National Press Club

Iran expanding influence in Latin America, think tank scholar tells Newsmaker

March 20, 2012 | By Peter Hickman |

Iran is "making inroads and provoking worries" in Latin America in an attempt to "project an image of global power...far beyond its actual impact," according to a report by the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) released at a March 16 Newsmaker.

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Two former congressmen launch ‘civil rights’ drive for mentally ill, drug addicted

March 14, 2012 | By Robert Webb |

Former U.S. congressmen Patrick Kennedy and Jim Ramstad called at a March 14 National Press Club Luncheon for a nationwide crusade to ensure that the millions of Americans with mental illness and/or drug addiction problems receive parity in the nation’s insurance and health-care system.

The two former legislators, both recovered substance abusers, came down hard on insurance companies and other providers that continue to stigmatize mental illness and drug addiction, thus robbing victims of the care they need.

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Journalist tells Newsmaker how smuggled 'Animal Farm' translations buoyed DPs

March 11, 2012 | By Peter Hickman |

Andrea Chalupa, a Ukrainian-American journalist, explained at a March 5 Newsmaker how George Orwell’s iconic satire on the Soviet system, “Animal Farm,” was translated into Ukrainian and smuggled into and distributed free to displaced persons (DPs) in Soviet-controlled refugee camps in East Germany after World War II.

Describing how she obtained one of the rare translations, Chalupa said that one of her uncles was among the incarcerated DPs who received a smuggled copy.

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Former Afghan deputy president urges women's voices in negotiations with the United States

March 8, 2012 | By Robert Webb |

Women now occupy 27 percent of the seats in the Afghan parliament but are denied voices in the government's key negotiations with the Americans, former Afghan Deputy President Sima Samar said at a March 8 Newsmaker on the eve of International Women's Day.

"Women should be a part of those discussions,'" she said and urged a focus on "the rule of law" before the American pullout in 2014. But not everyone wants the rule of law, she added.

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People still try to bring guns on planes, TSA’s Pistole tells NPC

March 6, 2012 | By Heather Forsgren Weaver |

More than a decade after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, people are still trying to bring guns onto airplanes, John Pistole, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), told a Luncheon March 5.

Over the recent President’s Day weekend, 19 guns were found in carry-on baggage nationwide, Pistole said. It is not believed that any of the people carrying these weapons were doing so with a malicious intent, he added.

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Mallon says Alice Longworth took John Dean's real estate in Watergate book

March 5, 2012 | By Heather Forsgren Weaver |

Although Thomas Mallon knew the story of his book, "Watergate," its characters and, thanks to the famous tapes, some of its dialogue, it didn't turn out as he expected he told the audience at a club Book Rap March 2.

He thought that John Dean, White House counsel under former President Richard Nixon, would be a prominent figure in the book and Alice Roosevelt Longworth, “Mrs. L,” would be a “fairly minor” player. When Mallon finished writing, Dean was the bit player and Mrs. L was a major figure.

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Amnesty International calls Afghan refugee situation 'hidden but horrific' crisis

February 29, 2012 | By Peter Hickman |

Half a million Afghans displaced by war and struggling to survive in makeshift shelters have been let down by their government and international donors "that look the other way", according to a report released by Amnesty International at a February 24 Newsmaker.

T. Kumar, director for international advocacy for Amnesty International USA, said the Afghan government estimates that more than 40 people have frozen to deaths in camps across the country. He said at least 28 of these were children.

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ACLU and Heritage Foundation speakers clash over voter identification laws

February 23, 2012 | By Lorna Aldrich |

Laura Murphy of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation clashed repeatedly over the effects of state laws that require voters to show government-issued photo identification at a Feb. 23 National Press Club Newsmakers news conference.

The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that 15 states now require voters to show photo IDs before voting. In 2012, 31 states have legislation pending that would add or strengthen voter-ID laws, according to the state legislatures conference.

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Eleanor Herman debuts her biography of 'King Peggy' at the National Press Club

February 23, 2012 | By Jan King |

The National Press Club experienced a unique treat on Feb. 22nd, with the world debut of best-selling author, Eleanor Herman's King Peggy at a NPC Book Rap and a fascinating talk given by the King, herself.

Peggielene Bartels, the Ghanian Embassy secretary who was enstooled in 2008 as "King Peggy" of Otuam, Ghana, was impressively drummed into the ballroom accompanied by 10 African kings.

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Danica Patrick tells NPC many can win Daytona 500, promises 'her best' in debut

February 21, 2012 | By William Miller |

Danica Patrick, America’s auto racing sweetheart, warned a National Press Club luncheon audience Feb. 21 not to “set expectations too high” as she prepares for her first appearance in the Daytona 500 stock car race Feb. 26 and debut in NASCAR’s top-level Sprint Cup series.

Patrick, the 5 ft., 2 in., 100 lb., driver, who parlayed her record as the most successful woman in the open-wheel IndyCar circuit into fame as a model and corporate spokeswoman, made clear that she is out to win.

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