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
7:30 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Housing Starts Rose Again In August, Pace Remains Well Above Previous Years

Construction that was underway this summer in San Mateo, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 8:30 am

(This post was updated at 10:05 a.m. ET.)

In the morning's second sign of strength in the housing sector, the National Association of Realtors reports that sales of existing homes rose 7.8 percent in August from July and were 9.3 percent above the pace of August 2011.

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The Two-Way
6:38 am
Wed September 19, 2012

18 Innings Are A Lot, But Orioles-Mariners Game Is No Record-Breaker

Fans were few and far-between (and possibly not awake) as the Orioles-Mariners game went on and on in Seattle.
Otto Greule Jr. Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 7:57 am

Hearing about the 18-inning, 5 hours and 44 minutes-long game between the Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners that stretched from last night into today set us off in search of news about Major League Baseball's longest games.

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The Two-Way
5:41 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Shuttle Endeavour Is On Its Way To California

Space shuttle Endeavour, attached to a 747, on the tarmac at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Bill Ingalls/NASA UPI /Landov

Space shuttle Endeavour has taken off on its farewell tour across the country.

The third of the retired fleet of four to head off to a retirement home, Endeavour is being ferried from Florida to Los Angeles — with a stop on the way in Houston. It is perched atop a 747.

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The Two-Way
5:21 am
Wed September 19, 2012

France On Alert, Closing Embassies, After Magazine Publishes Muhammad Cartoons

At the offices of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo earlier today, publisher/editor Stephane Charbonnier ("Charb") struck a defiant pose.
Fred DuFour AFP/Getty Images

A French magazine's publication today of "crude caricatures" depicting the Prophet Muhammad has that nation on alert and preparing to close 20 of its embassies in Muslim nations.

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The Two-Way
10:13 am
Tue September 18, 2012

Our Mistake: We Missed The Ball On Reporting Baseball's 500,000th Error

Jose Reyes of the Miami Marlins.
Jason Arnold Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 10:53 am

This blogger makes mistakes, as sharp-eyed Two-Way readers who can spell and punctuate know all too well.

So errors are something familiar.

Which brings up this milestone: Miami Marlins shortstop Jose Reyes on Saturday committed what is thought to have been the 500,000th error in Major League history (since 1876, that is).

But did he?

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The Two-Way
9:23 am
Tue September 18, 2012

To Celebrate A New Cub, Listen Again To NPR's Ode To The 'Panda Cam'

A composite of images from the panda cam, showing Mei Xiang during and after giving birth.
National Zoo Xinhua/Landov

The birth this week of a giant panda cub at Washington's National Zoo brings back fond memories and generates new excitement for Morning Edition supervising senior editor Kitty Eisele.

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The Two-Way
8:12 am
Tue September 18, 2012

French Magazine Ordered To Hand Over Photos Of Topless Kate, Not Republish Any

Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, was visiting the Polynesian island of Tuvalu earlier today.
Tony Prcevich AFP/Getty Images

The French magazine Closer must hand over all digital files of photos containing snapshots of a topless Kate Middleton and refrain from republishing any of them or face fines of $13,000 a day.

According to France 24, a French court ruled today that:

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The Two-Way
7:13 am
Tue September 18, 2012

Romney's Wrong And Right About The '47 Percent'

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney talking to reporters Monday in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 11:12 am

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney told supporters that "there are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what" because they are "dependent upon government ... believe that they are victims ... believe the government has a responsibility to care for them ... these are people who pay no income tax."

Who was he talking about?

