Mark Memmott

Mark Memmott joined NPR News in the spring of 2009 to launch a new blog, "The Two-Way," with co-blogger Frank James.

"The Two-Way" is the place where NPR.org gives readers breaking news and analysis — and where it engages users in conversations ("two-ways") about the most compelling stories being reported by NPR News and other news media.

Memmott came to NPR from USA Today, where for over 20 years he worked as a reporter and editor on subjects ranging from politics and, foreign affairs to economics and the media.

In recent years he helped launch and then led three different news blogs at USATODAY.com, including the website's 2008 presidential campaign blog, On Politics.

Pages

11:30am

Mon December 12, 2011
The Two-Way

Lowe's Ignites Controversy By Pulling Ads From 'All-American Muslim'

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 11:33 am

A Lowe's store in Saugus, Mass.
Michael Dwyer AP

By deciding to stop advertising during the TLC network's All-American Muslim reality TV show after hearing that some conservatives object to the program, Lowe's Home Improvement is now hearing complaints from others who accuse it of religious bigotry.

California State Sen. Ted Lieu (D), The Associated Press says, may call for a boycott of the home improvement chain.

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10:40am

Mon December 12, 2011
The Two-Way

What A Sour Note: Thieves Target Tubas In Southern California

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 10:43 am

Who knew the big horn could be so valuable?
Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

The high prices they command on the black market and "Southern California's banda music craze" have combined to make tubas a hot property, the Los Angeles Times writes today.

Hot, that is, in the sense that there's been a recent "rash of unsolved tuba thefts at high schools in southeast Los Angeles County."

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10:21am

Mon December 12, 2011
The Two-Way

Supreme Court Will Hear Arguments On Arizona Immigration Law

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 10:27 am

Arizona's controversial immigration law will indeed be getting a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court, it was just announced.

Long expected, the court's decision to weigh in could help settle whether the law — known as SB 1070 for its bill number in the Arizona Senate — encroaches on federal law because, in large part, of its provision that would require the police to determine the immigration status of a person they have detained and whether the suspect is in the country illegally.

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9:30am

Mon December 12, 2011

9:09am

Mon December 12, 2011
The Two-Way

Here We Go Again: Has Misnamed 'God Particle' Finally Been Found?

This is what researchers at the ATLAS detector at the Large Hadron Collider expect a Higgs boson to look like. The Higgs boson is the subatomic particle that scientists say gives everything in the universe mass.
ATLAS Experiment/CERN

The news that scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Switzerland will talk Tuesday at 8 a.m. ET about "the status of their searches for the Standard Model Higgs boson" has reignited speculation that they might be about to say they've found the so-called God particle.

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8:39am

Mon December 12, 2011
The Two-Way

Funeral Today For Virginia Tech Officer; Shooter's Family Offers Condolences

Family, friends, students, faculty members and government officials will gather today at 2 p.m. ET in Virginia Tech's Cassell Coliseum to remember campus police officer Deriek Crouse.

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7:45am

Mon December 12, 2011
The Two-Way

Putin Aide Says Vote Results Will Stand

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 7:53 am

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Yana Lapikova AP

Saying that "even if you add up all this so-called evidence, it accounts for just over 0.5 percent of the total number of votes," a spokesman for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has told Agence France Presse that the results of last week's parliamentary elections will stand despite public protests over evidence of fraud.

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7:15am

Mon December 12, 2011
The Two-Way

Iraqi Leader Says Iran Won't Be Interfering Anymore

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 7:16 am

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Hadi Mizban AP

As the last U.S. combat troops prepare to leave Iraq, the question of whether neighboring Iran will try to fill any vacuum looms large.

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2:45pm

Fri December 9, 2011
The Two-Way

Total Lunar Eclipse On Saturday, Western States Get Rare View

The reddish hue during the December 2010 total lunar eclipse.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

The last total lunar eclipse of 2011 — and the last one until April 15, 2014 — occurs Saturday morning.

