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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7:24am

Mon July 18, 2011
The Two-Way

Grand Deal? No Deal? Clock Ticking As Deficit Talks Continue

They're still talking. President Obama and leaders from Congress will continue deficit-reduction negotiations. July 14, 2011 file photo taken at the White House. From left to right: House Speaker John Boehner (R--OH); Obama; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV); Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY); Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, (D-IL).
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

We know for sure that negotiations continue between the White House and the Republican leadership in Congress over how to extend the federal debt ceiling, trim federal deficits and start reducing (or at least stop its explosive growth) the $14+ trillion federal debt.

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12:35pm

Fri July 15, 2011
The Two-Way

'We Are Sorry' Rupert Murdoch Tells Readers In U.K.

The scandal began at News of the World, which folded last Sunday (July 10, 2011).
Adrian Dennis AFP/Getty Images

We began the day noting that one of Rupert Murdoch's own publications was describing him as "defiant" in the face of the snooping scandal that has engulfed some of his News Corp. newspapers in the U.K.

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10:42am

Fri July 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Coming Up: President Obama's News Conference

President Obama makes an opening statement on the ongoing budget negotiations before a press conference in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington on Friday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

"We have a unique opportunity to do something big" and put the federal government's fiscal books in order for the next decade or so, President Obama said this morning at a White House news conference where he again laid out his view of where things stand in deficit-reduction talks with Republican leaders.

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10:25am

Fri July 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Pizza Predictor: Asia's Appetite Is Back; A Sign Of Better Times?

The appeal for pizza knows no boundaries (or at least not many).
PR newswire

A year ago, U.S. dairy farmers were worried about a souring in demand for their products overseas. Mexicans weren't buying as much dehydrated milk. In China, demand was down for American pizza cheese.

Kirk Siegler of member station KUNC reported for All Things Considered that dairy farmers were having some of the toughest times they'd ever faced.

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9:25am

Fri July 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Factory Output Flat Again In June

There was no change in output at the nation's manufacturers last month, the Federal Reserve just reported.

A flat June followed a scant 0.1 percent increase in May and a 0.5 percent decline in output in April, the Fed adds.

Another sign of sogginess in the factory sector: previously, the Fed had estimated that production rose 0.4 percent in May from April. The new estimate — of that 0.1 percent rise — marks a significant downward revision.

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8:55am

Fri July 15, 2011
The Two-Way

U.S., Western Countries Recognize Opposition As Libyan Government

The United States just announced that it now considers the main opposition group in Libya to be that country's legitimate government.

The Transitional National Council that opposes Col. Moammar Gadhafi won international recognition from the U.S. and other members of the Contact Group, the 22 nations who coalesced to address Libya's future. NPR's Peter Kenyon is at the Group's summit in Istanbul and tells NPR Newscast Desk that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the announcement.

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8:34am

Fri July 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Consumer Prices Fell 0.2 Percent In June

There was a 0.2 percent drop in consumer prices in June from May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported.

Keeping inflation in check: A 6.8 percent drop in gasoline prices.

Also helping: Food prices rose a modest 0.2 percent, the smallest monthly increase so far this year.

Over the last 12 months, BLS added, consumer prices have risen 3.6 percent.

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8:25am

Fri July 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Maybe An Early End To 'Carmageddon?'

A traffic signs alerts motorists on Interstate 405 of the shutdown.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

If you're in Los Angeles this weekend and you try to drive anywhere near the 10-mile stretch of Interstate-405 that's closing tonight at 7 p.m. local time, don't say you weren't warned.

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7:50am

Fri July 15, 2011
The Two-Way

News Corp.'s Murdoch Is 'Defiant;' Meanwhile, Key Editor Resigns

As the scandal widens over allegations that his company's tabloids in the U.K. tapped into the cell phones of thousands of people from the royal family down to murder victims. ...

