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
6:58 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Coming Monday: A Daily Dose Of 'Book News'

NPR

For some months now, many of us at NPR have been enjoying a daily email from our friends here who report about books and the publishing industry. It's a tip sheet with news, and a bit of attitude.

Eyder and several others started saying "hey, we ought to publish this."

So, The Two-Way will.

Annalisa Quinn, who's been writing the notes, sends along this mission statement and a little bit about herself:

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The Two-Way
9:28 am
Fri February 1, 2013

3 Things To Say At A Super Bowl Party

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Joe Skipper Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 7:02 pm

If you're invited to a Super Bowl party and aren't quite up to speed about Sunday's big game, join the club. This blogger's a Buffalo Bills fan and tries to kind of tune out around this time of the season because, after all, it brings back some painful memories.

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Obama Administration Issues Proposal On Birth Control Coverage

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 8:40 am

(The top of this post and our headline was updated at 1:35 p.m. ET.)

"The Obama administration on Friday proposed a work-around for religious nonprofits that object to providing health insurance that covers birth control," The Associated Press reports.

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The Two-Way
3:38 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Unemployment Rate Ticked Up In January; 157,000 Jobs Added

Job seekers came to the ThistleDown Racino and Horseshoe Casino in Warrensvile Hts., Ohio, last month.
Chuck Crow The Plain Dealer /Landov

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 5:47 am

(We updated the top of this post at 10:15 a.m. ET.)

The U.S. economy produced several hundred thousand more jobs than previously thought in 2011 and 2012 even as the nation's jobless rate remained stuck at a relatively high level, new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show.

While BLS said the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9 percent in January from 7.8 percent the month before, it also reported that:

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The Two-Way
3:14 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Alabama Hostage Standoff Continues

Thursday night in Midland City, Ala., there was a candlelight vigil for bus driver Charles Poland, who was killed Tuesday before a gunman snatched a 5-year-old boy — who is being held captive in an underground bunker.
Philip Sears Reuters /Landov

The standoff continues this morning in Midland City, Ala., where a 5-year-old boy has been held captive in an underground bunker since Tuesday, when a gunman abducted him from a school bus after killing the driver.

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The Two-Way
2:46 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Death Toll Rising In Mexico; At Least 25 Dead After Explosion, Dozens Hurt

Rescue workers are searching the debris in Mexico City, where an explosion Thursday rocked the headquarters of the state-owned oil company, Pemex.
Yuri Cortez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 6:49 am

Authorities in Mexico City said Friday morning that at least 32 people had been killed and another 120 or so injured by the explosion Thursday afternoon at the headquarters of Pemex, Mexico's state-owned oil company.

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The Two-Way
2:19 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Developing: Explosion Outside U.S. Embassy In Turkey

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 10:11 am

There was an explosion Friday at an entrance to the U.S. embassy in Ankara, Turkey, and within hours American officials were calling it a "terrorist attack."

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The Two-Way
2:04 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Ed Koch, Flamboyant Former New York City Mayor, Dies

New York City Mayor Edward Koch in February 1980.
CBS /Landov

Ed Koch, the colorful three-term mayor who led New York City through its financial crisis in the '70s, has died.

George Arzt, a spokesman for the former mayor, tells NPR's Joel Rose that Koch died of congestive heart failure around 2 a.m. ET Friday. The former mayor was 88.

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The Two-Way
8:52 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Has Obama Done Some Skeet Shooting? Fox News Says Yes

Julian Finney Getty Images

The Washington Post's Fact Checker takes on the subject of whether President Obama was shooting straight when he told The New Republic that he has fired a gun and that "we do skeet shooting all the time" at Camp David.

And what does Fact Checker conclude?

"Verdict Pending."

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The Two-Way
5:51 am
Thu January 31, 2013

In Alabama, Hostage Standoff Continues; Child Thought To Be Unharmed

Law enforcement personnel near the scene of the standoff in Midland City, Ala., where a man is said to be holding a 5-year-old boy hostage in an underground bunker after killing a school bus driver.
Philip Sears Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 3:17 am

The scary situation remains unchanged in southeast Alabama, where authorities say a man shot and killed a school bus driver on Tuesday and then took a 5-year-old boy to an underground bunker.

