National Press Club

Chertoff, Hayden Defend Use of Contractors for Intel Work

August 21, 2009 | By Mark Schoeff Jr. |

Two recent top government officials defended the use of contractors in conducting intelligence work at an Aug. 20 joint Newsmaker and Book & Author event.

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden and former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff explained that it is often necessary for agencies to bring in outside talent to fill a need for a particular skill.

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Club Mourns Loss of Long-time Member Bob Novak, Golden Owl

August 19, 2009

The National Press Club mourns the loss of its long time member and Golden Owl Robert Novak.

The controversial columnist, at the heart of political storms even into his last years, died Tuesday of brain cancer. He was 78.

Mr. Novak joined the National Press Club in 1957 and had made regular appearances at panels and events until announcing his retirement in July. Most recently, he recounted his remarkable 50-year career in Washington journalism at an NPC Book Rap featuring his memoir, "The Prince of Darkness: 50 Years Reporting in Washington."

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Georgian ambassador criticizes Russia for continuing instability in region

August 14, 2009 | By Peter Hickman |

A Russian embargo and provocations in "breakaway regions" of Abkhazia and South Ossestia are fueling continuing instability in Georgia, the Georgian ambassador to the U.S. Batu Kutelia told an audience of Russian diplomats and journalists at a Newsmaker event Tuesday, marking the first anniversary of Russia's invasion of Georgia.

Russia is "zero for six" in complying with the terms of the August 12, 2008 ceasefire that ended the fighting between Moscow and the former Soviet republic, Kutelia said.

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Yunus calls for financial system to combat poverty

August 13, 2009 | By Mark Schoeff Jr. |

When reforming the global financial system to avoid a collapse like the one that fostered the current recession, world leaders should look not to Wall Street and London but rather to Bangladesh and Jackson Heights in New York City, where small, low-interest loans are helping poor people establish an economic foothold, according to the founder of an institution that specializes in such lending.

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NPC Applauds Release of Journalists held in North Korea

August 6, 2009

The National Press Club applauds the release and pardon of American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who arrived in California on Wednesday. The journalists had been held by North Korea since March 17 for allegedly perpetrating "hostile acts" for entering the country while reporting on North Korean refugees living in China.

The journalists, of San Francisco-based Current TV, had been sentenced to 12 years working in North Korean labor camps but were pardoned by North Korean president Kim Jong Il during negotiations with former President Bill Clinton Tuesday.

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NPC Urges Venezuela to Lift Press Restrictions

August 6, 2009

The National Press Club is distressed by the Venezuelan government's recent actions to intimidate and bully the country's media.

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Slain Sri Lankan, NYT Journalists Win Club's Press Freedom Awards; Dinner Monday

July 30, 2009 | By John Donnelly |

A slain Sri Lankan journalist and a New York Times reporter held captive for seven months will receive the NPC the 2009 John Aubuchon Press Freedom Awards.

The awards are bestowed on one international journalist and one American jounalist who embody the principles of a free press. They will be honored at the Awards Dinner on Aug. 3.

This year's recipients are:

  • The late Lasantha Wickramatunga, editor of the Sunday Leader in Sri Lanka until January, when gunmen on motorcycles assassinated him in his car on the way to work.

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Kerry: US-China Cooperation Critical to Climate Change Success

July 30, 2009 | By Lorna Aldrich |

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations and 2004 Democratic candidate for president, alternated between good news and bad news on climate change at a July 29 Luncheon.

He spoke as two days of high-level U.S. and Chinese meetings concluded in Washington. He cited the meetings’ accomplishments and added that on climate change, “…more should have been accomplished, and more could have been achieved.”

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Lincoln, Landrieu Seek to Expand Dropout Recovery Program

July 29, 2009 | By Mark Schoeff Jr. |

Two senators urged their colleagues to expand a high school dropout
recovery initiative at a July 28 Newsmaker.

Sens. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., and Mary Landrieu, D-La.,
praised the National Guard Youth Challenge program for helping wayward
young people regain their footing and become economically productive.

The Senate recently added a Lincoln amendment to its version of defense
authorization legislation that would increase federal funding for the
effort, which is jointly sponsored by the Department of Defense and

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Rep. Frank Says Regulation is Key

July 28, 2009 | By Richard Lee |

“Regulation” may be a bad and disturbing word for some members of Congress and many in the banking industry, but for Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chairman of the Financial Services Committee, it is a crucial and necessary part of the fix for America’s ailing economy.

In a Luncheon speech July 27, part economic history lesson, part blueprint for the financial future, and often laced with acerbic wit in the face of grim realities, Frank painted a detailed, sometimes painful, picture of the current economic climate.

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