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
9:50 am
Thu October 18, 2012

For One Night, Obama And Romney Will Trade Jokes, Not Jabs

Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (left) and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner on Oct. 16, 2008. At center is Bishop Edward Michael Cardinal Egan.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

After sharp words on the debate stage Tuesday and after weeks of tough talk about each other on the campaign trail, President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney face a different kind of challenge tonight:

They have to be funny about each other and about themselves.

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The Two-Way
8:48 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Jobless Claims Take Sharp Jump: Rose By 46,000 Last Week

The number of first-time claims for jobless benefits rose by 46,000 last week, to 388,000, the Employment and Training Administration says.

The previous week's total — 342,000 — was the fewest since early 2008. The increase last week put claims back into the range where they've been stuck for a year, between 350,000 and 400,000.

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The Two-Way
8:06 am
Thu October 18, 2012

'Newsweek' Kills Its Print Edition

Say goodbye.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 8:40 am

Saying that "we have reached a tipping point at which we can most efficiently and effectively reach our readers in all-digital format," editor Tina Brown announced this morning that Newsweek's Dec. 31 issue will be its last print edition.

Going forward, she said:

"Newsweek will expand its rapidly growing tablet and online presence, as well as its successful global partnerships and events business.

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The Two-Way
7:42 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Tough Times, Even Higher Debts For College Graduates

How bright is their future? Students at Barnard College's graduation ceremony last May.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Two-thirds of American college graduates left school last year with student loan debt hanging over their heads and the average amount they owed was $26,600, up 5 percent from the previous year. They also walked into a "tough job market" that was only marginally more friendly than in 2010, according to a report released today by the Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS).

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The Two-Way
7:18 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Week After Latest Death Rumors, Cubans Get Letter From Fidel Castro

Former Cuban President Fidel Castro in March, when Pope Benedict XVI visited Havana.
L'Osservatore Romano Vatican-pool Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 7:19 am

One week after the latest rumors of his death, former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has emerged — sort of — in a letter he's said to have written.

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The Two-Way
6:27 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Politics Might Be In Her Future, Chelsea Clinton Hints

Chelsea Clinton in September at her father's Clinton Global Initiative in New York City.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 7:07 pm

Though she's dipped her toe into the world of TV journalism, we don't hear a lot from Chelsea Clinton about whether she might one day get into the family business.

But now the BBC has posted an interview in which the daughter of former President Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton doesn't rule out getting into politics herself.

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The Two-Way
5:41 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Billy Graham's Website Stops Saying Directly That Mormons Are In A 'Cult'

Oct. 11: Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney visited the Rev. Billy Graham at the evangelist's home in Montreat, N.C.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Just days after Rev. Billy Graham endorsed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's bid for the White House, the website of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has stopped overtly listing the candidate's religion among what it says are "cults."

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The Two-Way
4:36 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Guilty Plea In Plot To Murder Saudi Ambassador

Manssor Arbabsiar (front, right) in court last October.
Shirley Shepard AFP/Getty Images

Manssor Arbabsiar, an Iranian-born naturalized American citizen, has pleaded guilty to conspiring with Iranian military officials in a plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States, the Justice Department says.

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The Two-Way
3:55 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Man Arrested For Allegedly Trying To Bomb N.Y. Federal Reserve

A cornerstone at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in Manhattan.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 5:50 pm

"Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, was arrested this morning in downtown Manhattan after he allegedly attempted to detonate what he believed to be a 1,000-pound bomb at the New York Federal Reserve Bank on Liberty Street in lower Manhattan's financial district," the FBI confirms an email just sent to reporters.

It adds that:

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The Two-Way
3:07 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Livestrong CEO: 'We're Proud' Lance Armstrong Founded Organization

Lance Armstrong in 2010.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 7:09 pm

  • Livestrong's Doug Ulman on being proud of Armstrong
  • Livestrong's Doug Ulman on the charity's mission

The CEO of the Lance Armstrong-founded cancer charity Livestrong tells NPR his organization remains proud that the cyclist and cancer survivor founded Livestrong in 1997 and wants him to remain involved in its work.

"He's our founder. He's been the inspiration for our work for so many years," Doug Ulman told All Things Considered host Melissa Block this afternoon.

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The Two-Way
1:32 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Mourners Line Streets As Sihanouk's Body Comes Home To Cambodia

One of the thousands of mourners today in Phnom Penh as the body of former King Norodom Sihanouk was brought home.
Nicolas Asfouri AFP/Getty Images

Tens of thousands of Cambodians gathered in the streets of Phnom Penh today to watch as the body of former King Norodom Sihanouk returned to the nation he dominated for more than half a century.

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The Two-Way
11:33 am
Wed October 17, 2012

June Trial For George Zimmerman, Accused In Trayvon Martin Death

George Zimmerman, who is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, at a court hearing last June in Seminole County, Fla.
Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/pool Getty Images

"George Zimmerman's murder trial in the death of Trayvon Martin was set for June 10 during a hearing in court this morning," the Orlando Sentinel reports. Attorneys expect the trial will take about three weeks, the newspaper adds.

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The Two-Way
7:42 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Federal Investigators Search Pharmacy Linked To Meningitis Outbreak

"The top federal prosecutor in Massachusetts on Tuesday said federal agents raided the New England Compounding Center, the pharmacy linked to a meningitis outbreak that has killed 15 people and sickened more than 200 others," Reuters writes.

