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
10:25 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Pained By Prices At The Pump? They're Likely To Go Even Higher

Don't spill any. It's expensive.
Ben Margot AP

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 10:26 am

This could be "the year of the gas-pocalypse" analysts tell the Los Angeles Times, "because gasoline prices are the highest ever for the start of the year, and they're on the rise, supercharged by expensive oil and changes in refinery operations."

Indeed, check out some of this reporting and analysis from GasBuddy.com:

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

Report: Tiny Miscalculation Might Have Slightly Skewed Iowa Caucuses Count

Barb Hansen tallies votes during a GOP caucus in precinct 42 near Smithland, Iowa, on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012.
Dave Weaver AP

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 9:38 am

"Could Typo Rewrite Caucus History?"

That's the headline at the website of Des Moines' KCCI-TV, which reports that one Republican from Iowa's Appanoose County thinks a miscount at a caucus attended by 53 people there might have mistakenly contributed to Mitt Romney's reported eight-vote victory over Rick Santorum.

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The Two-Way
7:34 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Jobless Rate Dips To 8.5 Percent, 200,000 Jobs Added To Payrolls

The nation's unemployment rate edged down to 8.5 percent — its lowest level in nearly three years — as 200,000 jobs were were added to payrolls, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported.

We'll add more details from the report shortly, so hit your "refresh" button to see our latest updates.

Update at 8:45 a.m. ET. Looking Back:

At 8.5 percent, the jobless rate is the lowest since February 2009's 8.3 percent.

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The Two-Way
6:55 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Coming Up: December Jobs And Unemployment Report

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 6:57 am

The most-anticipated story of the morning seems to be the December jobs and unemployment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is due for release at 8:30 a.m. ET.

We'll post on the news as soon as possible after it's available.

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Penn State Ready To Name New Football Coach, ESPN Says

Bill O'Brien, offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots.
Elsa Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 6:42 am

Penn State University has chosen New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien to be its next head football coach and the man who will try to rebuild a program that was rocked last fall by a scandal that cost legendary coach Joe Paterno the job, ESPN reports. The sports network says an announcement is expected to be made Saturday.

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Bomb Wreaks Death, Destruction In Damascus

Syria's official news agency distributed this photo of a bus said to have been damaged by today's explosion in Damascus.
AFP/Getty Images

There's been an explosion in central Damascus today and there are reports of multiple deaths and dozens of injuries.

As always in Syria, where the regime of President Bashar Assad tries to control the news, it's difficult to get an accurate sense of just what is going on. The regime is blaming its opponents, who have been protesting against Assad since last spring. Activists are questioning whether the attack was staged by supporters of the regime to make the opposition look bad.

Here's some of what's being reported:

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The Two-Way
1:25 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

VIDEO: Car Lands On Roof, Driver Charged With Hit-And-Run

That's not Santa's sleigh up there.
KFSN-TV, Fresno

This is why we created a category called The No-Way:

"A family in Northwest Fresno was stunned Wednesday morning to find a car on the roof of their apartment," KFSN-TV reports.

Police say a 26-year-old man who allegedly stole a car was apparently driving it way too fast when he missed a turn, went on to some rocks and the vehicle launched into the air.

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Thu January 5, 2012

A Young Kennedy Is Lining Up To Run For Frank's House Seat

Joseph P. Kennedy III, the son of former Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II and grandson of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, "is taking the final steps to launch a run for Congress this year, hoping to succeed [the retiring] U.S. Rep. Barney Frank," the Boston Globe reports.

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Thu January 5, 2012

Obama: 'Military Will Be Leaner,' But Ready For All Threats

Saying that "the size and structure of our military and defense budget have to be driven by a strategy — not the other way around," President Obama just gave a broad overview of his administration's new military strategy.

Speaking at the Pentagon, Obama said that:

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The Two-Way
10:00 am
Thu January 5, 2012

Man's iPad Passport Claim Is 'Categorically False,' Customs Office Says

Originally published on Thu January 5, 2012 10:01 am

You may have heard about that Canadian man who says he got into the U.S. by showing a Customs and Border Protection officer an image of his passport on an iPad.

Well, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has this to say about that:

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The Two-Way
8:50 am
Thu January 5, 2012

VIDEO: 90-Yard GOALLL! For American Keeper Tim Howard

The agony: Bolton Wanderers goalie Adam Bogdan can't reach the ball as Tim Howard's long kick bounces into the goal.
Alex Livesey Getty Images

If you haven't seen it yet, take a few seconds to watch something that's now happened just four times in English Premier League history.

Everton goalie Tim Howard scored from about 90 yards away last night when his clearing kick bounced over the head of opposing goalie Adam Bogdan.

Fortunately for Bogdan, his Bolton Wanderers team went on to defeat The Toffees 2-1.

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Thu January 5, 2012

Strong Gain: Employers Added 325,000 Jobs Last Month, Survey Says

The scene last month at the "Denver Hires Job Fair."
John Moore Getty Images

There was a 325,000-gain in the number of jobs on private employers' payrolls last month, according to the widely watched ADP National Employment Report, which was just released.

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Thu January 5, 2012

Pentagon Says Two-War Strategy Not Likely To Be Scrapped

The USS Carl Vinson, an aircraft carrier, near Hong Kong last month.
Aaron Tam AFP/Getty Images

Among the stories about today's unveiling of the Obama administration's new defense strategy is a New York Times report that says projected cuts in the number of Army troops would mean the military would no longer "be able to carry out two sustained ground wars at one time, as was required under past national military strategies."

