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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7:22am

Fri July 8, 2011
The Two-Way

Day's Other Major Story: June Jobs Report

Good morning.

As we wait to hear whether Atlantis is still on schedule to launch today on the last mission into space for the space shuttle program, here's a quick look at other stories making headlines.

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4:45pm

Thu July 7, 2011
The Two-Way

Drastic Cutting At The White House: Crews Remove Damaged Tree

As President Obama and Congressional leaders were inside the White House today trying to agree on ways to cut the federal budget, some serious trimming was going on just outside.

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3:48pm

Thu July 7, 2011
It's All Politics

In First Iowa Ad, Bachmann Touts Roots And Raps 'Wasteful Spending'

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) keeps things simple in her first TV ad in Iowa, which her presidential campaign says starts airing there today.

-- Remind folks you're from the state. Check.

-- Let them know a little about yourself. Check.

-- Vow to fight "wasteful" spending. Check.

-- Make clear you opposed the president's economic stimulus plan. Check.

Here's the script:

"As a descendant of generations of Iowans, I was born and raised in Waterloo.

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1:14pm

Thu July 7, 2011
It's All Politics

Obama: 'Constructive' Budget Talks To Continue; Leaders To Meet Sunday

From The Two-Way:

Saying that today's White House meeting with Congressional leaders was "very constructive," President Obama just announced that budget negotiations will continue through the weekend and that he'll be meeting with Congressional leaders again on Sunday.

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1:08pm

Thu July 7, 2011
The Two-Way

Obama: 'Constructive' Budget Talks To Continue; Leaders To Meet Sunday

Originally published on Thu July 7, 2011 1:29 pm

Saying that today's White House meeting with Congressional leaders was "very constructive," President Obama just announced that budget negotiations will continue through the weekend and that he'll be meeting with Congressional leaders again on Sunday.

And when they reconvene, Obama said, it will be "with the expectation that at that point, the parties will at least know where each others' bottom lines are."

Lawmakers, he added, know there will be "pain involved politically on all sides" in any agreement.

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11:56am

Thu July 7, 2011

11:11am

Thu July 7, 2011
The Two-Way

One Jobs Report Signals Better Growth

There were 157,000 jobs added to businesses' payrolls in June, according to the widely watched ADP National Employment Report, a private-sector look at the labor market that's sometimes an advance indication of what the Bureau of Labor Statistics will say about the same month.

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10:40am

Thu July 7, 2011
The Two-Way

BBC: 4,000 Potential Hacking Victims Being Contacted By Police

This "breaking news" alert just popped up on the BBC's website:

"UK detectives investigating phone hacking allegations expect to contact nearly 4,000 potential victims, police say"

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9:55am

Thu July 7, 2011
The Two-Way

Football Hall Of Famer John Mackey Has Died

John Mackey and his wife Sylvia in 2007.
Brian Bahr Getty Images

John Mackey, one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history who went on to be the first president of the National Football League Players Association, "died Wednesday of frontal temporal dementia, a disease he had battled for 10 years," the Baltimore Sun reports. He was 69.

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9:50am

Thu July 7, 2011
The Two-Way

Casey Anthony Gets 4 Years; Time-Served Will Reduce Prison Stay

Casey Anthony, the young Florida mother who was found not guilty of killing her 2-year-old daughter after a trial that dominated cable news networks and tabloids, was just sentenced to four years in prison for lying to police during the investigation.

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9:05am

Thu July 7, 2011
The Two-Way

Man Killed By Yellowstone Grizzly Reportedly Told Wife To Run

File photo of two Grizzly bears.
Christopher Servheen AFP/Getty Images

More details are starting to come in about Wednesday's grizzly bear attack in Yellowstone National Park, in which a 57-year-old man was killed.

It is the park's "first fatal grizzly mauling since 1986, but the third in the Yellowstone region in just over a year," The Associated Press writes.

