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
7:32 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Unemployment Rate Stayed At 8.3 Percent In February

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 8:53 am

There were 227,000 net jobs added to private and public payrolls last month and the nation's unemployment rate remained unchanged, at 8.3 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported.

We'll have more from the report shortly. And watch for the Planet Money blog to add its take later.

Update at 9:50 a.m. ET. White House Comment:

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Unemployment Rate Likely Held Steady At 8.3 Percent, Economists Say

Will more signs such as this be showing up? (Nov. 30, 2011 file photo from San Rafael, Calif.)
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Here's what to expect at 8:30 a.m. ET when the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its much-anticipated February jobs report, economists say:

-- "The economy probably created 210,000 jobs last month, according to a Reuters survey, following January's tally of 243,000. The unemployment rate is expected to have held at a three-year low of 8.3 percent."

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The Two-Way
6:30 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Deal To Hand Over Prison To Afghans Is Key To Transition, U.S. General Says

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 6:34 am

Afghan and American officials today signed an agreement that will hand over control of the main U.S. detention center in that country to the Afghan government.

And the American commander of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan called the agreement "another example of the progress of transition, and our efforts to ensure that Afghanistan can never again be a safe haven for terrorists."

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The Two-Way
6:05 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Greece Takes Critical Step Toward Avoiding Bankruptcy

The European Union flag flies in front of the Parthenon in Athens. Greece's EU partners are about to give it another massive bailout.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

The important takeaway from this morning's news about Europe's financial mess:

It seems less likely that Greece will go bankrupt and more likely that it will get another international bailout that hopefully will shore up the nation's economy and prevent a domino-like tumble of other ailing European nations and the unsettling repercussions that could have for the U.S. economy.

As The Associated Press writes:

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The Two-Way
11:01 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes Is Buying 'The New Republic'

www.tnr.com

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 10:09 am

Social media meets old media:

Saying that he's convinced "the demand for long-form, quality journalism is strong in our country," Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes tells NPR's Steve Inskeep that he's buying The New Republic.

That's a magazine, as Steve says, which is four times older than its new owner. Hughes is 28.

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The Two-Way
2:10 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

While Controversial, 'Kony 2012' Has Put Focus On Atrocities

The leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, Joseph Kony, in 2006.
Stuart Price AP

Originally published on Thu March 8, 2012 2:17 pm

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The Two-Way
10:34 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Inside Bin Laden's House, 'A Fading Splash Of Blood'

The compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was found and killed. (May 3, 2011, file photo.)
Getty Images

The New York Times writes this morning about a retired Pakistani Army brigadier's attempt to reconstruct what happened last May when U.S. Navy Seals killed Osama bin Laden at the al-Qaida leader's hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Report: 'Explosive' Growth Of 'Patriot Movement' And Militias Continues

"Patriot movement groups" in red. Militias — armed wings of such organizations — in gray.
Southern Poverty Law Center

An enormous surge in the number of groups that "see the federal government as their primary enemy" and in some cases have militias as their "armed wings" continues, the Southern Poverty Law Center reports today.

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The Two-Way
7:35 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Jobless Claims Rise By 8,000

There were 362,000 first-time clams for unemployment insurance last week, up 8,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

That means the number of claims has moved up slightly, but remains around the lowest level since this time four years ago.

The Two-Way
6:45 am
Thu March 8, 2012

In Video, Man Said To Be Syrian Oil Ministry Official Says He's Defecting

  • Kelly McEvers on 'Morning Edition'

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The Two-Way
6:00 am
Thu March 8, 2012

House Expected To OK Jobs Bill In 'Rare Agreement' With Obama

Sometimes bipartisanship does shine down on the Capitol.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 8, 2012 1:01 pm

Update at 1:55 p.m. ET. The House Passes JOBS Act:

Saying that it shows the federal legislature can work in a bipartisan fashion, the Republican-controlled House passed the JOBS Act, which was supported by President Obama.

"It is a welcome sign that we can put our differences aside and work together to produce results to help boost the economy and get people back to work," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said, according to the AP.

The bill was passed with a vote of 390-23.

Our Original Post Continues:

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The Two-Way
5:40 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

'Give It To Your Woman, It's Her Job' Laundry Tag Doesn't Wash With Many

The Twitpic that exposed some dirty laundry.
twitter.com/emmabarnett

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 5:46 pm

When Emma Barnett saw the laundry tag in her boyfriend's pants she was shocked.

"Give It To Your Woman," it read. "It's Her Job."

So Barnett did what you would expect the digital media editor of The Telegraph would do. She posted the photo online and started tweeting.

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The Two-Way
5:05 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Utah Legislature Votes To Prohibit Schools From Teaching About Contraception

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 5:07 pm

A bill "that would let schools skip teaching sex education and prohibit instruction in the use of contraception" is headed to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert's desk after the state Senate today approved it by a 19-10 vote, The Salt Lake Tribune writes.

Schools would need to focus on "abstinence-only" instruction.

