National Press Club

AID Administrator Calls Haiti Earthquake Source of Learning, Guide to Reform

June 18, 2010 | By Lorna Aldrich |

Rajiv Shah, administrator of the Agency for International Development, cited the earthquake in Haiti as a source of learning and a guide to shaping reform in the agency during a June 18 Luncheon.

The first example from Haiti that he listed was purchasing food locally so it was available immediately. He also said that vaccinating more than a million people prevented a major outbreak of disease.

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Andrew Young: 'Trying to Make Sense of the World'

June 17, 2010 | By Joseph Luchok |

“Mutual frustration led us to this book,” said Andrew Young. “I am trying to make sense of the world I live in.”

The former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. and mayor of Atlanta and his godson, Kabir Sehgal, were at the Club on June 16 to talk about and sign their new book, “Walk in My Shoes: Conversations Between a Civil Rights Legend and His Godson on the Journey Ahead.”

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Latvia 'On Way Back' to Financial Recovery, Official Says

June 16, 2010 | By Peter Hickman |

Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis of Latvia told a June 16 Newsmaker that his country is "well on its way back" to financial stability thanks to structural changes, internal devaluation and other economic reforms it has made.

The Baltic countries were all among the hardest hit by the financial crisis. In Latvia, the number of unemployed has more than tripled since the crisis, giving it the highest rate of unemployment growth in the European Union.

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Please Welcome 34 New Members

June 16, 2010 | By Myron Belkind |

Please Welcome 34 New Members

The Board of Governors approved 34 member applications June 14:

Frank Bass - Bloomberg News enterprise reporter; Sarah Cohen - Duke University, Knight Professor of Journalism & Public Policy; Jill Dougherty – CNN foreign affairs editor; Joyce Frieden - MedPage Today news editor; Nadar Gohar - Cairo News Co. chief editor

Active Reinstate
Dee Ann Divis - Washington Examiner assistant managing editor

Active Non-Resident
Ananda Mitra - Wake Forest University professor of communication; Heyecan N. Veziroglu – freelance journalist

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Habeus Corpus Rights Working at Guantanamo, Retired Judges Say

June 15, 2010 | By Tejinder Singh |

The process of habeas corpus -- the legal procedure that allows prisoners to petition a court to determine whether they are being properly held -- is working in the cases of detainees held at Guantanamo, according to a report from 16 retired judges that was discussed at the National Press Club June 10.

Former FBI director William S. Sessions, a retired judge, and attorney Douglas K. Spaulding, who represents several Guantanamo detainees, spoke at Newsmaker press conference.

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ProPublica CEO Cites Success in Donor-Funded Reporting

June 15, 2010 | By Andrew Kreig |

Paul Steiger, the editor-in-chief of ProPublica and chairman of the Committee to Protect Journalists, said a new model of collaboration can help sustain investigative journalism.

At a Jun 15 Luncheon, Steiger quoted skepticism about ProPublica concept when it began operation in 2008. But “I’m delighted that this model has already been embraced” both by traditional news organizations partnering to publish ProPublica investigations and by new non-profits undertaking similar investigative work.

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President Bjerga on Cover of Concordia College Alumni Magazine

June 15, 2010

NPC President Alan Bjerga is profiled in a cover story in the summer edition of Concordia Magazine, the alumni publication of Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. Bjerga graduated from Concordia, a private Lutheran college with an enrollment of about 3,000 studens, with degrees in history and English literature in 1995.

The multi-page story takes readers through a day with Bjerga and discusses aspects of his educational experience and how it prepared him for the life of a reporter for Bloomberg News and NPC president.

The full story can be found here:

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Fred Thompson: 'Prone to Go on to the Next Venture'

June 15, 2010 | By Frank Kane |

Fred Thompson says he owes his varied accomplishments in life to experiences in his youth and being “always prone to go on to the next venture.”

The former Tennessee senator, staff lawyer for Republican members of the congressional Watergate committee and actor discussed and signed his new book, “Teaching the Pig to Dance” at the Club on June 14.

The book is a memoir of growing up in the rural community of Lawrenceburg, Tenn., and how his family and associations there helped shape his future and his character.

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Ocean Experts Say Gulf Spill Should Have Been Anticipated

June 11, 2010 | By Peter Hickman |

Robert Twilley, professor of oceanography and coastal science and head of the Coastal Emergency Response Group at Lousiana State University, told a June 8 Newsmaker that "there is going to be a huge discussion" about why the possibility of an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was not anticipated and planned for.

More research on the possibility of such a spill should have been done "so we would have been better prepared to handle it," Twilley said, noting that previous concerns "were justified."

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Actress Ashley Judd Demands End to Mountain-Top, Strip Mining

June 9, 2010 | By Bob Webb |

Actress Ashely Judd branded mountain-top mining with "the rape of Appalachia" in a June 9 Luncheon speech calling for a national effort to halt it.

"Mountain-top mining would never happen in other mountains in the United States," she said, citing the Rockies as an example of where it would never occur.

Judd said she is proud to be a "hillbilly" from eastern Kentucky. She is also a graduate of the University of Kentucky and an alumna of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

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