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
6:40 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Almost No Change In Jobless Claims Last Week

There were 388,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits last week, down just 1,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

And in another sign that the labor market's recovery remains sluggish, the agency said "the 4-week moving average was 381,750, an increase of 6,250 from the previous week's revised average of 375,500." That measure is said by economists to be a better gauge of the underlying trend in claims.

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The Two-Way
4:31 am
Thu April 26, 2012

After Conviction, Pakistani Prime Minister 'Imprisoned' For Just A Few Minutes

Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani as he arrived at court today in Islamabad.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 3:15 pm

Convicted today of contempt for refusing to push for the reopening of a corruption case involving Pakistan's president, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was given a prison sentence that lasted just a few minutes.

"The ruling ... appeared to be a compromise," The Associated Press writes, "but could still mean problems for him because he has been convicted in a court. That means he could face dismissal from office in the weeks, or more likely, months to come."

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The Two-Way
4:00 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Conflicting Claims On Cause And Death Toll After Explosion In Syria

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 4:08 am

While activists inside Syria say government forces are responsible for an explosion today in the city of Hama, and that about 70 people were killed, President Bashar Assad's regime has a much different story. It says about 16 people were killed by an explosion at a bomb factory used by "armed terrorist groups," the BBC reports.

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The Two-Way
3:19 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Liberia's Charles Taylor Facing Judgment In War Crimes Case

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor, in court on Feb. 8, 2011.
Jerry Lampen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 12:04 pm

  • NPR's Eric Westervelt reporting from The Hague

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor is guilty of "aiding and abetting" forces in Sierra Leone that committed war crimes and other atrocities during a war that lasted more than a decade and left more than 50,000 people dead, the Special Court for Sierra Leone ruled today.

Taylor, the first head of state since just after World War II to be judged by an international tribunal, "knew that his support" would assist and encourage fighters who were committing war crimes, the tribunal ruled. In return, he received so-called blood diamonds from Sierra Leone.

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The Two-Way
11:31 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Justices Signal Support For Arizona Immigration Law

The U.S. Supreme Court building.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

The early analyses of this morning's Supreme Court hearing on parts of Arizona's controversial immigration law are in, and the consensus is that the majority of justices will likely uphold the state's effort to reduce the number of people within its borders who may be there illegally.

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The Two-Way
10:52 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Al Gore Put In Internet Hall Of Fame

Former Vice President Al Gore.
Joe Kohen Getty Images for Current TV

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 10:54 am

We're sorry to be a day late — you'd think in the Internet age we would have been more on top of this.

Former Vice President Al Gore (D) is among the inaugural inductees in the Internet Hall of Fame.

He's been lauded by the Internet Society for being "a key proponent [as a senator and vice president] of sponsoring legislation that funded the expansion of and greater public access to the Internet."

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The Two-Way
8:27 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Sources: Gingrich Will End His White House Bid Next Week

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista, Tuesday night in Concord, N.C.
John W. Adkisson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 8:59 am

Fox News reports that "senior Gingrich aides" say former House Speaker Newt Gingrich "plans to formally suspend or end his presidential campaign next Tuesday."

CNN writes that "sources close to Newt Gingrich say he will end his bid for the GOP presidential nomination next week."

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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Wed April 25, 2012

He's 'Never Asked A Prime Minister For Anything,' Rupert Murdoch Says

This video grab from pooled footage shows Rupert Murdoch testifying earlier today in London.
AFP/Getty Images
  • Philip Reeves speaks with Renee Montagne

Among the highlights so far today during Rupert Murdoch's testimony in London before an inquiry into the ethics of the British news media, and his News Corp. tabloids in particular, is this quote from the media mogul:

"I've never asked a prime minister for anything."

NPR's David Folkenflik, who is live-tweeting, and NPR's Philip Reeves, who has been filing radio reports, will have more as the inquiry continues.

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Orders For Durable Goods Drop Sharply

Orders for equipment, appliances, aircraft and other so-called durable goods fell 4.2 percent in March from February, the Census Bureau reports.