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The Two-Way
5:57 am
Tue September 18, 2012

Palestinians Have 'No Interest ... In Establishing Peace,' Romney Says

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 9:30 am

The liberal news outlet Mother Jones has followed Monday's leaked video of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney saying that 47 percent of Americans will vote for President Obama because they are "dependent upon government" and "believe that they are victims," with another clip in which he says Palestinians have "no interest whatsoever

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The Two-Way
5:33 am
Tue September 18, 2012

As Attacks Continue, NATO Scales Back Joint Operations In Afghanistan

A suicide bomber struck a convoy of buses today in Kabul, killing at least 12 people — mostly foreigners.
Massoud Hossaini AFP/Getty Images
  • Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson on 'Morning Edition'

NATO's announcement Monday that it is suspending some joint operations with Afghan forces could have a "huge impact" on coalition forces' work in Afghanistan, NPR's Soryaya Sarhaddi Nelson said earlier today on Morning Edition.

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The Two-Way
11:51 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Family Of Man Behind Anti-Islam Video Flees Home

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:42 am

In the pre-dawn hours today the wife, two sons and daughter of the man most prominently linked to the anti-Islam video that has sparked violence in many Muslim cities fled their home in Cerritos, Calif.

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The Two-Way
10:30 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Chicago's Mayor Emanuel Asks Court To Order Teachers Back To School

Striking Chicago public school teachers outside of George Westinghouse College Prep high school earlier today.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Following through on what he said he would do if the city's teachers didn't end their week-old strike and return to their classrooms, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has asked a judge to intervene.

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The Two-Way
9:33 am
Mon September 17, 2012

A Los Alamos Landmark, The 'Black Hole,' Is About To Disappear

"Atomic Ed" Grothus at the Black Hole surplus story in Los Alamos, N.M., in 2008.
John Burnett NPR

It's called the Black Hole because "everything goes in and nothing comes out," as founder Ed Grothus told NPR's John Burnett in 2008.

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The Two-Way
6:31 am
Mon September 17, 2012

White House Launching Trade Complaints Against China

A worker inspects auto parts at a factory in Chengdu, China. (2005 file photo.)
China Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 11:10 am

"The White House Monday will demand through a world trade panel that China stop subsidizing auto parts made for export," reports Cleveland's Plain Dealer.

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The Two-Way
6:12 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Row Over Photos Of Topless Kate Lands In French Courts

Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, earlier today on a visit to the Solomon Islands.
Daniel Munoz AFP/Getty Images

Buckingham Palace is following up its promise to bring a civil suit against the French magazine that published photos of a topless Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton) with a criminal complaint that's also been filed in a French court.

According to the BBC:

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The Two-Way
5:58 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Rushdie Decries 'Mindset Of The Fanatic' That Sparks Anti-American Protests

There were also anti-American protests in Kabul on Sunday.
Massoud Hossaini AFP/Getty Images
  • On 'Morning Edition': Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reporting from Kabul
  • Salman Rushdie speaking with NPR's Steve Inskeep on 'Morning Edition'

Anti-American demonstrations tied to the film Innocence of Muslims spread to Afghanistan's capital today, where a thousand or so men and boys shouted "death to America!," burned cars and threw stones at police.

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The Two-Way
10:27 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Suspect Charged In 'Air Hoax,' And Victim Arrested On Unrelated Charges

The US Air flight that was forced to return to Philadelphia on Thursday because of the hoax.
Clem Murray MCT /Landov

File this under "you think you had a bad day?" and "that was a really dumb idea."

First, a plane headed from Philadelphia to Texas is turned around Thursday because someone called authorities to say a passenger was carrying a "liquid explosive."

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It's All Politics
9:38 am
Fri September 7, 2012

In Case You Missed It: Video Of Gabrielle Giffords Leading The Pledge

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., waves to the delegates at the Democratic National Convention.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

It was, as Eyder wrote Thursday night, "one of the convention's most emotional moments."

So here, in case you missed it, is a video clip of former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords leading her fellow Democrats in the Pledge of Allegiance.

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Fri September 7, 2012

VIDEO: Jennifer Granholm's High-Energy Address To The DNC

Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm making one of her points Thursday at the Democratic National Convention.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

President Obama and Vice President Biden are naturally getting the big headlines. But it's former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm who is getting a lot of the buzz this morning for her high-energy address Thursday night at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Thanks to the video archive that C-SPAN helpfully makes available, we've created a clip of her 6 minute, 30-second appearance.

