National Press Club

U.N. spokesman: One in four Afghans is a returning refugee

June 20, 2012 | By Lorna Aldrich |

Khaled Hosseini, best-selling author of "Kite Runner" and spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said that the 5.7 million refugees who have returned to Afghanistan since 2002 constitute a quarter of the country's population.

Hosseini, an Afghan refugee to the United States at age 15, spoke at a June 20 Newsmaker event.

Read more

Establish personal brand, 'Jerusalem Post' editor advises would-be bloggers

June 20, 2012 | By Anthony Shop and Daniyal Ahmad |

Blogging is a powerful tool for establishing your "personal brand," but it is important to share your opinions explicitly or build a reputation for reliable objectivity.

That was key advice offered by Niv Elis, a breaking news editor at The Jerusalem Post and author of the newspaper's policy-focused blog, "The Bottom Line," during a lunchtime discussion of blogging at the Events Committee's Get It Online series June 19.

Among other insights he provided the audience of would-be bloggers, Elis said:

Read more

'The Daily Show' co-creator Winstead tells Book Rap how her dad’s death inspired book

June 16, 2012 | By Jan King |

Lizz Winstead, co-creator and former head of TV’s “The Daily Show,” looked at her life after her father died in 2008, found “big holes” in her career, and decided to write a book about it, she told a National Press Club Book Rap June 14.

The book, “Lizz Free or Die,” describes how she found her comedic voice and persevered, she said.

“Don’t quit too soon,” she advised the audience, pointing out that talent lasts a lifetime and outlets to demonstrate it will arise in unexpected ways.

Read more

Politico, Economist reporters forecast close election in uncertain economy

June 13, 2012 | By Lorna Aldrich |

Ben White, Wall Street correspondent for Politico, said he expects a "grinding recovery" that would give President Barack Obama a slight edge over former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in the fall elections.

White, speaking at a June 12 National Press Club event on the economy and the election, defined the recovery as 100,000 to 200,000 jobs added each month and an unemployment rate staying around 8.1 percent.

If the economy worsens, the edge would go to Romney, White said.

Read more

Levin Predicts Congress Will Avoid Sequestration

June 12, 2012 | By Lorna Aldrich |

Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Congress will ``find a way out'' of legislated, across-the-board budget cuts in January known as sequestration.

Levin, a Michigan Democrat, said at a June 12 Newsmaker that even without sequestration, he expects defense budget cuts of about $10 billion per year over 10 years.

When sequestration is avoided will be as important as whether it is, Levin said. If action comes too late, there could be "severe" effects on the economy, he said, adding that consumers and businesses need to plan.

Read more

California group pushes for tax on the wealthy at NPC Newsmaker

June 12, 2012 | By Heather Forsgren Weaver |

Californians heading to the polls in November have an opportunity to signal the rest of the nation that it's OK to tax the wealthy, Rick Jacobs, founder and chairman of the Courage Campaign, said at a National Press Club Newsmaker June 11.

“There is no other ballot measure of which I am aware in the 50 states this time around that actually raises taxes,” Jacobs said.

The Courage Campaign, a 750,000 member grassroots organization based in California, is spearheading efforts to pass a ballot measure in the state that authorizes taxes on people earning more than $250,000 per year.

Read more

Hundreds Race in annual National Press Club 5K, Teddy Roosevelt doesn't win

June 11, 2012 | By John Hughes |

Hundreds of runners took to the streets of downtown Washington June 9 for the National Press Club's annual Beat The Deadline 5K to raise money for scholarships that promote diversity in journalism.

Celebrity participants including fitness guru Tony Horton and Washington Nationals mascot President Teddy Roosevelt helped to fire up participants to run hard. President Roosevelt slapped runners' hands as they crossed the finish line, though once again, Teddy didn't win the race.

Read more

Lithuanian former journalist says country tried to deny speech, send him to prison

June 7, 2012 | By Robert Webb |

Algirdas Paleckis, a Lithuanian politician, diplomat and former investigative journalist, said June 7 his country failed to investigate what he considers a sniper attack on innocent civilians in January of 1991.

"Lithuania broke away from the USSR in late 1991, but earlier, in January 1991, the Soviet troops took over the Vilnius TV center and 14 people died," Paleckis said at a National Press Club Newsmaker. "The Lithuanian government blamed the troops but presented practically no evidence and until now did not bring the investigation to the end."

Read more

Panel finds peace, justice in first conviction by international court since Nuremberg

June 6, 2012 | By John M. Rosenberg |

A guilty verdict against former Liberia President Charles Taylor shows that “no one is above the law,” Richard Downie, deputy director and fellow of the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said at June 5 panel.

Taylor, who received a 50-year sentence May 30, is the first head of state to be convicted by an international court since the Nuremberg Trials following World War II.

Read more

National security on a shoestring? Levin, Cartwright, Langstaff probe possibility

June 5, 2012 | By Patti Giglio |

Senator Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Gen. James E. Cartwright, retired vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and David H. Langstaff, president and chief executive officer of TASC Inc., will discuss tough national security budget decisions June 12 at 10 a.m. at the National Press Club.

Read more