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
8:40 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Jobless Claims Drop, Inflation At 3 Percent, Housing Starts Cool

A trio of economic indicators were just released:

-- First-time claims for jobless benefits plunged by 50,000 last week from the week before, to 352,000, the Employment and Training Administration says. You have to go back to Spring 2008 to find a lower number. Reuters says the news signals "continued improvement in the labor market."

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The Two-Way
7:55 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Search Resumes At Stricken Italian Cruise Ship

Searchers climbing on to the Costa Concordia earlier today (Jan. 19, 2012).
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

"Rescue efforts have resumed aboard the wrecked Italian cruise ship, Costa Concordia, off the coast of Tuscany," the BBC reports. "Operations were suspended on Wednesday as the vessel shifted its position. More than 20 people are still missing."

The ship, with about 4,200 passengers and crew aboard, ran into rocks on Friday and listed over to its starboard side. Eleven people are confirmed dead.

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The Two-Way
7:25 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Kodak Calls Bankruptcy Filing 'Necessary Step'

Eastman Kodak Co.'s corporate headquarters in Rochester, N.Y.
Guy Solimano Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 7:36 am

"Running short of cash and unable to sell 1,100 digital imaging patents that could have rescued it," as Rochester's Democrat and Chronicle writes, Eastman Kodak Co. today took the long-expected but still painful step of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

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The Two-Way
6:55 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Iowa GOP Puts Santorum Ahead By 34 Votes, But Result 'Unresolved'

Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum (left) and Mitt Romney during a debate in South Carolina on Monday.
Charles Dharapa/pool Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 10:37 am

(This post was retopped with the latest news at 9:35 a.m ET.)

The first-in-the-nation Iowa Republican presidential caucuses produced no clear winner, the Iowa Republican Party has confirmed.

While its recanvassing of the nearly 1,774 precincts where ballots were cast on Jan. 3 has put former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum 34 votes ahead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — a reversal of what we thought were their finishes — the party says it can't definitively say who won because it can't find the results from eight of the precincts.

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The Two-Way
3:50 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Was One Skier's Underwear Too Slick?

Skier Tina Maze. She took her protest to the slopes in Italy, and to her Facebook page.
Tina Maze Official Fan Page

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 7:27 pm

When Slovene World Cup Alpine skier Tina Maze opened her racing suit Sunday to reveal her sports bra beneath to all those looking on in Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italy, it wasn't some kind of sexy strip show or joyous Brandi Chastain type of moment.

It was a protest.

Over a fuss being made about her underwear.

Not the bra, mind you, or the words she had written on it: "Not your business."

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The Two-Way
2:10 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Mark Wahlberg: With Me Aboard, 9/11 Hijackers Would Have Been Stopped

Mark Wahlberg.
Jason Merritt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 10:11 pm

Update at 9:45 p.m. ET. Wahlberg apologizes:

Saying his comments were "ridiculous ... irresponsible ... [and] insensitive," actor Mark Wahlberg has now apologized for saying he would have stopped 9/11 hijackers if he had been on one of the planes, Reuters reports.

Read what he's apologizing for in our original post:

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Would You Burn Your Cash To Stay Warm And Alive? This Man Did

Yong Chun Kim, talking at his home about the experience of being lost in a blizzard for two days.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 1:26 pm

We saw stories earlier this week about a man who was lost for two nights in Mount Rainier National Park over the weekend, but survived in part because he burned the money he was carrying to keep warm as a blizzard blew through the area.

But a critical question wasn't answered until today. — how much money went up in flames?

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Homeless Teen Who's Up For Science Prize To Be At State Of The Union

Intel semifinalist Samantha Garvey, 17.
John Dunn AP

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 11:39 am

The good news story of Samantha Garvey, a New York high school student who has been living with her family in a homeless shelter and recently found out she's a semifinalist in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search competition, keeps getting better.

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The Two-Way
9:50 am
Wed January 18, 2012

In Snow-Weary Alaskan Towns, Sun And Smiles Emerge

Jan. 9: An Alaska National Guardsman clears a roof in Cordova.
Spc. Balinda O'Neal Alaska National Guard Public Affairs

"Life is back to normal for two towns deeply buried in snow along Alaska's Prince William Sound," The Associated Press says. "The National Weather Service said Tuesday the weather is supposed to remain clear in both Valdez and Cordova this week."

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Wed January 18, 2012

LIVE: Jewel (A Bear) May Soon Give Birth; A Webcam Lets Us Watch

A very close view of Jewel, taken Tuesday.
Wildlife Research Institute

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 9:04 am

As we learned last year with our posts about the Decorah "eagle cam," there's a lot of interest in watching animals in the wild. Especially when there are babies involved.

