National Press Club

America Needs to Reclaim Founding Values, Romney Says

March 5, 2010 | By Thomas Burr |

America has many things in common with the people who started Wal-Mart, The Washington Post, Boston Globe and Disneyland: Their values are a reflection of their founders, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney told the National Press Club March 5.

Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who may make another White House bid in 2012, told a sold-out Luncheon crowd that America’s greatness comes from those people who built the country.

“America reflects the vision and the character and the culture of the people who founded it,” Romney said.

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NPC Protests Abuse of Journalists in Iran; Bjerga Asks Members to Sign Petition

March 5, 2010 | By John Donnelly |

The National Press Club joined with other media organizations on Tuesday, March 2, in condemning the abusive treatment of journalists, writers and bloggers in Iran, where it is estimated that more media professionals are imprisoned for merely doing their jobs than in any other nation.

Club President Alan Bjerga encouraged members of the Club and visitors to its web site to sign an online petition expressing support for journalists in Iran. And he strongly urged the Iranian regime to release those in jail.

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Calif. Academic Praises Stimulus Package

March 3, 2010 | By Tejinder Singh |

The stimulus package helped save thousands of jobs at the educational institutions at California State University, its chancellor, Charles B. Reed, said at aNewsmaker press conference on March 2.

He said CSU is grappling with massive budge cuts, adding, “some call it melt-down,” and “we have lost 20% of our state support (to the tune of) $625 million.”

“We had been forced to raise student fees, cut enrollment by 40,000 students and furlough almost all of our employees two days a month,” he said.

Without the stimulus package, he said, job cuts would have been more widespread.

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Novelist Says Potential Disaster Victims Should be Taught Emotional Balance

March 3, 2010 | By Tejinder Singh |

People should be taught how to open up, share and speak about feelings in addition to pragmatic steps detailed in the Obama administration's preparedness plans to face natural disasters, author Chitra Divakaruni said at a Newsmaker press conference Feb. 24.

Citing the recent Haiti earthquake, Divakaruni said disasters are "a part of human existence."

As a volunteer with Hurricane Katrina refugees in Houston in 2005 and as an evacuee as Hurricane Rita rushed toward Houston, she faced these first-hand and wrote about them in a novel.

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Are More College Graduates Needed? Experts Debate

March 1, 2010 | By Lorna Aldrich |

Debating whether the United States needs more college graduates, the "pros" cited equal opportunity and equality while the "cons" argued cost and benefits in a program at the Club Friday, Feb. 26.

The event was jointly produced by the Miller Center of the University of Virginia, the Club, and MacNeil/Lehrer Productions. It will air on PBS.

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Landmines a Continuing Problem in Vietnam, Retired General Says

March 1, 2010 | By Bob Weiner |

Vietnamese veterans of the war with the U.S. embrace an attitude of reconciliation and mutual respect, members of U.S. veterans who visited Vietnam reported. But unexploded land mines are "a contionuing disastger," said delegation leader retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey.

McCaffrey and Jan Scruggs, president of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, headed the 26-member delegation that included U.S. Vietnam veterans and their families. They reported on the trip at a Feb. 26 Newsmaker.

"It's time to heal the scars of war. It is time for reconciliation,” McCaffrrey said.

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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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