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
8:45 am
Fri September 30, 2011

Personal Income Slipped In August, Consumer Spending Basically Flat

There was a 0.1 percent dip in personal income in August vs. July, the Bureau of Economic Analysis just reported. The Associated Press says that's the "poorest showing since a similar 0.1 percent drop in October 2009."

In addition, "disposable personal income" actually fell 0.3 percent after inflation.

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Fri September 30, 2011

NBA Star Kobe Bryant To Play In Italy, Club Owner Says

If hoops fans need any more evidence that the NBA lockout means there likely won't be any games anytime soon, here it is:

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The Two-Way
7:35 am
Fri September 30, 2011

Top Stories: Al-Awlaki, Immigration, 'Operation Twist'

Good morning.

The top story so far, as we've been reporting, is that authorities in Yemen say U.S.-born anti-American al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki is dead. We'll keep following that story as it develops.

Other top stories:

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The Two-Way
6:15 am
Fri September 30, 2011

Al-Awlaki, U.S.-Born Cleric Linked To Al-Qaida, Is Dead, U.S. And Yemen Say

In this image taken from video and released by SITE Intelligence Group, Anwar al-Awlaki speaks in a video message posted on radical websites in November, 2010.
SITE Intelligence Group AP

Originally published on Fri September 30, 2011 7:39 pm

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The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Thu September 29, 2011

China Launches 'Heavenly Palace-1' Into Space; Takes Step Toward Station

With a nighttime liftoff from a launch pad on the edge of the Gobi Desert, China today put its unmanned Tiangong-1 ("Heavenly Palace-1") module into orbit and started a decade-long project aimed at constructing its own space station.

The module will "conduct surveys of Chinese farmland using special cameras, along with experiments involving growing crystals in zero gravity," The Associated Press says. Then, in coming years:

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The Two-Way
2:10 pm
Thu September 29, 2011

Bank Of America's $5 Per Month Debit Card Fee Is Sign Of The Times

Using one of these is starting to cost more.
iStock

Bank of America is next year going to start charging most holders of its debit cards $5 a month if they use them to make purchases. It's the biggest sign so far of how new bank regulations are going to mean big changes for the millions of customers who have come to rely on cards that are tied to their checking accounts — and don't rack up potentially huge interest bills.

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The Two-Way
1:15 pm
Thu September 29, 2011

Germany's OK Of Bailout Means Europe Can Continue To 'Muddle Through'

Word that Germany's parliament today "approved a plan to expand the power of a European bailout fund for troubled countries that use the euro," doesn't mean the crisis across the Atlantic is over, our colleague Jacob Goldstein writes over at the Planet Money blog.

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The Two-Way
12:30 pm
Thu September 29, 2011

Capitol Hill Police Not Amused By Tweets From 'The Onion'

J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 12:36 pm

A fake story and a series of tweets this morning by the satirical folks at The Onion "reported" that members of Congress had taken schoolchildren hostage inside the Capitol Building.

Officials at the U.S. Capitol Police don't find any of it funny.

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The Two-Way
11:04 am
Thu September 29, 2011

Alleged Terrorist Acquired Small Arsenal For Attack, FBI Says

According to the United States Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts, this is the remote controlled model of a US Navy's 1950s Sabre jet fighter that allegedly belonged to Rezwan Ferdaus.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 2:53 pm

More details are emerging about the alleged plot and the alleged would-be terrorist who the FBI says planned to attack the Pentagon and Capitol Building with explosives-laden small aircraft and thought he had given devices to al-Qaida operatives that could be used to kill U.S. soldiers stationed overseas.

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Thu September 29, 2011

Reports: Pakistan Has Freed Bin Laden's Former Bodyguard

June 2001: al-Qaida members training in Afghanistan (frame grab from an al-Qaida video).
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 12:59 pm

"Pakistan has freed a senior al-Qaeda commander, who served as a bodyguard to Osama bin Laden," Britain's The Telegraph reports, citing a "senior security source."

CBS News says it has been told the same thing by "two senior Pakistani police officials."

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The Two-Way
8:37 am
Thu September 29, 2011

Jobless Claims Dip, GDP Growth Revised Up Slightly

The nation's economy grew at a slow 1.3 percent annual rate in the second quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis just reported. That's a slight upward revision from the agency's previous estimate of 1 percent growth vs. first-quarter 2011.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Thu September 29, 2011

Early Headlines: Euro Bailout Fund OK'd; More Listeria Deaths Feared

Good morning.

