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.

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The Two-Way
3:45 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Americans Barred From Leaving Egypt Include Secretary LaHood's Son

Egyptian authorities' efforts to prevent organizations that promote democracy from freely working inside their country have now ensnared the son of a U.S. cabinet secretary.

Sam LaHood, the son of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and at least five other Americans have been barred from leaving Egypt.

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The Two-Way
2:05 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

At Penn State: Memorial Service Under Way For Joe Paterno

Sue Paterno, widow of Joe Paterno, consoles one of her grandsons following the memorial service.
Patrick Smith Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 7:32 pm

An estimated 10,000 people are a memorial service for former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, on the school's campus in the Bryce Jordan Center this afternoon.

The Big Ten Digital Network is among several outlets that will be webcasting the service.

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The Two-Way
6:40 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Dick Tufeld, Voice Of The Robot in 'Lost In Space,' Has Died

The man who made "danger, Will Robinson!" a phrase that some of us will never forget has died.

Dick Tufeld, the voice of the robot in the classic '60s TV show Lost in Space, passed away Sunday in Los Angeles, The Associated Press reports. He was 85.

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The Two-Way
4:55 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Treasury Secretary Geithner Doesn't Expect To Be Part Of A Second Term

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 5:26 pm

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Bloomberg Television today that he's "pretty confident" he won't be asked to stay in his job if President Obama is re-elected for a second term.

"He's not going to ask me to stay on, I'm pretty confident," Geithner said. "I'm confident he'll be president. But I'm also confident he's going to have the privilege of having another secretary of the treasury."

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The Two-Way
4:05 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Alaska Airlines To Stop Handing Out Prayer Cards

An Alaska Airlines jet. On that airline, prayer cards are no longer going to be part of the flying experience.
Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

"After more than 30 years of handing prayer cards to customers aboard its planes, Alaska Airlines has decided the practice is outdated and will stop doing it on Feb. 1," The Seattle Times reports.

A few things struck us about this news.

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

'Blue Marble 2012': NASA's 'Most Amazing' High Def Image Of Earth So Far

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"Blue Marble 2012." Want to see a really big version of this photo? Click here.
NASA

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 5:41 pm

The "Blue Marble" image of Earth snapped by the crew of Apollo 17 in 1972 is one of the most famous photos ever taken. When it appeared, we all suddenly saw the world in a much different way.

In the years since, NASA has added other "Blue Marble" photos to its collection, and has used technology to enhance and sharpen the images.

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Fed: Economy Is 'Expanding Moderately,' But No Change In Rates

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke during his news conference this afternoon.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 3:24 pm

The economy "has been expanding moderately, notwithstanding some slowing in global growth" in recent weeks, the Federal Reserve just reported.

In a statement timed for release at the end of their most recent meetings, Fed policymakers also said they expect economic growth in coming quarters "to be modest," that the jobless rate will "decline only gradually" and that inflation will run "at ... or below" levels the central bank wants to see.

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The Two-Way
12:03 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Europe Lacks Structures To Make Euro Work Properly, Merkel Says

Europe does not now have the "political structures" to make the euro work properly, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told world leaders today.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, The Associated Press reports, "she said the weaknesses 'arose over years — so they can't be overcome at one fell swoop.' "

But, Merkel added, "we are determined to do this."

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The Two-Way
6:00 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Live Blog: 'No Bailouts, No Handouts, No Copouts,' Obama Will Say

President Obama delivers his annual State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 5:33 pm

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The Two-Way
5:04 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Apple Sold 37 Million iPhones Last Quarter, 7 Million More Than Expected

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 5:22 pm

Apple's just-released financial results for the quarter ended Dec. 31 have some eye-popping numbers:

-- "Record quarterly net profit of $13.1 billion," double the $6 billion of the same quarter a year earlier.

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The Two-Way
5:55 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Washington Set To Be Seventh State To OK Same-Sex Marriages

Citing the Golden Rule and saying that "all men and women in our state [should] enjoy the same privileges that are so important in my life," the last legislator needed to pass same-sex marriage legislation in Washington State announced this afternoon that she will support the measure.

Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, a Democrat, posted a statement about her decision here.

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The Two-Way
5:00 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Sen. Rand Paul Suspects He Was Randomly Picked For Pat-Down

The news that Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was stopped by Transportation Security Administration screeners this morning at the Nashville airport and delayed for about an hour is whipping around the Web.

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The Two-Way
4:25 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Gingrich On Jobless: 'We Shouldn't Give People 99 Weeks To Do Nothing'

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista Gingrich (in red) greet people during an event at the The River Church in Tampa, Fla., earlier today (Jan. 23, 2011).
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 23, 2012 4:48 pm

Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich today made the case that those who have been collecting jobless benefits for extended periods of time should be required to enroll in job-training programs, saying that "we shouldn't give people 99 weeks to do nothing," our colleagues at WUSF in Tampa report.

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Presidential Race
5:23 pm
Sat January 21, 2012

South Carolina Primary: Live Blog And Results

The third major contest of the 2012 Republican presidential campaign — South Carolina's primary — is being held today and we're live blogging as the news comes in. As we post, you'll get a message alerting you that there are new updates. Just click on that message and the news should flow right into the box below.

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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Sat January 21, 2012

South Carolina Primary: Join Us For Live Updates

A polling station in Columbia, S.C., earlier today (Jan. 21, 2012).
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

The third major contest of the 2012 Republican presidential campaign is being held today in South Carolina and as we did during the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, we'll be helping out the NPR elections team by live blogging as the news comes in.

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The Two-Way
2:35 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Wisconsin 'RecallCam': Boring, Beautiful Or Both?

