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
6:45 am
Fri October 7, 2011

Today's Top Stories: Nobel Peace Prize, September Jobs Report

Good morning.

We've already posted about the top story so far today:

Nobel Peace Prize Goes To Women Striving For Peace In Liberia And Yemen

And we're getting ready for what's expected to be the other major news of the morning — the 8:30 a.m. ET announcement from the Bureau of Labor Statistics about the September unemployment rate and how many jobs were or were not added to payrolls last month.

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The Two-Way
4:45 am
Fri October 7, 2011

Nobel Peace Prize About To Be Announced

Left to right: Nobel Peace Prize laureates President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, Liberian "peace warrior" Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman of Yemen.

AP

Originally published on Fri October 7, 2011 11:54 am

Three women who have worked for peace and women's rights in Liberia and Yemen have been awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, it was just announced at the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian peace activist Leymah Roberta Gbowee and Yemeni protest leader Tawakkul Karman are being honored.

This year's Nobels come with about $1.5 million. That amount will be divided between the three laureates.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Thu October 6, 2011

Rooney's Dad Arrested In Betting Probe, But English Star Is Ready To Play

English soccer star Wayne Rooney during a training session today in Podgorica, Montenegro.

Hrvoje Polan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 6, 2011 2:10 pm

After it was announced today that the father of English soccer star Wayne Rooney has been arrested as part of an investigation into betting at a Scottish Premier League match, news outlets in the U.K. got right to the bottom of what they must think is the really important part of the story:

Will Rooney still play in Friday's match between England's national team and Montenegro?

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The Two-Way
1:05 pm
Thu October 6, 2011

Read And Watch: Steve Jobs' Stanford Commencement Address

Originally published on Fri October 7, 2011 1:33 am

The death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, has renewed interest in the commencement address he gave at Stanford University in 2005, which drew considerable attention for its content and because Jobs so rarely spoke in public about himself.

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The Two-Way
11:00 am
Thu October 6, 2011

Live Blog: Obama News Conference

President Obama is this hour holding a news conference at the White House. We're live-blogging, so be sure to hit your "refresh" button to see our latest additions. If you'd like to hear the news conference, click "LISTEN LIVE" in the box above.

Update at 11:12 a.m. ET. On Tax Cuts:

Republican lawmakers make the case that the president's $447 billion jobs bill relies too much on tax increases and not enough on spending cuts.

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Thu October 6, 2011

Hank Williams Jr. And 'Monday Night Football' Part Ways

Hank Williams Jr., here seen promoting Monday Night Football.

John Raoux AP

Originally published on Thu October 6, 2011 11:23 am

The controversy over his comment that compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler has cost singer Hank Williams Jr. his spot on Monday Night Football.

ESPN says it made the call:

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The Two-Way
10:24 am
Thu October 6, 2011

Average Rate On 30-Year Mortgages Falls Below 4 Percent For First Time

Mortgage rates are in uncharted territory.

"The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.94 percent this week, the lowest rate ever," The Associated Press reports. "Freddie Mac says the average rate ... dropped from 4.01 percent last week, the previous low."

And, "the average rate on a 15-year fixed loan dipped to 3.26 percent, also a record."

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Thu October 6, 2011

Wozniak Thankful For 'An Unbelievably Fortunate Partnership' With Jobs

April 24, 1984, from left to right: Steve Jobs, John Sculley and Steve Wozniak unveil the new Apple IIc computer in San Francisco.

Sal Veder AP

Originally published on Thu October 6, 2011 9:56 am

"My role was [to be] the key technologist, the scientist, the engineer that was building all these devices. ... Steve was spotting them and seeing ways to sell them and talking about where they could go. And talking about enhancements and improvements that would take it to the next level. He was always trying to move to the next level."

It was "an unbelievably fortunate partnership."

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Thu October 6, 2011

Jobless Claims Edged Up Last Week

There were 401,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up from 395,000 the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

According to Reuters the gain was "less than expected." Economists polled by the wire service had been anticipating the agency would say there had been 410,000 claims.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Thu October 6, 2011

Top Stories: Steve Jobs' Death; Swedish Poet Wins Literature Nobel

Originally published on Thu October 6, 2011 8:29 am

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The Two-Way
8:08 am
Thu October 6, 2011

Obama To Hold News Conference This Morning

President Obama will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. ET today in the East Room of the White House, his press office just announced.

Among the topics sure to come up: His jobs bill.

We're planning to live-blog as it happens, so check back as the time gets closer if you'd like to follow along.

Obama's most recent solo news conference was on July 15.

