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.

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7:48am

Tue November 1, 2011
The Two-Way

Hundreds Of Millions Missing From MF Global, 'New York Times' Reports

Originally published on Tue November 1, 2011 2:08 pm

Not only has MF Global had to file for bankruptcy protection, now there's this news about the securities firm run by former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D):

The New York Times reports that:

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7:25am

Tue November 1, 2011
The Two-Way

Herman Cain Now Recalls 'Settlement' With Accuser

Republican presidential contender Herman Cain during an appearance at the American Enterprise Institute on Monday.

Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain was consistent Monday in saying he has "never sexually harassed anyone." But some parts of his response to a Politico report about past allegations had shifted by day's end.

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6:35pm

Mon October 31, 2011
The Two-Way

Halloween Chicago-Style: 'Da Mayor And 'Da Zombies

Originally published on Mon October 31, 2011 6:44 pm

The mayor's message: Have a safe Halloween, zombies included.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office

Set aside your doubts about zombies and ignore the signs of Photoshopping (like that reflection in the window of a guy with a baseball cap).

Here's a photo/illustration that begs for some creative caption suggestions (and ChicagoNow.com has just such a contest going).

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10:52am

Mon October 31, 2011
The Two-Way

Cardinals Manager La Russa Retires

Originally published on Mon October 31, 2011 4:18 pm

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa celebrated with the World Series trophy Friday night in St Louis.

Charlie Riedle Pool-Getty Images

Tony La Russa, who just managed the St. Louis Cardinals to the World Series title, announced this morning that he's retiring after 33 seasons.

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10:32am

Mon October 31, 2011
The Two-Way

Trapped In A Jet For 7 Hours, 'We Were All Slowly Losing It'

Originally published on Mon October 31, 2011 2:07 pm

The snowy scene Sunday in Glastonbury, Conn.

Jessica Hill AP

The major problems after the weekend's surprising snowstorm in the Northeast relate to a couple of million customers who are without power.

But one of the other stories we can relate to is about the passengers who were stranded on the ground Saturday in jets that landed at Bradley International Airport near Hartford, Conn.

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9:35am

Mon October 31, 2011
The Two-Way

Looks Like Thieves Used Fighting To Cover Theft Of Libyan Treasures

During the fighting last spring in Benghazi, Libya, between forces loyal to then-dictator Moammar Gadhafi and the opposition, there was a fire at one of the city's banks.

The blaze was blamed on the fighting.

Now, as the BBC and other news outlets are reporting, there's word that "more than 7,000 priceless coins and other precious artifacts were taken" in what's now thought to have been a robbery planned by thieves who took advantage of the chaos in the city to hit the bank.

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8:42am

Mon October 31, 2011
The Two-Way

7 Billion People? Yes, Give Or Take 56 Million

Originally published on Mon October 31, 2011 8:44 am

Several babies born today have been deemed the symbolic 7 billionth person — including a little girl named Nargis in Lucknow, India. Here she is with her mother, Vinita.

Rajesh Kumar Singh AP

As NPR and just about every other news outlet report about the milestone that United Nations experts estimate the world passed today — a population of 7 billion people — there's this from the BBC:

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8:21am

Mon October 31, 2011

8:06am

Mon October 31, 2011
The Two-Way

No Treat: About Two Million Still Without Power In Northeast

Originally published on Mon October 31, 2011 2:05 pm

This tree split in two due to heavy snow on its branches in Belmont, Mass.

Michael Dwyer AP

That unusually early winter storm that struck the Northeast over the weekend, dumping up to 30 inches of wet heavy snow in some places, has left a couple million customers without electricity because snapped limbs and falling trees brought down power lines across New England.

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7:32am

Mon October 31, 2011
The Two-Way

Reporter: Herman Cain Story Based On Documentation, Dozens Of Sources

Originally published on Mon October 31, 2011 2:03 pm

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain at The National Press Club today (Oct. 31, 2011).

Win McNamee Getty Images

"I have never sexually harassed anyone," Republican presidential contender Herman Cain told Fox News Channel this morning. The former business executive said he was "falsely accused" of harassment "while I was at the National Restaurant Association" in the early 1990s.

Cain, appearing on Fox just after 11:20 a.m. ET, said that if the restaurant association, where he served as CEO from late-1996 to mid-1999, paid any accusers to settle such claims, "I wasn't even aware of it and I hope it wasn't for much."

