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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8:20am

Thu August 18, 2011
The Two-Way

Developing: Attacks Kill Several, Wound Dozens In Israel

Bus 392 sits on the highway running from Beersheva to Eilat, with windows broken following a gun attack near the Israel-Egypt border.
Yehuda Ben Itah Getty Images

"Five people were killed and dozens were wounded Thursday in a series of terrorist attacks on Israeli targets approximately 20 kilometers [12 miles] north of the southern city of Eilat, close to the border with Egypt," Israel's Haaretz.com is reporting.

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7:55am

Thu August 18, 2011
The Two-Way

VIDEO: Christine O'Donnell Walks Out on CNN's Piers Morgan

Piers Morgan, left, and Christine O'Donnell before she left the set last night.
CNN.com

It's been a while since we checked in on Christine O'Donnell, the Tea Party/Republican candidate for Senate last year in Delaware.

Last night, she landed back in the news because of an on-air dust-up with CNN's Piers Morgan that ended when O'Donnell removed her microphone and walked off the show mid-broadcast.

CNN has posted video of the departure moment here and made it available for others to embed, so we'll add it below.

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7:20am

Thu August 18, 2011
The Two-Way

Reports: U.S. To Call On Assad To Step Down; S&P Being Investigated

Good morning.

Among the interesting stories that broke overnight:

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8:10am

Wed August 17, 2011
The Two-Way

'Straight Up Revenge' Drives University Of Miami Booster

Originally published on Wed August 17, 2011 9:40 pm

Yahoo! Sports' investigation.
sports.yahoo.com

It's a story that has sent "shockwaves through the world of college sports," as NPR's David Greene said earlier today on Morning Edition:

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7:25am

Wed August 17, 2011
The Two-Way

AP: After Labor Day, Obama To Roll Out New Ideas On Job Growth

Originally published on Wed August 17, 2011 8:31 am

Good morning.

President Obama will be in Illinois today, where he'll wind up a three-day bus tour of the Midwest that included stops in Iowa and Minnesota — key battleground states in the 2012 election.

As he wraps up that trip, The Associated Press reports that following his upcoming vacation on Martha's Vineyard, the president "will give a major speech in early September to unveil new ideas for speeding up job growth and helping the struggling poor and middle class."

According to the AP, it's been told by a "senior administration official" that:

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8:30am

Tue August 16, 2011
The Two-Way

Survivor Of Bataan Death March Dies; Albert Brown Was 105

We'll pause for a moment to consider a remarkable life:

"Albert Brown, the oldest living World War II veteran and survivor of the 65-mile forced World War II trek known as the Bataan Death March, has died," Illinois' The Southern Illinoisan newspaper reports.

He was 105 and passed away Sunday at a nursing home in Nashville, Ill.

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7:55am

Tue August 16, 2011
The Two-Way

Suspect In Australian Bomb Hoax Arrested In Kentucky

The suspect was arrested halfway around the world, in Kentucky.
David R. Lutman AFP/Getty Images

"An Australian man was arrested in Oldham County [Ky.] on Monday in connection with a fake bomb that authorities said was placed around the neck of a teenager halfway around the world as part of an alleged extortion plot," the Louisville Courier-Journal reports.

According to the newspaper:

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7:25am

Tue August 16, 2011
The Two-Way

Obama's Midwest Tour Continues; Rivals Focus On Iowa, N.H. And S.C.

Good morning.

President Obama continues his Midwest bus tour. Today's focus will be a "White House Rural Economic Forum" being held at Northeast Iowa Community Colllege in Peosta, Iowa.

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8:00am

Mon August 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Reports: Pakistan Let China See Helicopter Left At Bin Laden's Compound

"Pakistan allowed Chinese military engineers to photograph and take samples from the top-secret stealth helicopter that U.S. special forces left behind when they killed Osama bin Laden," The Financial Times says it has been told by "people close to the White House and the Central Intelligence Agency."

