National Press Club

President of Bread for the World Calls for Change in Politics of Hunger

September 13, 2010

The U.S. has not made sustained progress against poverty since the 1960s and early 1970s when the poverty rate was cut in half, said anti-hunger and poverty advocate David Beckmann at a luncheon Sept. 13.

"If countries as different as Bangladesh, Brazil and Britain can reduce poverty, it’s clearly possible in the USA," said Beckmann, an economist and ordained Lutheran minister who has been president of Bread for the World since 1991. "As a nation, we have opportunities to moderate what the economy is doing to hungry and poor people."

He said influencing politics is the key.

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ABC Veteran Hired to Run NPC Broadcast Operations

September 13, 2010

ABC News veteran Vija Udenans has been hired as director of broadcast operations effective Oct. 4.

Udenans, whose career at ABC spanned more than 20 years, was ABC’s White House producer from 1994 to 2007. Recently she has been a Washington-based producer for “World News Tonight” and “Good Morning America." Earlier in her career, Udenans was director of broadcast operations for the ABC News Washington bureau.

She has received the Peabody Award and the Dupont-Columbia Award, both for coverage of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

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Golden Owl Simeon Booker Honored by Congressional Black Caucus

September 9, 2010

NPC Golden Owl Simeon Booker will receive the Phoenix Award from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Sept. 18.

The Club's 1982 Fourth Estate Award winner, Booker will be recognized for his more than 55 years as Washington bureau chief of Ebony and Jet magazines, during which his coverage of the civil rights movement became a part of the nation’s history.

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Obama Economist Says Odds of a Double-Dip Recession 'Very Small'

September 1, 2010

The odds of a double-dip recession "are clearly very small," Christina Romer, outgoing chairwoman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, said at a Sept. 1 luncheon.

She warned that the greatest threat to the economic recovery is the temptation to withdraw growth-inducing policies too soon. The 9.5 percent unemployment rate is at "an unacceptable level by any metric."

An expert on the Great Depression, Romer cited the example of 1937-38, when recovery from the depths of the early 1930s led to premature removal of economic support and a subsequent economic decline in 1938.

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Asian American Journalists Honor NPC Member

September 1, 2010

NPC member Albert W. Young has been inducted into the Asian American Pioneer Journalists Honor Roll.

Young, a Club member since 1995, is a copy editor for the Boston Globe. He was the first Asian-American sports writer a major metropolitan daily when he began his career at the Bridgeport Post-Telegram in Connecticut in 1970.

When he lived in Washington, Young was an editor/writer for the sports department at USA Today.

Others inducted into the honor roll include Connie Chung, Ben Fong Torres and the late Ken Kashiwahara.

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DCCC Chairman Predicts Dems Will Keep House Majority

August 30, 2010

Democrats will retain a majority in the House in the 2010 elections, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, predicted at an Aug. 27 Newsmaker press conference. He said Democrats will use a three-pronged strategy: a move-forward agenda, effective field operations and a reliance on voter anger at “extreme” GOP candidates.

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Small Yoga Stretch Previews Yogathon

August 30, 2010

Yoga’s popularity can be seen in the increasing number of people who schlep their rolled up rubber mats to gyms and studios all over town.

What participants may not consider while striking their downward dog or cobra poses is that they are subtle movements toward the divine in the view of many Hindu practitioners.

Enlightening people on the ancient roots of what has become a mainstream exercise and mediation practice was the idea behind the national Yogathon that kicked off Sunday, Aug. 29, at more than 104 temples, spiritual centers and churches nationwide.

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New Orleans Mayor Blasts BP and Government Failures

August 19, 2010

The Gulf oil spill hammered a region "nine times the size of Washington, D.C. and the government failed to do its job," New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu told a packed NPC ballroom crowd Aug. 19.

He ripped BP for its failure for three months to cap its well.

"It finally capped the well," he said, "but I have no confidence in its claim that all the oil has gone. This is a defining moment for the country and New Orleans...the U.S. economy is linked to the Gulf."

Moreover, he said, he believes BP "is poised to cut and run."

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Education Sec'y Sees "Quiet Revolution" in US Schools

July 27, 2010

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Tuesday there is a quiet revolution being driven by educators and administrators “challenging the defeatism and inertia that has trapped generations of children in second-rate schools.”

Duncan, speaking at a National Press Club luncheon, decried schools that are “drop-out factories” and graduate less than half their students. Overall, a quarter of the nation’s students do not graduate from high school -- 1.2 million young people a year, he said.

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Benefits, Questions in Financial Reform, Financial Services Group Chief Says

July 22, 2010

A massive financial reform measure creates new challenges for financial companies, Steve Bartlett, head of the Financial Services Roundtable, said at a July 15 Newsmaker.

The organization represents 100 of the largest integrated financial services companies that provide banking, insurance and investment products consumers.

Bartlett neither endorsed nor opposed the legislation that President Obama signed into law July 21.

Bartlett said there is plenty to like and a good bit to question.

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