National Press Club

San Diego ballot could ignite shift in public employee pension plans

February 13, 2012 | By Terry Hill |

If San Diego voters approve a June ballot initiative to end guaranteed pension benefits for newly-hired city employees and offer a 401(k) type retirement plan instead, other cities may soon begin adopting similar approaches, Mayor Jerry Sanders predicted Feb. 13 during a National Press Club newsmaker conference.

The initiative, expected to draw strong labor union opposition, is being managed as a citizen-run project and funded through private contributions.

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State AGs Coakley, Cuccinelli lay out opposing cases in Supreme Court health warmup

February 9, 2012 | By Bob Weiner |

In a vigorous NPC Newsmaker debate Thursday on the Affordable Health Care Act’s constitutionality, Republican Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli said the health bill’s mandate “crushes liberty.”

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, a Democrat, countered that “We don’t leave people at the ER door unless we change the slogan to ‘Live Free and Die.’”

The debate was a preamble to the Supreme Court’s upcoming March consideration of the Affordable Health Care Act case.

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China adamant against nukes for Iran, shutdown of Straits, Consultant Fenning Says

February 7, 2012 | By Robert Webb |

Richard Fenning, chief executive officer of a consultancy that helps companies manage risks in hostile environments, said at a February 7 Newsmaker that Israel’s threat to attack Iran due to its nuclear development efforts and Iran’s serious warning to block the Straits of Hormuz is unlikely as it would have severe repercussions.

“There is tension in Israel on how to behave,'' Fenning said at the National Press Club. ``It has the ability to threaten to attack." He added "the whole region is jittery," because one mistake could cause the whole situation to escalate.

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Norman Rockwell painting on way back to NPC after national tour

February 2, 2012 | By Julie Schoo |

The NPC’s beloved painting, “Norman Rockwell Visits a Country Editor,” is on its way home after spending the past year traveling to Brooklyn, N.Y., El Paso, Texas, Stockbridge, Mass., and Rochester, N.Y.

The painting was part of the highly popular exhibit, “Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera,” sponsored by the Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass. The exhibit, which offered new perspectives on Rockwell’s creative process and his intensive use of photography, was greatly enriched by the inclusion of NPC's “Country Editor,” and it was viewed by thousands of people at each venue.

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BET founder Johnson warns of "wealth gap tsunami" without more jobs for minorities

February 1, 2012 | By Robert Webb |

Black Etertainment Television (BET) founder Robert L. Johnson announced at a February 1 Newsmaker the launch of Web-based OppsPlace as a company aimed at getting more jobs -- and more key jobs -- for minority candidates.

"As today marks the first day of Black History Month, I am pleased to announce that OppsPlace will go live on Feb. 13th, and I am confident that we will make history," said Johnson, the nation's first African-American billionaire as founder and chairman of The RLJ Companies.

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Mayor Gray declares Jan. 30-Feb. 4 ‘National Press Club Week’ in Washington

January 31, 2012 | By Bill McCarren |

Mayor Vincent Gray has proclaimed this week, Jan. 30 to Feb. 4, “National Press Club Week” in Washington, D.C.

The Proclamation marks the beginning of the new term in office of the Club’s 105th president, Theresa Werner, who was sworn in to office by Barbara Harrison, morning anchor of NBC News4, at a gala ceremony in the Club’s Ballroom on Jan. 28. Wendy Rieger, also a News4 Anchor, was the keynote speaker for the evening. Werner, who is a freelance journalist, worked at News4 earlier in her career.

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Napolitano highlights Homeland Security role analyzing threats in NPC address

January 30, 2012 | By Terry Hill |

America is in safe hands, as the U.S. Homeland Security Department has improved efforts to detect threats, respond to natural disasters and prevent terrorist attacks, Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a National Press Club speech.

In her second annual State of America’s Homeland Security address on Jan. 30, Napolitano said the 230,000-employee agency has improved its ability to analyze and distribute threat information. Agency successes included border protection, natural disaster response and cyber security, the third Homeland secretary said.

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Werner promises Club will help journalists adapt, preserve press freedom

January 29, 2012 | By Mark Schoeff Jr. |

Theresa Werner, inaugurated Jan. 28 as the Club’s 105th president, said at a gala dinner the National Press Club will help journalists adapt to rapid changes in the profession while defending press freedom around the world.

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Denmark strives to give EU 'stronger global voice'

January 22, 2012 | By Peter Hickman |

Job creation is one of four central priorities of Denmark's six-month European Union presidency, which began this month, the country's U.S. ambassador to the United told a Jan. 18 Newsmaker audience.

Denmark "hopes its EU presidency can help give Europe a stronger voice in global affairs," Ambassador Peter Taksoe-Jensen said.

The other three goals are to help create a "dynamic Europe" by stimulating long-term growth, working for a "green" Europe, and creating a safe Europe, both internally and externally,Taksoe-Jensen said.

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Women choose abortions for economic reasons, clinic director says

January 19, 2012 | By Vija Udenans |

Merle Hoffman, owner of the nation’s oldest and largest abortion clinic, Choices Women’s Medical Center in New York, said that abortion is “not politics, but necessity" at a Jan. 17 Newsmaker.

"It is an issue of survival," said Hoffman, a pro-choice activist. “American women are placed in a Kafkaesque no-win situation. Poor, young, disenfranchised feel it the heaviest. As the economy worsens, as job loss worsens, more women will attempt to prevent pregnancy."

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