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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8:10am

Mon April 11, 2011
The Two-Way

Criminal Investigation Of Mubarak And His Family? 'Definitely'

The news from Egypt of an "unprecedented legal summons" that calls on former President Hosni Mubarak and his family to face an anti-corruption probe is "definitely" the start of a criminal investigation into the former regime, those who opposed the Mubarak government tell NPR's Deborah Amos.

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8:55am

Sat April 9, 2011
The Two-Way

The Budget Deal: One Of Many Late Nights To Come?

Now that we know there will NOT be a partial shutdown of the federal government because late last night lawmakers reached a deal on a plan to cut about $38 billion from this year's budget, it's time for some morning-after analyses.

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4:05pm

Fri April 8, 2011
The Two-Way

Some See A Funny Side To A Shutdown

We can't dismiss the serious side of a potential shutdown of much of the federal government at midnight tonight. But there is some fun being had on Twitter.

Check the trending topic #govtshutdownpickuplines (fair warning, some are "adult-only"). A few examples:

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2:35pm

Fri April 8, 2011
The Two-Way

Shutdown Clock's Ticking, Two Sides Still Apart

"With just hours to go before a midnight deadline for a partial government shutdown, Democratic and Republican leaders couldn't even agree Friday over exactly what the sticking points were," our colleague Scott Neuman writes in the latest NPR.org story about the wrangling over the federal budget.

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2:10pm

Fri April 8, 2011
The Two-Way

Forging A Note To The Judge Didn't Help: It's Prison For California Woman

When Michelle Elaine Astumian, who had been convicted of forging prescriptions and writing fraudulent checks, showed up for sentencing last week at a court in California's San Luis Obispo County, she brought along a note.

She said her doctor had signed a request that sentencing be delayed so that she should could get medical treatment.

Prosecutors quickly figured out, by calling the doctor, that the note was a fake.

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1:25pm

Fri April 8, 2011
The Two-Way

Gadhafi Regime Spokesman Claims World Has Things All Wrong

To hear Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim tell it, most of the world just doesn't know what's really going on in Libya.

-- Has Moammar Gahdafi's regime broken its promise to observe a ceasefire? No, he says. "In international law you are not breaking your promise of a ceasefire if you are attacked," Ibrahim told All Things Considered host Melissa Block today. And, "we are being attacked from the air by the NATO and on the ground by the rebels."

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10:34am

Fri April 8, 2011
The Two-Way

In Syria: Witnesses Say Security Forces Open Fire, Some Protesters Killed

"Syrian security forces opened fire Friday on thousands of protesters in the southern city of Daraa, killing at least 13 people and wounding dozens," witnesses tell The Associated Press.

The BBC also says it's been told of 13 deaths.

Reuters is reporting that "at least 10 people were killed," according to "a hospital source."

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9:50am

Fri April 8, 2011
The Two-Way

So Sad: Teen Dies In Car Crash On Road Named For His Dad

This story from South Carolina may break your heart:

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9:30am

Fri April 8, 2011
The Two-Way

AP: U.S. Still Holding Terror Suspects For Weeks In Secret Afghan Jails

This exclusive moved on the Associated Press wire this morning:

" 'Black sites,' the secret network of jails that grew up after the Sept. 11 attacks, are gone. But suspected terrorists are still being held under hazy circumstances with uncertain rights in secret, military-run jails across Afghanistan, where they can be interrogated for weeks without charge, according to U.S. officials who revealed details of the top-secret network to The Associated Press."

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9:15am

Fri April 8, 2011
The Two-Way

How Did Wisconsin Miss 14,000 Votes? Someone Didn't Click 'Save'

It was certainly a shocker, as our colleague Frank James says over at It's All Politics, when it was announced Thursday that what was thought to be a skintight race for a Wisconsin Supreme Court seat was instead looking like an easy win for the incumbent Republican.

So what happened to turn what was a 204-vote lead for Democrat JoAnne Kloppenberg into a 7,500-plus votes advantage for Justice David Prosser, a Republican?

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8:35am

Fri April 8, 2011
The Two-Way

Whistleblower Gets $4.5 Million Award From IRS

The Internal Revenue Service has awarded a Pennsylvania accountant $4.5 million because he blew the whistle on his own employer — an act that "netted the IRS $20 million in taxes and interest," The Associated Press reports.

According to the AP, "the accountant filed a complaint with the IRS in 2007, just as the IRS Whistleblower Office opened, but heard nothing for two years." So he hired a lawyer to help push the case. That lawyer, Eric Young of Blue Bell, Pa., declines to identify his client or the company he worked for.

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8:05am

Fri April 8, 2011
The Two-Way

Cars, Houses, Human Remains: Debris From Japan Is Headed Toward U.S.

The stories keep coming about what could be some grisly and disturbing discoveries along the coasts of Hawaii and the western U.S. for the next several years.

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9:45pm

Thu April 7, 2011
The Two-Way

Obama: 'Additional Progress' On Budget, But No Deal Yet

"We made some additional progress this evening," President Obama just told reporters at the White House.

But, he added, "I'm not yet prepared to express wild optimism" about the chances for a deal on this year's federal budget in time to avert a government shutdown at midnight Friday.

Obama, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and their aides just finished another meeting.

