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

7:54am

Thu July 21, 2011
The Two-Way

VIDEO: Deadly Heat Spreads Across Nation

Red means hot.
NOAA

No story this morning is likely affecting more Americans than the deadly, record-breaking heat wave from Texas up through the Midwest and east to the mid-Atlantic states and New England. There are heat warnings up in 30 states.

And as Korva reported earlier, at least 22 deaths have been attributed to the plus-100 degree temperatures.

It's news in many places:

Read more

7:12am

Thu July 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Progress Still 'Elusive' On Deficit-Reduction Deal

Though the negotiations that many care most about are over ending the NFL lockout, we'll look first at where things stand in the deficit-reduction talks — one day before what the White House had said is the deadline for reaching a deal if everything is going to be written, passed and signed by Aug. 2, when the federal government reaches its "debt ceiling."

Read more

4:50am

Thu July 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Atlantis On Schedule For Landing In Florida

Space shuttle Atlantis has just started a three-minute "de-orbit burn" and is beginning its descent into Earth's atmosphere. It's coming home after NASA's last shuttle mission into space.

The shuttle and its four-member crew are due to land at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 5:56 a.m. ET. They've been in space nearly 13 days.

We'll update this post as things happen. Be sure to hit your "refresh" button to see our latest additions.

Read more

11:20am

Wed July 20, 2011
The Two-Way

Heat Wave Spreading East; No Relief For Days

The deadly heat wave that has been making things miserable in much of the Midwest for several days has begun to spread east and the National Weather Service warns that things are going to be stifling:

Read more

11:02am

Wed July 20, 2011
The Two-Way

Minnesota's Shutdown Ends

"Gov. Mark Dayton (D) has signed the state budget, ending a 20-day state government shutdown," our friends at Minnesota Public Radio report.

They add that "Dayton signed nine budget bills and three other spending bills about five hours after the Republican-controlled Legislature approved them."

Read more

10:25am

Wed July 20, 2011
The Two-Way

Wendi Deng Murdoch: Rupert's Savior In More Than One Way?

Originally published on Wed July 20, 2011 10:28 am

June 11, 2011, file photo: Rupert and Wendi Deng Murdoch at the Shanghai International Film Festival.
Philippe Lopez AFP/Getty Images

10:10am

Wed July 20, 2011
The Two-Way

Sales Of Existing Homes Fell 0.8 Percent In June

There was a 0.8 percent drop in sales of existing homes in June from May, the National Association of Realtors just reported. They dipped to an annual rate of 4.77 million.

According to NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, there was "an unusual spike in contract cancellations in the past month."

Read more

9:24am

Wed July 20, 2011
The Two-Way

'Triangle Of Death' In Horn Of Africa; Famine Grips Southern Somalia

Monday (July 18, 2011): At a refugee camp near Mogadishu, a Somali woman cries after the death of one of her children.
Mustafa Abdi AFP/Getty Images

As the United Nations escalates its dire warnings about what's happening in the Horn of Africa, declaring today that drought and famine in southern Somalia threaten millions of people, NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports from a refugee camp in Kenya that an area straddling Somalia, Ethiopia and northern Kenya has been dubbed "the triangle of death."

Read more

8:10am

Wed July 20, 2011
The Two-Way

American Airlines Places 'Largest Aircraft Order In Aviation History'

American Airlines jets at Los Angeles International Airport. April 5, 2011, file photo.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Saying it's the "largest aircraft order in aviation history," American Airlines just announced that it plans to buy at least 460 fuel-efficient "narrowbody" passenger jets between 2013 and 2022.

The purchases are to be split between Boeing and Europe's Airbus, the company says:

Read more

7:49am

Wed July 20, 2011
The Two-Way

Taliban: We Were Hacked; Mullah Omar Is Alive

There was a surprising text message sent to reporters in Afghanistan today from a cell phone number that has been used by the Taliban's public relations office, NPR's Quil Lawrence reports from Kabul.

It reported the death of Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

But Taliban spokesmen claim Omar is alive and "told NPR their phones and website had been hacked," Quil says. They "accused western forces of psychological warfare."