So here's some important information for nature lovers:

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The Two-Way
8:13 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Top Stories: Ship Search Suspended; Famine Fears Grow In Sudan

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 8:14 am

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The Two-Way
7:55 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Seattle, Western Washington Hunker Down As Snow Arrives

Bags of a deicing product were being stacked outside a hardware store in Seattle on Tuesday, as folks prepared for today's bad weather.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 12:01 pm

While Seattle may not get hit quite as hard as previously thought by a winter storm that's moving across the Northwest, the National Weather Service has issued some ominous sounding updates about how large that storm is turning out to be.

There's this message:

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The Two-Way
7:25 am
Wed January 18, 2012

If You Really Need Wikipedia Today, You Can Get To It

Wikipedia's blackout.
Wikipedia.org

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 8:57 am

Just to be clear:

Wikipedia's English pages have indeed "gone black" until midnight ET tonight — part of an organized protest by it and many other websites over pending anti-online piracy legislation in Congress.

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Wed January 18, 2012

In Italy, Search Of Stricken Cruise Ship Suspended

"Divers searching the capsized Italian cruise liner Costa Concordia suspended work on Wednesday after the vast wreck shifted slightly but officials said they are hoping to resume as soon as possible," Reuters reports.

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The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

One Of World's Oldest Cypress Trees, 'The Senator,' Burns In Florida

On Monday (Jan. 16, 2012) Seminole County firefighter Al Caballero applied water to the smoldering base of The Senator.
Phelan M. Ebenhack AP

Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 2:03 pm

Investigators are now saying arson was not the likely cause of a fire that on Monday destroyed a cypress tree in Central Florida that was an estimated 3,500 years old — making it perhaps the oldest such tree in the nation and one of the oldest in the world.

Known as "The Senator," the tree that once stood 165 feet tall (before a hurricane lopped off about 45 feet in 1925) was more likely brought down by a fire that had been smoldering inside it — without being detected — since a lightning strike about a week ago, investigators say.

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It's All Politics
12:35 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Romney Says He's Taxed At 15 Percent Rate

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney at a campaign rally in Florence, S.C., earlier today (Jan. 17, 2012).
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 5:51 pm

He has probably paid an effective federal income tax rate of about 15 percent in recent years, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told reporters in South Carolina a short time ago.

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Tue January 17, 2012

$45 Million Hospital Bill: It's Enough To Really Make You Sick

With a bill that big, you'll need quite a stack of these.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Morning Edition's staff noticed a story from over the long holiday weekend that's just too much of a "no-way!" not to pass along.

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The Two-Way
10:30 am
Tue January 17, 2012

'Get On Board!' Coast Guard Officer Rages At Italian Cruise Ship Captain

The cruise ship Costa Concordia, earlier today (Jan. 17, 2012).
Laura Lezza Getty Images
  • NPR's Sylvia Poggioli, reporting on the dramatic phone call

Dramatic audio has emerged of an irate Italian Coast Guard officer ordering the captain of the cruise ship Costa Concordia to "get back on board!" as the stricken vessel lay crippled off the coast of Tuscany on Friday night.

As NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports, in the telephone call Coast Guard Capt. Gregorio De Falco shouts as he accuses Costa Concordia Capt. Francesco Schettino of abandoning his ship. Schettino was apparently sitting in a row boat at the time.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Fuel Is Flowing To Nome Through Half-Mile Hose Laid Over Ice

There's good news to report about the struggle to get much-needed gasoline and diesel fuel to the 3,500 people of Nome, Alaska:

"Crews on Monday afternoon began transferring 1.3 million gallons of fuel from a Russian fuel tanker" to the "iced-in" city, The Associated Press reports.

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Egypt's Wael Ghonim: 'Revolutions Are Processes ... It Will Take Time'

Wael Ghonim talking with reporters on Feb. 8, 2011, in Cairo's Tahrir Square as protests there continued.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 7:50 am

  • NPR's Steve Inskeep talks with Wael Ghonim

It's been nearly a year since Google executive Wael Ghonim became one of the faces of the Arab Spring as his online organizing efforts and his arrest helped draw people and attention to the demands by many Egyptians for reform — a movement that led to the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak's regime.

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The Two-Way
7:15 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Hopes Are Fading For Missing In Italian Cruise Ship Disaster

  • NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports

Divers and other rescue personnel are still trying to reach areas of the cruise ship Costa Concordia that haven't yet been explored in a bid to see if any of the 29 people who remain unaccounted for after Friday's crash off the Italian coast of Tuscany might be alive.

But as the BBC reports, hopes are fading. As of this hour, six people are known to have died. More than 4,200 passengers and crew were on board when it struck rocks, took on water and listed on to its starboard side.

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The Two-Way
2:50 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

John Edwards Has Life-Threatening Condition, Doctor Says

A cardiologist says former Democratic presidential candidate and senator John Edwards has a life-threatening condition that will require surgery next month, a judge in Greensboro, N.C., announced today.

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The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

'Washington Post' Touts First Extensive Post-Scandal Interview With Paterno

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 2:16 pm

The Washington Post just put out the word that it had an "exclusive interview with Joe Paterno, his first extensive comments on the Penn State scandal and its fallout," and expects to post a report about what he had to say on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.

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