Mark Memmott

Mark Memmott is one of the hosts of NPR's "The Two-Way" news blog.

"The Two-Way," which Memmott helped to launched when he came to NPR in 2009, focuses on breaking news, analysis, and the most compelling stories being reported by NPR News and other news media.

Before joining NPR, Memmott worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor at USA Today. He focused on a range of coverage from politics, foreign affairs, economics, and the media. He's reported from places across the Unites States and the world, including half a dozen trips to Afghanistan in 2002-2003.

During his time at USA Today, Memmott, helped launch and lead three USAToday.com news blogs: "On Deadline," "The Oval" and "On Politics," the site's 2008 presidential campaign blog.

Pages

The Two-Way
9:02 am
Mon April 30, 2012

After Big Gain In February, Consumer Spending Rose Less In March

A large 0.9 percent gain in consumer spending from January to February was followed by a more modest 0.3 percent increase from February to March, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says.

Personal income, meanwhile, was up 0.4 percent in March. It had risen 0.3 percent in February.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:38 am
Mon April 30, 2012

China, U.S. Rushing To Resolve Crisis Over Blind Activist Chen

Chen Guangcheng, in an image from a YouTube video.
AP

With Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner due in China for economic talks that start on Thursday, the U.S. and China are rushing to avert a diplomatic crisis over the fate of blind human rights activist Chen Guangcheng.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:06 am
Mon April 30, 2012

Over Pakistani Objections, U.S. Resumes Drone Strikes

April 13: In Karachi, activists from the Shabab-e-Milli group set fire to U.S. flags during a protest against the reopening of the NATO supply route to Afghanistan.
Asif Hassan AFP/Getty Images

"CIA drone missiles hit militant targets in Pakistan on Sunday for the first time in a month, as the United States ignored the Pakistani government's insistence that such attacks end as a condition for normalized relations between the two perpetually uneasy allies," The Washington Post writes.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:03 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

Lehman Was Set To Pay 50 Execs $700 Million Just A Year Before Collapse

Sept. 15, 2008, in London: The news of Lehman's bankruptcy hits.
Cate Gillon Getty Images

Lehman Bros., the Wall Street giant, collapsed in September 2008 in the nation's largest bankruptcy and arguably kicked off a financial meltdown that helped drag the economy into the Great Recession.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:16 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

Major College Football Edges Closer To Playoffs

Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, left, hands off to running back Trent Richardson during the BCS National Championship college football game against LSU in New Orleans last January.
Bill Haber AP

"Major college football is on the verge of implementing a playoff, its own version of the final four — two semifinals and a title game," The Associated Press writes.

Or, as The Wall Street Journal reports:

Read more
The Two-Way
11:45 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Blind Activist Flees House Arrest In China

Blind activist Chen Guangcheng with his wife and son outside their home in northeast China's Shandong province in 2005.
AFP/Getty Images

Chen Guangcheng, "a blind legal activist and inspirational figure in China's rights movement," has escaped from house arrest and is at secret location in Beijing, The Associated Press reports.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:33 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Economy Grew At 2.2 Percent Rate In First Quarter

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 9:12 am

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.2 percent annual rate in the first quarter of the year, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

That's down from the 3 percent pace in fourth-quarter 2011, but is still better than the 1.7 percent growth for all of last year.

The first-quarter figure will be revised twice, in each of the next two months.

We'll have more about the report shortly.

Update at 8:47 a.m. ET. Behind The Numbers:

Read more
The Two-Way
8:13 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Almost One Year After Bin Laden's Death, Pakistan Deports His Family

Pakistani policemen escort a minivan carrying family members of slain al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, in Islamabad, earlier today.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Next Wednesday marks one year since U.S. Navy SEALs raided Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and killed the al-Qaida leader.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:35 am
Fri April 27, 2012

It's Your Turn, New York: Space Shuttle Fly-By Set For This Morning

Riding atop a 747 shuttle carrier aircraft, the space shuttle Enterprise flew past the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor today.
Bruce Bennett Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 12:42 pm

Space nuts here in Washington, D.C., had their fun last week when a jumbo jet carrying space shuttle Discovery buzzed the nation's capital.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:09 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Deal To Move Marines From Okinawa Will Cut Their Presence About In Half

A U.S. Marine Corps helicopter takes off from Air Station Futenma in Ginowan, Okinawa prefecture.
Toshifumi Kitamura AFP/Getty Images

