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
8:35 am
Tue October 4, 2011

Bernanke: Economic Outlook Has Deteriorated

Federal Reserve policymakers expect "a somewhat slower pace of economic growth over coming quarters" than they had been forecasting just four months ago, Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress this hour.

There has been, he added in a statement prepared for the Joint Economic Committee, a "deterioration in the economic outlook over the summer."

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Tue October 4, 2011

In Two Polls, Perry's Down And Cain Is Up; Meanwhile What About Christie?

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 4, 2011 1:32 pm

Apply all the usual caveats: Poll numbers go up, poll numbers go down and we're still months away from Republicans actually casting meaningful votes for their presidential contenders.

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Tue October 4, 2011

Inspector General: Fannie Mae Was Told About Foreclosure Abuse In 2003

A foreclosure/price reduced sign stands in front of a home for sale on February 11, 2011 in Miami.

Joe Raedle Getty Images

One of the hottest stories this morning is word that, as The Associated Press puts it, "mortgage giant Fannie Mae knew about allegations of improper foreclosure practices by law firms in 2003 but did not act to stop them, a government watchdog says."

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The Two-Way
6:20 am
Tue October 4, 2011

Scores Killed By Truck Bomb In Somalia

There's been a deadly bombing today in the capital of Somalia.

"Islamist militants detonated a truck bomb Tuesday in front of the Ministry of Education in Mogadishu, killing at least 70 people, wounding dozens and shattering a relative calm that had prevailed ... for weeks," The Associated Press reports.

According to the BBC:

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The Two-Way
6:00 am
Tue October 4, 2011

Ford, UAW Reach Tentative Contract Deal

Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 4, 2011 6:06 am

"Ford Motor Co. and the United Auto Workers have come to terms on a new four-year contract that trades annual pay raises for profit sharing and a signing bonus and promises thousands of new jobs building cars and trucks," The Associated Press writes.

Details aren't out yet, but the union has confirmed on its Twitter page that a "tentative agreement" has been reached.

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Tue October 4, 2011

As Amanda Knox Heads Home, Murdered Girl's Family Seeks Answers

Arline Kercher and Lyle Kercher, the mother and brother of murder victim Meredith Kercher, on Monday in Perugia, Italy.

Franco Origlia Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 4, 2011 5:39 am

Her murder conviction overturned by an Italian appeals court, American Amanda Knox has left Italy and is making her way home to Seattle, The Associated Press reports.

Now, the BCC writes:

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The Two-Way
5:00 am
Tue October 4, 2011

Nobel Prize In Physics Honors Work On Expanding Universe

NASA Getty Images

Three U.S.-born scientists whose work indicates that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate have been awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics.

American Saul Perlmutter will share the $1.5 million award with U.S.-Australian Brian Schmidt and U.S. scientist Adam Riess, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced this morning.

In its statement announcing the honors, the academy writes that

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The Two-Way
2:25 pm
Mon October 3, 2011

Incoming NPR CEO Makes Case For Public Funding, Will Look At All Sources

Incoming NPR CEO and President Gary Knell.

Sesame Workshop

"Public radio needs to do a better job of making the case" for public funding as one of its revenue sources, the incoming CEO and president of NPR said this afternoon.

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Mon October 3, 2011

White House Knew Solyndra Was In Trouble, Emails Indicate

May 26, 2010: President Obama tours the Solyndra solar panel company with Executive VP of Engineering Ben Bierman.
Pool Getty Images

"E-Mails Reveal Early White House Worries Over Solyndra," reads the headline on the lead story at NYTimes.com this hour.

"Donor, Officials Warned Obama Not To Visit Solyndra After Financial Warnings," says WashingtonPost.com.

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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Mon October 3, 2011

VIDEO: Comet Hits Sun; Is Brilliant Explosion Related?

www.helioviewer.org

SpaceWeather.com says most solar physicists would likely say that a "puny comet" couldn't set off a "coronal mass ejection" of solar particles.

But check out this video from over the weekend, when a comet struck the sun. The images were animated by Helioviewer.org, "an open-source project for the visualization of solar and heliospheric data" that is funded by the European Space Agency and NASA.

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The Two-Way
10:34 am
Mon October 3, 2011

GM, Chrysler Posted Sharp Sales Gains In September; Ford's Rose Too

"General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC posted double-digit sales increases in September, defying the prevailing malaise in the economy," The Detroit News reports. "GM reported U.S. sales of 207,145 vehicles last month, a 20 percent increase over September 2010. Chrysler's domestic sales were up 27 percent."

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Mon October 3, 2011

Manufacturing Grew In September, Construction Gained In August

Originally published on Mon October 3, 2011 8:43 am

Neither reports signals a sharp turnaround for the sluggish economy, but:

-- The manufacturing sector "expanded in September for the 26th consecutive month," the Institute for Supply Management says. An index it calculates that measures such things as orders, production and employment stood at 51.6 in September vs. 50.6 in August. A reading above 50 is supposed to signal an expanding factory sector. The index has been at 50 or above for those 26 months.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Mon October 3, 2011

First Up For New Yahoo-ABC News Venture: Obama Interview

Linda Holmes over at Monkey See will be looking at the pluses, minuses and other issues related to the news that Yahoo and ABC News are launching "a strategic online news alliance."

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Mon October 3, 2011

Will Nobel Laureate Who Died On Friday Still Be Honored?

"Work produced by a person since deceased shall not be considered for an award. If, however, a prizewinner dies before he has received the prize, then the prize may be presented."

