National Press Club

NTSB chairman: Driverless cars promise to save lives, but there are challenges to overcome

June 30, 2016 | By Gwen Flanders |

Driverless cars have the potential to save thousands of lives by eliminating the main cause of highway crashes –- human error –- National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Christopher Hart said Thursday at a National Press Club Newsmakers Luncheon.

But so-called “autonomous vehicles” won’t be cruising the roads anytime soon, Hart said.

“People are underestimating the challenges,” he said. “It’s going to take longer than people are estimating.”

He didn’t offer a timeline but outlined the challenges.

Read more

Ukrainian Prime Minister secures pledge of economic assistance during U.S. visit

June 26, 2016 | By Peter Hickman |

On his first visit to Washington since taking office, the new Prime Minister of Ukraine, Volodymyr Groysman, told a June 16 National Press Club Newsmaker press conference that his country received a pledge of $220 million in economic assistance from the United States during meetings with U.S. officials.

The assistance package was offered by Vice President Joe Biden, Groysman said. His talks with American officials centered on the political situation in his nation, including relations with Russia, which occupies the Crimean Peninsula, part of eastern Ukraine.

Read more

Author says American society is breaking down, but can be put back together

June 23, 2016 | By Keith Hill |

American society is breaking down because people are feeling lost and alienated. If this situation does not change, it could lead to the death of what America is, author and journalist Sebastian Junger said at a June 16 National Press Club Newsmaker.

In his new book, "Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging," Junger discusses the breakdown of U.S. communities and explores what can be learned from tribal societies.

Read more

Military culture slow to change on suicide prevention

June 23, 2016 | By Ken Dalecki |

The U.S. military's "do or die" culture makes it difficult for many service members and veterans to seek the help they need in dealing with depression that can lead to suicide, Kim Ruocco, a leader of a survivors' service organization, said at a June 23 National Press Club Newsmaker event.

Read more

Perez dodges questions about VP chances, slams Trump without naming him

June 22, 2016 | By Michelle Amber |

U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez repeatedly declined on June 22 to answer questions about whether he is being considered as a running mate with presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

At a National Press Club luncheon, Perez, who has been mentioned as one of nine possible candidates being considered by Clinton for vice president, would not say whether he is being vetted.

Read more

Author writes about homicide but says he isn’t ‘Castle’

June 22, 2016 | By Heather Forsgren Weaver |

Del Quentin Wilber is nothing like TV’s “Castle,” and the homicide detectives he shadowed for his book joked once that they wish he were, Wilber told a National Press Club Book Rap June 21.

People often ask Wilber how the experiences in "A Good Month for Murder: The Inside Story of a Homicide Squad" differs from TV.

“It is completely different than television because these are real people,” Wilber said. “Everyone is real. The victims are real. This is not a game to anybody. Everyone takes this very personally.”

Read more

Investigative journalist, human rights lawyers detail forced organ harvesting in China

June 22, 2016 | By Jesse Rifkin |

Forced organ harvesting in China from members of persecuted ethnic and religious groups is a much more horrific and widespread problem than was previously believed, three co-authors of a new investigative report said at a National Press Club event on June 22.

The stories being suppressed by the Chinese government could at times be stomach-churning.

Read more

Democratic Convention officials emphasize First Amendment rights, safety

June 21, 2016 | By Lorna Aldrich |

Democratic National Convention officials on Tuesday expressed their support for potential protesters' First Amendment rights and promised to ensure their safety at next month's event.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney cited his city's record of handling large events, such as the Occupy protests and the papal visit, while protecting those taking part.

"This is a participatory democracy and the key is to participate," he said at a June 21 National Press Club Newsmakers news conference.

Read more

University of Missouri president sees 'grim' fall but says progress made after black student protests

June 21, 2016 | By Lawrence Feinberg |

University of Missouri President Michael Middleton said the school faces a “grim” situation this fall with declining enrollment and a projected $30 million revenue shortfall in the wake of tumultuous black student protests last year.

At a National Press Club breakfast June 21, Middleton said the perceptions of disorder and disarray causing the decline are inaccurate but he acknowledged that dealing with problems of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” are “major challenges.”

“We have made significant progress,” Middleton declared, “but there is much more work to be done.”

Read more

FCC chairman says agency will open spectrum for fifth-generation wireless

June 20, 2016 | By Heather Forsgren Weaver |

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plans to vote on a proposal next month that will open up a large swath of spectrum for fifth-generation wireless, or 5G, FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler told a National Press Club Luncheon June 20.

Wheeler plans to circulate his “Spectrum Frontiers” proposal to his fellow commissioners on June 23, he said. It is common for the FCC chairman to distribute items a few weeks before a meeting to allow the members of the commission to negotiate before the vote, which is scheduled for July 14.

Read more