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The Two-Way
1:50 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Limbaugh Says Business Is Fine; Maybe 28 Of 18,000 Advertisers Have Left

Things are fine, Limbaugh says. (January 2010 file photo.)
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Saying that "everything is fine on the business side" and that the number of advertisers who have left his show is akin to "losing a couple of french fries in the container when it's delivered to you at the drive-thru," conservative radio broadcaster Rush Limbaugh today took time to clear up what he says has been "misinformation" about the repercussions from his recent comments about Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke.

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Ugandan Warlord Joseph Kony Under Spotlight Thanks To Viral Video

The leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, Joseph Kony, in 2006.
Stuart Price AP

Originally published on Thu March 8, 2012 11:08 am

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The Two-Way
5:34 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Colts Will Release Peyton Manning, Making Him A Free Agent, ESPN Says

Peyton Manning.
Rob Carr Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 12:07 pm

ESPN is reporting that sources close to the NFL's Indianapolis Colts say the team is going to let star quarterback Peyton Manning become a free agent.

An announcement is due Wednesday, the network adds.

Manning, who has spent his entire 14-year career with the Colts and is a lock to be a hall of famer, "missed the entire 2011 season after having his third neck surgery in 19 months, a fusion of two vertebrae," as ESPN writes.

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The Two-Way
4:10 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Join Us For Live Blogging Of Super Tuesday Contests

Originally published on Tue March 6, 2012 4:56 pm

As the news comes in tonight about the Republican presidential campaign's 10 Super Tuesday contests, we'll be helping out the Elections Desk by live blogging.

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It's All Politics
3:55 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Obama To Romney: 'Good Luck Tonight ... Really'

Originally published on Tue March 6, 2012 3:58 pm

Before we get deep into the news of the Super Tuesday primaries, here's something from the lighter side of politics.

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The Two-Way
3:10 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Rough Day On Wall Street; Dow Has Sharpest Drop Of Year

The stock market has been having a good year, so you might have been expecting some sort of a "correction."

Today may have been that day.

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The Two-Way
1:45 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

In Egypt These Days, Lying About A Nose Job Can Bring A Politician Down

Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 1:49 pm

It was more than 30 years before Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak lost his grip on power, though many of his people had long suffered under his oppressive regime.

It took less than a week for "a newly minted ultra-conservative Islamist member" of the post-Mubarak parliament in Egypt to be forced to resign because he lied about getting a nose job.

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The Two-Way
1:15 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

Report: 'McCain To Call For Air Strikes On Syria'

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., will later today become the first senator to call for U.S.-led air strikes on the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Foreign Policy magazine's The Cable blog reports:

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The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

Should NFL's Gregg Williams Be Banned, Fined Or Pardoned For Bounties?

Gregg Williams, then the defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints, in August 2010.
Chris Graythen Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 12:22 pm

Gregg Williams, who has spent time as an assistant or head coach at six NFL teams, is meeting with league investigators today to talk about what he's admitted was "a bounty pool of up to $50,000 over the last three seasons that rewarded players with thousand-dollar payoffs for knocking targeted opponents out of games while he was the New Orleans Saints' defensive coordinator," The Associated Press reports.

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Mon March 5, 2012

U.S., Israel Stand Together On Iran Issue, Obama And Netanyahu Say

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looked on as President Obama spoke this morning in the Oval Office of the White House.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 11, 2012 8:05 am

With Iran and its nuclear program looming over the discussions, President Obama said this morning that "the United States will always have Israel's back." The president's comment came with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is at the White House for talks today, by his side.

For his part, Netanyahu told reporters that the U.S. and Israel stand together on policy toward Iran, The Associated Press reports.

The two leaders just held something of a photo op. Other reports on what they had to say:

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The Two-Way
9:37 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Obama To Hold News Conference Tuesday

With lots of topics to choose from, including the economy, the 2012 presidential race, Syria, Iran's nuclear ambitions and his meetings today with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, there will be plenty to ask President Obama about Tuesday afternoon when he holds a just-announced news conference.

No word yet on the exact time.

The Two-Way
9:10 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Yemen: More Killing; Reporters Look Back At Uprising, Ahead To Uncertainty

Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 9:12 am

  • Kelly McEvers reports on 'Morning Edition'

There's news from Yemen today that's depressing in its familiarity:

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Mon March 5, 2012

4.0 Magnitude Quake Rattles San Francisco

For those who just felt the earth shake in Northern California, the U.S. Geological Survey says there was a 4.0 magnitude temblor in the "San Francisco bay area" at 5:33 a.m. local time (8:33 a.m. ET).

There's no word yet on whether there was much, if any, damage.

The USGS says the quake was centered about 1 mile from El Cerrito, Calif.

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The Two-Way
7:34 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Putin's Victory Comes With Claims Of 'Widespread Violations'

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at a rally in Moscow on Sunday. He won election to the post he previously held: president.
Alexei Nikolsky AFP/Getty Images

It's no surprise that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin won Sunday's election to return to the more powerful post he previously held — president. His victory was widely expected. Putin appears to have gotten about two-thirds of the votes.

Also not surprising: Sunday's results are being followed with reports today that, as The Associated Press says, "the opposition and independent observers insisted the vote had been marred by widespread violations."

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