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
2:55 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Iowa Caucuses: Join Us For Live Updates

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 3:28 pm

As we've been saying, it's finally time for voters to cast some ballots that actually mean something for the 2012 presidential race.

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It's All Politics
12:10 pm
Mon January 2, 2012

The Caucuses: A Quick Guide

Edward Lewis of Council Bluffs waved an Iowa state flag outside the Family Table Restaurant in Atlantic on Sunday, before the arrival of former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 12:11 pm

Those who remember newspapers might recognize this as a "clip and save." Maybe the more modern term would be a "cut and paste." Whatever, if you want some of the details and logistics about Tuesday night's caucuses in Iowa, here they are:

-- When: 7 p.m. Central time (8 p.m. ET).

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It's All Politics
11:15 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Iowa Democrats Caucus Too; For Obama Team, It's Practice For November

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 11:17 am

The focus is naturally on the Republican caucuses Tuesday night in Iowa, because the GOP is the party with a battle going on for its presidential nomination.

But President Obama's fellow Democrats in the state will be caucusing too. And by all accounts Team Obama is taking it all very seriously, even though he doesn't have a intra-party challenger.

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Fencer Who Was Darth Vader In Famous Light Saber Scenes Has Died

PRNewsFoto/THQ Wireless

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 10:24 am

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The Two-Way
9:05 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Ranger Killed In Rainier Park Was 'Living Her Dream'

"Slain Ranger Was Living Her Dream."

That's the headline at the website of The Seattle Times, which profiles 34-year-old Margaret Anderson, who was shot to death Sunday in Mount Rainier National Park.

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It's All Politics
8:15 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Bachmann Casts Herself As Thatcher-Style 'Iron Lady' In Last Iowa Ad

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) in Pella, Iowa, on Nov. 1, 2011.
Steve Pope Getty Images

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It's All Politics
7:30 am
Mon January 2, 2012

'Lonely' Jon Huntsman Won't Be Solo In N.H. Much Longer

GOP hopeful Jon Huntsman in Milford, N.H., on Dec. 8.
Cheryl Senter AP

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 8:11 am

Plug the name "Jon Huntsman," the state "New Hampshire" and the word "lonely" into a search field and you'll get lots of hits.

"In New Hampshire, Jon Huntsman Walks A Lonely Path," a Los Angeles Times headline reads.

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The Two-Way
6:30 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Los Angeles Fires: 2 Men Charged In More Than 50 Blazes

People inspect the damage following an overnight fire in Hollywood on Friday (Dec. 30, 2011).
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 1:13 pm

(The top of this post was rewritten at 3:15 p.m. ET.)

Authorities in Los Angeles just announced they've made two arrests in connection with the more than 50 fires that had been set in the city in recent days, causing several million dollars worth of damage but no serious injuries.

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The Two-Way
6:00 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Iran Test-Fires Missile, Claims To Have Made Nuclear Fuel Rod

An Iranian Army soldier stood guard on a military speed boat during navy exercises in the Strait of Hormuz in southern Iran late last week.
Ali Mohammadi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 6:02 am

As often happens with issues related to Iran's relations with the rest of the world, there's a mix of saber-rattling and diplomacy in the news again today:

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It's All Politics
5:20 am
Mon January 2, 2012

It's Almost Caucus Time: Candidates Hone Last-Minute Messages

Fired up on a cold day: Sunday in Ames, Iowa, Marilyn Izette Krocheski came to the West Towne Pub to see Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 5:24 am

Good morning.

With just one full day of campaigning left before Tuesday evening's Republican caucuses in Iowa — the first truly important contest of the 2012 presidential election season — the stories and headlines are all about who's up, who's down and who needs to do what to survive and do battle again next week in New Hampshire.

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Fri December 30, 2011

First 79 Of The 100+ Sears And Kmart Stores Being Closed Are Identified

There are 79 stores in 25 states on the first list of Sears and Kmart locations being closed in the coming year, Sears Holdings has announced.

The 79 locations are posted here. Some details:

-- 11 of the stores are in Florida, the most of any state.

-- The second-most stores (6) are in Georgia, Michigan and Ohio.

-- 38 Kmarts are included.

-- 25 Sears "full-line" locations are listed.

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Fri December 30, 2011

Family, Friends, Fans Bid Farewell To Ben Breedlove, Who Touched Many

Ben Breedlove, in one of his final videos.
TotalRandomness512

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Fri December 30, 2011

Someday, Your Car May Know If That's Your Butt In The Driver's Seat

"Oh dear, the car doesn't seem to recognize me." (1960 file photo from the U.K.)
Chaloner Woods Getty Images

We're a little behind on this story, butt it's too fantasstic not to point out:

Researchers at the University of Tokyo's Graduate School of Industrial Technology have developed an anti-theft device for cars that senses whether the derriere sitting in the driver's seat is or isn't supposed to be there.

Not the right backside? Then the vehicle won't start.

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The Two-Way
6:50 am
Fri December 30, 2011

Top Stories: New Clashes In Syria; No Softening In North Korea

Good morning.

Our early headlines on this last Friday of 2011 (except in Samoa):

-- Clashes Resume In Syria, Activists Say.

-- 'Outrage' Over Verizon's Plan For $2 Payment Fee.