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7:20am

Fri July 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Lawmakers On Call Through Weekend For More Budget Talks

With President Obama set to hold another news conference later this morning to talk about what's going on, here's some of the latest news about the talks between the White House and congressional leaders from both parties about deficit-reduction and raising the federal government's so-called debt ceiling before Aug. 2 — the day the White House says the government will run out of money and might default on some of its obligations.

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8:37am

Thu July 14, 2011
The Two-Way

Good News For Yankees Fan Who Caught Jeter's 3,000th

His tax situation still isn't quite clear, but it looks like New York Yankees fan Christian Lopez is going to make out OK.

As we reported Wednesday, some experts were saying that Lopez might face a tax bill of up to $14,000 because of the gifts he was given by the Yankees last week after he graciously returned the ball that shortstop Derek Jeter smacked into the stands for his 3,000 career hit in the major leagues.

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8:15am

Thu July 14, 2011
The Two-Way

Amid Lots Of Talk About A 'Blow Up,' Budget Talks Will Resume

Stories are popping up across the news universe about President Obama and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) having a heated/tense/barbed (choose your favorite word) exchange during Wednesday's budget talks at the White House — an exchange that ended with the president leaving the room.

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7:15am

Thu July 14, 2011
The Two-Way

Error About News Corp. Was 'Big Screw-Up On My Part,' Columnist Says

While he can explain how it happened, Reuters columnist David Cay Johnston says "there's no excuse" for the huge mistake he made Tuesday when he wrote that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. had received billions of dollars in tax refunds from the U.S. government in recent years — when in fact it had paid billions of dollars in federal taxes.

"This is a big screw-up on my part," he told Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep earlier today.

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2:38pm

Wed July 13, 2011

9:32am

Wed July 13, 2011
The Two-Way

Need A Lift? Check Out Michigan Retirement Home Residents' 'LipDub'

Care for a prune juice cocktail? That's one of the jokes in the seniors' production.
Grand Valley State University

Trust us on this one, if you have a few minutes you're going to enjoy watching the Clark Retirement Community LipDub video that's been posted online by students at Michigan's Grand Valley State University.

It may be, as the school says, "the nation's first LipDub performed solely by residents of a retirement community." Here's how Grand Valley describes the video:

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8:50am

Wed July 13, 2011
The Two-Way

Yankees Fan's Good Deed Could Prove Taxing

Originally published on Wed July 13, 2011 8:52 am

New York Yankees' Derek Jeter, right, and Christian Lopez at a news conference on Saturday (July 9, 2011) at Yankee Stadium.
Bill Kostroun AP

The feel-good story of last week about the young New York Yankees fan who very willingly gave back the home run ball that shortstop Derek Jeter clobbered to get his 3,000th career hit took a predictable but still somewhat depressing turn yesterday.

The New York Times reported that: "No Good Deed Goes Untaxed (Perhaps)."

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8:10am

Wed July 13, 2011
The Two-Way

U.K. Lawmakers Unite To Oppose Murdoch Bid For Broadcaster

There's a lot happening right now in the expanding scandal in the U.K. over allegations that newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch's News International illegally obtained private information — sometimes by paying police — about thousands of people, from members of the royal family and a former prime minister to victims of the 2005 London bombings and the 9/11 attacks.:

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7:30am

Wed July 13, 2011
The Two-Way

Budget Talks: Chances For Deal Dwindling?

Negotiations will continue today between the White House and congressional leaders, but as NPR's Scott Horsley said on Morning Edition, the path to a deal on raising the federal debt ceiling, cutting federal deficits and eventually shrinking the $14+ trillion federal debt "is far from clear."

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8:55am

Tue July 12, 2011
The Two-Way

Arizona Lawmaker, Reporter Disagree On Whether She Pointed Gun At Him

She says the reporter sat down in front of her handgun as she aimed it at a sofa.

He says she deliberately pointed the loaded firearm at his chest.

Arizona state Sen. Lori Klein (R) and Arizona Republic reporter Richard Ruelas now find themselves at the center of a story that has attracted attention across the nation.

