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
7:12 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Consumer Spending Dipped In October; Superstorm Sandy Blamed

Nov. 17: A sign in a Staten Island storefront tells a lot. It was still closed because of the damage done by Superstorm Sandy in late October.
Mario Tama Getty Images

The economic effects of Superstorm Sandy continue to be felt. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, consumer spending edged down 0.2 percent in October from September, and personal income dipped 0.1 percent.

As Bloomberg News says, "Sandy kept some in the Northeast from getting to work or from shopping at malls and car dealerships."

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The Two-Way
6:53 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Today's Three Stories To Read About The 'Fiscal Cliff'

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner as he arrived at the Capitol on Thursday for negotiations with congressional leaders.
Alex Wong Getty Images

The White House and congressional leaders continue to talk about taxes, spending cuts and how to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff that arrives at midnight Dec. 31 — when Bush-era tax cuts are set to expire and automatic spending cuts are set to go into effect.

As NPR and others cover the story, we'll try to to point to interesting reports and analyses. Here are three of the latest.

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Fri November 30, 2012

In Egypt: Draft Of Constitution OK'd; Protesters Return To Tahrir Square

A protester shouts early Friday in Cairo's Tahrir Square.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 6:25 am

Protesters have streamed into Cairo's Tahrir Square again today, correspondent Merrit Kennedy tells our Newscast Desk.

She says they're there both to demonstrate again against President Mohammed Morsi's decree giving himself sweeping new powers and to express concern about a draft constitution passed early today by Egypt's constitutional assembly.

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The Two-Way
5:43 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Woman's Sad Story About Missing Hat Touches Many Hearts, Goes Viral

Bridget Hughes and her hat, before it went missing.
Facebook.com

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 7:17 am

  • From 'Morning Edition'

The major news stories of the day are pretty much the same as they've been all week: Budget talks continue in Washington; Egypt continues its slow, sometimes violent transition; fighting rages in Syria.

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The Two-Way
12:59 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Former NBC Chief Jeff Zucker Taking Over At CNN

Jeff Zucker, who's going to CNN.
Robert Pitts Landov

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 2:56 pm

"Veteran news producer and former NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker will become the president of CNN Worldwide in January," CNN confirmed earlier today.

The Associated Press writes that:

"Zucker will be based in New York and report to Phil Kent, who runs all of the Turner networks for parent company Time Warner.

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The Two-Way
12:06 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Does Anybody Have More Fun Than Joe Biden? Check These Photos

"No, this really is Joe Biden!" (He borrowed a Costco employee's phone to say hello to someone.)
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 4:46 pm

Yes, he talked about the negotiations over taxes and spending cuts. Yes, it was a holiday photo op. But what really struck us about Vice President Joe Biden's this morning to Washington, D.C.'s first Costco store was how, once again, he just seems to have so much fun.

We think a picture gallery is in order.

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Thu November 29, 2012

In Syria: Battle Rages Outside Damascus Airport, Internet Goes Down

CIA World Factbook

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 3:39 pm

Syria's Internet services went down all across the country on Thursday and heavy fighting was reported near the airport in the capital Damascus, which led a number of airlines to suspend flights.

These developments come after a series of rebel victories in recent days and suggest that President Bashar Assad's government is facing increased pressure from the rebels in an uprising now 20 months old.

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The Two-Way
9:47 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Former President George H.W. Bush In Hospital

Former President George H.W. Bush in September at the Ryder Cup golf match in Medinah, Ill.
Mike Ehrmann Getty Images

"Former President George H.W. Bush remains in a Houston hospital, where he has been for seven days as doctors battle a lingering cough that has drawn concern," the Houston Chronicle writes.

But Bush's chief of staff, Jean Becker, tells the newspaper that the former president, now 88, has bronchitis and that it's expected he'll be released from Methodist Hospital this coming weekend.

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The Two-Way
8:50 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Trayvon Martin Update: Zimmerman's Defense Fund Is Offering His Autograph

The signed card that donors will get from George Zimmerman.
GZDefenseFund.com

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 9:50 am

"Thank You Cards ... personally signed by George," are now going to be sent to those who donate money to the man facing second-degree murder charges for the Feb. 26 shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

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The Two-Way
8:15 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Webcast: NPR & Wilson Center Host National Conversation On Foreign Policy

Flags from nations around the world fly outside the U.N. building in New York City. The challenges facing President Obama's foreign policy team will be among the topics of today's national conversation, hosted by Talk of the Nation and the Wilson Center.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 11:53 am

NPR's Talk of the Nation and the Wilson Center, a public policy institute in Washington, D.C., are teaming up Thursday afternoon for a "national conversation" webcast and broadcast.