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The Two-Way
5:43 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Hagel: 'No One Individual Vote, Quote Or Statement Defines Me'

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., during his Senate nomination hearing earlier today.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 7:53 am

(Scroll down for updates.)

Responding to those who have questioned his views on Israel, Iran and defense spending, former Sen. Chuck Hagel said Thursday at the opening of a Senate hearing on his nomination to be secretary of defense that:

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The Two-Way
4:53 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Shooting Death Of Chicago Teen Ignites Outrage, Enters National Gun Debate

Hadiya Pendleton.
Courtesy of Pendleton family via the Chicago Tribune MCT /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 5:50 am

Hadiya Pendleton's shooting death Tuesday in a park just a mile from President Obama's home in Chicago has generated outrage "from City Hall to the White House" and is now part of the "national debate over guns and crime," The Chicago Tribune writes.

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The Two-Way
3:51 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Growth In Incomes, Spending Slowed In 2012; Jobless Claims Jumped Last Week

Consumer spending rose in 2012, but not by as much as the year before. In December, these shoppers were out and about in Glendale, Calif.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Americans' personal incomes grew by 3.5 percent in 2012, compared with 5.1 percent growth the year before, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. And it says consumer spending rose 3.6 percent last year, vs. 5 percent in 2011.

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The Two-Way
3:09 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Hack Attack On 'New York Times' Looks Like Part Of Chinese Campaign

Ramin Talaie Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 11:57 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Renee Montagne speaks with reporter Nicole Perlroth

This news ...

"For the last four months, Chinese hackers have persistently attacked The New York Times, infiltrating its computer systems and getting passwords for its reporters and other employees."

... appears to be "part of a broader campaign against American media reporting on Chinese leaders," NPR's Louisa Lim reports from Beijing.

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The Two-Way
2:32 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Iran, Israel, Defense Cuts To Be Key Topics At Hagel Hearing

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., who has been nominated to be the next secretary of defense.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 7:52 am

What's shaping up to be one of the more contentious nomination hearings for one of President Obama's cabinet choices is set to open at 9:30 a.m. ET when members of the Senate Committee on Armed Services get their chance to publicly grill former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., who has been tapped for the post of defense secretary.

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The Two-Way
4:08 am
Wed January 30, 2013

192,000 Jobs Added To Payrolls This Month, Report Signals

Looking for work: In Birmingham, Ala., last summer, Jessica McQueen (left) and Ashley Abramson were among those filling out applications at a jobs fair.
Joe Songer Birmingham News /Landov

After bad news about late 2012 — that the U.S. economy shrank a bit in the fourth quarter — there's modestly good news about early 2013:

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The Two-Way
3:48 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Economy Shrank At 0.1 Percent Annual Rate In Fourth Quarter

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 4:11 am

The U.S. economy shrank at a 0.1 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports, its first quarterly contraction since the second quarter of 2009.

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The Two-Way
3:15 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Report: Your Salary Data May Be For Sale

Fill out an application for a loan, and your wage history may go places you didn't expect.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 1:42 pm

If you've earned a paycheck in recent years, you'll probably want want to know about this:

The Equifax credit reporting agency, NBC News reports, has collected 190 million employment and salary records on about one-third of U.S. adults and has sold some of the information "to debt collectors, financial service companies and other entities."

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The Two-Way
2:30 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Giffords: 'We Must Do Something!' About Gun Violence

Former Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz., and her husband Mark Kelly at Wednesday's Senate hearing about gun violence.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 8:57 am

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The Two-Way
8:53 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Those 'Hygienic' Toilet Seats At O'Hare May Not Be So Clean

A concourse at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

If you have to go while at Chicago's O'Hare Airport, then you need to know this:

"Motorized 'hygienic seats' that a controversial new janitorial contractor installed recently at O'Hare Airport are not very hygienic after all," the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

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The Two-Way
6:09 am
Tue January 29, 2013

VIDEO: Newtown Parent, Gun Owners Disagree On Weapons Ban

Neil Heslin brought a framed photo of himself and his son Jesse (when the boy was an infant) to Monday's hearing in Hartford, Conn. The 6-year-old was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December's shooting.
Cloe Poisson/Hartford Courant MCT /Landov

Some websites are saying that Neil Heslin was "heckled by pro-gun activists" Monday during a public hearing in Hartford, Conn., when he made the case that assault-style weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines need to be banned.

