Mark Memmott

Mark Memmott is one of the hosts of NPR's "The Two-Way" news blog.

"The Two-Way," which Memmott helped to launched when he came to NPR in 2009, focuses on breaking news, analysis, and the most compelling stories being reported by NPR News and other news media.

Before joining NPR, Memmott worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor at USA Today. He focused on a range of coverage from politics, foreign affairs, economics, and the media. He's reported from places across the Unites States and the world, including half a dozen trips to Afghanistan in 2002-2003.

During his time at USA Today, Memmott, helped launch and lead three USAToday.com news blogs: "On Deadline," "The Oval" and "On Politics," the site's 2008 presidential campaign blog.

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The Two-Way
3:17 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Obama 'Sped Up Wave Of Cyberattacks Against Iran,' Says 'NYT'

This morning's talker:

"From his first months in office, President Obama secretly ordered increasingly sophisticated attacks on the computer systems that run Iran's main nuclear enrichment facilities, significantly expanding America's first sustained use of cyberweapons, according to participants in the program," The New York Times reports.

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The Two-Way
2:57 am
Fri June 1, 2012

'Hero' Of Seattle Shootings: 'I Just Threw The Frigging Stool' At Gunman

Left to right: Karen Eides, Tim Torres and David Gordon embrace as they kneel in front of a makeshift memorial outside the cafe in Seattle where a gunman killed four people.
Stephen Brashear Getty Images

Lawrence Adams doesn't want to be called a hero, but many in Seattle are saying that's just what he is.

As The Seattle Times reports this morning, police believe Adams saved the lives of at least three people on Wednesday when he picked up a stool at a cafe and threw it at a gunman who killed four people there. Adams' action distracted the gunman, identified as Ian Stawicki, and allowed Adams and some others to escape.

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The Two-Way
2:09 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Did Jobs Grow Fast Enough In May? Probably Not

Hoping for work: Job seekrs lined up Thursday at a job fair in Los Angeles.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 3:35 am

Breaking news at 8:34 a.m. ET: "Unemployment Rate 8.2 Percent In May As Just 69,000 Jobs Added

Our original post:

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The Two-Way
9:31 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Wal-Mart Pulls Out Of Group That Advocates 'Stand Your Ground' Laws

Selina Gray of Sanford, Fla., at a protest there on March 31.
Julie Fletcher AP

Wal-Mart has joined the list of major corporations withdrawing their support from a conservative political group that advocates the "Stand Your Ground" laws that came under intense focus after the Trayvon Martin killing became a national story.

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The Two-Way
8:39 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Russia Is 'Propping Up' The Assad Regime, Secretary Clinton Says

By resisting efforts at the United Nations to bring concerted pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad to end the killing in his country, Russia is "in effect, propping up the [Assad] regime at a time when we should be working on a political transition," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said earlier today in Copenhagen.

Clinton also told an audience that Russia's implicit support for Assad could "help contribute to a civil war" in Syria, The Associated Press reports.

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The Two-Way
8:39 am
Thu May 31, 2012

President Obama Hosts President Bush For Unveiling Of Official Portraits

Meetings of current, former and future presidents are uncommon, and this one, on Jan. 7, 2009, was a once-in-28-years affair. From left, George H.W. Bush joins then-President-elect Obama, then-President George W. Bush and fellow former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter for lunch. It was the first time since 1981 that all living presidents had been together at the White House.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 12:06 pm

In a rare moment of harmony in Washington, President Obama hosted former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush for the unveiling of the couple's official portraits.

It's a tradition that dates back to 1800, when the White House acquired its first work of art: a full-length portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart.

During a ceremony in East Room of the White House, President Obama noted that fact saying that while Washington is constantly engulfed in partisan bickering, the "Presidency transcends those differences."

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Defense Of Marriage Act Is Unconstitutional, Federal Court Rules

"A federal appeals court Thursday declared that the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally denies federal benefits to married gay couples, a ruling all but certain to wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court," The Associated Press reports from Boston.

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The Two-Way
6:08 am
Thu May 31, 2012

What Tweets Do Politicians Delete? 'Politwoops' Can Tell You

Politwoops

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 7:01 am

Most of what they're catching isn't all that exciting, but the folks at the Sunlight Foundation have launched something that has the potential to expose elected officials and politicians as they try to hide embarrassing things that get on to their Twitter feeds.

