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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8:10am

Mon October 3, 2011
The Two-Way

'Occupy Wall Street' Spreads

Originally published on Mon October 3, 2011 1:03 pm

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

Stephanie Keith AP

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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7:45am

Mon October 3, 2011
The Two-Way

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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5:22pm

Sun October 2, 2011
The Two-Way

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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1:20pm

Fri September 30, 2011
The Two-Way

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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11:45am

Fri September 30, 2011
The Two-Way

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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10:05am

Fri September 30, 2011
The Two-Way

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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8:45am

Fri September 30, 2011
The Two-Way

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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8:10am

Fri September 30, 2011
The Two-Way

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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7:35am

Fri September 30, 2011
The Two-Way

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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6:15am

Fri September 30, 2011
The Two-Way

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

Originally published on Fri September 30, 2011 7:39 pm

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

2:55pm

Thu September 29, 2011
The Two-Way

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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2:10pm

Thu September 29, 2011
The Two-Way

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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1:15pm

Thu September 29, 2011
The Two-Way

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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12:30pm

Thu September 29, 2011
The Two-Way

Capitol Hill Police Not Amused By Tweets From 'The Onion'

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 12:36 pm

J. Scott Applewhite AP

A fake story and a series of tweets this morning by the satirical folks at The Onion "reported" that members of Congress had taken schoolchildren hostage inside the Capitol Building.

Officials at the U.S. Capitol Police don't find any of it funny.

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11:04am

Thu September 29, 2011
The Two-Way

Alleged Terrorist Acquired Small Arsenal For Attack, FBI Says

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 2:53 pm

According to the United States Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts, this is the remote controlled model of a US Navy's 1950s Sabre jet fighter that allegedly belonged to Rezwan Ferdaus.
AFP/Getty Images

More details are emerging about the alleged plot and the alleged would-be terrorist who the FBI says planned to attack the Pentagon and Capitol Building with explosives-laden small aircraft and thought he had given devices to al-Qaida operatives that could be used to kill U.S. soldiers stationed overseas.

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9:30am

Thu September 29, 2011
The Two-Way

Reports: Pakistan Has Freed Bin Laden's Former Bodyguard

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 12:59 pm

June 2001: al-Qaida members training in Afghanistan (frame grab from an al-Qaida video).
AFP/Getty Images

"Pakistan has freed a senior al-Qaeda commander, who served as a bodyguard to Osama bin Laden," Britain's The Telegraph reports, citing a "senior security source."

CBS News says it has been told the same thing by "two senior Pakistani police officials."

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8:37am

Thu September 29, 2011
The Two-Way

Jobless Claims Dip, GDP Growth Revised Up Slightly

The nation's economy grew at a slow 1.3 percent annual rate in the second quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis just reported. That's a slight upward revision from the agency's previous estimate of 1 percent growth vs. first-quarter 2011.

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8:25am

Thu September 29, 2011

8:00am

Thu September 29, 2011
The Two-Way

Cain: Blacks 'Have Been Brainwashed' Into Supporting Liberals

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain during a Sept. 7 debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

"African-Americans have been brainwashed into not being open minded, not even considering a conservative point of view," Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said Wednesday on CNN's The Situation Room. "I have received some of that same vitriol simply because I am running for the Republican nomination as a conservative. So it's just brainwashing and people not being open minded, pure and simple."

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7:40am

Thu September 29, 2011
The Two-Way

Baseball Stunners: Red Sox, Braves Suffer 'Big, Historic' Collapses

This might be the morning to go easy on your friends who are fans of the Red Sox or Braves (unless you think it's pay-back time for abuse they've given you in the past).

Until Wednesday night, no Major League Baseball team that had an 8-game lead for a playoff spot in early September had failed to qualify for post-season play, NPR's Tom Goldman says.

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2:38pm

Wed September 28, 2011
The Two-Way

NYPD Will Examine Use Of Pepper Spray On 'Occupy Wall Street' Protesters

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 3:13 pm

At the "Occupy Wall Street" demonstration in the financial district near Wall Street on Monday (Sept. 26, 2011).
Spencer Platt Getty Images

2:09pm

Wed September 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Controversial Alabama Immigration Law Upheld In Part

A federal judge in Birmingham, Ala., has blocked some provisions of a controversial immigration law in the state — most notably those that would "make it a state crime to harbor immigrants and make it a misdemeanor to work in the state" — the Montgomery Advertiser reports.

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1:20pm

Wed September 28, 2011
The Two-Way

At Day 2 Of Trial, Promoter Says Michael Jackson Looked Healthy

From The Associated Press:

"Two days before he died, Michael Jackson appeared strong during one of the final rehearsals for his highly anticipated comeback concerts, a promoter told jurors Wednesday as the involuntary manslaughter trial of the pop superstar's physician entered its second day."

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10:35am

Wed September 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Amazon Unveils $199 'Fire' Tablet And New Kindle Readers

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 11:30 am

The Kindle Fire.
Amazon.com

There's much breathless live-blogging going on in the tech world as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveils his company's latest gadgets, including what Bloomberg News first reported will be a $199 tablet computer called Kindle Fire — Amazon's much-anticipated competitor to the iPad.

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10:00am

Wed September 28, 2011
The Two-Way

At Berkeley 'Increase Diversity' Bake Sale: Protests, Debates

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 12:45 pm

At the bake sale on Tuesday. Protesters to the right. Young Republicans and their supporters to the left.
Ben Margot AP

The controversial "Increase Diversity Bake Sale" sponsored by young Republicans at the University of California, Berkeley, brought a large crowd of students and others to the school's Sproul Plaza on Tuesday, and the student-run Daily Californian says the climax was a counter-demonstration "that saw hundreds of protesters lie on their backs."

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9:10am

Wed September 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Al-Qaida Tells Iran: Stop Promoting Sept. 11 Conspiracy Theories

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the U.N. last week.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

The latest issue of Inspire, an English-language magazine believed to be produced by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, chastises the Iranian government and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in particular for spreading "conspiracy theories surrounding the events of 9/11."

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8:35am

Wed September 28, 2011

8:15am

Wed September 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Officials Push Back On Mullen's Linking Of Pakistan To Terrorists

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 8:16 am

The Washington Post writes this morning that "Adm. Mike Mullen's assertion last week that an anti-American insurgent group in Afghanistan is a 'veritable arm' of Pakistan's spy service was overstated and contributed to overheated reactions in Pakistan and misperceptions in Washington, according to American officials involved in U.S. policy in the region."

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7:50am

Wed September 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Did You Hear About Andy Rooney? He's Retiring

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 7:52 am

Andy Rooney.
Bebeto Matthews AP

What is it about Andy Rooney that's kept him on the air with CBS for more than 60 years — the last 33 of them as a regular essayist on 60 Minutes?

Is it his sense of humor?

His distinctive voice?

Those bushy eyebrows?

The questions he's always asking?

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7:30am

Wed September 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Listeria Outbreak Tied To Colorado Cantaloupes; 13 Known Dead

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 2:55 pm

A label consumers might find on the cantaloupes.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration

"The number of deaths linked to Colorado-grown cantaloupes keeps climbing, and it soon could become the second-deadliest U.S. outbreak of a food-borne illness," The Denver Post reports.

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