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The Two-Way
6:38 am
Fri December 30, 2011

Clashes Resume In Syria, Activists Say

"Syrian forces and activists have clashed during after-prayer protests in Damascus, as Arab observers continue their mission in the country," the BBC reports. It adds that "activists said troops fired nail bombs to disperse protesters who retaliated with stones in the suburb of Douma."

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The Two-Way
6:25 am
Fri December 30, 2011

Fireworks, Celebrations As Samoa Skips Friday

"Sirens wailed and fireworks exploded in the skies over Samoa as the tiny South Pacific nation jumped forward in time" today, The Associated Press writes.

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The Two-Way
5:55 am
Fri December 30, 2011

'Outrage' Over Verizon's Plan For $2 Payment Fee

Eric Thayer Getty Images

There's been an "uproar on the Web," as The New York Times says this morning, over the plan by Verizon Wireless to charge $2 for some methods of paying your bill.

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The Two-Way
5:20 am
Fri December 30, 2011

Romney, Paul Are 1 And 2 In Another Iowa Poll, Santorum Rising

Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney campaigning in Ames, Iowa, on Thursday (Dec. 29, 2011).
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 9:32 am

With just one holiday weekend between now and Tuesday's Republican presidential caucuses in Iowa, there's another poll signalling that it could be a close battle at the top between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). And also once again, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania is on the rise and showing up at No. 3.

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The Two-Way
12:58 pm
Thu December 29, 2011

Are You Being Paid $600,000 To Party?

She'll be paid well to party: Kim Kardashian.
David Livingston Getty Images

Headlines claiming that celebrity-whose-famous-for-being-famous Kim Kardashian will be paid $600,000 to host a New Year's Eve party at the Tao nightclub in Las Vegas' Venetian hotel and casino and then return to the Tao a few more times in 2012 to make "special appearances," certainly catch your eye.

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The Two-Way
11:55 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Iran Much In Mind As U.S. Wraps Up $30B Sale Of Fighters To Saudi Arabia

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 11:57 am

The news that the U.S. has finalized a deal to sell nearly $30 billion worth of F-15SA fighter jets and other equipment to Saudi Arabia comes, as every story about the agreement says, as America and its allies seek to further isolate and pressure Iran so long as that Persian nation continues to be a threat to others in the region.

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The Two-Way
11:10 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Surprise Headline Of The Day: Gadhafi's Daughter 'Eyeing Asylum In Israel'

Aisha Gadhafi in 2006.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 31, 2011 10:24 am

Stay with us for a minute while we walk through the reporting chain:

The Los Angeles Times writes today that former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's 35-year-old daughter Aisha is "reportedly eyeing asylum in Israel."

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The Two-Way
9:40 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Unused Gift Cards? What About A Group That Collects Them For Charities?

Our post-Christmas post about the estimated $41 billion worth of gift cards that haven't been redeemed since 2005 seemed to strike a chord. And our shout-out for ideas about what to do with cards you don't want or that only have a little bit of money left on them generated some good responses. Such as this:

Trena Gravem (Trena) wrote:

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The Two-Way
8:55 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Petraeus Did Not Consider Quitting Over Afghan Drawdown, Author Says

Gen. David Petraeus in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on July 4, 2011.
U.S. Navy Lt. j.g. Haraz N. Ghanbari Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 9:16 am

The lede on an Associated Press report this morning:

"Four-star general-turned-CIA director David Petraeus almost resigned as Afghanistan war commander over President Barack Obama's decision to quickly draw down surge forces, according to a new insider's look at Petraeus' 37-year Army career."

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Jobless Claims Rise By 15,000

The number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless benefits grew by 15,000 last week from the previous week, to 381,000, the Employment and Training Administration just reported. It was the first increase in the past four weeks.

The agency adds, though, that "the 4-week moving average was 375,000, a decrease of 5,750 from the previous week's revised average of 380,750."

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Thu December 29, 2011

In Syria: Videos Belie Monitor's Comment About 'Nothing Frightening'

Sudanese Gen. Mustafa al-Dabi told reporters Wednesday that he had seen "nothing frightening" during his first visit to the Syrian city of Homs this week.

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The Two-Way
5:40 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Report: Criminal Charges Being Prepared Against BP For Gulf Oil Spill

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burned on April 21, 2010.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

"U.S. prosecutors are preparing what would be the first criminal charges against BP PLC employees stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident, which killed 11 workers and caused the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history," The Wall Street Journal reports this morning, citing "people familiar with the matter."

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The Two-Way
12:40 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

There Will Be No Friday This Week In Samoa

Samoa: Would you argue with getting an extra day in a place like this?
D. Kirkland/Samoa Tourist Authority AP

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 12:53 pm

What's happening in Samoa on Friday?

Nothing (sort of).

Officially, the day won't exist.

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The Two-Way
11:25 am
Wed December 28, 2011

In S.C.: Whether To Say 'It's A Great Day' Is Now A Political Issue

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R).
Chris Keane Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 11:26 am

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) has told her Cabinet agencies that all employees should answer their phones with this greeting:

"It's a great day in South Carolina. How can I help you?"

But two Democratic members of the state House are sponsoring legislation that would prohibit any agency from ordering its staff to say that unless it truly is a "great day in South Carolina" (according to those legislators).

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