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
1:34 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

59.2 Million Tuned In To Monday's Debate, Smallest Of The Audiences

Watch the wash or watch the debate? This woman was at a laundromat in Manhattan during Monday's debate.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 8:52 am

An estimated 59.2 million people tuned in Monday night to watch President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in their third and final debate before the Nov. 6 election, The Nielsen Company reports.

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The Two-Way
11:03 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Update: USAID Says Figures On Flood Aid In Pakistan Misinterpreted

Aug. 28: A flooded road in Peshawar, Pakistan.
Umar Qayyum Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 1:11 pm

Update at 6 p.m. ET:

Our original headline on this post was "U.S. Pledges Exceed Pakistan's Spending On Its Own Flood Relief." As we reported, the Christian Science Monitor has looked into the details of a Congressional Research Service report and concluded that U.S. aid to Pakistan for flood relief exceeded that country's own spending.

But Ben Edwards, a spokesman at the U.S. Agency for International Development, tells us in an email that:

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The Two-Way
10:04 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Court Lays Bare Strip Club's Argument That Lap Dances Are Art

In New York State, she's not an artist.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

No, the Nite Moves strip club in Latham, N.Y., can't claim that lap dances, pole performances and other moves in its ladies' repertoire are "art" and therefore exempt from sales taxes, New York State's highest court ruled today in a 4-3 decision.

According to The Associated Press:

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The Two-Way
9:09 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Photo Of Dying WWII Veteran Casting Last Vote Inspires Thousands

Oct. 17: Frank Tanabe, center, casts his vote with help from his daughter Barbara Tanabe, left, and his wife Setsuko Tanabe.
Irene Tanabe AP

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 6:12 am

See if you agree with most of the nearly 600,000 people who have seen this photo and think it should inspire others to vote this year.

As The Associated Press writes, it shows 93-year-old World War II veteran Frank Tanabe casting what's almost surely to be his last vote — from a hospice bed in Hawaii. He has liver cancer.

This message was posted with the photo:

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The Two-Way
7:57 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Armstrong Deletes Tour Titles From Twitter, But Not Other Websites

Lance Armstrong at a LIVESTRONG Challenge Ride on Sunday in Austin, Texas.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

One day after having his seven Tour de France titles officially taken away and getting banned for life from competitive cycling, Lance Armstrong's getting some media attention for removing a reference to those victories from his Twitter bio.

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It's All Politics
7:15 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Facts Got Bent Again In Last Debate

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 5:55 am

Fact checkers got a shout out Monday night from President Obama when he declared that Republican challenger Mitt Romney had repeated "the biggest whopper that's been told during the course of this campaign."

"Every fact checker and every reporter who's looked at it, governor, has said this is not true," the president pointed out — correctly — during Monday's debate after Romney charged that Obama went on an "apology tour" during his first year in office.

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It's All Politics
2:30 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

In Final Debate: Some Sparks, But Also Points Of Agreement

President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at tonight's debate in Boca Raton, Fla.
Rick Wilking/Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 7:14 pm

  • Listen To The Debate
  • Listen To NPR's Analysis Of The Debate

Foreign policy proved to be a subject that kept the tone mostly substantive tonight in the third and final debate between President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney before the Nov. 6 election.

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The Two-Way
1:54 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Arlington Cemetery's Gravesites Now Searchable Online

Headstones in Arlington National Cemetery last March. The new online database should make it easier to find specific graves.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 5:42 pm

Arlington National Cemetery, which has come under intense criticism in recent years because of unmarked graves, misplaced records and mishandling of some veterans' cremated remains, today launched an online database (and apps) that it hopes will allow "family members and the public to find gravesites and explore Arlington's rich history."

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The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Great Caesar's Ghost! Clark Kent Quits 'Daily Planet'

Back in the day, Clark and Lois were news hounds. Would they be bloggers today? (George Reeves and Noel Neill, from the television series Adventures of Superman, circa 1955)
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 12:53 pm

Another reporter has quit the mainstream news business because he thinks there's too much emphasis on entertainment rather than old-fashioned reporting:

"In Superman issue 13, the Man of Steel's alter ego, mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent, quits the Metropolis newspaper that has been his employer since the DC Comics superhero's earliest days in 1940," USA Today says.