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The Two-Way
5:34 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Kerry Gets Committee's Backing For State; LaHood Leaving Transportation

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., at his confirmation hearing last week.
Zhang Jun Xinhua /Landov

No big surprises in these bits of news about President Obama's cabinet:

-- The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as expected, this morning approved the nomination of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to be the next secretary of state. Kerry, the committee's chairman, is set to replace Secretary Hillary Clinton after he gets the approval of the full Senate, which also is expected.

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The Two-Way
5:19 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Consumer Confidence Drops; All Of 2012's Gains Gone

Though there have been other signs to indicate that the economy is on the upswing, many Americans aren't feeling all that good about how things are going.

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The Two-Way
5:17 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Home Prices Continue To Rise; Housing Is Now Economic 'Bright Spot'

A sign of the times in Boca Raton, Fla. (November 2012 file photo.)
Joe Raedle Getty Images

There's more good news about the housing market this morning.

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The Two-Way
4:46 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Reports: Dozens Of Bodies Found In Syria; Young Men Apparently Executed

CIA World Factbook

Activists and rebels in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo are reporting today that "the bodies of dozens of young men, all apparently summarily executed" have been found in and around the Quwaiq River, the BBC writes.

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The Two-Way
3:26 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Obama Says He Enjoys Skeet Shooting; Doubtful Lawmaker Challenges Him

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., who thinks she's a better shot than the president.
Roger L. Wollenberg UPI /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 7:09 am

One short exchange in a long New Republic interview of President Obama has gotten much attention:

New Republic: "Have you ever fired a gun?

Obama: "Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time."

The president went on to say he has "a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations."

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The Two-Way
2:35 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Obama: Immigration Debate Not Just Policy, 'It's About People'

A U.S. Border Patrol Agent in September 2011, along the Mexico-Arizona border.
Joshua Lott Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 10:35 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': Mara Liasson reports
  • On 'Morning Edition': Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.

Update at 3:06 p.m. ET. 'Now Is The Time':

Talking to an audience in Las Vegas, an upbeat President Obama said that "now is the time" for "common sense comprehensive immigration reform."

While Obama echoed the pillars of immigration reform presented by a bipartisan group of senators on Monday, he also made an emotional plea for reform.

"What makes somebody American," he said, "is not just blood or birth, but allegiance to our founding principles."

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The Two-Way
8:46 am
Mon January 28, 2013

After Driving Past GM In 2012, Toyota Poised To Boost Sales Further In 2013

Vehicles in the lot of a Northbrook, Ill., Toyota dealer last October.
Scott Olson Getty Images

After seeing its sales take a hit in 2011 because production was hurt by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan early that year, Toyota bounced back in 2012 to retake the No. 1 spot as the world's top automaker.

The company sold 9.75 million vehicles, to No. 2 General Motors' 9.3 million. Volkswagen was No. 3, with 9.1 million vehicles sold.

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The Two-Way
7:39 am
Mon January 28, 2013

VIDEO: Look Out! Car Suddenly Emerges From Foam On Highway

On Australia's "sunshine coast" over the weekend, storms whipped up sea foam. It was so thick it covered this car. Thankfully, as it emerged the people who had been watching were able to get out of the way.
YouTube.com

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 7:46 am

Weekend storms on Australia's "sunshine coast" whipped up sea foam that covered the beach and roads. And when we say covered, we're talking about deep stuff.

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The Two-Way
6:58 am
Mon January 28, 2013

After Rising To Pre-recession Levels, Stocks Pause; Will Bulls Resume Running?

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Almost as surely as the sun rises in the east, stories about the stock market hitting new highs are sure to be followed by declines in key indexes.

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