Politwoops, Sunlight says, is "the only comprehensive collection of deleted tweets by U.S. politicians. From minor typos to major gaffes, Politwoops is now there to offer a searchable window into what they hoped you didn't see."

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Thu May 31, 2012

'We Could See This Coming,' Brother Says Of Man ID'd In Seattle Killings

This frame grab from a security camera, released by the Seattle Police Department, shows a man identified by his brother as Ian Stawicki after Wednesday's shooting at Cafe Racer.
Seattle Police Department AFP/Getty Images

The man who reportedly shot and killed five people Wednesday in Seattle, before taking his own life, changed about five years ago into a mentally ill individual who was "really angry toward everything," his brother tells The Seattle Times.

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The Two-Way
3:49 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Job Growth Slow, Jobless Claims Up, GDP Revised Down

The number of jobs on private employers' payrolls grew by a modest 133,000 positions from April to May, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.

ADP's monthly report is sometimes a decent barometer of what the Bureau of Labor Statistics will say when it issues its employment estimates. We're due to hear from BLS about the May employment situation on Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET.

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The Two-Way
3:14 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Youngest Speller Is Out Of The Bee; Tripped Up By 'Ingluvies'

Six-year old Lori Anne Madison during Wednesday's competition at the National Spelling Bee.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

The youngest contestant ever in the National Spelling Bee, 6-year-old Lori Anne Madison of Woodbridge, Va., was foiled by a word most of us have probably never heard of before.

Ingluvies.

Definition: "The crop, or craw, of birds."

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The Two-Way
2:11 am
Thu May 31, 2012

LIVE: SpaceX Capsule Heads Home

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 8:03 am

The Dragon capsule has successfully detached from the International Space Station and is headed toward a splashdown in the Pacific that should happen around 11:45 a.m. ET.

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The Two-Way
1:59 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Bloomberg Aims To Take Gulp Out Of Sugary Drinks With Ban On Big Ones

Bloomberg's got his sights on these.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 3:04 am

Having gone after smoking and artificial trans fats, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg now has his eye on big sugary drinks.

As NY1 reports, the mayor:

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Banned In Idaho, 'Five Wives' Vodka Says It Meant No Offense

Bottles of Ogden's Own Distillery Five Wives Vodka at a state liquor store in Salt Lake City.
Brian Skoloff AP

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 12:47 pm

They're "five wives who just like to get together and have a cocktail."

They're not meant to be a direct reference to polygamy and those kittens they're holding in their laps are ... just part of a photograph that's reflective of the 1890s to early 1900s.

For all anyone knows, they might be lesbians.

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The Two-Way
9:47 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Pakistani Court Did Not Connect Doctor's Conviction To Bin Laden Hunt

The Pakistani doctor who American officials say was recruited by the CIA to help in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and has since been sentenced to 33 years in prison, was convicted of having ties to a banned militant group, not for alleged treason.

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Wed May 30, 2012

'Bath Salts' Drug Suspected In Miami Face-Eating Attack

An undated booking mug made available by the Miami-Dade Police Dept., showing Rudy Eugene. He was shot and killed by Miami-Dade Police after he refused to stop eating another man's face.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 4:00 am

Note: As you may have guessed from the headline, there is disturbing content in this post. And scroll down for an update.

More is becoming known about one of the most horrific crimes we've heard about recently — the attack in Miami on Saturday during which a man was "biting off parts of another man's face."

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The Two-Way
5:55 am
Wed May 30, 2012

'I Could No Longer Bear Witness To Such Barbaric Crimes,' Syrian Says

Hazem Chehabi.
University of California Irvine Foundation

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 9:22 am

The man who has represented the interests of Syrians living in Southern California as honorary consul general there has resigned from the volunteer position because he "could no longer bear witness to such barbaric crimes" by the regime of President Bashar Assad.

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The Two-Way
5:06 am
Wed May 30, 2012

White House Offers Regrets For President Referring To 'Polish Death Camp'

The gates of the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz, Poland. (1965 file photo.)
Keystone Getty Images

President Obama misspoke Tuesday when he referred to a "Polish death camp" and "we regret the misstatement," White House national security spokesman Tommy Vietor has told reporters.