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12:15pm

Fri December 9, 2011
The Two-Way

As Candidates Decline, Will Trump Moderate A Debate? 'Don't Know,' He Says

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 1:33 pm

Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich listens at right as Donald Trump talks to media after a meeting in New York.
Seth Wenig AP

The news that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) have decided not to participate in the Dec. 27 Republican presidential debate that businessman/TV personality/self-proclaimed potential independent presidential candidate Donald Trump is supposed to be moderating means just two GOP contenders would be left for the event:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.).

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10:20am

Fri December 9, 2011
The Two-Way

Virginia Tech: Same Gun Killed Officer And Suspect

Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 6:39 pm

A student paused Thursday evening at the memorial for the victims of the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech. There was another vigil last night, following Thursday's killing of a campus police officer.
Steve Helber AP

Virginia State Police and other officials briefed reporters this morning about Thursday's shooting on the campus at Virginia Tech, in which a campus police officer was killed and the suspect apparently later shot himself and died. We updated as it happened and put those posts in chronological order after the briefing was over.

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9:48am

Fri December 9, 2011
The Two-Way

Missing Ex-FBI Agent's Family To Captors: 'Tell Us Your Demands'

Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 6:37 pm

Robert Levinson, in the video his family received from the retired FBI-agent's captors.
HelpBobLevinson.com

In a direct message to the people who have held retired FBI agent Robert Levinson since he disappeared nearly five years ago in Iran, his son and wife today ask the captors to "please tell us your demands."

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8:56am

Fri December 9, 2011

8:20am

Fri December 9, 2011
The Two-Way

'Inferno' At Hospital In India Kills Scores, Staff Accused Of Running

Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 6:05 pm

A grieving woman at the scene of today's fire in Kolkata.
AFP/Getty Images

Horrific news from Kolkata, India:

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7:55am

Fri December 9, 2011
The Two-Way

U.K. Isolated As Euro Nations Move Ahead On New Pact

Britain Prime Minister David Cameron (left) and Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte earlier today at the summit in Brussels.
Eric Feferberg AFP/Getty Images

There's been movement today in Brussels, where leaders from the European Union nations are trying to save the euro and restore some faith in the financial markets that they can manage the euro zone's debt crisis. But an important division remains among the 27 nations.

The consensus among news outlets covering the story seems to be:

-- "UK Isolated As Europe Moves Ahead On Fiscal Union." (Reuters)

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7:15am

Fri December 9, 2011
The Two-Way

Slain Virginia Tech Officer's Dash Cam Shows Suspected Shooter

Virginia Tech officer Deriek Crouse, who died Thursday.
Virginia Tech

It still isn't known why a man apparently walked up to a campus police officer at Virginia Tech yesterday and fatally shot the 39-year-old father of five. And the identity of the gunman, who authorities believe died of a gunshot wound shortly after the attack, hasn't yet been released.

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1:06pm

Thu December 8, 2011
The Two-Way

Virginia Tech On Alert After Report Of Shots

Virginia Tech has advised everyone on campus to "seek shelter or stay where you are" because of reports about shots being fired there.

It adds that:

"[A] suspect described as white male, gray sweat pants, gray hat w/neon green brim, maroon hoodie and backback" was seen "on foot towards McComas" — the university's athletics facility.

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12:20pm

Thu December 8, 2011
The Two-Way

Obama: 'Ask Osama Bin Laden' If I'm An Appeaser

Republican presidential candidates have said President Obama practices "appeasement" when it comes to foreign policy.

At the White House a short time ago, the president had this response:

"Ask Osama bin Laden and the 22 out of 30 top al-Qaida leaders who've been taken off the field whether I engage in appeasement. Or whoever's left out there. Ask them about that."

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11:46am

Thu December 8, 2011
The Two-Way

Obama's Choice To Head Consumer Protection Agency Blocked

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 12:16 pm

A vote to move forward on the nomination of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to run the new federal consumer protection agency fell seven votes short in the Senate this morning. Republicans banded together to make sure there weren't the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture and move on to a vote on the nomination itself.