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The Two-Way
8:23 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Clinton Signs Report Designating Haqqani Network As Terrorist Group

A U.S. Predator drone flies through the night sky over Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan. Such drones have been targeting groups such as the Haqqani network that are accused of attacking U.S. and Afghan forces.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

One of the most violent groups operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan — one which top U.S.

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Bail Granted For Christian Pakistani Girl Accused Of Blasphemy Against Islam

The young Pakistani girl who has been in custody for about two weeks after neighbors accused her of burning some Islamic religious materials has been granted bail by a judge in Islamabad.

But NPR's Jackie Northam reports that the bail set today — the equivalent of about $10,000 — is an "enormous sum here in Pakistan." So it's uncertain whether Rimsha Masih will be out of jail anytime soon.

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The Two-Way
6:12 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Top Stories: Jobs Report; Obama's Speech; Bail For Pakistani Christian Girl

Good morning.

Some of the early and overnight headlines on posts we've done here and at It's All Politics:

-- High Unemployment & Slow Job Growth: Likely News From Today's Report.

-- Obama: 'Times Have Changed ... So Have I'.

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The Two-Way
5:51 am
Fri September 7, 2012

High Unemployment & Slow Job Growth: Likely News From Today's Report

At a job fair in San Diego this week, Navy Sailor E-5 Cedric Washington spoke to Sim Garriotti from Lockheed Martin while interviewing for a potential position.
Sandy Huffaker Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 8:34 am

The number of jobs on private and public payrolls grew by just 96,000 in August from July, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said this morning.

Meanwhile, the nation's unemployment rate edged down to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent the month before. Often, the jobless rate dips even when employment growth is weak because the size of the labor force shrank as many Americans gave up looking for work.

It's a report that will surely add to the presidential campaign rhetoric.

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It's All Politics
5:32 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Fact Checkers Ding Obama And Biden For Some Spinning

Vice President Biden and President Obama wave to the delegates Thursday night at the conclusion of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 7:52 am

"We heard some facts being spun" Thursday night when President Obama and Vice President Biden gave their acceptance speeches at the Democratic National Convention, report the watchdogs at FactCheck.org.

They and other independent fact checkers have compiled, just as they did at last week's Republican National Convention, a list of those things said by the two parties' standard bearers that don't quite add up or may give misleading impressions.

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The Two-Way
12:41 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

From Mars: Curiosity's Tracks, Up Close And From Above

Curiosity's tracks on Mars, in an image taken from the rover.
NASA.gov

NASA continues to share some fascinating photos of the Mars rover Curiosity. Among the latest:

-- An image taken from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that shows Curiosity's tracks from high above. According to NASA, "the image's color has been enhanced to show the surface details better."

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The Two-Way
11:36 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Obama Was 'Spewing Coals' When Budget Deal Collapsed, Boehner Says

August 2011: President Obama (right) and House Speaker John Boehner at the White House as they and other lawmakers worked to head off a government shutdown that loomed.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Some details are emerging from Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward's new book about the 2011 battle between President Obama and congressional Republicans over the budget, taxes and deficit reduction.

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The Two-Way
9:16 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Joe South, Of 'Games People Play' Fame, Dies

Joe South, in 2009.
Rick Diamond Getty Images
  • A clip of Joe South, singing 'Games People Play'
  • A clip from Deep Purple doing 'Hush'

Joe South, who wrote such '60s and '70s hits as Games People Play and (I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden, died Wednesday of an apparent heart attack at his home in Buford, Ga. He was 72.

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The Two-Way
7:57 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Putin Flies With Migrating Cranes, Opines About Group Sex; Seriously

Russian President Vladimir Putin, dressed to ... lead wild cranes as they migrate.
Alexey Druzhinin/pool AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 11:50 am

Keeping up with the things Russian President Vladimir Putin says and does that set him apart from other world leaders could be a full time job. Today alone there's word:

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