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
6:00 am
Mon February 27, 2012

WikiLeaks Starts Posting Millions Of Security Firm Stratfor's Emails

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is driven away in a taxi after leaving his hearing at the Supreme Court in London, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012.
Matt Dunham AP

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 6:46 am

"The anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks began publishing on Monday more than five million emails from a U.S.-based global security analysis company that has been likened to a shadow CIA," Reuters writes.

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Mon February 27, 2012

Will Killings Over Quran Burnings Lead To Faster Pullout From Afghanistan?

In Herat, Afghanistan, on Friday: Demonstrators shouted anti-American slogans.
Aref Karimi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 5:43 am

  • NPR's Quil Lawrence on 'Morning Edition'

The news from Afghanistan remains grim as protests and attacks continue over the recent burning of some Qurans and other Islamic materials at an airbase controlled by international forces. The violence and unrest has also, The Washington Post writes, "exposed a crippling weakness in the American strategy to wind down the war."

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The Two-Way
8:15 am
Fri February 24, 2012

New Home Sales Dipped In January

A sign of the times at a new housing development in Danville, Calif., last year.
David Paul Morris Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 8:18 am

There was a 0.9 percent drop in sales of new homes in January vs. December, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development just reported.

The annual sales rate, 321,000, was still 3.5 percent above the pace of January 2011, however.

And The Associated Press notes that the dip in January from December may have partly been due to the fact that "the government said the final quarter of 2011 was stronger than first estimated."

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Fri February 24, 2012

NPR Promotes Two Executives To Key Posts

Kinsey Wilson, NPR's executive vice president and chief content officer.
Stephen Voss NPR

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 12:03 pm

Slightly more than one year after a series of controversial events led to top leaders' depatures, NPR this morning announced "a new executive structure" and named two current managers to key posts.

NPR President and CEO Gary Knell said that:

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The Two-Way
6:00 am
Fri February 24, 2012

U.S., Other 'Friends Of Syria,' To Call On Syria's Assad To Step Aside

As Syrian security forces continue to pound the city of Homs and surrounding areas, "the United States, Europe and Arab countries were set Friday to back a proposal for Syria's president to step aside and allow in humanitarian assistance to end a brutal crackdown against opponents," The Associated Press writes.

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Obama's Tax Plan Is 'Step Forward,' But Not Enough, Key Republican Says

  • NPR's Steve Inskeep talks with Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich.

President Obama's proposal to cut the top corporate tax rate from its current 35 percent to 28 percent (and in some cases, to 25 percent) is "a good step forward and I welcome looking at the details," the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee said today on Morning Edition.

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The Two-Way
5:05 am
Fri February 24, 2012

From Palin's Emails: 'Are You Flipping Kidding???'

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at a Tea Party event in Iowa last September.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Once again, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is in the news and the story is one of this morning's "talkers."

Another big batch of emails she wrote while in office has been released, and as The Associated Press writes:

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The Two-Way
1:40 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Guy Walks Into A Denny's, Cooks A Burger, Gets Arrested

Denny's was the scene. Fraud is among the alleged crimes. A burger may have been cooked.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

This alleged crime in Madison, Wis., is odd enough — or funny enough, depending on your point of view — to begin with.

It seems that 52-year-old James B. Summers went into a local Denny's restaurant Tuesday afternoon and said he was the new general manager. This was a surprise to the folks working there.

Summers, though, insisted that he was indeed the new boss. And he seemed to be familiar with the kitchen — he grabbed a soft drink and cooked up a cheeseburger and fries.

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Syrian Officials To Blame For Crimes Against Humanity, U.N. Panel Suggests

Syrians today carried the body of a youth reportedly killed in violence in the Idlib region.
Bulent Kilic AFP/Getty Images

A United Nations panel says it has evidence that top Syrian officials "bear responsibility for crimes against humanity and other gross human rights violations" during the nearly year-long crackdown on dissent that has left thousands of civilians dead.

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The Two-Way
8:05 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Google Glasses: Frightening Or Fantastic?

The view will be more sophisticated than this, but you get the idea.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 23, 2012 9:34 am

The buzz is building about the news that, as The New York Times has reported, there soon may be "Google glasses" that can "stream information to the wearer's eyeballs in real time."

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The Two-Way
7:15 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Seven Marines Killed When Helicopters Collide Over Arizona Training Range

(This post was updated with breaking news at 9:27 a.m. ET.)

Seven U.S. Marines were killed Wednesday night when two helicopters collided over the Yuma, Ariz., Training Range Complex, according to a statement just emailed to the NPR Newscast Desk by a spokesman for the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.

The statement adds that:

"The aircraft, an AH-1W 'Cobra' and an UH-1Y 'Huey,' were conducting routine training operations around 8:00 p.m. Identities of the Marines will be withheld until next of kin have been notified."

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Jobless Claims Stay At Four-Year Low

There were 351,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, unchanged from the four-year-low level of the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

It adds that "the 4-week moving average was 359,000, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week's revised average of 366,000."