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7:35am

Mon August 15, 2011
The Two-Way

As He Hits The Road, Obama's Approval Rating Hits New Low

www.gallup.com

President Obama today sets off on a bus tour through Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois that will extend into the middle of the week.

And as he does, there's this news from the pollsters at Gallup:

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7:20am

Mon August 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Bombs Kill Dozens In Iraq; Mubarak Trial Resumes

Good morning.

Seemingly coordinated bombings in more than a dozen Iraqi cities today have left more than 50 people dead and even more wounded, according to various media reports. The Associated Press reports that "the blasts were coordinated to go off in the morning and included a combination of parked car bombs, roadside bombs and a suicide bomber driving a vehicle that rammed into a police station."

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8:00am

Fri August 12, 2011
The Two-Way

'I Deserved To Get Shot,' Sis In Dougherty Gang Tells Police

Pueblo County (Colo.) Sheriff's Department photos of (L-R): Ryan Edward Dougherty, Lee Grace Dougherty and Dylan Dougherty Stanley.
AFP/Getty Images

Though she reportedly claims she and her brothers weren't trying to hurt anyone, the sister in the so-called Dougherty Gang has told investigators that "I deserved to get shot," The Pueblo Chieftain and other news outlets in Colorado are reporting.

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7:24am

Fri August 12, 2011

8:10am

Thu August 11, 2011
The Two-Way

In U.K.: Talk Of Banning Masks, Blocking Text Messages

This masked man walked past a burning car in London on Monday (Aug. 8, 2011).
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

The wave of violence that swept across cities in Britain over the past week has led to Prime Minister David Cameron saying that:

-- Authorities may block instant messaging services "when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality."

-- The police have been given the power to order protesters to remove facemasks "under any circumstances where there is reasonable suspicion that they are related to criminal activity."

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7:24am

Thu August 11, 2011

8:00am

Wed August 10, 2011
The Two-Way

Whole Foods: Ramadan Promotion Has Not Been Canceled

A Whole Foods store in San Rafael, Calif. (Feb. 17, 2010, file photo.)
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Looking to set the record straight, the Whole Foods grocery chain says it is "still carrying and promoting halal products for those that are celebrating Ramadan this month."

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7:25am

Wed August 10, 2011
The Two-Way

Markets On Rise; London Calmer, But Rioting Elsewhere In U.K.

A woman walks past a broken cafe window in London earlier today (Aug. 10, 2011).
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Good morning.

Financial markets in Asia and Europe have rallied today, extending the rebound that began on Wall Street Tuesday afternoon after the Federal Reserve said it plans to keep interest rates at rock-bottom levels for the next two years in a bid to help keep ailing economies from weakening further.

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7:10am

Sat July 23, 2011
The Two-Way

Death Toll Soars In Norway

Authorities in Norway now say more than 80 people were killed Friday at a conference for young people shortly after a massive explosion killed at least seven people in nearby Oslo. It's believed the two incidents are related.

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9:58am

Fri July 22, 2011
The Two-Way

Developing: Explosion In Oslo Near Government Offices

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:37 am

People light candles and lay flowers in central Oslo, Norway, on Saturday to pay tribute to the victims of twin attacks a day earlier. At least 91 people died in an explosion at government offices in the capital and a shooting at a youth camp on nearby Utoya island.
Jan Johannessen AFP/Getty Images

Two tragic stories are playing out in Norway, where a large explosion today — or possibly more than one blast — caused deaths, injuries and extensive damage to government buildings in Oslo.

At the same time, there are reports that an individual dressed as a police officer opened fire at a youth Labor Party camp on an island in a fjord about 45 minutes from Oslo. News media in Norway say there were fatalities.

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9:45am

Fri July 22, 2011
The Two-Way

First Suspect Cleared, Two Others Arrested In Beating Of Giants Fan

The search for who was responsible for the severe beating of a San Francisco Giants fan earlier this year after a game in Los Angeles against the Dodgers took a surprising turn Thursday.

As the Los Angeles Times reports, police "arrested two men in connection with the brutal [March 31] beating ... and have concluded that the suspect they took into custody in May was not involved in the attack, law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation said."