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Thu January 5, 2012

Baghdad Rocked Again By Deadly Bomb Blasts

Iraqi men examine some of the wreckage left behind after one of today's explosions in Baghdad.
Ali Al-Saadi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 5, 2012 6:12 am

The death toll is rising in Baghdad from another series of deadly bombings apparently aimed at Shiite Muslims.

About 30 people were killed today and more than 60 wounded, according to authorities, by explosions near two sites where day laborers were gathering to look for construction work.

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The Two-Way
4:49 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

Google Slaps Its Own Wrist Over Chrome Pay-For-Blogging Flap

Google is "downgrading the search result ranking of the company's own Web browser, Google Chrome, for 60 days," as PC World reports, because some bloggers ending up being paid to mention Chrome during a recent ad campaign.

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The Two-Way
3:55 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

Mom Kills Intruder, Dead Man's Alleged Accomplice Faces Murder Charge

The story of how 18-year-old Sarah Dawn McKinley shot and killed a man who authorities say was breaking into her house on Saturday has been getting lots of attention because of the 911 phone call she made and the already tragic circumstances surrounding the incident.

McKinley, of Blanchard, Okla., called 911 to say that a man was trying to get inside her mobile home and that she feared for her life and that of her 3-month-old son. She asked the 911 operator if she could shoot him if he got inside.

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The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

Judge Robert Carter, An 'Architect Of Desegregation,' Has Died

Robert Carter, who was a key member of the legal team that convinced the U.S. Supreme Court to outlaw segregated public schools in 1954's landmark Brown v. the Board of Education decision, died Tuesday. He was 94.

According to The New York Times, "the cause was complications of a stroke, said his son John W. Carter, a justice of the New York Supreme Court in the Bronx."

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

Gordon Hirabayashi Has Died; He Refused To Go To WWII Internment Camp

"This order for the mass evacuation of all persons of Japanese descent denies them the right to live," Seattle native Gordon Hirabayashi wrote in 1942. "I consider it my duty to maintain the democratic standards for which this nation lives. Therefore, I must refuse this order of evacuation."

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It's All Politics
12:50 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

McCain Endorses Romney

Saying he's there "to make sure we make Mitt Romney the next president of the United States of America," 2008 Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain just returned to New Hampshire to endorse the White House bid of his one-time rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

McCain and Romney fought a hard battle for the GOP nomination n 2008, after which Romney endorsed the Arizona senator.

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Wed January 4, 2012

How Close Was It? Iowa Result Was .003 Tighter Than Bush-Gore In Fla.

Some of the caucus ballots from a GOP gathering Tuesday night in Des Moines.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 12:15 pm

When it comes to close political races, the recent Gold Standard in the U.S. is the 2000 presidential vote in Florida.

So we were wondering how last night's result in the Iowa Republican presidential caucuses compares to that famous hanging-chad contest between George W. Bush and Al Gore.

Let's walk through the math:

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It's All Politics
10:40 am
Wed January 4, 2012

Gov. Perry: 'Here we come South Carolina!!!'

Though he said last night that he would go home to reassess his bid for the presidency — a signal that he might drop out of the race — this message just popped up on the personal Twitter page of Texas Gov. Rick Perry:

"And the next leg of the marathon is the Palmetto State...Here we come South Carolina!!!"

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The Two-Way
3:55 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Iowa Caucuses: Join Us For Live Updates

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 4:28 pm

As we've been saying, it's finally time for voters to cast some ballots that actually mean something for the 2012 presidential race.

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It's All Politics
1:10 pm
Mon January 2, 2012

The Caucuses: A Quick Guide

Edward Lewis of Council Bluffs waved an Iowa state flag outside the Family Table Restaurant in Atlantic on Sunday, before the arrival of former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 1:11 pm

Those who remember newspapers might recognize this as a "clip and save." Maybe the more modern term would be a "cut and paste." Whatever, if you want some of the details and logistics about Tuesday night's caucuses in Iowa, here they are:

-- When: 7 p.m. Central time (8 p.m. ET).

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It's All Politics
12:15 pm
Mon January 2, 2012

Iowa Democrats Caucus Too; For Obama Team, It's Practice For November

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 12:17 pm

The focus is naturally on the Republican caucuses Tuesday night in Iowa, because the GOP is the party with a battle going on for its presidential nomination.

But President Obama's fellow Democrats in the state will be caucusing too. And by all accounts Team Obama is taking it all very seriously, even though he doesn't have a intra-party challenger.

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Fencer Who Was Darth Vader In Famous Light Saber Scenes Has Died

PRNewsFoto/THQ Wireless

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 11:24 am

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The Two-Way
10:05 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Ranger Killed In Rainier Park Was 'Living Her Dream'

"Slain Ranger Was Living Her Dream."

That's the headline at the website of The Seattle Times, which profiles 34-year-old Margaret Anderson, who was shot to death Sunday in Mount Rainier National Park.

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It's All Politics
9:15 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Bachmann Casts Herself As Thatcher-Style 'Iron Lady' In Last Iowa Ad

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) in Pella, Iowa, on Nov. 1, 2011.
Steve Pope Getty Images

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It's All Politics
8:30 am
Mon January 2, 2012

'Lonely' Jon Huntsman Won't Be Solo In N.H. Much Longer

GOP hopeful Jon Huntsman in Milford, N.H., on Dec. 8.
Cheryl Senter AP

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 9:11 am

Plug the name "Jon Huntsman," the state "New Hampshire" and the word "lonely" into a search field and you'll get lots of hits.

"In New Hampshire, Jon Huntsman Walks A Lonely Path," a Los Angeles Times headline reads.

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