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
9:57 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Reports: Alex Karras, Former NFL Star And Actor, Dies

Alex Karras of the Detroit Lions in 1971.
AP

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 10:36 am

Alex Karras, who was a star defensive lineman for the Detroit Lions in the 1960s and went on to gain other fame for his acting in Hollywood's Blazing Saddles and TV's Webster, has died, according to multiple reports.

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The Two-Way
8:08 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Successful Surgery For Pakistani Girl Whose Shooting Has Caused Outrage

The front page of today's The News, in Karachi, Pakistan.
TheNews.com.pk

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 9:12 am

  • Philip Reeves, reporting on 'Morning Edition'

After several hours of surgery, the girl whose shooting by the Taliban has caused deep anger in Pakistan and has exposed that nation's "deepest fault line," is said to be in stable condition.

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The Two-Way
7:14 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Jack Welch Says He Was 'Right About That Strange Jobs Report'

Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch.
Thomas Lohnes AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 7:52 am

When former General Electric CEO Jack Welch tweeted on Friday that the drop in the unemployment rate last month was "unbelievable" and that President Obama and his campaign aides "will do anything ... can't debate so change numbers," he aligned himself with conspiracy theorists who were asking if some sort of "October surprise" had been pulled.

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The Two-Way
6:08 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Chemistry Nobel Goes To Scientists Who Studied Body's Receptors

This year's winners of the Chemistry Nobel: Robert Lefkowitz (left) and Brian Kobilka.
NobelPrize.org

Americans Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka have been awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their "groundbreaking discoveries" about the "fine-tuned system of interactions between billions of cells" in the human body, the Nobel Prize committee announced this morning.

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The Two-Way
12:40 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Taliban Say They Shot 14-Year-Old Pakistani Girl Who Exposed Their Cruelty

Malala Yousufzai on a stretcher as she was being taken to a hospital earlier today in Mingora, Pakistan.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 6:16 am

"Shooting attacks happen every day in Pakistan," as NPR's Philip Reeves reports from Islamabad.

But the shooting of a teenaged girl who became nationally known after she documented the Taliban's cruelty in Pakistan's Swat Valley has caused particular shock in that country, he tells our Newscast Desk.

The Pakistani Taliban are claiming their fighters carried out today's attack. According to Philip, "officials say Malala Yousufzai was outside her school when a gunman approached, and opened fire, injuring her and at least one other child."

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The Two-Way
11:31 am
Tue October 9, 2012

VIDEO: Australia's Prime Minister Doesn't Hold Back As She Rips Opponent

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard delivering her verbal takedown of the opposition.
ABCNews (of Australia)

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 6:59 am

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The Two-Way
9:27 am
Tue October 9, 2012

NPR Names New Executive Editor

Madhulika Sikka.
Doby Photography NPR

Madhulika Sikka, who has been Morning Edition's executive producer since joining NPR six years ago, will become the organization's executive editor in January.

In announcing the promotion this morning, NPR Senior Vice President for News Margaret Low Smith lauded Sikka's work at Morning Edition, saying she "brought real vision" to the show and that it has "evolved into a more interesting and relevant program" under her leadership.

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Risks Of Global Economic Slowdown Are 'Alarmingly High,' IMF Warns

In China's Anhui province, a worker unloads steel bars at a factory. A slowdown in China and other major nations threatens to pull the global economy into recession, the International Monetary Fund warns.
AFP/Getty Images

Saying that the global economic recovery "has suffered new setbacks, and uncertainty weighs heavily on the outlook," the International Monetary Fund today warned that the probability of "recession in advanced economies and a serious slowdown in emerging market and developing economies" next year have gone up.

The fund said its research indicates the risk of those things occurring in 2013 "has risen to about 17 percent, up from about 4 percent in April 2012."

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The Two-Way
7:04 am
Tue October 9, 2012

In Mexico: Cartel Leader May Be Dead, Key Lieutenant Captured

Sept. 1, 2010: Police stood guard by a truck containing some of the bodies of immigrants killed by members of the Zetas drug cartel in Tamaulipas state.
Jorge Dan Xinhua /Landov

"Top Zetas drug cartel leader Heriberto Lazcano has apparently been killed in a firefight with marines in the northern border state of Coahuila, the Mexican navy said late Monday."