The news overnight that the U.S. and Japan have reached an agreement to move about 9,000 U.S. Marines off the island of Okinawa means that slightly more than half of the Marines who have been stationed there will be heading to Guam and other places in the Pacific.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:26 am
Thu April 26, 2012

VIDEO: Norwegians Stand Up To Killer's Hate By Joining In Song

People gathered in Oslo today to sing Children of the Rainbow, in a demonstration against the views of killer Anders Behring Breivik.
Kyrre Lien AFP/Getty Images

Anders Behring Breivik, who last summer killed 77 people in Norway, thinks a folk song called Children of the Rainbow is brainwashing young Norwegians.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:48 am
Thu April 26, 2012

'Bring Andy Home:' Search For Missing Corgi Goes High Tech

Where's Andy?
The Bring Andy Home Facebook page

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 6:27 pm

We love dogs. So we can't resist passing along word that later today All Things Considered plans to catch up on the story of Andy, a tan and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi who has been missing since New Year's Eve.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:40 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Almost No Change In Jobless Claims Last Week

There were 388,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits last week, down just 1,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

And in another sign that the labor market's recovery remains sluggish, the agency said "the 4-week moving average was 381,750, an increase of 6,250 from the previous week's revised average of 375,500." That measure is said by economists to be a better gauge of the underlying trend in claims.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:31 am
Thu April 26, 2012

After Conviction, Pakistani Prime Minister 'Imprisoned' For Just A Few Minutes

Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani as he arrived at court today in Islamabad.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 5:15 pm

Convicted today of contempt for refusing to push for the reopening of a corruption case involving Pakistan's president, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was given a prison sentence that lasted just a few minutes.

"The ruling ... appeared to be a compromise," The Associated Press writes, "but could still mean problems for him because he has been convicted in a court. That means he could face dismissal from office in the weeks, or more likely, months to come."

Read more
The Two-Way
6:00 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Conflicting Claims On Cause And Death Toll After Explosion In Syria

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 6:08 am

While activists inside Syria say government forces are responsible for an explosion today in the city of Hama, and that about 70 people were killed, President Bashar Assad's regime has a much different story. It says about 16 people were killed by an explosion at a bomb factory used by "armed terrorist groups," the BBC reports.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:19 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Liberia's Charles Taylor Facing Judgment In War Crimes Case

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor, in court on Feb. 8, 2011.
Jerry Lampen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 2:04 pm

  • NPR's Eric Westervelt reporting from The Hague

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor is guilty of "aiding and abetting" forces in Sierra Leone that committed war crimes and other atrocities during a war that lasted more than a decade and left more than 50,000 people dead, the Special Court for Sierra Leone ruled today.

Taylor, the first head of state since just after World War II to be judged by an international tribunal, "knew that his support" would assist and encourage fighters who were committing war crimes, the tribunal ruled. In return, he received so-called blood diamonds from Sierra Leone.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:31 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

Justices Signal Support For Arizona Immigration Law

The U.S. Supreme Court building.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

The early analyses of this morning's Supreme Court hearing on parts of Arizona's controversial immigration law are in, and the consensus is that the majority of justices will likely uphold the state's effort to reduce the number of people within its borders who may be there illegally.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

Al Gore Put In Internet Hall Of Fame

Former Vice President Al Gore.
Joe Kohen Getty Images for Current TV

We're sorry to be a day late — you'd think in the Internet age we would have been more on top of this.

Former Vice President Al Gore (D) is among the inaugural inductees in the Internet Hall of Fame.

He's been lauded by the Internet Society for being "a key proponent [as a senator and vice president] of sponsoring legislation that funded the expansion of and greater public access to the Internet."

Read more
The Two-Way
10:27 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Sources: Gingrich Will End His White House Bid Next Week

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista, Tuesday night in Concord, N.C.
John W. Adkisson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 10:59 am

Fox News reports that "senior Gingrich aides" say former House Speaker Newt Gingrich "plans to formally suspend or end his presidential campaign next Tuesday."

CNN writes that "sources close to Newt Gingrich say he will end his bid for the GOP presidential nomination next week."

Read more
The Two-Way
9:36 am
Wed April 25, 2012

He's 'Never Asked A Prime Minister For Anything,' Rupert Murdoch Says

This video grab from pooled footage shows Rupert Murdoch testifying earlier today in London.
AFP/Getty Images
  • Philip Reeves speaks with Renee Montagne

Among the highlights so far today during Rupert Murdoch's testimony in London before an inquiry into the ethics of the British news media, and his News Corp. tabloids in particular, is this quote from the media mogul:

"I've never asked a prime minister for anything."

