National Press Club

World War I panel brings the past right up to the present

May 10, 2015 | By Jean Gossman |

A century after a German U-Boat sank the British luxury liner Lusitania, the world is still reeling from the consequences of World War I, a panel of historians told a National Press Club audience on May 7.

Although the war has faded into obscurity, especially in the United States, it is the genesis of 100 years of conflict right up to the present turmoil in the Middle East, they said.

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Air Force Academy superintendent aims for character, technical skills

May 8, 2015 | By Lorna Aldrich |

Michelle D. Johnson, superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy, said that instilling character and leadership, while putting an increasing emphasis on cyberspace and outer space, are priorities of the academy at a May 8 National Press Club luncheon.

"All of our cadets are learning more about cyber as the connective tissue for our Air Force and our nation," said Johnson, the first woman to head the academy.

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Armenian foreign minister wants Obama to acknowledge massacre as genocide

May 8, 2015 | By Wesley G. Pippert |

A top Armenian official told a National Press Club Newsmaker on May 7 that candidate Barack Obama had called the Armenian massacre a genocide and that he wishes President Obama would do so now.

"Of course, we prefer and expect President Obama will use the 'G' word," Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said. "At the same time we're taking note that as a candidate for president of the United States, President Obama recognized the Armenian genocide and as president he has said and repeated his stance and his views."

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Top aging researcher: Human life span could increase 20 years this century

May 8, 2015 | By Robert Weiner and Autumn Kelly |

Based on the current pace of increases in longevity, the average human life could last 20 years longer within the next 80 years, Dr. Richard Hodes, director of the National Institute on Aging at National Institutes of Health, said at a National Press Club Newsmaker on May 7.

“I would not bet against it,” said Hodes, the country’s leader of research on aging. Armed with bar graphs, he said that since 1840, “we have gained one year every four years, moving [lifespan] from the 40s to the 80s.”

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Last words of his mother, and Tweeting the moment, inspires Scott Simon's new book

May 7, 2015 | By Joe Motheral |

In her final days, Scott Simon's mother related wisdom that resonated not only with him but also with many people who followed his recounting of the moment on Twitter.

Simon, an NPR correspondent, appeared at a May 5 National Press Club Book Rap to promote his latest book, "Unforgettable, A Son, a Mother, and the Lessons of a Lifetime." He gave the audience a glimpse into his early family life and what meaningful tenets his mother had passed on to him.

He spent 48 hours in the intensive care unit with his 84-year-old mother, who lay dying from cancer.

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‘Internet evangelist’ warns against law-enforcement backdoors

May 4, 2015 | By Heather Forsgren Weaver |

A technical backdoor should not be created to allow law-enforcement access to protected digital information, Vint Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist at Google, told a National Press Club luncheon May 4.

Law enforcement has long sought a technical way to access protected information on devices without the device owner’s knowledge. The issue re-emerged when both Apple and Google said operating software for their smartphones will include encryption that cannot be accessed without the owner’s consent.

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Club Owls award Order of the Owl to Washington Post cartoonist Tom Toles at Spring Hoot

May 4, 2015 | By Noel St. John |

Washington Post editorial cartoonist Tom Toles outlined the keys to success in his part of the journalism field at the National Press Club Owls' Spring Hoot on May 1.

Toles was awarded the Order of the Owl by the Club's Silver Owls, who are Club members who have been in the organization for 25 years or more in a row, at an event in the Club ballroom. Later in the evening, Toles and his band, Suspicious Package, performed.

The hirsute lampooner gave his remarks following his award and the induction of new Owl members.

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Book Rap tells tales of Ghost Army

April 30, 2015 | By Jeffery King |

A "Ghost Army" saved thousands of lives during World War II unbeknownst to other U.S. troops, historian Rick Beyer and artist Elizabeth Sayles told a Book Rap April 29.

The ghost army actually consisted of the 1,100 men of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, who created a false army of about 20,000 men to fool the Germans. Beyer said they were "putting on a show for the Germans."

It was a dangerous job as the troops had to set up only a quarter of a mile from the enemy. Three men were killed and 21 wounded. The troops also had to endure the worst winter in 100 years in 1944.

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Wife of imprisoned former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed urges his release

April 30, 2015 | By Lorna Aldrich |

The wife and human rights lawyers of imprisoned former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed urged his release at an April 30 Newsmaker, charging that his trial and imprisonment violated basic human rights and legal principles.

In 2008 Nasheed became the first democratically elected president of the Maldives, an multi-island country southwest of India in the Indian Ocean.

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Navy secretary Mabus tells Club Luncheon that U.S. is reversing ship decline

April 30, 2015 | By Ken Dalecki |

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told a Club Luncheon audience April 30 that the government is reserving a decline in the number of ships but will have to find money to maintain the nation's ballistic submarine force.

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