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It's All Politics
11:32 am
Mon October 22, 2012

One More Time: Here's Where To Get Debate 'Fact Checks'

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 1:06 pm

While President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney are debating tonight in Boca Raton, Fla., the fact checkers at news outlets and independent organizations will again be busy.

So for those who want to know where to go for their truth squadding:

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The Two-Way
10:43 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Oldest Auschwitz Survivor, A Teacher Who Defied Nazis, Dies At 108

Antoni Dobrowolski during a 2009 interview.
TVB24

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 5:57 am

Antoni Dobrowolski, who was put in the Auschwitz concentration camp because he defied Nazi orders not to teach young Poles, has died. He was 108 and was the oldest known survivor of that World War II Nazi death camp.

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The Two-Way
8:11 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Saying Moderator Is Prettier Than CNN's Crowley Gets Candidate In Trouble

Democrat Richard Carmona, who is running for the Senate from Arizona.
Ross Franklin ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 10:11 am

As Republican Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois was courting controversy last night by saying during a debate that the "health of the mother" isn't a reason for an abortion anymore, out in Arizona a Democratic candidate for Senate was stepping in it by telling a male debate moderator that "you're prettier" than CNN's Candy Crowley.

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The Two-Way
6:07 am
Fri October 19, 2012

What The ...? Tom Hanks Drops 'F-Bomb' On 'Good Morning America'

TMZ.com was on the story quickly.
TMZ.com

If we were asked to list actors who would be likely to slip up and drop the "f-bomb" on live, national TV, we don't think Tom Hanks would have come to mind.

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The Two-Way
5:19 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Sales Of Existing Homes Dipped In September, But Prices Rose

A "sold" sign in San Francisco in August.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

There was a 1.7 percent drop in sales of existing homes in September from August, the National Association of Realtors says.

But the median selling price compared to one year earlier was up for the seventh month in a row, leading NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun to say "we're experiencing a genuine recovery."

According to NAR:

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The Two-Way
3:56 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Suspect In Libya Attack Denies Involvement, Is Living In Open

Sept. 11: The U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was aflame after coming under attack.
AFP/Getty Images

Not only is Ahmed Abu Khattala saying he wasn't part of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, but the man who witnesses and officials have said was "a ringleader" that night is living openly and "scoffing at the threats coming from the American and Libyan governments," The New York Times reports.

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The Two-Way
3:05 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Obama, Romney Trade Jokes; Critics Aim At Obama's 'Optimal' Comment

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney (left) and President Obama at the 67th Al Smith Dinner in New York City Thursday night.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images
  • Scott Horsley on the NPR Newscast

President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, as predicted, took on the challenge of being funny last night at the annual Al Smith Dinner in New York City — which as we said Thursday has become a quadrennial must-stop on the campaign trail for those seeking the White House.

As NPR's Scott Horsley reports, they "added a laugh track to their campaigns."

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The Two-Way
2:16 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Malala Stood For First Time Since Being Shot By Taliban, Doctors Say

Demonstrators in Islamabad at a protest earlier this week about Malala Yousafzai's shooting.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 4:20 am

  • Larry Miller reporting

Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani girl who spoke out against the Taliban and was shot in the head by one of its gunman for her bravery, "has stood for the first time since her attack," ITV News, The Associated Press and other news outlets are reporting.

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The Two-Way
10:05 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Google's Stock Drops After Premature Release; 'PendingLarry' Goes Viral

Google CEO Larry Page. What's he going to say now?
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Oops.

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The Two-Way
9:48 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Second Federal Court Strikes Down Defense Of Marriage Act

Edith Windsor, whose case led to an appeals court striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 12:57 pm

The Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because it discriminates against same-sex couples, a second federal appeals court has ruled.

NPR's Joel Rose reports that it took the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York less than a month to come to its decision. As he tells our Newscast Desk:

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The Two-Way
7:39 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Winter Outlook: Above Normal Temps In West; Below In Southeast

Jan. 21, 2012: A winter scene in Brooklyn, N.Y. Snow may be a relatively rare sight this coming winter in the U.S.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 9:12 am

Here are some of the details from the winter weather forecast released this morning by the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center:

-- There are "enhanced chances for above normal temperatures across most of the western half of the lower 48 states."

