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
10:15 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.

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The Two-Way
9:53 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:

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The Two-Way
8:58 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 9:17 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.

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The Two-Way
8:33 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Focus On Murdochs Shifts: Were They Bamboozling British Politicians?

A video grab from pooled footage taken inside the Leveson Inquiry shows former News International executive chairman James Murdoch giving evidence at the High Court in London earlier today.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 8:59 am

  • Philip Reeves on 'Morning Edition'

Half-way through today's hearing in London into the Murdoch family's "scandal-tarred British newspaper unit," and the ethics of British media outlets, the inquiry's focus has shifted, NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

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The Two-Way
7:26 am
Tue April 24, 2012

12th Member Of Military Tied To Secret Service Scandal

"A member of the U.S. military assigned to the White House Communications Agency is under investigation in connection with alleged misconduct in Colombia, bringing to 12 the total number of military personnel being reviewed," CNN reports.

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Tue April 24, 2012

It's Zip It Day On Google

Google

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 7:31 am

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The Two-Way
6:22 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Today's Primaries: Gingrich's Swan Song Or Reason To Remain?

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich earlier this month in New York City.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Nothing about what happens during today's Republican presidential primaries in five states is expected to change the fact that Mitt Romney is the presumptive/expected/presumed/inevitable (pick your favorite word) nominee.

Polls are open in Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. There are 209 convention delegates at stake and Romney could pull off a five-state sweep.

But — and there's always a but — there's this:

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The Two-Way
10:52 am
Mon April 23, 2012

VIDEO: Space Out With NASA's 'Walking On Air'

From NASA's 'Walking on Air' video, a view of an aurora from space.
NASA.gov

If you're into images of Earth taken from space, NASA has a new video for you. Called Walking on Air, it "features a series of time lapse sequences photographed by the Expedition 30 crew aboard the International Space Station" and is set to the song Walking in the Air by Howard Blake.

The Two-Way
10:00 am
Mon April 23, 2012

U.S., Afghan Security Pact Is Sweeping But Not Specific

U.S. Marines in southern Afghanistan last June.
David Gilkey NPR

While the headlines proclaim that thanks to a new draft agreement the U.S. will continue to defend Afghanistan for a decade after the planned 2014 withdrawal of foreign combat forces from that country, the stories themselves make clear that many of the key details remain to be worked out:

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The Two-Way
8:46 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Several More Secret Service Agents Tied To Scandal Likely To Lose Their Jobs

Within the next few days, several more Secret Service agents will lose their jobs because of their roles in the so-called summit scandal during which they allegedly cavorted with prostitutes in Colombia earlier this month, the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security said this morning.

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The Two-Way
8:03 am
Mon April 23, 2012

VIDEO: World Peace Causes World Of Pain With Elbow To Opponent's Head

The NBA's Ron Artest changed his name to Metta World Peace last year.

But the player known for being at the center of a 2004 brawl in the stands at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Michigan showed Sunday that his new name doesn't mean he's changed all his wild ways.

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The Two-Way
7:22 am
Mon April 23, 2012

To Keep His Job, France's Sarkozy Must Reach To The Right

French President Nicolas Sarkozy after Sunday's vote.
Marc Piasecki Getty Images

"Far-right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen" now has a chance to swing the French presidential election, as France 24 reports, after pulling in 18 percent of the ballots in the first round of voting Sunday.

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The Two-Way
6:22 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Now It Snows?

Don Buckley took his dog Gracie for a walk during the snowstorm this morning in Akron, N.Y.
David Duprey AP

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 11:12 am

The Northeast and mid-Atlantic began the cold season with an unusual Halloween snowstorm that knocked out power to millions. And after that? Almost no snow in may parts of those regions.

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The Two-Way
5:46 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Zimmerman Released After Posting Bail, Will Go Into Hiding But Be Monitored

George Zimmerman, left, as he walked out of jail earlier today. The other man was not identified.
Brian Blanco AP

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Escort Offers New Details Of Secret Service Scandal

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 3:25 pm

The New York Times just posted what it says are the first public comments from the Colombian woman whose argument with a U.S. Secret Service agent last week revealed the so-called summit scandal.

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The Two-Way
1:09 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

In Colorado, Frozen Cows Are A Conundrum In Conundrum

The Conundrum Creek Cabin where the cows met their unfortunate end. Photo taken on April 6.
Brian Porter AP

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 5:45 pm

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Retired Couple Bought Winning Mega Millions Ticket In Illinois

Merle and Patricia Butler (at right) accepting their ceremonial check earlier today.
Illinois Lottery

The winning ticket in Illinois from last month's record $656 Mega Millions lottery has been turned in by a retired couple from the little town of Red Bud, Ill.

"Merle Butler, 65, and his wife Patricia, 62, accepted the giant check Wednesday morning," as Chicago's WLS-TV reports.