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8:35am

Thu July 7, 2011
The Two-Way

Jobless Claims Dipped Last Week

There were 418,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

That's down 14,000 from the previous week — but still well above the 350,000-or-so mark that's something of a dividing line between a labor market that's in relatively good shape and one that's not doing well.

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8:20am

Thu July 7, 2011
The Two-Way

Phone-Hacking Scandal Widens; Casey Anthony To Be Sentenced

Good morning.

There's a budget summit of sorts at the White House today, and as we reported earlier there are signs of a deal between Democrats, led by President Obama, and Republicans, led by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).

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7:51am

Thu July 7, 2011
The Two-Way

Report: Papers Show North Korean Bribes For Pakistan's Nuclear Know-How

"The founder of Pakistan's nuclear bomb program asserts that the government of North Korea bribed top military officials in Islamabad to obtain access to sensitive nuclear technology in the late 1990s," according to a Washington Post front-page exclusive this morning.

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7:25am

Thu July 7, 2011
The Two-Way

Reports Of 'Broader Deal' On Deficit As Obama And Leadership Huddle

With President Obama preparing to meet with congressional leaders from both major parties at the White House later this morning, there are a variety of reports about the outlines of what may — and we stress the word may -- be a deal on a multitrillion-dollar deficit-reduction plan.

We'll start with this from NPR's Marilyn Geewax:

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1:36pm

Wed July 6, 2011
The Two-Way

Coming Up: 'Twitter Town Hall' @ The White House

It may not have the historical feel of the first time a president spoke on radio or TV, but there is something new happening this afternoon at the White House.

President Obama is answering questions, presumably from many regular folks, that have come in via Twitter. The event's supposed to get started at 2 p.m. ET.

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12:38pm

Wed July 6, 2011
The Two-Way

Families Of Deployed Soldiers Who Commit Suicide To Get Condolence Letters

This statement from President Obama, just released by the White House, confirms an earlier report by CNN:

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11:50am

Wed July 6, 2011
The Two-Way

Army To Seek Death Penalty In Court-Martial Of Fort Hood Suspect

Saying today that he has "referred the case to a general court-martial for trial," the commander at Fort Hood has also decided to pursue the death penalty in the case against Maj. Nidal Hasan, the psychiatrist charged with 13 counts of murder and 32 counts of attempted murder for the deadly November 2009 shooting rampage at the Army post in Texas.

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11:19am

Wed July 6, 2011
The Two-Way

2018 Winter Olympics To Be In South Korea

Feb. 25, 2010, file photo of the Olympic rings in Whistler, Canada, during the Vancouver Winter Olympics.
Richard Heathcote Getty Images

The 2018 Winter Olympics will be in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the International Olympic Committee just announced from Durban, South Africa.

The other finalists were: Munich, Germany, and Annecy, France.

The last time the Winter Olympics were held in Asia was in 1998, at Nagano, Japan.

The 2010 Winter Games were held in Vancouver, Canada. The 2014 Winter Games will be in Sochi, Russia.

Summer Olympics are set for London in 2012 and Rio De Janeiro in 2016.

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10:55am

Wed July 6, 2011
The Two-Way

Service Sector Has Now Grown For 19 Straight Months, Report Says

Though growth in the service sector slowed a bit in June, that key part of the economy has now expanded for 19 consecutive months, the private Institute for Supply Management reported this morning.

Its service sector index stood at 53.3 percent, a 1.3 percentage points decline from May but still above the 50 percent mark that is said to be the line between growth and contraction.

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10:10am

Wed July 6, 2011
The Two-Way

Jurors' Thinking In Casey Anthony Trial Starts To Emerge

Tuesday (July 5, 2011): Casey Anthony reacts to being found not guilty on murder charges.
Pool Getty Images

The day-after stories about the not-guilty verdict for Florida mother Casey Anthony, who was accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee in a case that has dominated the tabloids and cable news networks, include a clue to what the jurors were thinking.

