National Press Club

Trade Rep. Kirk Pushes Obama's Free Trade Agenda

March 10, 2010 | By Gil Klein | gilbert.klein@yahoo.com

Expanding international trade, especially with growing markets in the Pacific and East Asia, will help revive the U.S. economy and should be embraced by the American people, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk told the Club March 9.

“In the last quarter of 2009, some economists believe that exports alone accounted for more than half of all U.S. economic growth,” Kirk said at a Luncheon.

In the last quarter, the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 5.7 percent, he said, but U.S. exports “grew at a clip of 18 percent.”

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War Reporting is Journalism in the Midst of Humanity, Correspondents Say

March 10, 2010 | By Gil Klein | gilbert.klein@yahoo.com

War correspondents are a breed apart in journalism – people who are willing to risk their lives in the most dangerous situations to bring back a story to the American people. At a March 8 Kalb Report, four leading war correspondents said they do it because it's the only way to get the story.

“You can’t write credibly about what the United States is doing in Afghanistan without being there,” Rajiv Chandrasekaran, a senior correspondent and associate editor of the Washington Post, told host Marvin Kalb.

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Study Finds 13 of 128 Nations 'Highly Developed' Politically, Economically

March 10, 2010 | By Peter Hickman | pjhickman@hotmail.com

Political and economic transformation is "highly developed" in 13 of 128 those countries, according to a study that measures progress -- or lack of -- in the developing and "transition" countries.

Project managers of the 2010 Bertelsmann Foundation Transformation Index released the English-language edition of the index at a March 9 Newsmaker.

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Killing Fields Survivor Says Khmer Rouge Trial 'Breaking Legal Ground'

March 9, 2010 | By Peter Hickman | pjhickman@hotmail.com

The trial of former Khmer Rouge leaders is limited as a court of law for legal accountability but has great potential as a "court of public opinion," Theary Seng, a Cambodia-born U.S.-trained lawyer, said at a March 5 Newsmaker.

The trial, she said, is breaking legal ground by having victims of the Khmer Rouge participate as civil parties in a criminal proceeding. She was the first such party to recognized by the ECCC, and in 2008 testified against the most senior surviving Khmer Rouge leader, Nuon Chea, known as "Brother No. 2."

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EPA Administrator Jackson Blasts Industry Lobbyists

March 8, 2010 | By Bob Webb | rewebb@aol.com

Lobbyists battling the Environmental Protection Agency's clean-up efforts are committing "an act of breathtaking negligence," EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said at a March 8 Luncheon.

"Once again, alarmists are claiming that (these efforts) will be the death knell of our economy. Once again they are telling us we have to choose the economy or environment," she said.

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America Needs to Reclaim Founding Values, Romney Says

March 5, 2010 | By Thomas Burr | tburr@sltrib.com

America has many things in common with the people who started Wal-Mart, The Washington Post, Boston Globe and Disneyland: Their values are a reflection of their founders, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney told the National Press Club March 5.

Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who may make another White House bid in 2012, told a sold-out Luncheon crowd that America’s greatness comes from those people who built the country.

“America reflects the vision and the character and the culture of the people who founded it,” Romney said.

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NPC Protests Abuse of Journalists in Iran; Bjerga Asks Members to Sign Petition

March 5, 2010 | By John Donnelly | jdonnelly@cq.com

The National Press Club joined with other media organizations on Tuesday, March 2, in condemning the abusive treatment of journalists, writers and bloggers in Iran, where it is estimated that more media professionals are imprisoned for merely doing their jobs than in any other nation.

Club President Alan Bjerga encouraged members of the Club and visitors to its web site to sign an online petition expressing support for journalists in Iran. And he strongly urged the Iranian regime to release those in jail.

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Calif. Academic Praises Stimulus Package

March 3, 2010 | By Tejinder Singh | tejindersinghdc@gmail.com

The stimulus package helped save thousands of jobs at the educational institutions at California State University, its chancellor, Charles B. Reed, said at aNewsmaker press conference on March 2.

He said CSU is grappling with massive budge cuts, adding, “some call it melt-down,” and “we have lost 20% of our state support (to the tune of) $625 million.”

“We had been forced to raise student fees, cut enrollment by 40,000 students and furlough almost all of our employees two days a month,” he said.

Without the stimulus package, he said, job cuts would have been more widespread.

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Novelist Says Potential Disaster Victims Should be Taught Emotional Balance

March 3, 2010 | By Tejinder Singh | tejindersinghdc@gmail.com

People should be taught how to open up, share and speak about feelings in addition to pragmatic steps detailed in the Obama administration's preparedness plans to face natural disasters, author Chitra Divakaruni said at a Newsmaker press conference Feb. 24.

Citing the recent Haiti earthquake, Divakaruni said disasters are "a part of human existence."

As a volunteer with Hurricane Katrina refugees in Houston in 2005 and as an evacuee as Hurricane Rita rushed toward Houston, she faced these first-hand and wrote about them in a novel.

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Are More College Graduates Needed? Experts Debate

March 1, 2010 | By Lorna Aldrich | Lorna2@verizon.net

Debating whether the United States needs more college graduates, the "pros" cited equal opportunity and equality while the "cons" argued cost and benefits in a program at the Club Friday, Feb. 26.

The event was jointly produced by the Miller Center of the University of Virginia, the Club, and MacNeil/Lehrer Productions. It will air on PBS.

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