National Press Club

Solar leaders advocate extension of cash grants

December 15, 2011 | By Lorna Aldrich |

Leaders from solar energy companies advocated extension of a cash grant program for renewable energy projects that is scheduled to expire at year end during a Dec. 14 Newsmaker.

The program, formally known as Section 1603, provides cash grants to renewable energy initiatives in lieu of tax credits.

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) predicts that 37,000 jobs would be created from a one-year extension of the program. SEIA estimates that 100,000 people work in the solar industry, which grew 69 percent over the past year.

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Vicious hound hooks Dirda on Holmes stories

December 14, 2011 | By Joe Motheral |

The author of a new book about the creator of the mystery hero Sherlock Holmes became hooked on the detective series by furtively reading one of the scariest novels in the collection, "The Hound of the Baskervilles."

“The moment had to be right," said Michael Dirda, author of "On Conan Doyle," at a National Press Club Book Rap on Dec. 12. "I waited until my sisters and parents went somewhere. It had to be a dark and stormy night. I settled in the recliner with a blanket and began to read.”

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Ben & Jerry promote economic parity as cure for social ills

December 12, 2011 | By Richard Lee |

Ice cream entrepreneurs Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield have made it big in business but are standing side-by-side with the Occupy Wall Street movement, they said at a Dec. 12 Newsmaker.

“I have seen people who were committed, thoughtful, dedicated, people, people who played by the rules, who lost jobs, lost everything," Greenfield, co-founder with Cohen of Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc., said of the Occupy participants. "They had nothing to show for it except huge debt. We are operating in a system that is not working for people. The people at the top get all the opportunities.”

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Theresa Werner becomes first broadcast freelancer elected Club president

December 12, 2011 | By Joel Whitaker, Club Secretary |

Click here to view detailed election results

Theresa M. Werner swept to victory in the National Press Club's 2011 election Friday, Dec. 9, becoming the first broadcast freelancer elected president of the Club and soundly defeating her two opponents in a hotly contested race to head the world’s leading professional organization for journalists.

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Huntsman lashes out at Obama, GOP rivals, offers reform plan

December 9, 2011 | By Ken Dalecki |

Insisting that "the American people are getting screwed," Jon Huntsman Jr. took off the nice-guy gloves at a National Press Club Newsmaker appearance Dec. 8 to blast President Barack Obama and his chief rivals for the GOP presidential nomination.

The former Utah governor and ambassador to China tried to boost his low standings in the polls by taking direct aim at the leading GOP primary candidates, calling Mitt Romney the "panderer-in-chief" and Newt Gingrich "lobbyist-in-chief."

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Palestinians won't abandon drive for full UN membership, says chief U.S. representative

December 7, 2011 | By Robert Webb |

Palestinians will push for full membership as a state in the United Nations while continuing their non-violent protests of the wall Israel built, said Maen Rashid Areikat, chief representative of the Delegation of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in the United States, at a Dec. 6 Newsmaker.

Areikat lamented what he called U.S. pressure on other countries to delay UN membership.

Areikat acknowledged the continuing struggle between Hamas and Fatah in representing the Palestinians. But he said that is an "internal" affair unrelated to Israel.

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Mid-Atlantic wind transmission project gaining momentum, developers claim

December 1, 2011 | By Terry Hill |

Supporters of a massive East Coast offshore wind energy transmission project laid out an optimistic timetable for the effort at a Nov. 30 Newsmaker.

They said a major announcement about the permitting process could come from the Interior Department soon. Still, the project will face many months, possibly years, of review by federal and state agencies before actual construction can begin.

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Grandson tells of journalist's exposing Soviet-caused Ukraine famine

November 30, 2011 | By Peter Hickman |

The grandson of Gareth Jones, a Welsh journalist who exposed the Soviet Union's man-made "Holomodor", a famine that killed six to 10 million people in the now former Soviet republic of Ukraine and neighboring areas in 1932-33, presented a behind-the-scenes look at his grandfather's reporting on the tragedy at a Nov. 21 Newsmaker.

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Postmaster General: Post Office needs to cut $20 billion to survive

November 21, 2011 | By Robert Webb |

The survival of the U.S. Postal Service depends on Congress giving it the latitude to cut its costs by $20 billion, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said at a Nov. 21 National Press Club luncheon.

Donahoe said the system "lost more than $5 billion" in the most recent fiscal year and could go broke without congressional action.

He said the organization needs to achieve $20 billion in savings by 2015, a move that would require closing as many as 3,500 low-perfoming post offices and possibly ending Saturday delivery.

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Economic ties build foundation to address security concerns, Russians tell Nov. 18 Newsmaker

November 21, 2011 | By Peter Hickman |

The United States and Russia must develop a strong economic relationship in order to address nuclear and terrorism issues, according to two Russian businessmen and a retired general who spoke at a Nov. 18 Newsmaker.

Retired Gen. Victor Yesin, former chief of staff of the Strategic Nuclear Missiles Department of the Soviet Ministry of Defense, said the United States and Russia "must have strong economic ties, because without that, we cannot have strong political ties."

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