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
8:00 am
Fri September 23, 2011

Boos Heard At GOP Debate After Gay Soldier Asks About 'Don't Ask'

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum during Thursday night's Republican presidential debate in Orlando.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Read and listen to the reaction from some in the audience at last night's Republican presidential debate after a video question from Stephen Hill, a gay soldier who Fox News said is serving in Iraq. The question was directed to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and here is Fox News' transcript:

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The Two-Way
7:25 am
Fri September 23, 2011

Saleh Returns And For Yemen, 'Next 24 Hours Will Be Decisive'

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Riyadh on Sept. 19, 2011.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 23, 2011 7:49 am

More than three months after being seriously injured in a rocket attack and then going to Saudi Arabia for treatment, President Ali Abdullah Saleh made a surprise return to Yemen today.

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The Two-Way
3:10 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

China's 'Strong-Willed Pig' Has Been Cloned

"Strong-willed pig," in 2008.
AFP/Getty Images

He's a national hero in China, as NPR's Melissa Block learned in 2009.

Zhu Jian Qiang, or "Strong-Willed Pig", survived for 36 days in the rubble of a home in southwest China after the devastating earthquake there in 2008. It's thought he only had water and charcoal to live on.

Since then, the castrated male has gone on to be a featured part of an earthquake museum in Dayi, China. And now, he'll live on — sort of — after he dies.

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The Two-Way
2:45 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

Pakistan's Proxies Are Attacking Afghans And Americans, Mullen Says

Sept. 13: Afghan Security personnel stand above the body of one attacker, on the 10th floor of the building in Kabul from which RPGs and other weapons were fired toward the U.S. embassy.
David Gilkey NPR

"Extremist organizations serving as proxies of the government of Pakistan are attacking Afghan troops and civilians as well as U.S. soldiers," the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told Congress today, in some of the sharpest words so far about what U.S. officials say is Pakistan's support of terrorist groups.

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The Two-Way
1:12 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

Ahmadinejad: U.S. Used 'Mysterious Sept. 11 Incident' As Pretext For War

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

American diplomats just walked out of the United Nations General Assembly after hearing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ask what to him is a rhetorical question: who used "the mysterious Sept. 11 incident as a pretext to attack Afghanistan and Iraq?"

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The Two-Way
12:24 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

Arkansas' Missing Moon Rock Turns Up In Boxes Of Clinton's Memorabilia

July 20, 1969: astronaut Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. on the moon.
Neil Armstrong/NASA AP

That's one small step for historians ...

We'll stop there and just go to the news:

"An archivist sifting through boxes of former President Bill Clinton's papers and memorabilia from his time as Arkansas governor [has] found a missing moon rock given to the state 35 years ago," the Arkansas News Bureau reports.

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Thu September 22, 2011

GOP Rep. Ryan On Obama's Plan: 'Why Would We Want To Do This Again?'

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) at NPR headquarters in May.
Erin Schwartz NPR

Originally published on Thu September 22, 2011 6:01 pm

Earlier this month on Morning Edition, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner made the case for President Obama's latest jobs plan, saying it "would have a substantial, powerful effect on strengthening the economy." Click here to read and hear his conversation with host Steve Inskeep.

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Thu September 22, 2011

Diplomats Owe NYC $17.2M For Parking Tickets; DC Is Owed $340,000

A car with diplomat license plates near the United Nations in New York City.
Stephen Chernin Getty Images

There was outrage yesterday over the $16 muffins and $32 snack packs purchased by the Justice Department in recent years.

Today's this is outrageous news:

Diplomats owe the city of New York $17.2 million and owe Washington, D.C., more than $340,000 for unpaid parking tickets, Washington's WTOP-radio reports.

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The Two-Way
8:35 am
Thu September 22, 2011

Jobless Claims Dipped Slightly Last Week

Originally published on Thu September 22, 2011 8:38 am

There were 423,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment benefits last week, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

That's down 9,000 from the previous week. But, as The Associated Press says, claims "remain elevated" and at a level that underscores the weakness of the labor market.

The Two-Way
8:04 am
Thu September 22, 2011

Backburner Or Frontburner? Views Vary On Palestinian Strategy At UN

Originally published on Mon September 26, 2011 1:47 pm

The Associated Press says Palestinians remain "undeterred in U.N. statehood bid" despite a U.S. plan to use its Security Council veto to block a move by Palestinian leaders for U.N. membership as a state.

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Thu September 22, 2011

After The Execution: Relief For Victim's Mom; Anguish For Davis' Supporters

Now that the execution of convicted cop killer Troy Davis has been carried out in Georgia, the morning-after stories are focusing on the controversy over his punishment and the effect the case has had on all those involved.