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2:26am

Sat October 29, 2011
The Two-Way

Comeback Cards Win It All: St. Louis Takes World Series Title

The St. Louis Cardinals celebrate after defeating the Texas Rangers 6-2 to win the World Series in Game 7 at Busch Stadium in St Louis, Miss., on Friday.

Michael Heiman Getty Images

A World Series that saw plenty of drama, some history and a bit of the bizarre ended Friday night with the St. Louis Cardinals defeating the Texas Rangers by a score of 6-2 in the deciding Game 7.

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2:10pm

Fri October 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Live From New York: Statue Of Liberty Webcams Are On

The view from above at the Statue of Liberty, where webcams were turned on today.

EarthCam.com

On this 125th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty's dedication, webcams have been turned on to let everyone see views of:

-- The torch.

-- The crown and the ground below.

-- Ellis Island.

-- A streaming of the harbor from the torch.

-- And a streaming view of the statue from Brooklyn.

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11:14am

Fri October 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Find Your Spot Among World's 7 Billion And Meet The 'Most Typical Person'

National Geographic's composite sketch of the world's most typical person (left) and the real Mu Li.

CBS/National Geographic

Maybe you haven't heard yet, but the world's population is set to hit 7 billion people on Monday. At least that's what the United Nations Population Fund says.

Most news outlets are already covering the story or have plans to (Morning Edition has a four-part series scheduled for next week).

Two reports this week caught our attention.

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9:50am

Fri October 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Consumer Spending Rose In September, But At Expense Of Savings

There was a 0.6 percent increase in consumer spending in September vs. August, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. The increase was much larger than the 0.2 pecent gain in August from July.

But personal income grew only 0.1 percent last month — meaning that consumers dug into their savings in order to boost spending. According to the bureau: "Personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income was 3.6 percent in September, compared with 4.1 percent in August."

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9:35am

Fri October 28, 2011
The Two-Way

International Criminal Court Confirms 'Indirect' Talks With Gadhafi Son

Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, in Tripoli on Aug. 23, 2011.

Imed Lamloum AFP/Getty Images

Officials of the International Criminal Court are having "indirect" talks with Saif al-Islam Gadhafi about his possible surrender, the ICC's prosecutor told The Associated Press and other news outlets today.

Saif al-Islam, one of Moammar Gadhafi's sons, once was seen as the heir apparent to the former Libyan dictator.

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9:05am

Fri October 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Report: Prominent Obama Fundraisers Have Ties To Lobbyists

"Despite a pledge not to take money from lobbyists, President Obama has relied on prominent supporters who are active in the lobbying industry to raise millions of dollars for his re-election bid," The New York Times reports this morning.

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8:32am

Fri October 28, 2011
The Two-Way

British Princesses To Be Equal To Princes In Line Of Succession

April 29, 2011: Their Royal Highnesses Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge kiss on the balcony at Buckingham Palace after their wedding.

Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

"Sons and daughters of any future U.K. monarch will have equal right to the throne" under royalty succession reforms agreed to today by all 16 Commonwealth countries, the BBC reports.

And under the new rules, British kings and queens will no longer be banned from marrying Roman Catholics — though the rule barring a Catholic from becoming king or queen will remain.

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7:54am

Fri October 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Top Stories: Cards Win, Markets May Dip, Bangkok Braces For More Flooding

Good morning.

If you're looking for the score and a heads-up on the key moments from last night's World Series action, we've got that here:

-- Cards Win On 11th-Inning Freese Clout; Force Game 7. St. Louis beat Texas 10-9 thanks to a dramatic solo home run in the 11th inning from third baseman David Freese.

As for other stories making headlines, they include:

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1:05pm

Thu October 27, 2011
The Two-Way

Our Heads Are Spinning: U.S. Skater Nailed First 'Quadruple Lutz'

Figure skater Brandon Mroz.

Harry How Getty Images

The sports channel in our brains was tuned to baseball and the World Series yesterday, so we missed this announcement from the world of figure skating:

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12:27pm

Thu October 27, 2011
The Two-Way

Arrests Made In Alleged $1 Billion Disability Scheme On Long Island

An alleged scandal involving doctors, a union president and hundreds of Long Island Rail Road workers led to the arrest of 10 people today on charges related to what officials say was a scam that paid an estimated $1 billion in disability benefits to people who didn't deserve them.