It's the second decline in the past three months and the biggest monthly dip in three years. Much of the drop in March was due to a decline in orders for aircraft. "But companies also ordered less machinery and other equipment, a sign manufacturing output may slow," The Associated Press writes.

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The Two-Way
6:33 am
Wed April 25, 2012

NBA's World Peace Gets Seven-Game Suspension For Elbowing Opponent

After Metta World Peace's elbow connected with James Harden's head, the Oklahoma City Thunder guard (behind World Peace) crumpled to the floor. He was later able to walk off on his own power.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 6:40 am

The basketball player formerly known as Ron Artest has been suspended for seven games for swinging his left elbow hard into the head of an opponent on Sunday.

Metta World Peace, as the Los Angeles Lakers forward is now known, will miss the team's last regular season game on Thursday. The Lakers then move into the playoffs, where each round is "best-of-seven." So he could miss most or all of the first round (if the Lakers extend that matchup beyond four games) and even a game or two in the second round (if the Lakers advance after just four or five games).

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The Two-Way
5:49 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Report: Secret Service Agents Say Similar Misconduct Was Tolerated

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano as she testified this morning before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 9:01 am

A few of the latest developments in the so-called Secret Service scandal, which involves alleged cavorting with prostitutes by agents and U.S. military personnel in Cartagena, Colombia, earlier this month:

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The Two-Way
4:33 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Romney: A 'New Campaign' Begins

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife Ann celebrated Tuesday night in Manchester, N.H.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 9:09 am

After sweeping all five of Tuesday's Republican presidential primaries, already presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney declared that the 2012 presidential campaign is now really on.

It's "the start of a new campaign to unite every American who knows in their heart that we can do better," he told supporters in New Hampshire.

"The last few years have been the best that Barack Obama can do, but it's not the best America can do," the former Massachusetts governor added.

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Cardboard Prom Dress Is Just The Right Fit For This Young Woman

Maura Pozek in her latest creation.
Steve Pozek (her dad)

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:51 am

Why did Missouri teen Maura Pozek make her prom dress out of cardboard and paper bags?

Because after fashioning the previous two years' outfits out of Doritos bags and soda can tabs, "I had to top myself somehow."

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Tue April 24, 2012

George Zimmerman Has Pleaded Not Guilty In Trayvon Martin Case

George Zimmerman during his bond hearing in a Seminole County, Fla., courtroom on April 20.
Gary Green Orlando Sentinel-Pool/Getty Images

On the day after he was arrested, George Zimmerman officially entered a "not guilty" plea to the charge of second-degree murder in the Feb. 26 death of Trayvon Martin, according to court records now posted online by Florida's 18th Circuit Court.

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The Two-Way
10:24 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Diners Not Fazed By Second Collapse At 'Heart Attack Grill;' Would You Be?

One of the Heart Attack Grill's "triple bypass" burgers.
Matt York AP

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 3:57 am

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The Two-Way
9:15 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Consumer Confidence Held Steady This Month

After a slight decline in March, the widely watched consumer confidence index from the private Conference Board "was virtually unchanged in April," the research group reports.

"The index now stands at 69.2, down slightly from 69.5 in March," it says.

"Overall, consumers are more upbeat about the state of the economy, but they remain cautiously optimistic," Lynn Franco, director of the board's consumer research center, adds in its release.

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The Two-Way
8:53 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Teacher Of The Year 'Known For Unconventional Techniques'

President Obama gave the 2012 National Teacher of the Year trophy to Rebecca Mieliwocki this morning at the White House.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Rebecca Mieliwocki, a seventh-grade English teacher in Burbank, Calif., was just honored at the White House by being named National Teacher of the Year.

In expressing her thanks, Mieliwocki offered this thought: "I am not the best teacher in America. There isn't just one."

And she went on to talk about the hard work and dedication displayed by most American teachers.