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The Two-Way
6:04 am
Tue October 9, 2012

30 Years In Jail — At A Minimum — For Seemingly Unrepentant Sandusky

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky as he walked to the courthouse this morning in Bellefonte, Pa.
Patrick Smith Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 10:17 am

Saying that the former Penn State assistant football coach had assaulted not only 10 young boys' bodies but also their "psyches and souls," a Pennsylvania judge this morning sentenced Jerry Sandusky to between 30 and 60 years in prison for the sexual abuse of those children.

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The Two-Way
4:57 am
Tue October 9, 2012

French And American Scientists Share Physics Nobel

The medal for the Nobel in Physics. According to the Nobel committee, the inscription reads: " 'Inventas vitam juvat excoluisse per artes' loosely translated 'And they who bettered life on earth by their newly found mastery.' "
NobelPrize.org

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 7:07 am

The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to Serge Haroche of France and David Wineland of the United States for their work on the "fundamental interactions between light particles and matter."

"The Nobel laureates have opened the door to a new era of experimentation with quantum physics by demonstrating the direct observation of individual quantum particles without destroying them," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement.

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Court Clears Way For Terror Suspect To Be Sent From U.K. To U.S.

"After a legal battle covering several years in each case, five suspected terrorists, including radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri will be extradited to the U.S, U.K. judges have ruled." And, the BBC adds, Britain's Home Office "said it welcomed the High Court's decision. 'We are now working to extradite these men as quickly as possible,' a spokesman said."

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The Two-Way
9:19 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Labor Secretary Says Talk Of Fudged Jobless Numbers Is Insulting

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

The news that the nation's jobless rate fell to 7.8 percent in September from 8.1 percent in August immediately led some of President Obama's critics to charge the the books had been cooked to help his reelection campaign.

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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Unemployment Rate Drops To 7.8 Percent; 114,000 Jobs Added To Payrolls

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 10:27 am

The nation's unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in September from 8.1 percent in August even though just 114,000 jobs were added to private and public payrolls, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

Those hard-to-reconcile figures — a decline in the jobless rate even though job growth was relatively weak — appear to be at least partly explained by a sharp increase in the number of Americans who found part-time jobs and counted themselves as employed.

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The Two-Way
7:24 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Sacre Bleu! French Bees' Taste For M&Ms Makes For Colored Honey

We knew the Honey Nut Cheerios bee liked sweet stuff. But imagine what would happen if he met green M&M?
Doug Kanter/Rusty Jarrett AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 10:32 am

Why were their bees producing honey in shades of blue and green, wondered beekeepers in the Alsace region of France?

The answer, according to France 24 and Le Monde, was that the bees apparently like M&M's.

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Romney: I Was 'Just Completely Wrong' On 47 Percent

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney during a rally in Fishersville, Va., on Thursday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's much-discussed remarks about the 47 percent of Americans who "will vote for the president no matter what ... believe that they are victims ... [and] pay no income tax" did not come up in Wednesday night's debate with President Obama.

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The Two-Way
6:18 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Reports: Two Suspects In Libyan Attack Detained In Turkey

Damage inside the burnt U.S. consulate in Benghazi after an attack on the building Sept. 11.
Gianluigi Guercia Getty Images

"Turkish media are reporting the apprehension of two suspects in the Sept. 11 attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya," NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul.

He tells our Newscast Desk that:

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The Two-Way
4:46 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

FBI Team Spends 12 Hours In Benghazi

Three weeks after the attack on the U.S. consulate that left U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead, a team of FBI investigators got to the site in Benghazi, Libya, on Wednesday and departed today after about 12 hours on the ground, The Associated Press reports.

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The Two-Way
3:33 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Go To Jail For A Retweet? Filipino Lawmaker Tries To Ease Concern

Does he need to watch what he likes? Facebook's logo is reflected in the glasses of a student in Manila.
Ted Aljibe AFP/Getty Images

This headline at Global Post is an eye-opener:

"Philippines: Click 'like,' go to prison. Cybercrime law threatens 12 years behind bars for 'liking' or re-Tweeting libel."