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The Two-Way
2:32 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

Federal Reserve Confirms It Plans To 'Twist' In Bid To Bring Down Rates

Originally published on Wed September 21, 2011 2:34 pm

"To support a stronger economic recovery and to help ensure that inflation, over time, is at levels consistent with the dual mandate, the Committee decided today to extend the average maturity of its holdings of securities."

That sentence from a statement just released by the Federal Reserve confirms that the central bank's policymakers have indeed decided to launch what's being referred to as "Operation Twist."

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The Two-Way
1:40 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

It's The End For R.E.M.: Band Decides To 'Call It A Day"

R.E.M.'s 15th studio album, Collapse Into Now, was released in March.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 21, 2011 2:14 pm

This message has been posted on official website of R.E.M., which as our friends over at NPR Music have said is one of the legendary rock bands of the last 30 years:

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The Two-Way
1:24 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

Reports: Hewlett-Packard May Tap Meg Whitman To Be Its CEO

Meg Whitman, on April 12, 2011, at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Meg Whitman, the former eBay CEO and 2010 Republican candidate for governor of California, may be Hewlett-Packard's next CEO.

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The Two-Way
10:11 am
Wed September 21, 2011

Live Blog: Obama Addresses U.N. General Assembly

President Obama addresses the opening of the Untied Nations General Assembly on Sept. 21 in New York City.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

In an address that focused on "the pursuit of peace," President Obama just told delegates at the U.N. General Assembly that people everywhere want "to live with dignity and freedom; to get an education and pursue opportunity; to love our families and our God."

It is world leaders' responsibility, he said, to build "the kind of peace that makes life worth living."

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The Two-Way
10:10 am
Wed September 21, 2011

Driven By Foreclosures, Existing Home Sales Rose In August

Sales of existing homes rose 7.7 percent in August from July, the National Association of Realtors just reported.

According to a statement from the association's chief economist, Lawrence Yun:

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The Two-Way
9:12 am
Wed September 21, 2011

Obama Tells Biden To 'Just Go Be Joe' On Campaign Trail

Go get 'em, the president tells Biden.
Susan Walsh AP

A new McClatchy-Marist poll shows that a majority of voters believe President Obama will lose "to any Republican" in next year's election and that "a solid plurality" of those surveyed say they will definitely vote against the president, the McClatchy news service reports.

And, it adds, "most potential Republican challengers" are gaining on Obama in one-on-one matchups.

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The Two-Way
8:30 am
Wed September 21, 2011

$16 Muffins, $8 Coffees, $5 Meatballs: Justice Dept. Spending Rapped

Anel Fernandez Cover/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 21, 2011 2:05 pm

There's more ammunition today for those who collect evidence of government waste.

In a new report covering the last few years of the George W. Bush administration and the first year of the Obama administration, the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General found that at conferences hosted by DOJ there was some "allowable but ... extravagant" spending.

A few notes from the report:

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Wed September 21, 2011

At UN: Obama To Speak As Critics Take Aim At Mideast Policy

Originally published on Mon September 26, 2011 1:41 pm

When President Obama steps to the podium at the U.N. General Assembly later this morning, he'll have a chance to explain why the U.S. opposes the bid by Palestinians to join that world body.

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The Two-Way
7:42 am
Wed September 21, 2011

Former NPR News Exec Ellen Weiss Takes Job At Center For Public Integrity

Ellen Weiss, who resigned in January from her job as NPR's senior vice president for news after an independent review raised questions about "the speed and handling" of news analyst Juan Williams' termination, has been named executive editor at the Center for Public Integrity.

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Wed September 21, 2011

Developing: Iran Has Released Jailed Americans, State TV Says

A photo released by Iran's state-run Press TV on Feb. 6, 2011, shows U.S. hikers Shane Bauer (left) and Josh Fattal at court in Tehran.
AFP/Getty Images

Two American men jailed as spies in Iran since 2009 have been released, Iran's official Press TV reports.

The news site says it "has learned" that news.

Its report follows word from The Associated Press that attorney Masoud Shafiei said a court has approved a $1 million bail-for-freedom deal for the release of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal.

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The Two-Way
3:43 pm
Tue September 20, 2011

Is Another Shutdown Showdown Looming In Washington?

The Capitol building.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 20, 2011 3:49 pm

Less than two months after nearly shutting down the federal government as they argued over the best way to reduce the budget deficit, there's word that Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill are again at odds and that another shutdown showdown is possible.

Politico reports that:

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The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Tue September 20, 2011

What A Bright Idea: 'A Liter Of Light' For The Poor

That's a bottle of water shining brightly.
A Liter of Light

Originally published on Tue September 20, 2011 2:20 pm

A BBC report this week about a project in the Philippines that has brought virtually free light to dark homes in some of that country's poorest neighborhoods brightened our day so much that we went looking to find out more.

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