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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10:35am

Mon June 20, 2011
The Two-Way

Supreme Court Rejects Female Workers' Class-Action Suit Against Wal-Mart

"The Supreme Court has ruled for Wal-Mart in its fight to block a massive sex discrimination lawsuit on behalf of women who work there," The Associated Press reports.

It adds that:

"The court ruled unanimously Monday that the lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. cannot proceed as a class action, reversing a decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The lawsuit could have involved up to 1.6 million women."

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10:15am

Mon June 20, 2011
The Two-Way

Number Of Domain Names To Explode; Effect Debated

In voting today to dramatically expand what can be used as suffixes in Internet domain names, have the regulators of that world made the Web a whole lot more democratic or kicked off what are sure to be some expensive and extended battles over trademarks?

Perhaps both.

As The Associated Press writes:

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9:10am

Mon June 20, 2011
The Two-Way

Remembering Clarence Clemons And His 'Jungleland' Solo

Clarence Clemons during a performance on Aug. 7, 2002, in New Jersey.
Frank Micelotta Getty Images

The sad news from the weekend that E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons died at the age of 69, a week after suffering a stroke at his home in Florida, has inspired quite a few "best Big Man solos" blogposts.

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8:15am

Mon June 20, 2011
The Two-Way

Greece 'Teeters;' NATO Admits 'Weapons Systems Failure'

Good morning.

Syrian President Bashar Assad, as we reported earlier, today blamed "saboteurs" for the violence in his country — even though human rights groups and protesters say it is government forces who have been responsible for most of the deaths in recent weeks.

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7:48am

Mon June 20, 2011
The Two-Way

Winds Whip Fires Again; McCain Puts Some Blame On Illegal Immigrants

In southern Arizona, the so-called Monument wildfire has now forced "10,000 people from 4,300 homes" to flee the area, according to The Associated Press.

Winds whipped the flames on Sunday. Firefighters may get a break today: Winds are projected to reach "just 10 mph," the AP says.

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7:22am

Mon June 20, 2011
The Two-Way

Assad Blames 'Saboteurs' For Syria's Crisis; Delivers 'Mixed Messages'

Blaming "saboteurs" for the protests against his regime, Syrian President Bashar Assad today delivered an address to his nation that analysts are saying signals his government will continue to hold a hard line even as he also speaks about the legitimate demands for reform that protesters are making.

Al-Jazeera says Assad gave "mixed messages":

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11:12am

Fri June 17, 2011
The Two-Way

Biden, Boehner, Kasich, Obama: Who Would Be Most Fun To Golf With?

Dec. 29, 2008, file photo: Barack Obama (then the president-elect) golfing in Hawaii.
Getty Images

A not-at-all serious question:

We ask because, as All Thing Considered host Robert Siegel said Thursday:

"When the most politically powerful foursome in America tees off on Saturday, they will not play the most notable round of golf in the Washington, D.C., area. Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland, which is just beyond the District Line, is home to this year's U.S. Open, and on Saturday, it'll be time for round three.

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10:30am

Fri June 17, 2011
The Two-Way

'Leading Indicators' Rose In May

There was a 0.8 percent rise in its "leading economic index" in May from April, the private Conference Board just reported.

The indicator, which is supposed to tell us how the economy will be doing over the next six or nine months, is among many recent signals that things will probably be "choppy" through the summer and fall, Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein says in a statement issued with the report.

There was a 0.4 percent drop in the index from March to April.

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10:14am

Fri June 17, 2011
The Two-Way

Estimate: Weiner's Pension And Benefits Could Exceed $1 Million

In about a decade, when he's eligible to start drawing from his Congressional pension and savings plans, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) will be able to tap into benefits worth between $1.12 million and $1.28 million, the conservative-leaning National Taxpayers Union estimates.

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9:45am

Fri June 17, 2011
The Two-Way

'Suspicious' Man Leads To Closed Roads, Traffic Jam Around Pentagon

There was a fair amount of conflicting information in the past hour or so about a situation near the Pentagon, so we waited a bit to see how things played out.