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The Two-Way
1:07 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Friday's Jobs Report Is Campaign's Next Key Moment, Here's What To Expect

The welcome sign at a job fair earlier this year in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 1:16 pm

With the first presidential debate now behind us, what's the next big item on the campaign calendar?

It's Friday's 8:30 a.m. ET release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics about the September unemployment rate and how many jobs were added to payrolls last month.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Rush Fans, It's Time To Rock: Band's Been Nominated To The Hall Of Fame

Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson (left) and singer/bassist Geddy Lee.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 1:37 pm

This blogger had a fit last year about Canada's Rush still not being honored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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The Two-Way
11:00 am
Thu October 4, 2012

KitchenAid Apologizes For 'Offensive Tweet' About Obama's Grandmother

While he was attending Columbia University in New York City, Barack Obama's maternal grandparents — Stanley and Madelyn Dunham — visited him there. The president lived with them in Hawaii for much of his youth.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 4:00 pm

Appliance maker KitchenAid quickly deleted and apologized for a message that went out on its Twitter account during last night's presidential debate because the comment about President Obama and his grandmother was so offensive.

The comment writer — who has not been identified — picked up on the president's mention of his grandmother and tweeted that:

"Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! 'She died 3 days b4 he became president'."

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It's All Politics
11:52 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Romney Goes On Offense, Pays For It In First Wave Of Fact Checks

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 6:03 am

In their first of three debates, President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney "traded barbs" and stretched some facts, say the nonpartisan watchdogs at PolitiFact.com.

Similarly, the researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center's FactCheck.org found examples of truth-stretching by both men.

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It's All Politics
7:26 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Live Blog: Obama & Romney's First Debate

President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney participate in the first presidential debate at Magness Arena at the University of Denver on Wednesdasy, moderated by Jim Lehrer of the PBS NewsHour.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 11:38 am

  • Listen To The Debate
  • Listen To NPR Analysis Of The Debate

President Obama and his Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, engaged Thursday night in a sometimes spirited, but always cordial, debate that got very technical at times.

It was the "corporate executive" (Romney) vs. the "government professor" (Obama) and the GOP nominee appeared to be "full of confidence and full of sales pitch," NPR Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving says, while Obama put pressure on the Republican to explain what he would do as president.

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The Two-Way
5:14 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Chick-fil-A Chief: 'We Support Biblical Families'

Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 5:58 pm

Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy hasn't said much since his comments against same-sex marriage led to shows of support by some and protests by others over the summer.

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It's All Politics
4:19 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Here's Where To Get Your 'Fact Checks' During And After Tonight's Debate

The stage is set: Tonight's debate is at the University of Denver.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 4:52 pm

Looking to see and hear what the fact checkers are saying during and after tonight's presidential debate about the claims made by President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney?

-- PolitiFact.com says it will be updating on its website and on Twitter. It's also pitching an Argument Ender app.

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The Two-Way
3:18 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

'Bully Creep' Or 'Erudite Takedown?' TV Anchor's Response To Being Called Fat

La Crosse, Wis., TV anchor Jennifer Livingston during her on-air response.
WKBT

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 6:11 am

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The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Teddy Wins! Washington Nationals' Mascot Snaps 525-Game Losing Streak

Teddy broke the tape first today — after 525 losses over seven seasons.
Greg Fiume Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 10:15 am

As monumental as the Washington Nationals' first trip to Major League Baseball's playoffs has been, this news may come close in importance for some fans in the nation's capital:

Teddy, one of the team's four presidential mascots, finally won a "race" today.

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The Two-Way
1:49 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Currency In Crisis: Collapse Of Iran's Rial Continues

A 20,000 rial banknote, which today was worth less than 60 cents.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 3:56 pm

One U.S. dollar was worth 35,500 Iranian rials today, The Associated Press reports, as the collapse of the Persian nation's currency continued.

Two years ago, the rial traded at 10,000 to the dollar. It has lost about a quarter of its value in just the past week, Business Insider says.

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