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10:40am

Thu December 8, 2011
The Two-Way

Reports: Albert Pujols Has Signed To Play For The Angels

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 10:43 am

Albert Pujols, then of the St. Louis Cardinals, during the World Series in October.
Jamie Squire Getty Images

9:45am

Thu December 8, 2011
The Two-Way

Pusuke, World's Oldest Dog, Dies At Age 26 (Or 125 In 'Human Years')

Pusuke and his human, Yumiko Shinohara, in December 2010.
Yomiuri Shimbun AFP/Getty Images

Pusuke, a Shiba mix who last year was recognized by Guinness World Records as the planet's oldest dog, has died.

He was 26 years, eight months old. Or, about 125 in "human years," according to his owner.

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9:04am

Thu December 8, 2011
The Two-Way

Cricket's Sehwag Smashes Tendulkar's Record

India's captain Virender Sehwag celebrates his "double century."
Aijaz Rahi AP

Less than two years after India's Sachin Tendulkar achieved cricket superstardom by recording a "double century" in an international match, his record has been broken.

Here's how the BBC reports the news:

"India opener Virender Sehwag has hit the record one-day international score after smashing 219 from 149 balls against West Indies in Indore."

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9:02am

Thu December 8, 2011

9:00am

Thu December 8, 2011
The Two-Way

Top News Memes Of 2011: Pepper Spray Cop, Bin Laden, Steve Jobs

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 9:02 am

Spraying the Declaration of Independence (John Trumbull's "Declaration of Independence").
jockohomo.tumblr.com

Video of a police officer dousing Occupy protesters with pepper spray was one of the top three news-related memes of 2011, according to the analysts who follow this sort of thing at Know Your Meme.

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8:20am

Thu December 8, 2011
The Two-Way

European Central Bank Cuts Rates To Match Record Low

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 8:26 am

It's a widely expected move, but still noteworthy:

"The European Central Bank cut interest rates by a quarter of a point on Thursday to counter the twin threats of recession and deflation in the euro zone, and is expected to unveil fresh measures to help banks hurt by the bloc's debt crisis," Reuters reports.

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8:03am

Thu December 8, 2011
The Two-Way

Corzine Apologizes, Defends Actions Of MF Global, May Invoke Fifth

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 1:11 pm

Former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D).
Mario Tama Getty Images

Former New Jersey senator and governor Jon Corzine, who led MF Global as it spectacularly collapsed in a bankruptcy that has left $1.2 billion in client money missing, is due at a House Agriculture Committee hearing this morning to face questions about what happened.

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7:15am

Thu December 8, 2011
The Two-Way

Report: Hundreds Of Troops' Ashes Were Dumped In Landfill

"The Air Force dumped the incinerated partial remains of at least 274 American troops in a Virginia landfill," The Washington Post reports this morning, adding that it's "far more than the military had acknowledged, before halting the secretive practice three years ago, records show."

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1:30pm

Wed December 7, 2011
The Two-Way

'Col. Potter' Has Died: Actor Harry Morgan Was 96

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 2:01 pm

Harry Morgan, as Col. Potter.
AP

Harry Morgan, who came into our living rooms as Col. Potter in M*A*S*-H, as Officer Bill Gannon in Dragnet and in guest star roles on other TV series from Murder, She Wrote to The Love Boat, has died. He was 96.

The Associated Press reports that the actor's daughter-in-law, Beth Morgan, said he died at his home in Brentwood, Calif., after a bout with pneumonia.

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11:40am

Wed December 7, 2011
The Two-Way

Prosecutor Won't Seek Death Penalty For Mumia Abu-Jamal

One of the highest-profile murder cases in recent decades just took another important turn: "Philadelphia's district attorney announced this morning that he will not continue to seek the death penalty for Mumia Abu-Jamal," WHYY reports.

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11:15am

Wed December 7, 2011
The Two-Way

Though Accusers Are 'Credible,' No State Charges Against Syracuse Coach

A local prosecutor says he believes two men who have alleged that a former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach sexually abused them when they were children are credible — but can't pursue charges because the statute of limitations has passed.

The Associated Press reports that the decision by Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick only means that there won't be a case brought against Bernie Fine under state law. "A federal probe is ongoing," AP notes.

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