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5:00pm

Thu April 7, 2011
The Two-Way

Old Friend Of Obama Faces Solicitation Charge

"A regular Hawaii golfing buddy and Punahou School friend of President Barack Obama was among four people arrested Monday night during a prostitution sting operation in Kakaako by Honolulu police," Honololu's Star Advertiser reported today. It adds that "Waialua resident Robert Richard 'Bobby' Titcomb, 49, was arrested at South and Pohukaina streets at 9:40 p.m. Monday."

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3:40pm

Thu April 7, 2011
The Two-Way

At Barry Bonds' Trial, Prosecution And Defense Close Their Cases

"All he had to do was tell the truth," Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Nedrow told a San Francisco jury earlier today as the prosecution summed up its case against former baseball great Barry Bonds, who is accused of lying to a grand jury about whether he knew used performance-enhancing drugs.

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2:30pm

Thu April 7, 2011
The Two-Way

In Tunisia: 'We Have No Idea' If Secular Or Islamist Views Will Prevail

All Things Considered host Robert Siegel and producer Art Silverman continue their reporting from Tunisia, where the changes that have swept across much of North Africa and the Middle East got their start.

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12:25pm

Thu April 7, 2011
The Two-Way

'Bronx Zoo Cobra' Now Has A Name: Mia

The snake that stole New York's heart no longer has to be known as just the "Bronx Zoo cobra."

Thanks to 60,000 or so folks who voted on line in a poll sponsored by the zoo and New York's Daily News, the great escape artist will now be known as Mia.

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10:55am

Thu April 7, 2011
The Two-Way

7.4 Earthquake Rattles Japan; Tsunami Warning Issued

There's been another powerful earthquake off the North Central coast of Japan, near the location of the 9.0-magnitude temblor on March 11 that set off a tsunami that pummeled cities along the coast, leaving thousands dead or missing.

At an estimated magnitude of 7.1, today's quake is the strongest in the area since the March 11 disaster.

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9:55am

Thu April 7, 2011
The Two-Way

Reports: Many Children Killed By Gunman At School In Rio De Janeiro

"As many as 20 people are feared dead after a gunman invaded a primary school in Rio de Janeiro and opened fire," The Guardian reports. "One witness told the Guardian he had seen between 15 and 20 children dead or seriously wounded inside the Tasso da Silveira primary school in western Rio." [updated: Eleven children and the gunman are dead.]

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9:35am

Thu April 7, 2011
The Two-Way

Second Air Traffic Controller Caught Sleeping On The Job, FAA Says

One month before an air traffic controller at Reagan National Airport outside Washington, D.C., fell asleep on the job at a time when he was the only person in the control tower, a controller at McGhee Tyson Airport outside Knoxville, Tenn., slept for about five hours "while on duty in the radar room of the airport," as the Knoxville

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9:03am

Thu April 7, 2011
The Two-Way

In Japan: Authorities Rush To Recover Bodies In Evacuation Zone

"Japanese police raced Thursday to find thousands of missing bodies before they completely decompose along a stretch of tsunami-pummeled coast that has been largely off-limits because of a radiation-leaking nuclear plant," The Associated Press writes from Minami Soma, Japan.

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8:45am

Thu April 7, 2011
The Two-Way

Claims For Jobless Benefits Dip Again

About 382,000 Americans filed first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, the Employment and Training Administration just reported. That's 10,000 fewer than during the previous week and marks the third dip in the past four weeks.

The Associated Press says the news is "a sign that layoffs are dropping and employers may be hiring more workers."

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8:30am

Thu April 7, 2011
The Two-Way

'Eagle Cam' Update: We Have A Hatching! Third Eaglet Emerges

In case you missed it:

The incredibly popular Decorah Eagle Cam captured the scene last evening as the third and final egg in an Iowa bald eagle family's nest hatched.

We, and at many times hundreds of thousands of other viewers, have been following developments atop that three in Iowa for several days now.

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8:05am

Thu April 7, 2011
The Two-Way

Libya's Iman Al-Obeidi Appeals To Aid Groups: 'See How Life Is Here'

Iman al-Obeidi, whose story about allegedly being raped and beaten by forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has captured attention around the world, wants international humanitarian groups to come to Libya and "see how life is here," she has told CNN in what's believed to be her first face-to-face interview with Western journalists since her dramatic appea

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7:40am

Thu April 7, 2011
The Two-Way

Progress, But No Deal Yet On Averting A Government Shutdown

With less than 48 hours to go before much of the federal government would have to shut down, there's been progress but no deal yet as President Obama, his fellow Democrats and Republican leaders in Congress try to settle on how much to cut from this year's federal budget.

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10:00am

Mon March 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Psst! Heard About The Missing Cobra At The Bronx Zoo?

Here's a waiting game we're not eager to be a part of:

At the Bronx Zoo, "staffers were waiting Sunday for an escaped, poisonous Egyptian cobra to get hungry enough to come out of hiding." (The Daily News.) They think it's still in an area protected from the public.

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7:35am

Mon March 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Crisis In Japan: Radiation Detected In Seawater; Frustration Grows

Japan continues to struggle with the lingering effects of the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami that pummeled cities along its northeastern coast and crippled a nuclear power plant in Fukushima.

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