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The Two-Way
4:31 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Ex-Rutgers Student Offers First 'Clear Apology' For Spying On Roommate

Dharun Ravi in court on May 21.
Mel Evans AP

"I accept responsibility for and regret my thoughtless, insensitive, immature, stupid and childish choices" and apologize "to everyone affected by those choices." With those words, Dharun Ravi has offered what's being called his first "clear apology" for setting up a webcam to spy on his gay roommate in September 2010.

That spying shortly preceded roommate Tyler Clementi's suicide.

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The Two-Way
3:32 am
Wed May 30, 2012

WikiLeaks' Assange Has Two Weeks To Appeal Extradition Decision

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange last December.
Geoff Caddick AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 4:33 am

While Britain's Supreme Court today said that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can be extradited to Sweden to face accusations of sex assault, he was also given two weeks to appeal that ruling.

Assange's lawyer said that she needs that time to probe whether the court's decision was based in part on matters that weren't argued during the legal proceedings.

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The Two-Way
3:07 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Turkey Expels All Syrian Diplomatic Staff, 'Most Significant' Such Move So Far

Turkey announced today that it is ordering all Syrian diplomats and their staffs out of the country, as it joins other nations in registering outrage about a massacre over the weekend that has been blamed on forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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The Two-Way
2:37 am
Wed May 30, 2012

For The Record, Basically: It's Romney

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Tuesday in Las Vegas.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 7:05 am

  • Ari Shapiro, reporting on 'Morning Edition'

There hadn't been any doubt about it for several weeks, but with his win Tuesday in the Texas primary Mitt Romney has "clinched the Republican presidential nomination," according to The Associated Press.

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The Two-Way
2:10 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Liberia's Charles Taylor Sentenced To 50 Years For War Crimes

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor during his sentencing today in The Hague.
Toussaint Kluiters AFP/Getty Images

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for war crimes that the presiding judge on an international war crimes court says were of the "utmost gravity in terms of scale and brutality."

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The Two-Way
10:34 am
Tue May 29, 2012

A 'Macabre' Process: Nominating Terrorists To Nation's 'Kill List'

President Obama and John Brennan, his top counterterrorism adviser, in the Oval Office on Jan. 4, 2010. Brennan is a key voice about who gets put on the "kill list."
Pete Souza White House

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 3:45 pm

One of the day's most-discussed stories has to be The New York Times' report headlined "Secret 'Kill List' Proves A Test Of Obama's Principles And Will."

It's a long, detailed look at how the president has "placed himself at the helm of a top secret 'nominations' process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical."

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Tue May 29, 2012

No Way She'll Run For Senate In 2016, Michelle Obama Says

First lady Michelle Obama.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

The New York Times' Frank Bruni floated the idea, saying he'd heard "a vague murmuring" about Michelle Obama running for the Senate from Illinois in 2016.

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The Two-Way
7:31 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Wrigley The Goat Aims At Cubs' Curse; Xiao Sa The Dog Races Across China

Wrigley, the goat that is.
Facebook.com/CrackTheCurse

If a goat walks about 2,000 miles from Arizona to Chicago can that "reverse the curse" that has plagued the Cubs for nearly 67 years?

Odd as that question sounds, it's about to be put to the test.

Five Cubs fans and a goat have just finished a three-month walk from Mesa, Ariz., to the Windy City and are due at Wrigley Field this afternoon when the Cubs host the San Diego Padres.

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The Two-Way
5:54 am
Tue May 29, 2012

'Flame' Malware Said To Be Targeting Iran: Huge Deal Or Huge Hype?

An undated screen grab, released by the Kaspersky Lab, showing some of the programming behind Flame.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 10:44 am

Word from the antivirus experts at Kaspersky Lab that "we've found what might be the most sophisticated cyber weapon yet unleashed," and that this Flame spyware is targeting Iran and some places in the Middle East, is getting lots of attention this morning:

-- "Massive Cyber-Attack Discovered, Researchers Say." (BBC News)

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The Two-Way
5:16 am
Tue May 29, 2012

On Second Thought, Maybe Consumer Confidence Isn't That High

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 5:45 am

Last week, the researchers who put out the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers said their index rose in May to "its highest level since October 2007" — before the last recession began.

But when it comes to economics, there always seem to be an "on the other hand" moment coming — especially when the economy appears to be at a turning point.

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The Two-Way
4:21 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Home Prices Haven't 'Turned,' But Some Edged Up As Quarter Ended

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 4:41 am

Home prices slipped further in the first quarter, according to the widely watched S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. It reports that:

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