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
6:45 am
Thu January 5, 2012

Strong Gain: Employers Added 325,000 Jobs Last Month, Survey Says

The scene last month at the "Denver Hires Job Fair."
John Moore Getty Images

There was a 325,000-gain in the number of jobs on private employers' payrolls last month, according to the widely watched ADP National Employment Report, which was just released.

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Thu January 5, 2012

Pentagon Says Two-War Strategy Not Likely To Be Scrapped

The USS Carl Vinson, an aircraft carrier, near Hong Kong last month.
Aaron Tam AFP/Getty Images

Among the stories about today's unveiling of the Obama administration's new defense strategy is a New York Times report that says projected cuts in the number of Army troops would mean the military would no longer "be able to carry out two sustained ground wars at one time, as was required under past national military strategies."

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The Two-Way
5:10 am
Thu January 5, 2012

Baghdad Rocked Again By Deadly Bomb Blasts

Iraqi men examine some of the wreckage left behind after one of today's explosions in Baghdad.
Ali Al-Saadi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 5, 2012 5:12 am

The death toll is rising in Baghdad from another series of deadly bombings apparently aimed at Shiite Muslims.

About 30 people were killed today and more than 60 wounded, according to authorities, by explosions near two sites where day laborers were gathering to look for construction work.

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The Two-Way
3:49 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

Google Slaps Its Own Wrist Over Chrome Pay-For-Blogging Flap

Google is "downgrading the search result ranking of the company's own Web browser, Google Chrome, for 60 days," as PC World reports, because some bloggers ending up being paid to mention Chrome during a recent ad campaign.

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The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

Mom Kills Intruder, Dead Man's Alleged Accomplice Faces Murder Charge

The story of how 18-year-old Sarah Dawn McKinley shot and killed a man who authorities say was breaking into her house on Saturday has been getting lots of attention because of the 911 phone call she made and the already tragic circumstances surrounding the incident.

McKinley, of Blanchard, Okla., called 911 to say that a man was trying to get inside her mobile home and that she feared for her life and that of her 3-month-old son. She asked the 911 operator if she could shoot him if he got inside.

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The Two-Way
1:58 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

Judge Robert Carter, An 'Architect Of Desegregation,' Has Died

Robert Carter, who was a key member of the legal team that convinced the U.S. Supreme Court to outlaw segregated public schools in 1954's landmark Brown v. the Board of Education decision, died Tuesday. He was 94.

According to The New York Times, "the cause was complications of a stroke, said his son John W. Carter, a justice of the New York Supreme Court in the Bronx."

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The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

Gordon Hirabayashi Has Died; He Refused To Go To WWII Internment Camp

"This order for the mass evacuation of all persons of Japanese descent denies them the right to live," Seattle native Gordon Hirabayashi wrote in 1942. "I consider it my duty to maintain the democratic standards for which this nation lives. Therefore, I must refuse this order of evacuation."

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It's All Politics
11:50 am
Wed January 4, 2012

McCain Endorses Romney

Saying he's there "to make sure we make Mitt Romney the next president of the United States of America," 2008 Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain just returned to New Hampshire to endorse the White House bid of his one-time rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

McCain and Romney fought a hard battle for the GOP nomination n 2008, after which Romney endorsed the Arizona senator.

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Wed January 4, 2012

How Close Was It? Iowa Result Was .003 Tighter Than Bush-Gore In Fla.

Some of the caucus ballots from a GOP gathering Tuesday night in Des Moines.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 11:15 am

When it comes to close political races, the recent Gold Standard in the U.S. is the 2000 presidential vote in Florida.

So we were wondering how last night's result in the Iowa Republican presidential caucuses compares to that famous hanging-chad contest between George W. Bush and Al Gore.

Let's walk through the math:

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It's All Politics
9:40 am
Wed January 4, 2012

Gov. Perry: 'Here we come South Carolina!!!'

Though he said last night that he would go home to reassess his bid for the presidency — a signal that he might drop out of the race — this message just popped up on the personal Twitter page of Texas Gov. Rick Perry:

"And the next leg of the marathon is the Palmetto State...Here we come South Carolina!!!"

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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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