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The Two-Way
5:44 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Court Reverses Conviction Of Bin Laden's Driver

Salim Ahmed Hamdan, with his attorney, in a courtroom sketch from 2007.
Janet Hamlin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 7:01 pm

Today's decision by a federal appeals court to overturn the conviction of a former driver for Osama bin Laden is unlikely to affect the high-profile cases against the accused architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks or other suspected terrorists who face multiple charges, NPR's Dina Temple-Raston said earlier on All Things Considered.

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The Two-Way
4:29 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Louisiana To Soon Have State's First Black Chief Justice

Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Bernette Johnson.
Louisiana Supreme Court AP

Louisiana's Supreme Court ruled today that Justice Bernette Johnson has the seniority that entitles her to become the panel's chief justice at the end of January, NPR's Debbie Elliott tells our Newscast Desk.

Johnson will be the first African-American to sit in the chief justice's seat. The state's first Supreme Court was created in 1812.

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The Two-Way
3:46 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Former Sen. George McGovern Enters Hospice; Was 1972 Democratic Nominee

Then-Sen. George McGovern in 1972, when he was running for president.
Keystone Getty Images

Former South Dakota Sen. George McGovern, the Democratic Party's 1972 presidential nominee, has moved into a hospice care facility in Sioux Falls, his family and friends tell The Associated Press and other news outlets.

The 90-year-old World War II veteran is "coming to the end of his life," his daughter, Ann McGovern, tells the AP.

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The Two-Way
5:36 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

'My Way,' OK; But Singing 'Someone Like You' At A Funeral? Isn't That Wrong?

Adele singing Someone Like You at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles. That's one way to say goodbye.
Mario Anzuoni Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:38 pm

Of course My Way — the Frank Sinatra version — is the most requested contemporary song at funerals in the U.K., according to Co-operative Funeralcare.

That makes sense.

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The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

Debate Preview: Romney Aide On How GOP Nominee Would Confront Iran

Dan Senor, a senior adviser to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Jason Reed Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 10:45 am

  • Romney adviser Dan Senor talking with NPR's Steve Inskeep

A President Mitt Romney would make the "military option" a credible threat in the effort to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons by repeatedly saying that it "remains on the table, that it is real" and by making sure that senior officials don't imply otherwise, a top foreign policy adviser to the 2012 Republican presidential nominee tells Morning Edition.

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The Two-Way
2:31 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

For About $20, Cardboard Bicycle Could 'Change The World,' Inventor Says

Israeli inventor and his cardboard bicycle.
Baz Ratner Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 3:53 pm

Reuters today catches up on a story that's been getting some traction in recent weeks:

An Israeli inventor has come up with a way to make a bicycle almost entirely out of cardboard — and so inexpensively that he thinks retailers would only need to charge about $20 for one.

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The Two-Way
1:21 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

Report: Probe Of Rep. Jesse Jackson Focuses On Use Of Campaign Funds

Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in December 2011.
Yuri Gripas Reuters /Landov

The Chicago Sun-Times broke the news late last week that Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., is "the target of a federal investigation into 'suspicious activity' into his congressional finances."

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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

NOAA: Around World, September Tied Record For Warmest Temperatures

The redder the shading, the further above average were the temperatures in September.
NOAA's National Climatic Data Center

This chart offers another perspective on just how warm it was around the world last month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says.

The agency has been keeping records since 1880 and the "average combined global land and ocean surface temperature for September 2012 tied with 2005 as the warmest September on record."

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The Two-Way
4:07 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Deficit Tops $1 Trillion For Fourth Year

The figures are in for the federal government's fiscal 2012 and the deficit was $1.089 trillion, according to the Treasury Department and Office of Management and Budget.

That's less than the previous year's $1.297 trillion and is the third consecutive decline.

But it's also the fourth year in a row of a $1 trillion+ gap between spending and revenues.

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The Two-Way
2:37 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

If Lance Armstrong Is Stripped, No One May Get His Tour De France Titles

Lance Armstrong, in the leader's yellow jersey, during the 2001 Tour de France.
Patrick Kovarik AFP/Getty Images

Two days after the United States Anti-Doping Agency's release of the evidence it says shows that cyclist Lance Armstrong was part of "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen," the head of the Tour de France has said the world's most famous race will officially have no winners of the seven Tours that Armstrong won if he is stripped of those titles.

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The Two-Way
1:40 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Remembering Andrew Brimmer, First Black On Federal Reserve's Board

Andrew Brimmer in 1970, when he was a Federal Reserve Board governor.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

A life well-worth noting has caught the attention of obituary writers:

-- "Andrew F. Brimmer, a Louisiana sharecropper's son who was the first black member of the Federal Reserve Board and who led efforts to to reverse the country's balance-of-payments deficit, died on Sunday in Washington. He was 86." (The New York Times)

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

What's All This Malarkey About Malarkey?

Vice President Biden thought much of what his opponent said Thursday night was malarkey, and his face often showed what he was thinking.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

"With all due respect, that's a bunch of malarkey," Vice President Biden said during Thursday's debate as he challenged Rep. Paul Ryan's assertion that U.S. foreign policy has unraveled under President Obama.

A little later in the debate, Biden said Ryan's criticisms were "a bunch of stuff" — and when moderator Martha Raddatz asked "what does that mean?" he said, "we Irish call it malarkey."

Biden's use of the word has many asking: Where does it come from?

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