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The Two-Way
10:22 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Take That, Kids: Jamie Moyer Is Oldest Pitcher To Win An MLB Game

Jamie Moyer of the Colorado Rockies after his record-setting win Tuesday night in Denver.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

He's not as old as some bloggers (sigh!), but the Colorado Rockies' Jamie Moyer is now the holder of an impressive age-related record.

Tuesday night, at the age of 49 years, 150 days, he became the oldest pitcher to ever win a Major League Baseball game.

Playing in Denver, the Rockies beat the San Diego Padres 5-3. "Moyer worked seven innings, allowing no earned runs on six hits," The Denver Post reports.

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The Two-Way
9:32 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Swedish Official Calls 'Racist Cake' A Piece Of Provocative Art

The cake, with artist Makode Aj Linde "performing" as the screaming head.
Facebook.com

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The Two-Way
7:33 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Ted Nugent Stands Firm, Secret Service To Look Into His Words About Obama

Ted Nugent, during his appearance at the NRA convention over the weekend in St. Louis.
NRA Videos

For telling National Rifle Association members over the weekend that "I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year" if President Obama is re-elected, rocker Ted Nugent has now attracted the attention of the Secret Service.

"We are aware of the incident, and we are conducting appropriate follow-up," Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary says.

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The Two-Way
6:52 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Pentagon Condemns Actions Of Soldiers Posing With Suicide Bombers' Remains

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 1:21 pm

Photos obtained by the Los Angeles Times that appear to show U.S. Army paratroopers posing with the remains of suicide bombers in Afghanistan "undermine the daily sacrifices of thousands of ISAF troops who continue to serve honorably in Afghanistan," the top U.S.

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Pranksters Put Fake Ensign's Portrait On Pentagon Wall; It Stayed For Months

U.S. Naval Institute

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 5:15 pm

The must-read story of the day if you're into practical jokes has to be The Wall Street Journal's piece headlined "Walk The Prank: Secret Story Of Mysterious Portrait At Pentagon."

As Melissa Block and Audie Cornish will explain later on All Things Considered, last year some pranksters hung a portrait on a hall in the Pentagon with a plaque saying it was "Ensign Chuck Hord. USNA circa 1898. Lost at sea 1908."

There is no such person.

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The Two-Way
1:25 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Shifting Into Reverse, Detroit Automakers Lose Some Market Share

A worker assembles a Silverado truck on the assembly line at the GM Flint Assembly plant in Michigan.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Chrysler, Ford and General Motors gained market share in the past couple years. Helped by Toyota's much-publicized recalls, the problems that Japanese carmakers faced after last year's earthquake and tsunami, and an improving reputation for the quality of American-made vehicles, Detroit's Big Three grabbed 47 percent of sales last year — up from 45.1 percent in 2010 and 44 percent in 2009.

Our friend Micki Maynard of Changing Gears, though, reports that the Detroit companies' comeback — in terms of market share — may be over.

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The Two-Way
12:04 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

At Scandal-Ridden Federal Agency, All Sorts Of Abuses

How bad are things at the General Services Administration, where the scandal over extravagant spending at a Las Vegas conference has led to resignations, firings and could end up with criminal charges for some officials?

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The Two-Way
11:03 am
Tue April 17, 2012

At Least 20 Women Involved In 'Summit Scandal,' Senator Says

The "summit scandal" continues to grow, judging from this story just posted by Reuters:

"Twenty or 21 women were brought back to the hotel in Colombia by U.S. Secret Service agents and members of the U.S. military in an incident last week involving alleged misconduct with prostitutes, U.S. Senator Susan Collins said on Tuesday."

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Romney Has 2-Point Lead Over Obama As Gallup 'Tracking Poll' Begins

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Monday in Boston.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 5:30 pm

For those who can't get enough of polls about the presidential election, Gallup has fired up its "daily tracking" survey that will follow the levels of support for President Obama and presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

And it begins with:

-- Romney's support among registered voters at 47 percent.

-- Obama's support among registered voters at 45 percent.

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Housing Starts Drop, But Building Permits Are Up

There was a 5.8 percent drop in housing starts from February to March, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development just reported.

Bloomberg News says the decline was unexpected and left starts at a five-month low.

Still, the number of starts was up 10.3 percent from March 2011.

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The Two-Way
7:25 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Fear Drives China's Oppressive Rule In Tibet, Dalai Lama Says

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
Diptendu Dutta AFP/Getty Images
  • Renee Montagne speaks to the Dalai Lama

China's leaders continue to impose oppressive policies on the people of Tibet out of fear, the Dalai Lama said earlier today on Morning Edition.

They fear what might happen if Tibetans were allowed to live freely and others under Chinese rule started to demand more respect for their rights. That has meant, he said, that "they ignore ... reality and they impose their rules. ... That's the problem."

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