Watch if you dare. You may get hooked.
State of Wisconsin Government Accountability Board

As our friend Micki Maynard at Changing Gears says, "forget live streams watching the giant panda in Edinburgh, or the weather in Chicago. The newest Internet plaything is the Wisconsin Web Cam."

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The Two-Way
1:25 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Not A Record, But Audubon Set Still Sells For A Tidy $7.9 Million

We wouldn't want to say that $7,922,500 isn't an awful lot to pay for one set of four books.

But we do have to point out that it's not a record.

Thursday, we previewed the Christie's New York auction of a rare set of John James Audubon's Birds of America. As we reported, there was talk that it might fetch more than the record $11.5 million paid for another full set of the books in 2010.

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The Two-Way
1:10 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Megaupload Is Trying To Go Back Online Even As Execs Sit In Jail

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz, in an Auckland, New Zealand, court today.
TV3/ AFP/Getty Images

A judge in New Zealand today ordered that Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom (a.k.a. Kim Schmitz) and three others remain in custody at least until a bail hearing on Monday as the legal process of possibly extraditing them to the U.S. to face copyright infringement and conspiracy charges got underway.

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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Singer Etta James Has Died

Etta James in 2008.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images
  • Felix Contreras on Etta James

NPR confirms, and CNN reports that:

"Etta James, whose assertive, earthy voice lit up such hits as The Wallflower, Something's Got a Hold on Me, and the wedding favorite At Last, has died, according to her longtime friend and manager, Lupe De Leon. She was 73 and had been diagnosed with leukemia in 2010."

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Texas Redistricting Plan Tossed Out By Supreme Court

A plan for how to redraw Texas' congressional and state legislative districts that was put together by a three-judge federal court in San Antonio was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court this morning because, the justices ruled, the lower court should not have disregarded the Texas state legislature's wishes and should not have stepped into that legislature's shoes.

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Senate Vote Delayed On PIPA, Its Anti-Piracy Bill

Saying that "recent events" have raised questions, but that "there is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced that there won't be a vote in his chamber next Tuesday on the Protect IP Act (PIPA).

That's the Senate's version of controversial legislation that supporters say would cut down on Internet piracy — but that opponents say would amount to censorship.

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The Two-Way
8:35 am
Fri January 20, 2012

VIDEO: Obama Sings In Harlem; Channels A Little Al Green

President Obama at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem on Thursday (Jan. 19, 2012).
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 8:38 am

  • President Obama sings a little bit

Perhaps if things don't work out the way he hopes on Nov. 6, President Obama can be a backup singer someday.

Last night at a campaign fundraiser in Harlem's Apollo Theater, he briefly broke into song with a bit of Al Green's Let's Stay Together. The Associated Press has the video here.

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The Two-Way
7:55 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Report: Killings Of U.S., Allied Troops By Afghan Soldiers Is On The Rise

U.S. troops and Afghan National Army soldiers on a joint security patrol in Kandahar province last August.
Romeo Gacad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 8:22 am

"Four International Security Assistance Force service members were killed today in eastern Afghanistan by a member of the Afghan National Army," the NATO-led military command in Kabul reports.

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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Four Headlines From Thursday's GOP Debate

Newt Gingrich (right) responds to a question a question about things one of his ex-wives said about their marriage during last night's debate in South Carolina. Mitt Romney, looks on.
John Moore Getty Images

While others analyze what Thursday's GOP presidential debate does or doesn't tell us about what may or may not happen Saturday when South Carolina Republicans hold their primary, here's the top news from that four-man clash in Charleston:

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The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Wait A Minute ... Or Three Years: Leap Second's Fate Put Off

The timekeepers at the International Telecommunication Union's Radiocommunication Assembly, who were supposed to decide this week whether to keep or eliminate the leap second, have decided to take some more time to decide.

Three years, apparently, the BBC reports.

The experts, it says, "were unable to reach a consensus, so moved the matter to a meeting in 2015."

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The Two-Way
1:05 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Auction Of Audubon Set On Friday Could Mark New Record For Books

One of the 400 engraved images in the Audubon set: a Common American Swan.
Christie's AP

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 1:08 pm

A rare four-volume set — John James Audubon's Birds of America — stands a good chance of becoming the most expensive such books ever auctioned on Friday.

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Nevermore? Mysterious Visits To Edgar Allan Poe's Grave Declared Over

For decades, until 2010, someone appeared at Edgar Allan Poe's grave site in Baltimore before dawn on Jan. 19 — his birthday.

The mysterious visitor, who was never identified, would leave behind three roses and a half-filled bottle of cognac as a tribute to the man who wrote The Raven, The Fall of the House of Usher and other classic poems and tales.

Last night, there was no visit.

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The Two-Way
9:17 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Rick Perry Quits GOP Presidential Race, Endorses Gingrich

Texas Gov. Rick Perry salutes after announcing that he is suspending his campaign as a Republican presidential candidate.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 2:18 pm

(This post was retopped with the latest news at 11:18 a.m. ET.)

Saying that "there is no viable path forward for me," Texas Gov. Rick Perry just confirmed that he is leaving the 2012 race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Then, he went on to endorse the bid of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich — just two days before South Carolina Republicans go to the polls in a primary that could either cement former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's lead in the race for the GOP nomination or give new life to someone else's; perhaps Gingrich's.

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Jobless Claims Drop, Inflation At 3 Percent, Housing Starts Cool

A trio of economic indicators were just released:

-- First-time claims for jobless benefits plunged by 50,000 last week from the week before, to 352,000, the Employment and Training Administration says. You have to go back to Spring 2008 to find a lower number. Reuters says the news signals "continued improvement in the labor market."

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