National Press Club

Pakistani ambassador mourns slain journalist

June 7, 2011 | By Clothilde Le Coz |

During a condolence meeting convened by Pakistani reporters in the United States on June 6 at the National Press Club, Pakistani Ambassador Husain Haqqani mourned the death of journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad, stating that his passing diminishes the humanity of everyone and that he was grieved that Pakistan has become a battlefield.

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Democracy meeting in Lithuania to focus on North Africa, Middle East, diplomats say

May 31, 2011 | By Peter Hickman |

A high-level democracy meeting in Vilnius beginning June 29 will have a special focus on supporting democratic transition and consolidation worldwide, but especially on North Africa and the Middle East, and on helping bridge the gap between the principles of democracy and universal human rights, Egidijus Meilunas, Lithuania's vice minister of foreign affairs, and Dr. Tomicah Tillemann, senior advisor to Secretary of State Clinton for Civil Society and Emerging Democracies, said at a Newsmaker press conference May 26.

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Former NPR journalist Williams says honest debate "essential" to the nation's future

May 27, 2011 | By Ken Dalecki |

Former NPR and current Fox News commentator Juan Williams told a National Press Club luncheon audience May 26 that he had attended many events in the Club's ballroom but "I never thought I would be the speaker."

Williams became a news story seven months ago when he was fired by NPR for expressing discomfort at seeing persons in Muslim garb boarding an airplane with him. His comments caused a firestorm of controversy and Williams said he was shocked by the attention given his dismissal. In spite of years of exposure on television and radio, " I was fairly anonymous before this happened."

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Environmental questions fuel natural gas drilling debate

May 25, 2011 | By Lorna Aldrich |

Uncertainty over the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing, a method of drilling for shale natural gas, dominated a debate on regulating such drilling at a May 24 NPC Newsmaker.

Adrian Kuzminski, an anti-drilling activist from Sustainable Otsego, an upstate New York "grass roots" organization of 600 people, opposed fracturing. "Natural gas is not a substitute for oil, but an extension," he said.

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Africa looks to reap development benefits from diaspora

May 21, 2011 | By Peter Hickman |

Africans living outside the continent who remain committed to its development are considered its "sixth region," according to the organizer of an upcoming summit designed to tap the diaspora who spoke at a May 18 Newsmaker.

Ambassador Mbulelo Rakwena of the Africa Multilateral Branch of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said the meeting will bring together leaders from politics, business, culture, civil society and other sectors of the diaspora, together with their counterparts from the African continent.

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Union leader promises to fight states over worker rights

May 20, 2011 | By Robert Webb |

AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka lashed out at politicians in Wisconsin, Ohio and a dozen other states who he said "are trying to take away workers' right to organize and bargain for a better life," at a May 20 National Press Club luncheon.

He promised to fight back.

"Budget proposals unveiled in Washington and state capitals across our country this year revealed a despicable canvas of cruelty," Trumka said.

Trumka criticized a litany of states. For instance, he cited legislation in

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Jones calls for Marshall Plan-type assistance for Egypt

May 16, 2011 | By Terry Hill |

Former U.S. National Security Advisor James L. Jones called for the United States to create an aid package for Egypt similar to the Marshall Plan that helped Europe emerge from the destruction of World War II at a National Press Club luncheon May 16.

The plan would provide economic and governmental assistance and send a clear message to those who have doubted U.S. intentions in the region.

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FEMA administrator promotes preparation for next disaster

May 4, 2011 | By Heather Forsgren Weaver |

People don’t want to think about bad things so they don’t prepare for emergencies, Craig Fugate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told a National Press Club Newsmaker audience May 4.

The problem with not preparing is that “you don’t get to pick the next disaster. You don’t always know when it is going to happen. It could be happening right now [and] we just don’t know it,” Fugate said.

Planning ahead for an emergency also allows help to be received by those who need it most, Fugate said.

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UN official urges support for refugee host countries

May 4, 2011 | By Keith M. Hill |

The contributions of Tunisia, Egypt, and Liberia to refugees fleeing the fighting in Libya and Ivory Coast should not be overlooked and must be supported, Antonio Guterres, the United Nations's high commissioner for refugees, said at a May 3 Newsmaker.

Guterres, a former Portuguese prime minister, has been the top UN official for refugees since 2005. Last year, he was reelected by the General Assembly to a second five-year term.

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Jailed Iranian journalist receives UNESCO Freedom of the Press Award

May 4, 2011 | By Robert Webb |

Iranian journalist Ahmad Zeidabadi became the 2011 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Laureate at a ceremony May 3 in the packed National Press Club ballroom in the first such award of the prize in the United States.

NPC President Mark Hamrick called it a high honor and historic day for the Club. The award drew a salute via video from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Delegates also adopted "The Washington Declaration," a four-page document aimed at stronger protections globally for freedom of the press. It will go to UNESCO for final approval.

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