According to Los Angeles' Daily Breeze:

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The Two-Way
7:58 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Home Prices Continue Downward Drift

A sign of the times, last year in Tigard, Ore.
Don Ryan AP

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 8:17 am

"Broadly-speaking, home prices continued to decline in the early months of the year," according to economist David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices.

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The Two-Way
7:33 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Focus On Murdochs Shifts: Were They Bamboozling British Politicians?

A video grab from pooled footage taken inside the Leveson Inquiry shows former News International executive chairman James Murdoch giving evidence at the High Court in London earlier today.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 7:59 am

  • Philip Reeves on 'Morning Edition'

Half-way through today's hearing in London into the Murdoch family's "scandal-tarred British newspaper unit," and the ethics of British media outlets, the inquiry's focus has shifted, NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

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The Two-Way
6:26 am
Tue April 24, 2012

12th Member Of Military Tied To Secret Service Scandal

"A member of the U.S. military assigned to the White House Communications Agency is under investigation in connection with alleged misconduct in Colombia, bringing to 12 the total number of military personnel being reviewed," CNN reports.

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The Two-Way
6:05 am
Tue April 24, 2012

It's Zip It Day On Google

Google

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 6:31 am

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The Two-Way
5:22 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Today's Primaries: Gingrich's Swan Song Or Reason To Remain?

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich earlier this month in New York City.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Nothing about what happens during today's Republican presidential primaries in five states is expected to change the fact that Mitt Romney is the presumptive/expected/presumed/inevitable (pick your favorite word) nominee.

Polls are open in Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. There are 209 convention delegates at stake and Romney could pull off a five-state sweep.

But — and there's always a but — there's this:

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Mon April 23, 2012

VIDEO: Space Out With NASA's 'Walking On Air'

From NASA's 'Walking on Air' video, a view of an aurora from space.
NASA.gov

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 9:52 am

If you're into images of Earth taken from space, NASA has a new video for you. Called Walking on Air, it "features a series of time lapse sequences photographed by the Expedition 30 crew aboard the International Space Station" and is set to the song Walking in the Air by Howard Blake.

The Two-Way
9:00 am
Mon April 23, 2012

U.S., Afghan Security Pact Is Sweeping But Not Specific

U.S. Marines in southern Afghanistan last June.
David Gilkey NPR

While the headlines proclaim that thanks to a new draft agreement the U.S. will continue to defend Afghanistan for a decade after the planned 2014 withdrawal of foreign combat forces from that country, the stories themselves make clear that many of the key details remain to be worked out:

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The Two-Way
7:46 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Several More Secret Service Agents Tied To Scandal Likely To Lose Their Jobs

Within the next few days, several more Secret Service agents will lose their jobs because of their roles in the so-called summit scandal during which they allegedly cavorted with prostitutes in Colombia earlier this month, the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security said this morning.

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The Two-Way
7:03 am
Mon April 23, 2012

VIDEO: World Peace Causes World Of Pain With Elbow To Opponent's Head

The NBA's Ron Artest changed his name to Metta World Peace last year.

But the player known for being at the center of a 2004 brawl in the stands at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Michigan showed Sunday that his new name doesn't mean he's changed all his wild ways.

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The Two-Way
6:22 am
Mon April 23, 2012

To Keep His Job, France's Sarkozy Must Reach To The Right

French President Nicolas Sarkozy after Sunday's vote.
Marc Piasecki Getty Images

"Far-right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen" now has a chance to swing the French presidential election, as France 24 reports, after pulling in 18 percent of the ballots in the first round of voting Sunday.

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The Two-Way
5:22 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Now It Snows?

Don Buckley took his dog Gracie for a walk during the snowstorm this morning in Akron, N.Y.
David Duprey AP

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 10:12 am

The Northeast and mid-Atlantic began the cold season with an unusual Halloween snowstorm that knocked out power to millions. And after that? Almost no snow in may parts of those regions.

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The Two-Way
4:46 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Zimmerman Released After Posting Bail, Will Go Into Hiding But Be Monitored

George Zimmerman, left, as he walked out of jail earlier today. The other man was not identified.
Brian Blanco AP

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