Earlier, we passed along word about:

-- Reports: Saudi King Cancels Lashing Sentence Against Woman Who Drove

-- Baseball Stunners: Red Sox, Braves Suffer 'Big, Historic' Collapses

Other stories making headlines this morning include:

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Thu September 29, 2011

Cain: Blacks 'Have Been Brainwashed' Into Supporting Liberals

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain during a Sept. 7 debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

"African-Americans have been brainwashed into not being open minded, not even considering a conservative point of view," Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said Wednesday on CNN's The Situation Room. "I have received some of that same vitriol simply because I am running for the Republican nomination as a conservative. So it's just brainwashing and people not being open minded, pure and simple."

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Thu September 29, 2011

Baseball Stunners: Red Sox, Braves Suffer 'Big, Historic' Collapses

This might be the morning to go easy on your friends who are fans of the Red Sox or Braves (unless you think it's pay-back time for abuse they've given you in the past).

Until Wednesday night, no Major League Baseball team that had an 8-game lead for a playoff spot in early September had failed to qualify for post-season play, NPR's Tom Goldman says.

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The Two-Way
2:38 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

NYPD Will Examine Use Of Pepper Spray On 'Occupy Wall Street' Protesters

At the "Occupy Wall Street" demonstration in the financial district near Wall Street on Monday (Sept. 26, 2011).
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 3:13 pm

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The Two-Way
2:09 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

Controversial Alabama Immigration Law Upheld In Part

A federal judge in Birmingham, Ala., has blocked some provisions of a controversial immigration law in the state — most notably those that would "make it a state crime to harbor immigrants and make it a misdemeanor to work in the state" — the Montgomery Advertiser reports.

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

At Day 2 Of Trial, Promoter Says Michael Jackson Looked Healthy

From The Associated Press:

"Two days before he died, Michael Jackson appeared strong during one of the final rehearsals for his highly anticipated comeback concerts, a promoter told jurors Wednesday as the involuntary manslaughter trial of the pop superstar's physician entered its second day."

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Wed September 28, 2011

Amazon Unveils $199 'Fire' Tablet And New Kindle Readers

The Kindle Fire.
Amazon.com

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 11:30 am

There's much breathless live-blogging going on in the tech world as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveils his company's latest gadgets, including what Bloomberg News first reported will be a $199 tablet computer called Kindle Fire — Amazon's much-anticipated competitor to the iPad.

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The Two-Way
10:00 am
Wed September 28, 2011

At Berkeley 'Increase Diversity' Bake Sale: Protests, Debates

At the bake sale on Tuesday. Protesters to the right. Young Republicans and their supporters to the left.
Ben Margot AP

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 12:45 pm

The controversial "Increase Diversity Bake Sale" sponsored by young Republicans at the University of California, Berkeley, brought a large crowd of students and others to the school's Sproul Plaza on Tuesday, and the student-run Daily Californian says the climax was a counter-demonstration "that saw hundreds of protesters lie on their backs."

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Wed September 28, 2011

Al-Qaida Tells Iran: Stop Promoting Sept. 11 Conspiracy Theories

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the U.N. last week.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

The latest issue of Inspire, an English-language magazine believed to be produced by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, chastises the Iranian government and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in particular for spreading "conspiracy theories surrounding the events of 9/11."

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The Two-Way
8:15 am
Wed September 28, 2011

Officials Push Back On Mullen's Linking Of Pakistan To Terrorists

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 8:16 am

The Washington Post writes this morning that "Adm. Mike Mullen's assertion last week that an anti-American insurgent group in Afghanistan is a 'veritable arm' of Pakistan's spy service was overstated and contributed to overheated reactions in Pakistan and misperceptions in Washington, according to American officials involved in U.S. policy in the region."

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Wed September 28, 2011

Did You Hear About Andy Rooney? He's Retiring

Andy Rooney.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 7:52 am

What is it about Andy Rooney that's kept him on the air with CBS for more than 60 years — the last 33 of them as a regular essayist on 60 Minutes?

Is it his sense of humor?

His distinctive voice?

Those bushy eyebrows?

The questions he's always asking?

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Wed September 28, 2011

Listeria Outbreak Tied To Colorado Cantaloupes; 13 Known Dead

A label consumers might find on the cantaloupes.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 2:55 pm

"The number of deaths linked to Colorado-grown cantaloupes keeps climbing, and it soon could become the second-deadliest U.S. outbreak of a food-borne illness," The Denver Post reports.

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The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

Helen Reichert, Who Could Bounce Back From Stress, Dies At 109

Helen Reichert.
Courtesy of Olive Villaluna

Originally published on Tue September 27, 2011 4:28 pm

A passing of note:

Helen Reichert, who Morning Edition introduced to listeners in April, died on Sunday. She was 109.

In that April commentary for Morning Edition, Dr. Mark Lachs said of his patient that:

"Unusual longevity often has a genetic basis, and Reichert probably does have a gene that contributes to her unusual longevity. But she also exhibits a powerful trait geriatricians call adaptive competence.

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