National Press Club

Taiwan's information minister emphasizes economics in cross-strait relations

July 18, 2011 | By Keith M. Hill |

Improvements in cross-strait relations between the Taiwan and mainland China should focus on economic issues before political ones, Philip Y.M. Yang said at a July 15 Newsmaker.

Yang, Taiwan’s minister of government information since May, is the spokesman for Taiwan overseas and for Taiwan’s cabinet domestically.

Improved cross-strait relations gives Taiwan a “peace dividend” and affords the country greater opportunities in such areas as economic cooperation and combating crime, Yang said. From the standpoint of Taiwan’s interests, improved relations is a win-win strategy, he added.

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Hockey title to come "one day", Caps owner Leonsis tells NPC audience

July 14, 2011 | By Bill Miller |

For frustrated Washington sports fans who haven’t experienced a championship by one of the city’s professional sports franchises in two decades, an end to the long drought may be in sight, Washington Capitals principal owner Ted Leonsis told a National Press Club Luncheon July 13.

Although he stopped short of predicting a championship next season, “our belief is that if we continue to make the playoffs, one of these days it’ll be us” who wins the Stanley Cup, hockey’s ultimate prize, Leonsis said.

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Rep. Barney Frank says financial reform "holding up very well"

July 13, 2011 | By Mark Schoeff, Jr. |

Implementation of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law is stalled by lack of funding from Congressional Republicans as it approaches its one-year anniversary, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said at a July 11 Newsmaker,

Frank., ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, said the GOP has not made a frontal assault on Dodd-Frank because doing so would be politically dangerous in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

“It is still too popular,” Frank said. “I am struck, at least in public, how little advocacy there has been for substantial changes.”

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Astronaut Kelly shrugs off political rumors; NASA Administrator Bolden says U.S. will lead in space

July 1, 2011 | By Heather Forsgren Weaver |

Astronaut Mark Kelly, commander of the last flight of the space shuttle Endeavour, tamped down rumors that he would follow his wounded wife, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., into politics.

“She’s the politician in the family. I am the space guy and I see no reason to change that now,” Kelly said at a National Press Club luncheon July 1, where he joined NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden Jr.

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Actor Gary Sinise forms foundation to aid disabled veterans

July 1, 2011 | By Richard Lee |

Actor-activist-patriot Gary Sinise announced the formation of The Gary Sinise Foundation at a National Press Club luncheon June 30.

The Foundation, with a newly assembled staff and offices located in Los Angeles, is a culmination of Sinese’s decades-long efforts with the USO, Disabled American Veterans, Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, Operation International Children and various other groups to give aid, comfort and, just as importantly, recognition, to disabled war veterans and their families for the sacrifices they made, and continue to make, in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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LGBT leader calls New York same-sex marriage bill "game changer"

June 28, 2011 | By Lorna Aldrich |

Rea Carey, executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Task Force, called the New York state legilature's passage of a same-sex marriage bill, "a major turning point in progress toward marriage equality, a game changer" at a June 28 Newsmaker.

Carey, who leads the oldest organization supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights, said the bill doubles the population eligible for same-sex marriage.

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FDIC chairman blames “short-termism” for nation’s financial crisis

June 27, 2011 | By By Terry Hill |

Outgoing Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Sheila Bair, making her final public appearance as head of the banking oversight agency, told a National Press Club luncheon on June 24 that pervasive short-term thinking led to the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression.

“‘Short-termism’ is a serious and growing problem for both business and government,” she said, noting the tendency of humans to discount potential problems that could occur far into the future.

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Johnston: To counter Jihadists, put religion at center of foreign policy

June 27, 2011 | By Arshad Mahmud |

The best way to address Jihadist terrorism is to make religion a central component of American foreign policy, according to Douglas Johnston, an expert on foreign policy and religion, who spoke at the National Press Club on June 23.

“We’re dealing with symptoms and not the real cause," Johnston said in a critique of current U.S. policy. "And that’s the problem."

The International Correspondents Committee hosted the event to coincide with the launch of Johnston's new book, "Religion, Terror, and Error: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Challenge of Spiritual Engagement."

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A rarity: Gaiman signs books for sold-out Club audience

June 27, 2011 | By Heather Forsgren Weaver |

Award-winning author Neil Gaiman drew more than 500 people to a National Press Club Book Rap June 23. After Gaiman spoke, he signed copies of his recently released “American Gods Tenth Anniversary Edition.”

Gaiman normally does not personalize books, so the book signing at the Club event, organized by Emily Whitten of the Book and Author and Young Members Committees, was a rare opportunity for the enthusiastic crowd.

“American Gods” was originally published in 2001. Gaiman’s first event promoting the book was at the Borders in the World Trade Center in New York City, he said.

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Panelist calls counterfeit medicines 'heinous crime'

June 27, 2011 | By Lorna Aldrich |

Industry experts described threats to health and safety from counterfeit electrical and pharmaceutical products at a June 23 Newsmaker.

"This is a heinous crime," said Patrick Ford, senior director, American Region at Pfizer Inc.

He said that counterfeit Alzheimer medicines could result in faster deterioration of patients while counterfeit blood pressure medicines could threaten lives. He cited the danger to children from fake vaccines.

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