-- The Florida peninsula is likely to experience "below-normal temperatures."

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The Two-Way
7:21 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Mississippi Queen: My Race Wasn't A Factor In Homecoming Title

University of Mississippi Homecoming Queen Courtney Pearson, as she was escorted on to the football field last Saturday by her father, Cmdr. Kerry Pearson.
Robert Jordan UM Communications
  • Michel Martin talks with Courtney Pearson

Courtney Pearson just became the first African-American woman to be elected homecoming queen at the University of Mississippi.

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The Two-Way
4:50 am
Thu October 18, 2012

For One Night, Obama And Romney Will Trade Jokes, Not Jabs

Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (left) and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner on Oct. 16, 2008. At center is Bishop Edward Michael Cardinal Egan.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

After sharp words on the debate stage Tuesday and after weeks of tough talk about each other on the campaign trail, President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney face a different kind of challenge tonight:

They have to be funny about each other and about themselves.

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The Two-Way
3:48 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Jobless Claims Take Sharp Jump: Rose By 46,000 Last Week

The number of first-time claims for jobless benefits rose by 46,000 last week, to 388,000, the Employment and Training Administration says.

The previous week's total — 342,000 — was the fewest since early 2008. The increase last week put claims back into the range where they've been stuck for a year, between 350,000 and 400,000.

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The Two-Way
3:06 am
Thu October 18, 2012

'Newsweek' Kills Its Print Edition

Say goodbye.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 3:40 am

Saying that "we have reached a tipping point at which we can most efficiently and effectively reach our readers in all-digital format," editor Tina Brown announced this morning that Newsweek's Dec. 31 issue will be its last print edition.

Going forward, she said:

"Newsweek will expand its rapidly growing tablet and online presence, as well as its successful global partnerships and events business.

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The Two-Way
2:42 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Tough Times, Even Higher Debts For College Graduates

How bright is their future? Students at Barnard College's graduation ceremony last May.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Two-thirds of American college graduates left school last year with student loan debt hanging over their heads and the average amount they owed was $26,600, up 5 percent from the previous year. They also walked into a "tough job market" that was only marginally more friendly than in 2010, according to a report released today by the Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS).

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The Two-Way
2:18 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Week After Latest Death Rumors, Cubans Get Letter From Fidel Castro

Former Cuban President Fidel Castro in March, when Pope Benedict XVI visited Havana.
L'Osservatore Romano Vatican-pool Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 2:19 am

One week after the latest rumors of his death, former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has emerged — sort of — in a letter he's said to have written.

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The Two-Way
2:07 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Politics Might Be In Her Future, Chelsea Clinton Hints

Chelsea Clinton in September at her father's Clinton Global Initiative in New York City.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Though she's dipped her toe into the world of TV journalism, we don't hear a lot from Chelsea Clinton about whether she might one day get into the family business.

But now the BBC has posted an interview in which the daughter of former President Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton doesn't rule out getting into politics herself.

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The Two-Way
12:41 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Billy Graham's Website Stops Saying Directly That Mormons Are In A 'Cult'

Oct. 11: Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney visited the Rev. Billy Graham at the evangelist's home in Montreat, N.C.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Just days after Rev. Billy Graham endorsed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's bid for the White House, the website of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has stopped overtly listing the candidate's religion among what it says are "cults."

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The Two-Way
11:36 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Guilty Plea In Plot To Murder Saudi Ambassador

Manssor Arbabsiar (front, right) in court last October.
Shirley Shepard AFP/Getty Images

Manssor Arbabsiar, an Iranian-born naturalized American citizen, has pleaded guilty to conspiring with Iranian military officials in a plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States, the Justice Department says.

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The Two-Way
11:05 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Man Arrested For Allegedly Trying To Bomb N.Y. Federal Reserve

A cornerstone at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in Manhattan.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 12:50 pm

"Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, was arrested this morning in downtown Manhattan after he allegedly attempted to detonate what he believed to be a 1,000-pound bomb at the New York Federal Reserve Bank on Liberty Street in lower Manhattan's financial district," the FBI confirms an email just sent to reporters.

It adds that:

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