Based on what FBI Special Agent Brenda Heck and U.S. Park Police Sgt. David Schlosser just told reporters, it appears:

-- A "suspicous" man was apprehended before dawn in Arlington National Cemetery, which is near the Pentagon.

-- The investigation led authorities to a red, 2011 Nissan parked somewhere near the Pentagon.

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8:51am

Fri June 17, 2011
The Two-Way

Saudi Women Get Behind The Wheel, Renew Protest Of Driving Ban

Manal al-Sharif, some supporters say, is Saudi Arabia's Rosa Parks.
Facebook

We're starting to see reports on Twitter about today's #Women2Drive campaign against Saudi Arabia's cultural ban on women drivers.

-- From Jeddah, Laila Sindi says that after 10 minutes behind the wheel she came to a police checkpoint. Her tweets indicate she was detained for a couple hours.

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7:45am

Fri June 17, 2011
The Two-Way

Vancouver's 'Kissing Couple' May Be Aussie Man, Canadian Girlfriend

Rich Lam Getty Images

Much still needs to be learned and confirmed about the picture of what many assumed, at first, was a kissing couple lying on a Vancouver street and enjoying a moment of passion as mayhem erupted around them this week.

But at least now there's a widely reported claim about their identities.

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7:15am

Fri June 17, 2011
The Two-Way

'Turmoil' In Europe Continues To Trouble Markets

While Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou struggled to bring calm to his country today by shuffling his cabinet, The New York Times warns that:

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4:28pm

Thu June 16, 2011
The Two-Way

Stuck In Your Job? So Are Millions Of Others

After exploring the notion that there are about 2 million "open" jobs in the U.S., All Things Considered today looks into Bloomberg Businessweek's conclusion that "up to 28 million Americans [are] stuck in jobs they would have left in ordinary times."

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1:45pm

Thu June 16, 2011
The Two-Way

Live-Blog: Rep. Weiner's News Conference

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) during a news conference earlier this month.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), who has seen his political career crater over the past two weeks due to an extramarital sexting scandal and his lies about he did, is expected to announce his resignation within the next hour.

Weiner is due to meet with reporters at 2 p.m. ET, in Brooklyn. We will use this post to live-blog as he speaks. Be sure to hit your "refresh" button to get our latest updates.

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1:23pm

Thu June 16, 2011
The Two-Way

Eight Months In Jail For Juror Who Used Web To Contact Defendant

Joanne Fraill, who has been sentenced to eight months in jail for contempt of court. She contacted a defendant on the Web.
Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Images

She used Facebook to exchange messages with one of the defendants. Now, juror Joanne Fraill has been sentenced to eight months in jail by a court in London.

The Guardian believes it's the first case in the U.K. of someone being tried, convicted and sentenced for contempt of court for using the Web while sitting on a jury.

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11:39am

Thu June 16, 2011
The Two-Way

In Pakistan's Tribal Areas, 'A Clear Dividing Line Between Right And Wrong'

Novelist Jamil Ahmad. His wife, Helga, is in the background.
Jim Wildman NPR

Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep came home from this recent reporting trip to Pakistan with one more story to tell, and it offers a unique look into the "tribal areas" we hear so much about because they are home to terrorists.

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10:09am

Thu June 16, 2011
The Two-Way

Reports: Rep. Weiner To Resign Today

June 6, 2011: Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) admits to having numerous sexual relationships online.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) plans to resign from congress today, according to reports from several news outlets.

The news broke a short time ago when The New York Times sent out an alert that Weiner "has told friends that he plans to resign his seat." It cited "a person told of Mr. Weiner's plans" as its source.

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9:37am

Thu June 16, 2011
The Two-Way

Jobless Claims Dip; Housing Starts Rise

Two economic indicators that are at least pointing in the right direction:

-- The number of people who filed first-time claims for unemployment insurance fell by 16,000 last week, the Employment and Training Administration says. They dipped to 414,000 from 430,000 the week before.

Claims remain in a range that signals a weak labor market, however.

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9:05am

Thu June 16, 2011
The Two-Way

Did Conan O'Brien Give 'The Greatest Commencement Speech Ever?'