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Online Privacy Act's No. 1 Principle Is 'Individual Control'

Originally published on Thu February 23, 2012 7:09 am

  • Steve Henn, reporting on 'Morning Edition'

Saying that "we must reject the conclusion that privacy is an outmoded value" and that it has been "at the heart of our democracy from its inception," President Obama this morning released his administration's "Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy" — a "Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights."

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Report: Two U.S. Troops Killed In Afghanistan; Quran Burnings Backlash?

Demonstrators shouted anti-American slogans during a protest in Kabul today (Feb. 23, 2012).
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

"Two U.S. troops have been shot to death and four more wounded by an Afghan solider who turned his gun on his allies in apparent anger over the burning of Qurans at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan, an Afghan official tells CBS News."

Officially, the International Security Assistance Force says that:

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The Two-Way
5:05 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Dozens Killed, Hundreds Wounded In Iraq; Attacks Blamed On Al-Qaida

An Iraqi policeman inspects a destroyed vehicle at the site of a blast in the northern city of Kirkuk earlier today (Feb. 23, 2012).
Marwan Ibrahim AFP/Getty Images

"A rapid series of attacks spread over a wide swath of Iraqi territory killed at least 50 people on Thursday, targeting mostly security forces in what appeared to be another strike by al-Qaida militants bent on destabilizing the country," The Associated Press reports.

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The Two-Way
1:05 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

'Pepper Spray Cop' Suit Filed

Nov. 18, 2011: Occupy protesters get sprayed at University of California Davis.
YouTube

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Wed February 22, 2012

Mubarak Verdict Due On June 2

Outside the court in Cairo where former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been on trial, a man earlier today held a sign saying there was a noose waiting for Mubarak.
Marco Longari AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 11:00 am

As the case against former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak came to a close today, the trial judge announced he expects to deliver a verdict on June 2.

According to al-Jazeera:

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Wed February 22, 2012

Sales Of Existing Homes At Highest Level In Nearly Two Years

There were 4.3 percent more existing homes sold in January than in December, and the 4.57 million annual rate was the highest since May 2010, the National Association of Realtors reports.

Sales have gone up three of the past four months.

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The Two-Way
6:50 am
Wed February 22, 2012

Obama Sings Again: Belts A Bit Of 'Sweet Home Chicago'

Blues legend B.B. King during last night's performance at the White House.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 8:56 am

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The Two-Way
6:20 am
Wed February 22, 2012

Obama Administration To Propose Cut In Corporate Tax Rate

The Obama administration is today going to propose a cut in the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent, according to multiple reports. NPR's Scott Horsley notes that the president also wants to scale back some deductions that businesses now get. So, the overall effect of any such changes could be "revenue neutral" and keep corporations' share of the nation's tax burden unchanged, Scott says.

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Wed February 22, 2012

Protests Continue In Afghanistan Over Quran Burnings; Some Killed

In Kabul today, demonstrators shouted anti-American slogans.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

"At least four people have been killed and 20 injured in Afghanistan after protests spread over the burning of copies of the Koran at a US airbase," the BBC writes. "One person was killed in Kabul, one in the eastern city of Jalalabad and two in Parwan province."

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The Two-Way
5:15 am
Wed February 22, 2012

Killing Continues In Syria, Two Western Journalists Among Victims

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 6:07 am

There's more deadly news today from Syria:

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The Two-Way
12:40 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Indiana Lawmaker Says Girl Scouts Are Destroying 'American Family Values'

Would Indiana Rep. Bob Morris approve of his fellow Republican's endorsement of this organization? 1997: Former President Reagan receives cookies from members of Girl Scout Troop #313 as a gift for his 86th birthday.
Mike Guastella AFP/Getty Images

Saying that the Girl Scouts is a "radicalized organization" that promotes "homosexual lifestyles" and is aligned with honorary president Michelle Obama's "pro-abortion" viewpoint, an Indiana state legislator has told his fellow Republicans he can't support a proclamation honoring the organization's 100th anniversary.

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Supreme Court To Hear Affirmative Action Case That Could Be Campaign Issue

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 9:05 am

The Supreme Court today agreed to hear oral arguments in a Texas affirmative action case that has, as NPR.org's Liz Halloran wrote last fall, "the potential to rewrite law on how or whether public colleges and universities may consider race and ethnicity as a factor in admissions."

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Tue February 21, 2012

U.S. General Apologizes To 'Noble People Of Afghanistan' For Quran Burnings

An Afghan demonstrator holds a copy of a half-burnt Quran, allegedly set on fire by soldiers at Bagram Air Field, during a protest outside the base today.
Massoud Hossaini AFP/Getty Images

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The Two-Way
6:00 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Back On The Air, Stephen Colbert Gives Nod To Ailing Mom

Stephen Colbert, explaining his absence.
ColbertNation.com

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 6:04 am

Without directly saying so, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert all-but-confirmed last night that he was off the air for two days last week because his 91-year-old mother Lorna has been ill.

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