-out crowd at the Spring Freelance Workshop.

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World War I panel brings the past right up to the present

May 10, 2015 | By Jean Gossman |

A century after a German U-Boat sank the British luxury liner Lusitania, the world is still reeling from the consequences of World War I, a panel of historians told a National Press Club audience on May 7.

Although the war has faded into obscurity, especially in the United States, it is the genesis of 100 years of conflict right up to the present turmoil in the Middle East, they said.

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Air Force Academy superintendent aims for character, technical skills

May 8, 2015 | By Lorna Aldrich |

Michelle D. Johnson, superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy, said that instilling character and leadership, while putting an increasing emphasis on cyberspace and outer space, are priorities of the academy at a May 8 National Press Club luncheon.

"All of our cadets are learning more about cyber as the connective tissue for our Air Force and our nation," said Johnson, the first woman to head the academy.

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Armenian foreign minister wants Obama to acknowledge massacre as genocide

May 8, 2015 | By Wesley G. Pippert |

A top Armenian official told a National Press Club Newsmaker on May 7 that candidate Barack Obama had called the Armenian massacre a genocide and that he wishes President Obama would do so now.

"Of course, we prefer and expect President Obama will use the 'G' word," Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said. "At the same time we're taking note that as a candidate for president of the United States, President Obama recognized the Armenian genocide and as president he has said and repeated his stance and his views."

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