Read more

7:15am

Wed July 20, 2011
The Two-Way

British Lawmakers Trade Jabs Over Hacking Scandal

There's a remarkable scene playing out right now in the British Parliament, where Prime Minister David Cameron has been laying out a defense of his — and his staff's — actions related to the "hacking scandal" and the leader of the opposition has accused Cameron of ignoring warnings about some of the News Corp. executives hired to work for the government.

Read more

2:45pm

Tue July 19, 2011
The Two-Way

Virginia Man Accused Of Secretly Lobbying For Pakistan

The Justice Department has charged an American citizen with acting as an agent for Pakistan, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports. Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai of Fairfax, Va., is specifically accused of lobbying members of Congress in a bid to influence U.S. policy in the dispute with India over Kashmir, without properly registering his activities.

Fai, 62, allegedly accepted more than $4 million over the past two decades from straw donors working on behalf of Pakistani intelligence services. He was arrested this morning, the Justice Department says.

Read more

1:48pm

Tue July 19, 2011
The Two-Way

Obama Lauds 'Gang Of Six' Budget Plan

At the White House moments ago, President Obama threw his support behind the efforts of a bi-partisan group of senators known as the "Gang of Six" who are crafting their own budget-reduction plan that includes spending cuts and revenue increases.

It is "broadly consistent with the approach that I've urged," Obama said.

Read more

1:30pm

Tue July 19, 2011
The Two-Way

VIDEO: Foam-Wielding Assailant Gets To Murdoch

Britain's Channel 4 News has posted the video, including slow-motion replays, of a man attacking News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch with a paper plate of shaving cream today during a hearing before a committee of Parliament into the invasions of privacy by some of Murdoch's newspapers in the U.K.

Read more

12:35pm

Tue July 19, 2011
The Two-Way

Deadly Heat Wave Continues, And 'Worst Yet To Come'

Purple areas are where the heat is expected to be the worst.
National Weather Service

With more than a dozen heat-related deaths this week across the Midwest, it's sobering to think that the worst is "yet to come," but that's just what the Chicago Tribune is warning:

Read more

11:04am

Tue July 19, 2011
The Two-Way

Think You're A 'Budget Hero?' There's A Game For That

American Public Media

As talks continue in Washington about how to cut the budget, reduce expected federal deficits and start shrinking the federal debt, our friends at American Public Media's Marketplace have put together Budget Hero — an interactive game "that encourages players to think through the complexities and challenges of the federal budget."

Read more

9:15am

Tue July 19, 2011
The Two-Way

LIVE: Murdoch, Others Testify On U.K. Tabloid Scandal

For those who want to follow as News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch takes questions from members of the British Parliament about the "hacking scandal" that has engulfed some of his company's newspapers in the U.K.:

Britain's Channel 4 News is webcasting the morning's hearings here, and has made the feed available to other news sites.

Read more

8:40am

Tue July 19, 2011
The Two-Way

Housing Starts Gained In June

There was a 14.6 percent increase in housing starts in June from May, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development just reported.

Construction (at an annualized rate) was begun on 629,000 homes and apartment buildings.

Bloomberg News points out that starts rose to "the fastest pace in five months."

Read more

8:05am

Tue July 19, 2011
The Two-Way

MUST-SEE VIDEO: Chihuahua Chases Armed Robbers Out Of California Shop

Don't mess with the little guy with the big bark at the Ace Smoke Shop in Altadena, Calif.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's office released some amazing surveillance video on Monday, showing what happened when armed robbers stormed into the shop on July 7.

Read more

7:44am

Tue July 19, 2011
The Two-Way

'Cut, Cap And Balance' Heads To House Vote

Though the legislation is said to have "little chance in the Senate," the Republican-controlled House today is expected to easily approve the "Cut, Cap and Balance" plan that advocates say would put lawmakers on record as supporting moves to put the federal government's fiscal books in order.

