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
10:05 am
Mon November 7, 2011

Ali Has Frazier In His Prayers: Smokin' Joe Is In Hospice Care

You didn't have to be a boxing fan in the '70s to know the name Joe Frazier and to know that he'll forever be linked to Muhammad Ali.

Smokin' Joe was, as The Associated Press reminds us, the first man to beat Ali, "knocking him down and taking a decision in the so-called Fight of the Century at Madison Square Garden in 1971. He would go on to lose two more fights to Ali, including the epic 'Thrilla in Manila.' "

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Mon November 7, 2011

Berlusconi: Resignation Rumors 'Are Groundless'

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi during the G-20 summit last Friday in Cannes, France.
Michel Euler AP

Originally published on Mon November 7, 2011 9:42 am

It's never a good sign for a leader's longevity when he has to issue a statement like this:

"The rumors of my resignation are groundless."

That's from Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi this morning, on his official Facebook page.

As The Associated Press writes, earlier today:

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Mon November 7, 2011

Older Adults Are Now 47 Times Richer Than Those Under 35

In Los Angeles: A man dressed as John Lennon at the "Move Your Money" protest on Saturday. He and others protested bank fees and pushed for "good jobs."
David McNew Getty Images

There's been a huge increase in the wealth gap between older Americans and those just entering adulthood, according to a new analysis of Census Bureau data done by the Pew Research Center.

According to Pew's study:

In 2009, "households headed by adults ages 65 and older ... had 47 times as much net wealth as the typical household headed by someone" under 35 years of age. Pew says that "back in 1984, this had been a less lopsided 10-to-1 ratio."

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The Two-Way
8:30 am
Mon November 7, 2011

Top Stories: Iran, Penn State, Greece

The Two-Way
7:55 am
Mon November 7, 2011

Penn State Abuse Allegations: 'A Culture That Did Nothing To Stop It'

Aug. 6, 1999: Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno, right, with his then-defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
Paul Vathis AP

Originally published on Mon November 7, 2011 1:18 pm

The alleged sexual abuse of children by a former assistant coach on the Penn State University football team was allowed to continue for at least a decade because of "a culture that did nothing to stop it" at the school, Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan just told reporters in Harrisburg.

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Mon November 7, 2011

Report: Iran On 'Threshold Of Nuclear Capability'

April 2010: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveils a sample of the third generation centrifuge for uranium enrichment during a ceremony in Tehran on April 9, 2010. Iran says its nuclear ambitions are peaceful.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

"Intelligence provided to U.N. nuclear officials shows that Iran's government has mastered the critical steps needed to build a nuclear weapon, receiving assistance from foreign scientists to overcome key technical hurdles," The Washington Post reports this morning.

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The Two-Way
2:10 pm
Fri November 4, 2011

Dippin' Dots, 'Ice Cream Of The Future,' Files For Bankruptcy Protection

Dippin' Dots.
Facebook.com/DippinDots

Don't panic if you're a fan of those tiny beads of ice cream. They're still going to be available.

But the cold, hard fact is that Dippin' Dots this week filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to WPSD-TV in Paducah, Ky., where the company that makes the so-called ice cream of the future is headquartered.

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The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Fri November 4, 2011

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords: 'I Will Return' To Congress

"I will get stronger. I will return" to Congress, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, (D-Ariz.), vows in a new book she has written with her husband about the devastating injuries she received last Jan. 8 when a gunman opened fire during an event she was hosting in Tucson.

It's one of the surest signs yet that she intends to remain in politics and seek re-election next year.

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Fri November 4, 2011

VIDEO: After 520 Days, 'Astronauts' Emerge Following Fake Mars Mission

Fast-forward to about the 3-minute mark in this video if you want to see the moment when six men who had lived together in a mock spaceship for 18 months emerged today in Moscow.

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The Two-Way
10:09 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Coming Up: Obama Holds News Conference In Cannes

President Obama held a news conference today in Cannes, France, where he and other leaders from the G-20 nations have wrapped up a two-day summit. We live-blogged as he spoke.

Update at 11:20 a.m. ET. On The President's Comments About GDP And The Economy Since He Took Office:

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Cain Allegations: The Latest Developments

Tuesday: Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is surrounded by police, body guards, staff members and journalists on Capitol Hill.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The It's All Politics blog is handling most of NPR.org's coverage of the sexual harassment allegations against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain — who has said the charges that stem from his time as head of the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s are baseless.

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Top Stories: Jobless Rate Dips, Corzine Resigns, Europe Looks For Help

Good morning.

Things have been a bit busy already today. Our early headlines:

-- Unemployment Rate Dips To 9 Percent; 80,000 Jobs Added.

-- Corzine Resigns From MF Global.

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The Two-Way
8:35 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Unemployment Rate Dips To 9 Percent; 80,000 Jobs Added

The nation's unemployment rate ticked down to 9 percent in October from 9.1 percent in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported.

