National Press Club

'Funaticals' deliver religious comedy, dispel stereotypes

April 18, 2011 | By Peter Hickman |

Stop us if you've heard this one.

An African-American convert to Islam, a Christian Egyptian woman, an Egyptian Muslim--all comedians--and three Afghan-American sisters go into the National Press Club on April 14 and...hold a Newsmaker. Seriously.

The first three are members of "FUNATICALS," a Middle Eastern/South Asian/Jewish/Christian comey group that was in Washington as part of its Taking Comedy to the Extreme's 'We Come in Peace' tour. The sisters are the founders of PlanetPix Media, prodcer of the Funaticals tour.

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British professor says Pakistan won't cease fight against terror

April 15, 2011 | By Robert Webb |

Despite all its internal distress, Pakistan will continue to help the United States and its Western allies fight terror, Anatol Lieven, professor in the War Studies Department of King's College, London, told an audience at the National Press Club on April 14 in an event sponsored by the International Correspondents Committee.

He said it would be a terrible blow to Pakistan, no matter what it thinks of the United States and its allies, to end its anti-terror partnership.

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Too soon to predict nuclear power’s future, Newsmakers panelist says

April 14, 2011 | By Heather Forsgren Weaver |

It is too soon to know what impact the Japanese crisis will have on the future of nuclear power, former Rep. Phil Sharp, D-Ind., told a National Press Club Newsmakers audience April 14.

“I would be very reluctant to think that some action in Congress is going to make it or break it, some action in Japan is going to make it or break it,” said Sharp, who participated in a forum.

“I think we are a bit premature to either write this off or to believe it is going to move forward,” said Sharp, who is now president of Resources for the Future, a policy think tank.

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Massachusetts Gov. Patrick stresses character, not politics

April 14, 2011 | By Frank Kane |

Gov. Deval Patrick chose to discuss character development rather than politics before his National Press Club book event audience April 13 because “I’m not running for anything,” he said.

The Massachusetts Democrat, introduced by Bea Snyder of the Book and Author Committee, was here to promote and sign copies of his memoir, “A Reason to Believe: Lessons from an Improbable Life.”

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Partisanship reigned in Civil War coverage

April 12, 2011 | By Heather Forsgren Weaver |

Imagine someone serving as the chairman of a national political party, the chairman of the committee to reelect the president and also the editor of the New York Times. This is not fiction but history, Harold Holzer told a National Press Club audience April 11.

Holzer is the editor of The Complete New York Times Civil War 1861-1865, which was released late last year, and Lincoln on War: Our Greatest Commander in Chief Speaks on War that went on sale April 12 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle at Fort Sumter, S.C.

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School for disabled children will embolden Afghans, founder says

April 12, 2011 | By Keith Hill |

The state-of-the-art school that Operation Exceptional Child/Afghanistan plans to build for disabled children in that country will "embolden Afghans to stand up against insurgents," said Debbie Smith, founder of the organization that will undertake this mission.

Smith spoke at a April 11 Newsmaker event.

Smith is also executive director of PATHS (Parents and Teachers Helping Students), a 501(c)(3) organization that advocates on behalf of students with physical/cognitive disabilities.

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IRS Chief: Taxes still due April 18, even if government shuts down

April 6, 2011 | By Bill Miller |

Even if Congressional negotiators fail to break their fiscal 2011 federal budget impasse in time to avoid a potential government shutdown, Americans still will be responsible for filing their federal income tax returns by the April 18 deadline, the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service said at a National Press Club luncheon on April 6.

"The most important thing I can communicate is: ‘File your tax return,'" IRS chief Douglas Shulman told the audience three days before much of the government could shutter.

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Labor leader predicts government shutdown

April 6, 2011 | By Lisa Gillespie |

A national labor leader predicted that the government will shutdown at the end of the week at an April 5 Newsmaker.

John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, and a 25-year veteran of the labor movement, said shuttering the government could be a good thing.

"If it takes a government shutdown for a serious discussion, maybe that’s what needs to happen," he said.

He also accused certain members of Congress of imposing their beliefs on targeted government agencies.

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Jim Lehrer of PBS wins 2011 Fourth Estate Award

April 4, 2011 | By Jerry Zremski |

Jim Lehrer, who has set a standard of broadcast excellence at PBS for more than 35 years, has been selected as the winner of the National Press Club’s 2011 Fourth Estate Award, the highest honor presented by the world’s leading professional organization for journalists.

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Hospital executive says academic medical centers contribute breakthroughs

April 4, 2011 | By Kimberly Mikec |

Academic medical centers have produced breakthroughs in medicine but could be threatened by the health care reform law, Dr. Herbert Pardes, president and chief exeuctive of New York-Presbyterian Hospital, said at a March 31 Newsmaker.

The centers are the “jewels in the crown of American medicine,” he said, referring to a quote by the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan. They “reach profoundly into the lives of millions of people, with lifesaving treatments.”

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