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11:17am

Thu October 27, 2011
The Two-Way

Six Animals That Survived Ohio Tragedy To Be Given To Owner's Wife

(A new lede was put on this story at 2:35 p.m. ET)

As the widow of the Ohio man who last week paralyzed a community by releasing 56 lions, tigers, bears and other exotic animals from his farm came this afternoon to claim the six creatures who survived, the Ohio Department of Agriculture put a stop to her plans.

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10:46am

Thu October 27, 2011
The Two-Way

Suddenly, The 'Ladies Love Libyan Rebels'

Young Libyan men who less than a year ago were "hopeless layabouts" are now "marriageable heroes" because they took up arms against the regime of Moammar Gadhafi and toppled the dictator who had ruled Libya for 42 years, journalist Ellen Knickmeyer writes for Foreign Policy magazine.

Or, as the magazine's headline says, "Ladies Love Libyan Rebels: The Sexual Revolution Arrives In Tripoli."

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9:58am

Thu October 27, 2011
The Two-Way

Real-Life 'Slumdog Millionaire': Poor Clerk Wins $1M On Indian Game Show

Sushil Kumar, left, with Bollywood actor and game show host Amitabh Bachchan, shows off his $1 million check.

AP

In a case of life imitating the movies, a young man in India who earns about $120 a month as a government office worker has won $1 million on his country's version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

Sushil Kumar, the first person to win $1 million on an Indian show, is now something of a real-life Slumdog Millionaire, the rags-to-riches tale from 2008 that won an Oscar for Best Picture.

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9:22am

Thu October 27, 2011

9:03am

Thu October 27, 2011
The Two-Way

Cities Aim To Control 'Occupy' Protests, But Oakland Clashes Loom Large

Tuesday in Oakland: An Occupy protester and police.

Kimihiro Hoshino AFP/Getty Images

Scott Olsen, a 24-year-old veteran of the Iraq War, is hospitalized in Oakland with a skull fracture. Tuesday night he suffered, as the Oakland Tribune says, "the first serious injury nationwide in the Occupy Wall Street movement" when some type of projectile — possibly a tear gas canister fired by police — struck above his right eye.

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8:44am

Thu October 27, 2011
The Two-Way

Economy Grew At 2.5 Percent Rate In Third Quarter

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.5 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates, up from the second quarter's 1.3 percent pace.

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7:50am

Thu October 27, 2011
The Two-Way

'Horrific' Situation Led Bernard And Ruth Madoff To Try Suicide, She Says

"I thought, 'I just can't, I can't take this. I don't know how I'll ever get through this, nor do I want to.' So we decided to do it."

So says Ruth Madoff — wife of the mastermind behind what's thought to be the biggest Ponzi scheme ever — to The New York Times about the Christmas Eve 2008 suicide attempt by the couple.

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7:10am

Thu October 27, 2011
The Two-Way

European Debt Deal: Markets Rally Because It Could Have Been Worse

Originally published on Thu October 27, 2011 10:17 am

A pedestrian passes a vendor selling Greek flags in Athens on Wednesday (Oct. 26, 2011). Greece's crushing debts triggered the latest crisis.

Thanassis Stavrakis AP

Marathon talks that ended around 4 a.m. local time today in Brussels produced a deal that European leaders hope will mark the beginning of the end of the continent's debt crisis, as NPR's Eric Westervelt reports for Morning Edition.

And financial markets are rallying on the news.

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1:22pm

Wed October 26, 2011
The Two-Way

World Series: Decision Coming On Whether To Play Tonight

Originally published on Wed October 26, 2011 4:15 pm

Update at 3:35 p.m. ET: MLB.com has posted the news that Game 6 of the World Series, which was scheduled for tonight in St. Louis, has been postponed to Thursday at 8:05 p.m. ET because of rainy weather.

That means Game 7, if one is needed, would be played on Friday (weather permitting).

The American League's Texas Rangers lead the National League's St. Louis Cardinals, 3 games to 2.

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12:16pm

Wed October 26, 2011
The Two-Way

Report: College Costs Continue Rising, Aid Cuts Could Add To Pain

Students and parents won't be surprised to hear that the prices colleges and universities officially charge for tuition, room and board went up yet again this academic year.

The College Board reported Tuesday that:

-- "Published in-state tuition and fees at public four-year institutions average $8,244 in 2011-12, $631 (8.3 percent) higher than in 2010-11."

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