As they write over at the conservative Hot Air website, when a diverse set of bloggers are saying something's a "must-see," it's worth noting.

That's the case with the commencement address that talk show host Conan O'Brien gave last weekend at Dartmouth College. Hot Air says O'Brien just may have given the "greatest commencement speech ever." An analysis that's a bit over-the-top, perhaps, but judge for yourself.

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8:35am

Thu June 16, 2011
The Two-Way

Al-Qaida Makes Al-Zawahri It New Leader

Good morning.

There's word on a "Jihadist website" that Osama bin Laden's longtime deputy, Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahri, is taking over the leadership of al-Qaida.

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7:45am

Thu June 16, 2011
The Two-Way

Win Or Lose, Some Fans Choose To Riot

A man with a Candanian flag walked in front of a burning vehicle Wednesday night (June 15, 2011) in Vancouver, Canada.
Elsa Getty Images

In recent years, fans in Montreal have burned cars and smashed windows after their beloved Canadiens won key playoff games. It happened in 2008 and again in 2010.

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7:15am

Thu June 16, 2011
The Two-Way

Blood Red Moon: Total Eclipse Is Quite A Show

Wednesday's total eclipse of the moon, which we previewed, didn't disappoint.

As The Associated Press writes, "Asian and African night owls were treated to a lunar eclipse, and ash in the atmosphere from a Chilean volcano turned it blood red for some viewers."

Indeed, check out this set of photos taken in Macedonia:

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3:43pm

Wed June 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Two Million 'Open Jobs?' Yes, But U.S. Has A Skills 'Mismatch'

It's an eye-catching claim at a time when the unemployment rate is 9.1 percent, 13.9 million people are officially unemployed and another 8.5 million are working part-time but would like to have full-time jobs:

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1:10pm

Wed June 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Congressional Report Slams ATF's 'Fast And Furious' Operation

Two leading congressional critics of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' so-called Operation Fast and Furious have issued a scathing report on the program that allegedly let hundreds of guns go from the U.S. to Mexico — with deadly results.

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12:04pm

Wed June 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Greek Protests Turn Violent; Prime Minister Reportedly Offers To Step Aside

A cloud of tear gas surrounded demonstrators in Athens earlier today (June 15, 2011).
Milos Bicanski Getty Images

"Hundreds of protesters clashed with riot police in central Athens Wednesday," The Associated Press writes, "as a major anti-austerity rally degenerated into violence outside parliament, where the struggling government was to seek support for new cutbacks to avoid a disastrous default."

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11:26am

Wed June 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Today's Total Eclipse Of The Moon: How To Watch

The reddish hue during the total eclipse that was seen from North America on Dec. 21, 2010.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

Those of us in North America won't be able to see it happen "live," but if all goes well we can catch a webcast of what's going to be "an unusually long total lunar eclipse" today.

Basically, every continent except North America will get a view. On the timing and length, Space.com says that:

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11:00am

Wed June 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Twin Friars Who Died On Same Day Reflected 'Good Side Of Humanity'

Word seems to have spread around the world about the 92-year-old identical twins who died within hours of each other after spending nearly their entire lives as Franciscan friars.

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9:44am

Wed June 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Factory Output Rose 0.4 Percent In May; Made Up Most Of April's Loss

There was a 0.4 percent increase in output at U.S. manufacturers last month vs. April, the Federal Reserve just reported. That follows a 0.5 percent decline in April from March.

For the 12 months ending May 31, the Fed says, factory output was up 3.7 percent.

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9:32am

Wed June 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Fukushima's Plan To Put Radiation Badges On Children Not Pleasing Parents

May 23, 2011: A woman outside the Education Ministry in Tokyo expresses her opinion. Many in Japan say the government is not doing enough to protect children from radiation that's leaking from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant that was crippled in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Yoshikazu Tsuno AFP/Getty Images

The news that the city of Fukushima, Japan, plans to give badge-like dosimeters to 34,000 children in September — to gauge how much radiation they're exposed to from the nearby nuclear power plant that was crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami — isn't sitting well with some parents.

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