That's one of the rules in the Statues of the Nobel Foundation, and it's suddenly pertinent because it's just been announced that Rockefeller University scientist Ralph Steinman died on Friday.

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Mon October 3, 2011

'Occupy Wall Street' Spreads

Police begin to arrest "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrators on the Brooklyn Bridge. Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011.

Stephanie Keith AP

Originally published on Mon October 3, 2011 11:03 am

The "Occupy Wall Street" protests "appears to be settling in for the long term," NPR's Jeff Brady reports.

And as Jeff said on Weekend Edition Sunday:

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Mon October 3, 2011

Rapid Response From Perry Campaign To Story About Offensive Word

Republican presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry in Manchester, N.H., on Saturday (Oct. 1, 2011).

Kayana Szymczak Getty Images
Note: This report contains an offensive racial epithet. It is an essential part of the story, however.

"Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign pushed back quickly and forcefully Sunday against a Washington Post story that linked Perry to a hunting camp known to some by a racially insensitive name," the Austin American-Statesman reports.

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The Two-Way
5:00 am
Mon October 3, 2011

Three Scientists Share Nobel Prize In Medicine

NobelPrize.org

Originally published on Mon October 3, 2011 7:00 am

The Nobel Prize in medicine has been awarded to three scientists whose discoveries about the human immune system "opened up new avenues for the development of prevention and therapy against infections, cancer, and inflammatory diseases," the Nobel committee announced earlier today.

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The Two-Way
3:22 pm
Sun October 2, 2011

NPR Names Gary Knell As New CEO/President

Incoming NPR CEO and President Gary Knell.
Sesame Workshop

Gary Knell, president and CEO of Sesame Workshop – producers of the Sesame Street educational children's TV show — has been named the new CEO and president of NPR. The news was broken this hour on Weekend All Things Considered. Knell will take the positions on Dec. 1.

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The Two-Way
11:20 am
Fri September 30, 2011

On NPR: Al-Awlaki Talked Of Muslims Being Hurt In Post-Sept. 11World

Long before U.S. officials said he was one of the world's most-wanted terrorists, Anwar al-Awlaki was a Muslim cleric who U.S. media outlets would turn to during discussions about the post-Sept. 11 world.

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The Two-Way
9:45 am
Fri September 30, 2011

Bank Of America Is 'Sticking It' To Customers, Senator Says

A customer uses a Bank of America ATM in Los Angeles. The bank plans to start charging a $5 monthly fee for customers who use their debit card for purchases starting early in 2012. ATM transactions would still be free.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

There's no doubt how the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate feels about Bank of America's plan to charge most of its debit card users $5 a month if they use the cards to make purchases. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) has issued a statement that reads, in part:

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The Two-Way
8:05 am
Fri September 30, 2011

Reports: Red Sox And Manager Francona Are Parting Ways

"The Boston Red Sox and manager Terry Francona "have decided to part ways after eight seasons and two World Series titles," Sports Illustrated is reporting.

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Fri September 30, 2011

Personal Income Slipped In August, Consumer Spending Basically Flat

There was a 0.1 percent dip in personal income in August vs. July, the Bureau of Economic Analysis just reported. The Associated Press says that's the "poorest showing since a similar 0.1 percent drop in October 2009."

In addition, "disposable personal income" actually fell 0.3 percent after inflation.

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Fri September 30, 2011

NBA Star Kobe Bryant To Play In Italy, Club Owner Says

If hoops fans need any more evidence that the NBA lockout means there likely won't be any games anytime soon, here it is:

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The Two-Way
5:35 am
Fri September 30, 2011

Top Stories: Al-Awlaki, Immigration, 'Operation Twist'

Good morning.

The top story so far, as we've been reporting, is that authorities in Yemen say U.S.-born anti-American al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki is dead. We'll keep following that story as it develops.

Other top stories:

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The Two-Way
4:15 am
Fri September 30, 2011

Al-Awlaki, U.S.-Born Cleric Linked To Al-Qaida, Is Dead, U.S. And Yemen Say

In this image taken from video and released by SITE Intelligence Group, Anwar al-Awlaki speaks in a video message posted on radical websites in November, 2010.
SITE Intelligence Group AP

Originally published on Fri September 30, 2011 5:39 pm

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Thu September 29, 2011

China Launches 'Heavenly Palace 1' Into Space; Takes Step Toward Station

With a nighttime liftoff from a launch pad on the edge of the Gobi Desert, China today put its unmanned Tiangong-1 ("Heavenly Palace-1") module into orbit and started a decade-long project aimed at constructing its own space station.

The module will "conduct surveys of Chinese farmland using special cameras, along with experiments involving growing crystals in zero gravity," The Associated Press says. Then, in coming years:

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The Two-Way
12:10 pm
Thu September 29, 2011

Bank Of America's $5 Per Month Debit Card Fee Is Sign Of The Times

Using one of these is starting to cost more.
iStock

Bank of America is next year going to start charging most holders of its debit cards $5 a month if they use them to make purchases. It's the biggest sign so far of how new bank regulations are going to mean big changes for the millions of customers who have come to rely on cards that are tied to their checking accounts — and don't rack up potentially huge interest bills.

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Thu September 29, 2011

Germany's OK Of Bailout Means Europe Can Continue To 'Muddle Through'

Word that Germany's parliament today "approved a plan to expand the power of a European bailout fund for troubled countries that use the euro," doesn't mean the crisis across the Atlantic is over, our colleague Jacob Goldstein writes over at the Planet Money blog.

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