NPR's David Folkenflik, who is live-tweeting, and NPR's Philip Reeves, who has been filing radio reports, will have more as the inquiry continues.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:57 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Orders For Durable Goods Drop Sharply

Orders for equipment, appliances, aircraft and other so-called durable goods fell 4.2 percent in March from February, the Census Bureau reports.

It's the second decline in the past three months and the biggest monthly dip in three years. Much of the drop in March was due to a decline in orders for aircraft. "But companies also ordered less machinery and other equipment, a sign manufacturing output may slow," The Associated Press writes.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:33 am
Wed April 25, 2012

NBA's World Peace Gets Seven-Game Suspension For Elbowing Opponent

After Metta World Peace's elbow connected with James Harden's head, the Oklahoma City Thunder guard (behind World Peace) crumpled to the floor. He was later able to walk off on his own power.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 8:40 am

The basketball player formerly known as Ron Artest has been suspended for seven games for swinging his left elbow hard into the head of an opponent on Sunday.

Metta World Peace, as the Los Angeles Lakers forward is now known, will miss the team's last regular season game on Thursday. The Lakers then move into the playoffs, where each round is "best-of-seven." So he could miss most or all of the first round (if the Lakers extend that matchup beyond four games) and even a game or two in the second round (if the Lakers advance after just four or five games).

Read more
The Two-Way
7:49 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Report: Secret Service Agents Say Similar Misconduct Was Tolerated

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano as she testified this morning before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 11:01 am

A few of the latest developments in the so-called Secret Service scandal, which involves alleged cavorting with prostitutes by agents and U.S. military personnel in Cartagena, Colombia, earlier this month:

Read more
The Two-Way
6:33 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Romney: A 'New Campaign' Begins

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife Ann celebrated Tuesday night in Manchester, N.H.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 11:09 am

After sweeping all five of Tuesday's Republican presidential primaries, already presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney declared that the 2012 presidential campaign is now really on.

It's "the start of a new campaign to unite every American who knows in their heart that we can do better," he told supporters in New Hampshire.

"The last few years have been the best that Barack Obama can do, but it's not the best America can do," the former Massachusetts governor added.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Cardboard Prom Dress Is Just The Right Fit For This Young Woman

Maura Pozek in her latest creation.
Steve Pozek (her dad)

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:51 am

Why did Missouri teen Maura Pozek make her prom dress out of cardboard and paper bags?

Because after fashioning the previous two years' outfits out of Doritos bags and soda can tabs, "I had to top myself somehow."

Read more
The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

George Zimmerman Has Pleaded Not Guilty In Trayvon Martin Case

George Zimmerman during his bond hearing in a Seminole County, Fla., courtroom on April 20.
Gary Green Orlando Sentinel-Pool/Getty Images

On the day after he was arrested, George Zimmerman officially entered a "not guilty" plea to the charge of second-degree murder in the Feb. 26 death of Trayvon Martin, according to court records now posted online by Florida's 18th Circuit Court.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:24 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Diners Not Fazed By Second Collapse At 'Heart Attack Grill;' Would You Be?

One of the Heart Attack Grill's "triple bypass" burgers.
Matt York AP

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 5:57 am

The news that for the second time this year someone has collapsed while dining at Las Vegas' Heart Attack Grill doesn't seem to bother the restaurant's fans.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:15 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Consumer Confidence Held Steady This Month

After a slight decline in March, the widely watched consumer confidence index from the private Conference Board "was virtually unchanged in April," the research group reports.

"The index now stands at 69.2, down slightly from 69.5 in March," it says.

"Overall, consumers are more upbeat about the state of the economy, but they remain cautiously optimistic," Lynn Franco, director of the board's consumer research center, adds in its release.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:53 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Teacher Of The Year 'Known For Unconventional Techniques'

President Obama gave the 2012 National Teacher of the Year trophy to Rebecca Mieliwocki this morning at the White House.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Rebecca Mieliwocki, a seventh-grade English teacher in Burbank, Calif., was just honored at the White House by being named National Teacher of the Year.

In expressing her thanks, Mieliwocki offered this thought: "I am not the best teacher in America. There isn't just one."

And she went on to talk about the hard work and dedication displayed by most American teachers.

According to Los Angeles' Daily Breeze:

Read more
The Two-Way
9:58 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Home Prices Continue Downward Drift

A sign of the times, last year in Tigard, Ore.
Don Ryan AP

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 10:17 am

"Broadly-speaking, home prices continued to decline in the early months of the year," according to economist David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices.

Read more

Pages