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9:15am

Fri July 22, 2011
The Two-Way

James Murdoch: What Did He Know And When Did He Know It?

The latest key development in the U.K.'s "hacking scandal" centers on News Corp. executive James Murdoch (son of Rupert) and "claims he misled lawmakers" earlier this week, The Associated Press writes.

The wire service adds that "a [British] lawmaker called for a police investigation and Prime Minister David Cameron insisted the media scion had 'questions to answer' about what he knew and when he knew it."

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8:30am

Fri July 22, 2011
The Two-Way

Crisis In The Horn Of Africa: 'We Need Water, We Need Life'

In Dadaab, Kenya, newly arrived Somali refugees lined up for tents Thursday (July 21, 2011).
Oli Scarff Getty Images

While in the U.S. we worry about the dangerous heat wave covering much of the country, in the Horn of Africa the famine, drought and conflict plaguing Somalia and some nearby regions have combined to create a far deadlier disaster.

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7:30am

Fri July 22, 2011
The Two-Way

It's So Hot That ...

Dealing with the dog days: This pooch in Manhattan found one way to stay cool Thursday (July 21, 2011).
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Hot hot is it?

"#itssohot my makeup melted as I was applying it." (@sleepgh on Twitter.)

Or, "#itssohot my Iced Coffee cup says 'Caution: Hot Beverage' on it." (@number6six.)

Feel free to join that Twitter trend or give us your own "it's so hot" responses in our comments section.

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3:05pm

Thu July 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Two From The 'Gang Of Six' Say They Learned From Each Other

With the president praising their plan, and with critics from both sides of the political aisle taking shots at it, the "Gang of Six" is this week at the center of the deficit-reduction talks in Washington.

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2:05pm

Thu July 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Obama: 'Gang Of Six' Plan Is Endorsement Of 'Balanced Approach'

The "Gang of Six" bipartisan plan has emerged as a possible framework for a deficit-reduction deal because it has "Republican senators acknowledging that revenues need to be part of a balanced package and you had Democratic senators acknowledge that we're going to have to make some difficult spending cuts," President Obama told NPR this afternoon.

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10:45am

Thu July 21, 2011
The Two-Way

IG Probing Whether 'Fast And Furious' Whistle Blower Was Punished

Breaking news from NPR's Carrie Johnson:

"The Justice Department inspector general has opened an investigation into possible retaliation against a whistle-blowing agent at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, according to two people briefed on the inquiry.

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10:23am

Thu July 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Report: U.K. Probe Goes Beyond Murdoch's Newspapers

"British Phone-Hacking Probe Expands Beyond Murdoch Papers" is the headline on one of CNN's main stories right now.

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9:28am

Thu July 21, 2011
The Two-Way

'Best Ripoff Store' Ever: Fake 'Apple' Outlet In China

The scene inside.
BirdAbroad

Planet Money spotted this before us, but it's still an interesting story and there are more developments to pass along today, so here goes:

Kudos to the BirdAbroad blog for this week posting photos and a detailed description of what sounds and looks like an Apple store in the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming — but is in fact a pretty good imitation.

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8:40am

Thu July 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Jobless Claims Rose By 10,000 Last Week

There were 10,000 more first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week vs. the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

It says that:

"In the week ending July 16, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 418,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 408,000. The 4-week moving average was 421,250, a decrease of 2,750 from the previous week's revised average of 424,000."

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8:30am

Thu July 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Remains Of Hitler Deputy Rudolf Hess Cremated, Grave Destroyed

Originally published on Fri July 22, 2011 11:35 am

"The grave containing the remains of [Adolf] Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess has been destroyed to end it being used as a pilgrimage site by neo-Nazis," the BBC reports.

German's Der Spiegel writes that for years the grave site in the Bavarian town of Wunsiedel had been a gathering point for neo-Nazis who "celebrate Rudolf Hess as a martyr. It was also the object of shame among many locals."

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