National Press Club

Panetta urges Congress to avoid fiscal cliff, adopt administration defense strategy

December 18, 2012 | By Lorna Aldrich | lorna2@verizon.net

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta used a Dec. 18 National Press Club luncheon to urge Congress to “do the right thing” by avoiding the across-the-board spending cuts of the “fiscal cliff” and approving the defense strategy contained in the Defense Department’s budget proposal.

The fiscal cliff refers to the more than $600 billion in automatic spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to go into effect beginning next month unless Congress acts.

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Nutcracker, Dying Swan featured at Newsmaker event

December 17, 2012 | By Peter Hickman | pjhickman@hotmail.com

Moscow Ballet Prima Ballerina Ukrainian Olga Kifyak and colleagues danced and played selections from Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Suite" and The Dying Swan from St. Saens' "Carnival of the Animals" at an NPC Newsmaker Dec. 14.

For the Nutcraker number, ballerina Kifyak was partnered with dancer Victor Sherbakov.
For The Dying Swan, she was musically accompanied by 16-year-old Russian Fedor Oukspensky, a high school student in Northern Virginia, who himself was accompanied on the piano by his mother.

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Angela Greiling Keane of Bloomberg News elected Club president

December 17, 2012 | By Joel Whitaker | bevnews1@gmail.com

Angela Greiling Keane, a reporter for Bloomberg News and current vice president, was elected the 106th president of the National Press Club. She will succeed Theresa Werner, a freelance journalist.
Her ascent to the club's presidency follows years of service to the club on the Young Members, Membership and Speakers committees. She received the Vivian Award for Outstanding Club Service six times.
Greiling Keane has served as an elected board officer for the past three years and is a member of the National Press Club Journalism Institute board.

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Islamic Cooperation Commission says human rights, not religion, will be focus

December 13, 2012 | By Terry Hill | terry@terryhillcommunications.com

Making its first appearance in the nation’s capital Dec. 13, the newly established Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation outlined its priorities for improving human rights of women and children.

The OIC, which claims to be the second largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations, includes as members 57 states on four continents and the Palestinian Authority.

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James Taylor calls for ‘reasonable dialogue’ during NPC Luncheon

December 7, 2012 | By Heather Forsgren Weaver | HeatherForsgrenWeaver@gmail.com

James Taylor, a self-described “unapologetic liberal,” told a National Press Club Luncheon Dec. 7 that a “reasonable dialogue” with conservatives is good for the country.

“By ourselves liberals would probably steer us toward a sort of paralyzed nanny state in the European style, and Republicans left to their own would head toward oligarchy and inherited wealth and power,” he said.

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Soldiers died at Afghanistan outpost after `reckless' mistakes, ABC's Tapper says

December 6, 2012 | By Gregory Page | Gregory.Page@usdoj.gov

When ABC White House Correspondent Jake Tapper learned 400 Taliban fighters killed eight U.S. soldiers at Outpost Keating in Afghanistan, he was celebrating the birth of his son in a U.S. hospital.

He said he remembers “holding his son,” listening to the news reports of the 2009 attack, and wondering why, as his family welcomed a new birth, “eight other sons were taken from the world.”

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Sanders outlines seven-step plan for ending federal deficits at NPC newsmaker

December 5, 2012 | By Audrey Hoffer | audrey@ahoffer.net

With the gap between rich and poor growing, Congress must adopt a seven-step plan for fixing federal deficits that won't hurt the middle class, Senator Bernie Sanders, a Vermont Independent, said at a National Press Club Newsmaker.

“The question is whether the President and the Democrats will finally stand firm and do what the American people want them to do,” Sanders told a group of print, wire and broadcast reporters Dec. 5.

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Defense leaders urge Obama, Congress to avoid cuts at Newsmaker

December 4, 2012 | By Heather Forsgren Weaver | HeatherForsgrenWeaver@gmail.com

President Barack Obama and congressional leaders must reach an agreement to avoid the ``fiscal cliff'' and potentially devastating cuts in defense spending, industry executives said at a Dec. 3 National Press Club Newsmaker.

The automatic defense cuts, known as sequestration, which would occur if no deal is reached, will “have very negative impacts in the long term,'' said Northrop Grumman Chief Executive Officer Wes Bush. ``It will damage our industry’s ability to attract and retain the kind of highly-trained technical talent our nation needs to help keep its technological superiority.”

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Contractor's Cuba imprisonment has harmed health, family, his wife says

December 2, 2012 | By Sean Lyngaas | sean.lyngaas@gmail.com

“I cannot and will not allow my husband to die in a Cuban prison,” Judy Gross, wife of jailed American contractor Alan Gross, told a National Press Club Newsmaker on November 30.

Alan Gross, 63, was arrested without public explanation in 2009 on one of the several trips he made to Cuba working as a U.S. government contractor to bring the Internet to disparate Jewish communities on the island.

Judy Gross spoke of the toll her husband’s incarceration has taken on their family as the third anniversary of his arrest approaches. “December 3, 2009 was the day my family fell apart,” she said.

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Life of Nelson Mandela is subject of Press Club program

November 27, 2012 | By Gil Klein | gilbert.klein@yahoo.com

Nelson Mandela emerged from nearly 30 years in prison willing to make peace with his enemies in the white-controlled South African government, and that has made all of the difference in the history of his country, South African Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool told a Club gathering Nov. 26.

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