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Thu October 6, 2011

The Word For Steve Jobs: Visionary

Apple's website this morning.

apple.com

Look at front pages, listen to news broadcasts or search the Web today and the one word that comes up over and over again in reports about the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is: visionary.

President Obama said of Jobs' passing that "the world has lost a visionary."

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Thu October 6, 2011

Literature Nobel Goes To Swedish Poet Tomas Transtromer

The Nobel Prize medal.

NobelPrize.org

Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer is the 2011 Nobel laureate in literature, it was just announced.

In its statement, the Nobel committee said his work "gives us fresh access to reality."

Our friends over at Monkey See have more, including Neda Ulaby's pre-announcement look at the "Nobel shortlist."

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The Two-Way
3:45 pm
Wed October 5, 2011

Ron Paul Asks: Will The Government Assassinate Journalists Next?

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul of Texas at the National Press Club in Washington today.

Patrick Smith Getty Images

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) was quick last Friday to condemn the killing of American-born al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen.

"If the American people accept this blindly and casually that we now have an accepted practice of the president assassinating people who he thinks are bad guys, I think it's sad," Paul said.

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The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Wed October 5, 2011

Senate Democrats Pitch 5 Percent Surtax On Millionaires

Left to right: Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) at a news conference on Capitol Hill today.

Alex Wong Getty Images

Making the case that some of the tax increases that would partly pay for President Obama's $447 billion jobs bill are aimed at Americans who are not that rich, the Senate's Democratic leaders are proposing a 5 percent tax on annual incomes above $1 million instead.

According to The Associated Press:

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Wed October 5, 2011

Plot To Kill Karzai Foiled, Afghan Intelligence Agency Says

Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the funeral ceremony of slain Afghanistan High Peace Council and former president Burhanuddin Rabbani on Sept. 23, 2011.Â

AFP/Getty Images

Two weeks after the assassination of a former president, Afghan intelligence officials say they have disrupted a plot to kill the country's current leader.

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The Two-Way
11:20 am
Wed October 5, 2011

Kenneth Dahlberg, Who Didn't Lie About Watergate, Has Died

The scene of the crime that brought down a president.

Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 5, 2011 11:53 am

"There aren't a lot of people in the world who have been war heroes, created a high-flying business, and uttered the words that would bring down a presidency," our Minnesota Public Radio colleague Bob Collins writes today.

"Ken Dahlberg was one of them."

Now, Dahlberg has died at the age of 94.

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Wed October 5, 2011

Life's Still Hard For 'Reality Hits You Hard, Bro' Guy

Arizona Republic

In case you haven't seen this video yet, we'll wait while you watch. It's worth it.

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Wed October 5, 2011

Georgia Woman Wins $15.1M After Clerk Sells Her Wrong Lottery Ticket

Georgia Lottery
(We're a little behind on this story, but it's too good not to pass along.)

Kathy Scruggs of Lithonia, Ga., has won $15.1 million from the Powerball lottery.

And as it turns out, she didn't even intend to buy a ticket for that game.

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Wed October 5, 2011

Hank Williams Jr.: 'Sorry If It Offended Anyone'

Hank Williams Jr.

Scott Boehm Getty Images

A quick follow to the news that ESPN pulled Hank Williams Jr.'s iconic opening song from this week's Monday Night Football broadcast because he had compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler.

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The Two-Way
8:15 am
Wed October 5, 2011

Occupy Wall Street: College Students Urged To Walk Out Today

The scene this week at Zuccotti Park in Manhattan.

Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 5, 2011 12:02 pm

As the Occupy Wall Street protests enter their 19th day and continue to spread well beyond lower Manhattan, there's word from the related "Occupy Colleges" movement that a "nationwide college student walk out" has been called for noon today.

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Wed October 5, 2011

Four Accused Of 'Brazen' Federal Contracting Corruption Scheme

Originally published on Wed October 5, 2011 7:34 am

Four men were arrested Tuesday for their alleged roles in what the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Ronald Machen, alleges was "one of the most brazen corruption schemes in the history of federal contracting."

The Washington Post's Crime Scene blog writes that:

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Wed October 5, 2011

Chemistry Nobel Goes To Scientist Who Discovered Quasicrystals

Nobel laureate Daniel Shechtman.

Technion - Israel Institute of Technology

Originally published on Wed October 5, 2011 12:06 pm

Israeli scientist Daniel Shechtman has been awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his 1982 discovery of quasicrystals, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced this morning.

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The Two-Way
3:05 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Beware The Bear Market? Here's Why Not To

With the Dow Jones industrial average and other market indexes around 20 percent below their recent peaks, the very definition of a "bear market," there's understandably a fair amount of concern among investors and everyone else who watches the economic indicators.

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