Meanwhile, there was a net gain of 80,000 jobs on public and private payrolls. Private-sector employment went up by 104,000 jobs. Government agencies reduced their payrolls by 20,000.

We'll have more from the report shortly.

Update at 8:40 a.m. ET. More Details:

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The Two-Way
8:03 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Corzine Resigns From MF Global

Jon Corzine.
Rich Schultz AP

Originally published on Fri November 4, 2011 3:42 pm

(A new top and some other material were added to this post at 11:50 a.m. ET.)

Jon Corzine is now the unofficial "poster child of the times" and the "fall guy" that all those who blame Wall Street for much of the nation's economic troubles can point to, Reuters columnists Antony Currie and Jeffrey Goldfarb write.

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The Two-Way
7:43 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Pakistan: 'The Ally From Hell' That Hides Its Nukes From The U.S.

On the Afghan side of the border with Pakistan, a U.S. soldier stood guard last month as a boy walked by in Nangarhar province.
Tauseef Mustafa AFP/Getty Images

The headlines this morning on the websites of The Atlantic and National Journal certainly grab your attention:

-- "The Ally From Hell." (The Atlantic)

-- "The Pentagon's Secret Plans To Secure Pakistan's Nuclear Arsenal." (National Journal)

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Jobs Report May Offer Glimmer Of Good News

Originally published on Fri November 4, 2011 7:01 am

The most-anticipated economic news of the week — word about the October unemployment rate and, hopefully, how many jobs were added to payrolls last month — is due at 8:30 a.m. ET.

A month ago, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the jobless rate in September was 9.1 percent and that 103,000 jobs were added to private and government payrolls.

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The Two-Way
3:39 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Seattle 'Superhero' Phoenix Jones Loses His Day Job

Getting arrested for using pepper spray on a group of people has at least temporarily cost self-proclaimed Seattle superhero Phoenix Jones his day job helping autistic children.

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Thu November 3, 2011

Daughter Beaten By Dad Who's A Texas Judge: It Happened Regularly

Hillary Adams (left) as her father was striking her with a belt. She set up a video camera to record what she says was one of many such beatings.
YouTube.com (warning, video is graphic)

Originally published on Thu November 3, 2011 5:51 pm

Hillary Adams, who videotaped her father beating her in 2004 and released it to the world last week because she believes he should not be serving as a judge in Texas, said this morning that such punishments happened regularly and that she believes her father "needs help and rehabilitation."

For his part, Judge William Adams says that "in my mind I haven't done anything wrong. ... She wasn't hurt, it was a long time ago" and she was just "being disciplined."

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The Two-Way
9:15 am
Thu November 3, 2011

Top Stories: Eurozone Crisis, 'Occupy Oakland,' Afghan Strategy

Originally published on Thu November 3, 2011 9:25 am

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The Two-Way
9:07 am
Thu November 3, 2011

Greek Prime Minister Under Pressure To Resign

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou heads to a cabinet meeting in Athens earlier today (Nov. 3, 2011).
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images
(We're updating this post as the story develops. Hit "refresh" and scroll down to see our latest additions.)

Under intense pressure from the European Union, Greece's prime minister has scrapped the idea of asking the country to vote on whether to accept the terms of a bailout package.

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The Two-Way
8:46 am
Thu November 3, 2011

Jobless Claims Dip Below 400,000

There were 397,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, down 9,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

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The Two-Way
8:15 am
Thu November 3, 2011

Cain Allegations: The Latest Developments

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain during an appearance on Wednesday (Nov. 3, 2011) in McLean, Va.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Catching up on the latest news about the allegations, which he says are false, that Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain sexually harassed some women when he was heading the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s:

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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Thu November 3, 2011

Occupy Oakland Strike Turns 'Chaotic'

There's quiet now in the streets of Oakland, the local Tribune reports.

But what began as a "mostly peaceful" general strike that "drew thousands Wednesday for rallies and marches ... turned chaotic early Thursday after protesters took over a vacant building and police moved in, firing tear gas and flashbang grenades."

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The Two-Way
3:10 pm
Wed November 2, 2011

Reports: Aid To Greece Won't Be Paid Without Reassurances

German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks to French President Nicolas Sarkozy on the eve of the G-20 summit in Cannes, France, earlier today.
Lionel Bonaventure AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 2, 2011 7:40 pm

Update at 6:56 p.m. ET. French President Nicolas Sarkozy says that the next round of rescue loans will not be paid, until after Greeks vote on whether to accept the terms of the bailout package.

This is significant, because Greece has said it will run out of money some time this month and the referendum is so far slated for early December.

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Wed November 2, 2011

Audie Cornish Will Fill In For Michele Norris On 'All Things Considered'

Audie Cornish
Steve Barrett NPR

Originally published on Wed November 2, 2011 10:46 am

Weekend Edition Sunday host Audie Cornish will be filling in for Michele Norris on All Things Considered for a year, starting in January, NPR just announced.

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