National Press Club

Hungary Defense Chief Hails Security Pact with US

March 12, 2009 | By Peter Hickman

Hungarian defense minister Imre Szekeres told a March 11 Newsmaker his country's security cooperation agreement with the U.S., which includes training of the national army, makes it possible for his nation to "maintain our military capabilities."

NATO member Hungary has approximately 400 troops in Afghanistan, with another 100 planned, and Szekeres predicted that 2009 "can be a real turning point" in the fighting in that country.

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Clark Urges Administration to Increase Ethanol Blend

March 6, 2009 | By Frank Maisano

Former general and presidential candidate Wesley Clark, new head of the pro-ethanol Growth Energy, called on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to raise the limit on the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline from 10 percent (E10) up to 15 percent (E15) in a Newsmaker in the Holman Lounge on Friday.

Clark said E15 could create 136,101 new jobs and inject $24.4 billion into the American economy annually.

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Georgian Security Advisor Wants Focus on Russian Troops

March 6, 2009 | By Peter Hickman

The Georgian government wants the "engagement of the international community," Georgian national security advisor Eka Tkeshelashvili, told a March 5 Newsmaker. She called it "the key" to solving the "problem of Russian military forces in my country."

When Georgia tried to retake its breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in August following clashes with Russian-baked rebels, Russia counterattacked, Georgian troops were ejected and Russian forces remain in the regions.

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Public Broadcasting Needs to Rethink Business Model, NPR Chief Says

March 3, 2009 | By Hope Katz Gibbs

Public broadcasting needs to rethink the business model, Vivian Schiller, president and CEO of National Public Radio told a Club luncheon Monday.

She said that although in the next 18 months more jobs will likely be trimmed at NPR, her goal is to increase NPR’s collaboration with other public outlets, step up NPR’s news-gathering efforts — especially in terms of investigative journalism -- and become a network that reaches more people on every media platform that they enjoy, from listening on the car radio, to receiving broadcasts on cell phones and iPods.

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Conservative Leader Sees Hope for Movement in Obama Era

February 25, 2009 | By Mark Schoeff Jr.

In the two most recent elections, voters rejected the way that Republicans conducted themselves in office not the values they espoused to get there, a conservative leader said at a Feb. 24 Newsmaker.

David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, is confident that the political atmosphere still favors the right side of the political spectrum. Despite strong approval ratings for President Obama, he sees hope for the conservative movement.

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FedEx CEO Says Dependence on Imported Oil Must End

February 25, 2009 | By Ken Dalecki

Calling high oil prices the "match" that has ignited the current international economic crisis, FedEx Corp. founder and CEO Fred Smith told a luncheon audience Feb. 23 that the U.S. must cut its heavy dependence on imported oil by developing electric cars and trucks.

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Stimulus Spotlight Turns to Governors, Panelists Say

February 20, 2009 | By Micayla Diener |

From the moment that President Obama was sworn in on Jan. 20 until he signed the $787 billion economic recovery package into law on Feb. 17, the stimulus spotlight shined on him and Congress as the behemoth bill rapidly worked its way through the legislative process.

Now the focus turns to governors, who will be under pressure to spend the money efficiently and wisely. Fulfilling that mandate will require an unprecedented emphasis on transparency and cooperation between state and local government, according to experts who participated in a Feb. 19 Newsmaker.

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Scientist Offers Plan for Reducing Cancer

February 19, 2009 | By Paula Cruickshank

John Mendelsohn, president of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, released a 10-point plan to reduce the incidence of cancer and prevent its recurrence at a Newsmaker program on Feb. 17.

He noted that nearly 40 percent of Americans will develop cancer during their lifetime. While cancer survival rates in the United States have doubled over the past 50 years and death rates have fallen, cancer still accounts for one in every five deaths among Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Highlights of the plan are:

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Bernanke Promises Exit Strategy, Transparency

February 19, 2009 | By Lorna Aldrich

Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, explained how the Fed has used an “innovative” course of “credit easing” to address the current financial crisis at a Luncheon Feb. 18. Innovation is required, he said, because the conventional policies available to the Fed are insufficient. He reassured listeners that the result of such innovation – a doubling of the dollar value of the Fed’s balance sheet – will not be permanent; there is an exit strategy. He added that the institution is initiating public information programs to make policies more transparent.

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McGovern's Take on Lincoln

February 16, 2009 | By Frank Kane

Despite more than 16,000 books having been published about Abraham Lincoln, former Sen. George McGovern’s short biography of the 16th president was a quick sell-out in his book-signing Feb.13 at the Club.

McGovern, who has a doctorate in history and government and has written several other books, said he told organizers of the American presidents series of books he would write one if it could be about Lincoln. “That’s too bad," he was told. "Bill Clinton says he wants to do that one.” But a year later, he was told to ahead because Clinton was just too busy.

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