National Press Club

Thomas Friedman to Receive NPC Fourth Estate Award

October 12, 2009

Thomas Friedman, the ground-breaking New York Times foreign affairs columnist and author, will receive the 2009 Fourth Estate Award, the National Press Club's highest honor.

The award is bestowed annually to an individual who has achieved distinction for a lifetime of contributions to American journalism. And that’s just what Friedman, a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner and author of best-selling books such as “Flat, Hot and Crowded,” has done, said Donna Leinwand, NPC president.

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U.S. Postal Service in acute financial crisis, Postmaster General says

October 9, 2009 | By Hope Katz Gibbs

The 234-year-old U.S. Postal Service is in acute financial crisis, John Potter, the 72nd Postmaster General said Thursday during a National Press Club luncheon.

After losing a projected $7 billion in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, Potter said he is working to help the USPS reinvent itself. It won’t be an easy task, as 28 billion fewer pieces of mail were sent last year compared to fiscal year 2008, he said. Potter said that holiday mail, one of the traditionally highest volume periods of the year, was flat last year — and he expects it to be flat this December, as well.

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Semiconductor Exec Stresses Importance of Educated Workforce

October 7, 2009 | By Mark Schoeff Jr. |

GlobalFoundries, a new semiconductor company, is swimming against the economic tide. In the midst of a deep recession, it broke ground over the summer on a $4.2 billion manufacturing facility in upstate New York that will employ 1,500.

The firm chose a domestic location for its operation rather than China, Brazil or Russia because of the “ecosystem” created by the collaboration between government, educational institutions and the private sector, GlobalFoundries chairman Hector Ruiz said at an Oct. 5 Newsmaker.

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ACORN Leader Concedes Scandal, Vows Reform, New Successes

October 7, 2009 | By Andrew Kreig |

The CEO of the embattled community organizing group ACORN vowed to reform its management in the wake of scandal and funding cutbacks at an Oct. 6 Speakers Committee news conference.

“Nothing will be able to wipe away these 40 years of work, and nothing will be able to stop us from 40 more,” Bertha Lewis said.

ACORN, founded in Little Rock in 1970, claims nearly 500,000 dues-paying members as it advocates for raising the minimum wage, improving banking practices for low-income customers and expanding voter registration.

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Newspapers Far From Dead But Looking to Shift Burden of Revenue, Panelists Say

October 6, 2009 | By Gil Klein |

Newspapers are still looking to “unlock the funding streams” that will keep vibrant journalism alive, but most of them still make money today, if not the profits they had once enjoyed, panelists told host Marvin Kalb on the latest edition of “The Kalb Report” Oct. 5.

“The Post will be here for a long time to come,” said Marcus Brauchli, executive editor of the Washington Post. “We serve readers over every platform that comes along. Our circulation has been stable over the last year or so.”

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Speakers Urge More Action for Kids Caught in Disasters

October 5, 2009 | By Terry Hill |

America's disaster preparedness posture for children is inadequate and makes them the most vulnerable victims in crises like the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the chairman of the National Commission on Children and Disasters, Mark K. Shriver, told a National Press Club audience Oct. 5.

"One defining quality that all Americans will remember about the last 10 years is the relentless onslaught of natural and manmade disasters and the constant threat of new ones that can strike at any moment," Shriver said. "For too many of us, this has been remembered as the disaster decade."

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Head of UN Commission on Gaza War Violations Reports on Status

October 5, 2009 | By p

The head of a U.N. commission that investigated claims of human rights violations in the 2008-09 Gaza conflict rejected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanhyahu's charge that any attempts to follow up on the group's recommendations could kill any renewed peace talks with the Palestinians.

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First Sec'y of Homeland Security Describes Heroes, Mistakes

September 29, 2009 | By Heather Forsgren Weaver |

Tom Ridge was governor of Pennsylvania for six years, nine months and five days and loved every minute, he told a Club Book Rap Monday. But when the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks occurred and President Bush asked him to come to Washington to create what would become the Department of Homeland Security, he couldn’t say no.

Ridge is the author of “The Test of Our Time: America Under Siege … and How We Can Be Safe Again.” He signed copies of the book purchased at the event to benefit the Eric Friedheim National Journalism Library.

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Amnesty International Says Burma Policy Too Hasty

September 29, 2009 | By Peter Hickman |

The U.S. should not revise its policy toward Burma until an American citizen and pro-democracy advocate is released from detention, Amnesty International's advocacy director for international issues told a Sept. 28 Newsmaker.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last week that the U.S. will "begin to engage with ... Burmese leaders to bring democracy to the nation."

But T. Kumar said the Obama adminsitration "should first immediately take steps to stop the torture and ill-treatment of (Kyaw Zaw Lwin) and get him released. Get him out, then talk."

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Kenyan Discusses Village Reaction to 9/11

September 28, 2009 | By Peter Hickman |

Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah, a molecular biologist, Maasai warrior from Kenya and incoming Rotary International World Peace Fellow, told a Sept. 25 Newsmaker that his village's reaction to the 9/11 terrorist attacks was to symbolically donate 14 cows -- sacred symbols of life and healing to the Maasa -- to the American people.

The villagers continue to care for the herd as a living symbol of peace, Naiyomah said. As "sacred, healing cows," he added, they can never be slaughtered and remain in the care of village elders. The original 14 have calved, he said, and the herd now numbers 35.

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