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8:13am

Tue July 12, 2011
The Two-Way

UK Tabloid Scandal: Former PM Brown Condemns News International

Rupert Murdoch as he left his apartment in London earlier today (July 12, 2011).
Oli Scarff Getty Images

This morning's developments in the ever-expanding scandal in the U.K. over allegations that newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch's News International illegally obtained private information on thousands of people, from members of the royal family and a former prime minister to victims of the 2005 London bombings:

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7:25am

Tue July 12, 2011
The Two-Way

Key Lawmaker: GOP's Formula Is Lower Tax Rates, 'With Fewer Exceptions'

The impasse continues in the talks between the White House and congressional leaders over raising the federal debt ceiling, cutting federal budget deficits and — eventually — starting to shrink the $14+ trillion federal debt.

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2:26pm

Mon July 11, 2011
It's All Politics

Perry Watch: Texas Governor Making Calls To GOP Officials In Key States

If you're wondering whether Texas Gov. Rick Perry will or won't get into the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, here are a few more bits of evidence indicating that he just might:

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1:51pm

Mon July 11, 2011
It's All Politics

Boehner: 'Disagreements Are Not Personal'

House Speaker John Boehner as he spoke with reporters on Capitol Hill this afternoon.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

From The Two-Way:

"Our disagreements are not personal and never have been," House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) just said of the ongoing discussions he's been having with Democratic President Obama about deficit reduction.

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1:48pm

Mon July 11, 2011
The Two-Way

Boehner: 'Disagreements Are Not Personal'

"Our disagreements are not personal and never have been," House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) just said of the ongoing discussions he's been having with Democratic President Obama about deficit reduction.

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1:36pm

Mon July 11, 2011
The Two-Way

U.K. Tabloid Scandal: Prime Minister Brown, Royals Potential Targets

The scandal prompted News International to fold News of the World. Sunday's issue was the 168-year-old newspaper's last.
Matthew Lloyd Getty Images

"The scandal engulfing Rupert Murdoch's media empire exploded in several directions Monday," The Associated Press writes, "with fresh reports of phone hacking attacks against some of the nation's most powerful figures, including royals and former prime minister Gordon Brown."

Among the latest developments:

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10:45am

Mon July 11, 2011
It's All Politics

Check The Two-Way For Coverage Of Obama's News Conference

We're live-blogging President Obama's news conference this morning.

Head over to The Two-Way to follow the action.

You can also hear NPR's coverage by clicking on "LISTEN" in the box at the top of this post.

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10:42am

Mon July 11, 2011
The Two-Way

Coming Up: President Obama's News Conference

President Obama is this morning holding a news conference that the White House expects will focus on the negotiations over raising the federal debt ceiling, slashing projected federal deficits and putting the nation's fiscal books in order.

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10:15am

Mon July 11, 2011
The Two-Way

FBI: No Indication Stun Gun Found On Plane Was To Be Used In Attack

Disturbing stories from Sunday night about a stun gun being found aboard a JetBlue plane at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey are being followed this morning with word from the FBI that there's no evidence at this time that the weapon was to be used in an attack.

The Associated Press writes that:

"Newark FBI spokesman Bryan Travers says there's no indication that an attack was imminent. He says the investigation is focusing mostly on how the stun gun ended up on the flight."

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9:55am

Mon July 11, 2011
The Two-Way

Brazil's 'Magnet Boy': Latest In A Series Of Attractive Stories

We'll get back to the serious stuff shortly. Like deficit reduction.

Now, though, it's time for a little human magnet news.

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8:55am

Mon July 11, 2011
The Two-Way

'Special Announcement' From Tiger Woods Today? Maybe Not

June 28, 2011, file photo: Tiger Woods.
Hunter Martin Getty Images

This is rather odd.

Many media outlets — except the one on which he's supposed to be appearing — are saying that golfer Tiger Woods will be making a "special announcement" of some kind on The Golf Channel at 11 a.m. ET.

We called The Golf Channel's headquarters in Orlando and all we could get out of them was "stay tuned to see." No confirmation, even, of whether Woods will be on.

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