Read more

6:55am

Tue July 19, 2011
The Two-Way

U.K. Tabloid Scandal: How To Watch The Murdochs Testify

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:38 am

The scandal in the U.K. over how some News Corp. newspapers invaded the privacy of perhaps thousands of people, from the royals to murder victims, is front-and-center in Parliament this morning as company chief Rupert Murdoch appears before the Media and Sport Committee to answer questions about what his company allegedly did.

Read more

4:10pm

Mon July 18, 2011
The Two-Way

Eagle Love Story: Injured Mates Reunited At Rehab Center

Back together. The female, left, taught her mate how to get up to the perch.
Wendi Pencille Bless the Beasts Foundation

Here's a feel-good story.

"Two seriously injured bald eagles, found two months apart and more than a mile away from each other near the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge," in Western New York State, "were rescued and reunited in a wildlife rehabilitation facility in Medina last week," the Buffalo News reports.

Read more

2:40pm

Mon July 18, 2011
The Two-Way

Researchers Say They've Been Able To 'Cloak' Time

"Harry Potter" is able to hide himself. Cornell researchers say they've been able to hide time.
Jaap Buitendijk for Warner Bros.

This news has a little bit of a Harry Potter feel to it. A touch of Back to the Future. Maybe some Doctor Who too.

Researchers at Cornell University, as MIT's Technology Review reports, "have designed and built a cloak that hides events in time."

Read more

1:35pm

Mon July 18, 2011
The Two-Way

68,500 Marijuana Plants, Worth $205 Million, Found In California

2002 file photo of a marijuana plant growing near Annapolis, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The news first broke late last week and now the Ventura County (Calif.) Sheriff's Department has made more information about the bust public.

Read more

12:30pm

Mon July 18, 2011
The Two-Way

Behind Closed Doors: Abortion In The African-American Community:

(March 29, 2011 file photo from Chicago): Controversial anti-abortion billboards depicting President Obama. They were sponsored by ThatsAbortion.com.
Scott Olson Getty Images

There's a spirited and civil debate on Tell Me More today about the divisive issue of abortion — with particular focus on, as host Michel Martin says, data showing that "while black women make up about 13 percent of the U.S. female population, they account for 30 percent of abortions performed in the U.S." (Michel cited Guttmacher Institute figures.)

Read more

10:50am

Mon July 18, 2011

10:05am

Mon July 18, 2011
The Two-Way

For Devastated Japanese, World Cup Was 'More Than A Game'

In Tokyo today, newspapers printed extra editions to report about the women soccer team's victory in the World Cup.
Yoshikazu Tsuno AFP/Getty Images

While American fans are understandably disappointed that the U.S. women's team came up short in Sunday's World Cup soccer final against Japan, there's no shortage of reports about how important the victory was across the Pacific in a nation still recovering from the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Read more

9:05am

Mon July 18, 2011
The Two-Way

Iowa Congressman, Family Fend Off Intruder

Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-IA) "scuffled with an armed intruder at his southern Iowa farmhouse late Saturday night before his grandson pointed a gun at the intruder, who then fled," The Des Moines Register writes, citing aides to the congressman and the local sheriff's office.

The newspaper adds that "no arrests had been reported by Sunday evening."

Read more

8:27am

Mon July 18, 2011
The Two-Way

U.K. Tabloid Scandal: 'Lapping At The Door Of No. 10 Downing St.'

British Prime Minister David Cameron. (July 11, 2011, file photo.)
Matthew Lloyd Getty Images

Catching up on the scandal that doesn't stop in the U.K.:

"An intensifying voicemail hacking and police bribery scandal cut closer than ever to Rupert Murdoch and Scotland Yard on Sunday with the arrest of the media magnate's former British newspaper chief and the resignation of London's police commissioner.

Read more

7:47am

Mon July 18, 2011
The Two-Way

Carmageddon, Schmarmaggedon: LA Survives The 405's Closing

Back on the road: Traffic on a 10-mile stretch of I-405 in Los Angeles started flowing on Sunday, nearly a day earlier than planned.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Much like The Rapture that didn't happen on May 21, the much-publicized "carmageddon" in Los Angeles over this past weekend seems to been much ado about nothing.

Read more

Pages