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9:20am

Wed July 6, 2011
The Two-Way

India's Supreme Court Takes Steps To Protect $22 Billion Treasure

The stunning news Eyder posted Tuesday about a $22 billion treasure in the vaults of a Hindu temple in southern India is followed today by word that:

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8:35am

Wed July 6, 2011
The Two-Way

200 Somalis Presumed Dead After Boat Sinks Off Sudan

Sarura Ali (right) covered her eyes from wind-blown dust as she stood with her six children outside a food distribution point in the Dadaab refugee camp in northeastern Kenya on Tuesday (July 5, 2011). Sarura, her husband and their children trekked for eight days from their home in Sakow, Somalia. War and drought are forcing many Somalis to take desperate measures.
Roberto Schmidt AFP/Getty Images

"About 200 people drowned in the Red Sea [Tuesday]," the BBC writes, "when a boat carrying migrants to Saudi Arabia sank off Sudan's coast after catching fire, Sudanese media says. Only three people have been rescued, according to the Sudanese Media Centre (SMC), a state-linked news agency. A governing party official told the BBC he believed the passengers were Somalis likely to be fleeing the drought."

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8:15am

Wed July 6, 2011
The Two-Way

U.K.'s Hacking Scandal Grows; Minnesota's Shutdown Continues

Good morning.

For dramatic videos, check out the post we put up earlier about last night's dust storm in Phoenix.

We've also already filed on the Obama administration's decision to bring a terrorism suspect from Somalia to New York City for trial in a civilian criminal court.

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7:43am

Wed July 6, 2011
The Two-Way

Stiffer Potential Penalties Led To Somali Being Brought To U.S. For Trial

The news that "a Somali citizen captured in April was interrogated aboard a U.S. warship for two months and is now in New York to face terrorism charges" is one of the major stories of the morning. And as The Wall Street Journal writes, the Obama administration's decision to try Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame in a U.S.

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7:10am

Wed July 6, 2011
The Two-Way

VIDEOS: Dust Storm Swallows Phoenix

"It went from day to night, just like that ... [and] it just wouldn't stop."

That's how 12 News meterologist Rob Carlmark describes what it was like in Phoenix Tuesday evening when a massive dust storm blew through the area. His video about what it was like to be caught in the storm's path is posted here.

The Associated Press writes that:

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3:45pm

Tue July 5, 2011
The Two-Way

Syrian Foreign Minister: Opposition Should Join 'Dialogue'

Even as there were more reports today about deaths of demonstrators in Syria, the country's foreign minister was telling reporters that President Bashar Assad's regime is serious about wanting a "national dialogue" that will lead to reform.

NPR's Deborah Amos was among the reporters who Walid Moallem spoke with in a series of one-on-one interviews in Damascus.

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2:22pm

Tue July 5, 2011
The Two-Way

Casey Anthony Found Not Guilty Of Killing Her Daughter

June 30, 2011: Casey Anthony listens to testimony during her murder trial in Orlando, Fla.
Red Huber Pool/Getty Images

Casey Anthony, the young Florida mother who has been a constant presence on the cable news networks during the trial about whether she murdered her 2-year-old daughter Caylee Marie three years ago, was just found not guilty on the most serious charges against her.

A jury found her not guilty of first degree murder, not guilty of aggravated manslaughter and not guilty of aggravated child abuse.

She was found guilty on four counts of providing false information to a law enforcement officer.

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1:00pm

Tue July 5, 2011
The Two-Way

No Tiger Woods At The British Open

Saying that "unfortunately, I've been advised that I should not play in the British Open," golfer Tiger Woods announced today that the ligament sprain to his left knee and a strained left Achilles tendon will keep him out of the 2011 British Open. "The Open" will be played next week at the Royal St. George's course on England's south coast.

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11:18am

Tue July 5, 2011
The Two-Way

Deaths Reported In Latest Syrian City Under Government Pressure

"At least seven civilians have been killed in the central Syrian city of Hama as government forces intensify their attacks on the city, activists told al-Jazeera."

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