National Press Club

NIH Director Says US Lax in Cultivating New Scientists

February 26, 2010 | By Ellyn Ferguson |

The director of the National Institutes of Health oversees a $30 billion budget, 325,000 university researchers and 6,000 NIH scientists at 27 institutes and centers devoted to finding answers to some of the world's most pressing medical and scientific problems.

But Dr. Francis S. Collins also sees himself as an advocate for science by trying to explain the complex and technical to a larger society of non-scientists.

It's difficult to break through Americans' aversion to hard science, Collins said at a Luncheon Feb. 26.

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Please Welcome 32 New Members

February 24, 2010 | By Myron Belkind, Club Secretary |

Posted by Sylvia Smith - 02/24/2010 | Email the editor
Please Welcome 32 New Members

The Board of Governors approved 32 member applications Feb. 22.

The new members are:

Silvia Adriana Pisani - La Nacion Newspaper, International Correspondent; Simon Mann - The Age (Melbourne)/The Sydney Morning Herald, U.S. Correspondent; Mickey Thompson - Hill Rag/Social Sightings, Reporter, Photojournalist/Publisher
Active Reinstate
Patricia Guadalupe - WTOP Radio, Reporter
Active Non-Resident

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Ag Sec'y Says Both Too Little, Too Much Food Challenge Child Nutrition

February 23, 2010 | By Lorna Aldrich |

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack named both too little food and too much food as challenges for Congress to address in reauthorizing the child nutrition programs at a Club Luncheon Feb. 23.

While 16.7 million children live in households that have difficulty obtaining enough food, one third of all children are overweight or obese, he said. Vilsack called obesity rates an epidemic and endorsed First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative to add exercise to good nutrition in combating the problem.

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Haiti Scenario Poses Challenges, Relief Organizations Say

February 22, 2010 | By Tejinder Singh |

There is a tremendous gap between the difficulty of the operation on the ground and the strong desire of the world for things to immediately improve in Haiti, Nan Buzard of the American Red Cross said at a Newsmaker Feb. 18.

Buzard said there is a need to look beyond the statistics of the relief operation. "We have all said this is off the charts," she said. "This is much harder than the tsunami, which is remarkable."

She also emphasized the importance of the Haitian people's involvement in the recovery.

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Guatemalan President Welcomes Clinton Offer For Bilateral Help

February 20, 2010 | By Tejinder Singh |

Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom said he is satisfied with the results of his meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who offered a “complete and integral way” to address issues like security and justice and growing institution of government in Guatemala.

At a Newsmaker Feb. 18, Colom said the fight against narcotics also was on the agenda.
Through an interpreter, he said Clinton also offered to incorporate “new proposals like undertaking tax reforms, rural development and agriculture sector” in the bilateral cooperation ventures.

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Bankers Unveil Savings Inducements

February 19, 2010 | By Tejinder Singh |

An effort to prepare millions of Americans to save for their rainy days and for retirement was launched by a group of large banks and consumer organizations at a Newsmaker Feb. 18.

"There really is a savings crisis. and it ranges from low to middle class families," BNY
Mellon Asset Management President and CEO Ronald P. O'Hanley said. "They blow out a tire in their car, they need to take care of a leak in the roof, but they have no money to handle that.

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Club Members Win Polk Award

February 17, 2010 | By Sylvia Smith

A Bloomberg News team, including NPC members Alison Fitzgerald and Craig Torres, won the George Polk Award national reporting award.

Their articles challenged the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Board to open their books on trillions of dollars in bailout aid that went to financial institutions. A federal court ordered disclosures under the Freedom of Information Act, but an appeal is pending.

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Coast Guard Chief Concerned about Proposed Budget Cuts

February 12, 2010 | By Hope Katz Gibbs |

Adm. Thad W. Allen, commandant of the Coast Guard, said he is concerned about the cuts in the agency's 2011 budget proposed by President Obama.

At a Feb. 12 Luncheon, Allen said the funding is expected to drop by 3% to $10.1 billion, and active-duty personnel would decrease by up to 1,100, to approximately 41,984.

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Haitian Ambassador Advocates Rebuilding a "Streamlined" City

February 12, 2010 | By Lorna Aldrich |

Port-au-Prince, the devastated capital of Haiti, cannot be rebuilt as it was; it must be streamlined, Haitian Ambassador Raymond Alcide Joseph , said Feb. 11 at a Speakers Committee press conference.

“Nature has done what we could not do as politicians,” he said of the city built for 150,000 but inhabited by 2 million. He descrbed the devastated capital as a “monstrosity.”

Noting that 1 million people have left the capital, he advocated building modern cities elsewhere in the country, where large tents will be erected now.

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Club Closed, Thursday, but Haitian Ambassador Event Proceeds at 1 pm

February 11, 2010 | By Sylvia Smith

In keeping with policy that when the federal government is closed the Club is closed, the Club will be closed for all member services today, Feb. 11, including both restaurants.

The Club will open on a limited basis with limited staff to accomplish two news conferences at 1 p.m. One of the news conferences is with the Haitian ambassador to give an update on earthquake recovery. That event is a Speakers Committee Newsmaker and is open to credentialed media and Press Club members.

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