National Press Club

Environmental questions fuel natural gas drilling debate

May 25, 2011 | By Lorna Aldrich |

Uncertainty over the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing, a method of drilling for shale natural gas, dominated a debate on regulating such drilling at a May 24 NPC Newsmaker.

Adrian Kuzminski, an anti-drilling activist from Sustainable Otsego, an upstate New York "grass roots" organization of 600 people, opposed fracturing. "Natural gas is not a substitute for oil, but an extension," he said.

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Africa looks to reap development benefits from diaspora

May 21, 2011 | By Peter Hickman |

Africans living outside the continent who remain committed to its development are considered its "sixth region," according to the organizer of an upcoming summit designed to tap the diaspora who spoke at a May 18 Newsmaker.

Ambassador Mbulelo Rakwena of the Africa Multilateral Branch of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said the meeting will bring together leaders from politics, business, culture, civil society and other sectors of the diaspora, together with their counterparts from the African continent.

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Union leader promises to fight states over worker rights

May 20, 2011 | By Robert Webb |

AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka lashed out at politicians in Wisconsin, Ohio and a dozen other states who he said "are trying to take away workers' right to organize and bargain for a better life," at a May 20 National Press Club luncheon.

He promised to fight back.

"Budget proposals unveiled in Washington and state capitals across our country this year revealed a despicable canvas of cruelty," Trumka said.

Trumka criticized a litany of states. For instance, he cited legislation in

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Jones calls for Marshall Plan-type assistance for Egypt

May 16, 2011 | By Terry Hill |

Former U.S. National Security Advisor James L. Jones called for the United States to create an aid package for Egypt similar to the Marshall Plan that helped Europe emerge from the destruction of World War II at a National Press Club luncheon May 16.

The plan would provide economic and governmental assistance and send a clear message to those who have doubted U.S. intentions in the region.

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FEMA administrator promotes preparation for next disaster

May 4, 2011 | By Heather Forsgren Weaver |

People don’t want to think about bad things so they don’t prepare for emergencies, Craig Fugate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told a National Press Club Newsmaker audience May 4.

The problem with not preparing is that “you don’t get to pick the next disaster. You don’t always know when it is going to happen. It could be happening right now [and] we just don’t know it,” Fugate said.

Planning ahead for an emergency also allows help to be received by those who need it most, Fugate said.

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UN official urges support for refugee host countries

May 4, 2011 | By Keith M. Hill |

The contributions of Tunisia, Egypt, and Liberia to refugees fleeing the fighting in Libya and Ivory Coast should not be overlooked and must be supported, Antonio Guterres, the United Nations's high commissioner for refugees, said at a May 3 Newsmaker.

Guterres, a former Portuguese prime minister, has been the top UN official for refugees since 2005. Last year, he was reelected by the General Assembly to a second five-year term.

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Jailed Iranian journalist receives UNESCO Freedom of the Press Award

May 4, 2011 | By Robert Webb |

Iranian journalist Ahmad Zeidabadi became the 2011 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Laureate at a ceremony May 3 in the packed National Press Club ballroom in the first such award of the prize in the United States.

NPC President Mark Hamrick called it a high honor and historic day for the Club. The award drew a salute via video from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Delegates also adopted "The Washington Declaration," a four-page document aimed at stronger protections globally for freedom of the press. It will go to UNESCO for final approval.

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Atlanta mayor advocates road maintenance, public transportation projects over new highways

May 3, 2011 | By Lorna Aldrich |

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed called for more federal transportation assistance to be delivered directly to cities rather than channeled through state governments at a National Press Club Newsmaker on May 3.

Federal help should target maintenance of existing roadways and public transportation instead of outdated highway projects, he said. He advocates adding lanes or creating hot lanes rather than building more roads in urban areas.

More highways are a low priority for mayors, he added, quoting results from a survey of 176 cities sponsored by the United States Conference of Mayors.

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Author: Muslim Brotherhood takes pragmatic, flexible approach to West

May 2, 2011 | By Keith Hill |

Even though Muslim Brotherhood organizations around the world are comprised of like-minded individuals acting through informal networks, the Muslim Brotherhood is not monolithic, Lorenzo Vidino said at an April 27 Newsmaker.

Vidino, author of "The New Muslim Brotherhood in the West," spoke about the Muslim Brotherhood globally, focusing mostly on Europe and North America.

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Public media executive urges tripling of federal funds for non-profit broadcasting

April 27, 2011 | By Robert Webb |

Congress needs to triple rather than cut the $450 million non-profit media receive annually, Bill Kling, CEO of American Public Media, said at an April 26 National Press Club event on the future of broadcasting.

Congress received "500,000 letters, e-mails and phone calls opposed to the cuts threatened by the House and supported by some members of the Senate," Kling said. The cuts were not made, but media leaders fear they still might be.

Joyce Slocum, interim president and CEO of NPR, said the public radio network "gets little of its funding from the federal government."

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