The topics for discussion, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET:

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The Two-Way
7:24 am
Thu November 29, 2012

U.K. Inquiry: News Media 'Wreaked Havoc,' New Watchdog Needed

Britain's tabloids ruined many lives, a judge concludes. Now, he's recommending more oversight.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Saying that the British news media have "caused real hardship and, on occasion, wreaked havoc with the lives of innocent people whose rights and liberties have been disdained," the judge appointed to sort out the mess after the U.K.'s tabloid scandal has recommended creation of an independent watchdog. It would be charged with "promoting high standards of journalism and protecting the rights of individuals."

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The Two-Way
6:48 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Third-Quarter Economic Growth Revised Upward

Better than expected: Economic growth was higher in the third quarter than first thought. Here, a worker at a Ford plant in Michigan plugs a batter into a Ford C-MAX plug-in hybrid vehicle.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.7 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says. That's a sharp upward revision in its estimate of gross domestic product growth from mid-summer into the fall. In its first look at the quarter's GDP, the agency estimated growth at a 2 percent annual rate.

According to BEA, consumer spending, inventory investment, exports and federal spending all contributed to growth from July 1 through Sept. 30.

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The Two-Way
6:15 am
Thu November 29, 2012

What Will A U.N. Upgrade Mean For Palestinians?

In the southern West Bank city of Hebron today, supporters of Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas gathered in anticipation of today's vote at the U.N.
Hazem Bader AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:39 am

  • NPR's Philip Reeves, reporting on 'Morning Edition'

At the United Nations this afternoon, the General Assembly is expected to overwhelmingly approve a resolution that would shift the status of Palestinians from that of a "non-member observer entity" to a "non-member observer state."

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Winning Powerball Tickets Sold In Arizona And Missouri; Who Bought Them?

Ticket sales soared as the jackpot grew.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 12:15 pm

After all the hype and hoopla, millions of Americans (including us) are waking up this morning to learn that they aren't sudden millionaires.

Yes, there were winning tickets sold for Wednesday night's $580 million Powerball jackpot.

But there were only two tickets that correctly matched the numbers drawn: 5, 16, 22, 23, 29 and Powerball of 6.

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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Economy Is Growing At A 'Measured Pace,' Federal Reserve Says

Shoppers at a Target store in Westbury, N.Y., last week. Consumer spending drives the economy. And the holiday shopping season is crucial for retailers.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

The nation's economy "expanded at a measured pace" in recent weeks, the Federal Reserve Board reports in its latest anecdotal look at how things are going across the U.S.

The central bank's Beige Book review of conditions in its 12 bank districts finds that:

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The Two-Way
11:29 am
Wed November 28, 2012

This Just In: No One Was Shot Or Stabbed Monday In New York City

At least for one day and night, the city that never sleeps was peaceful.
Eduardo Munoz Reuters /Landov

Police officials in New York City tell the Daily News that they can't remember the last time this happened:

"Not a single person was reported shot, stabbed or slashed" in the Big Apple on Monday.

"Nice way to start the week," Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne told the newspaper.

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Baseball Hall Of Fame Ballot Coming; First Swings For Bonds, Sosa, Clemens

Barry Bonds rounding the bases after hitting his 734th home run in 2006.
Allen Fredrickson Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 12:38 pm

Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds — two of baseball's greatest players and two who have long been accused of having used performance-enhancing drugs — are on the 2013 ballot for inclusion in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America announced at noon ET the names of the retired players its members will consider.

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The Two-Way
8:55 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Romney To Have Lunch With Obama At The White House Thursday

President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney the last time they got together, at their Oct. 22 presidential debate in Boca Raton, Fla.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

The 2012 presidential contenders will break bread at the White House on Thursday.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney "will have a private lunch at the White House with President Obama in the Private Dining Room," the White House says in a statement sent to reporters. "It will be the first opportunity they have had to visit since the election. There will be no press coverage of the meeting."

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The Two-Way
8:35 am
Wed November 28, 2012

New Home Sales Dipped A Bit In October, But Were Well Above Year Before

A sold sign at a new home site in Danville, Calif., earlier this year.
David Paul Morris Getty Images

Sales of new homes edged down 0.3 percent in October from September, but were a healthy 17.2 percent above the pace of October 2011, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development report.

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The Two-Way
7:42 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Winning Powerball? It's More Likely A Vending Machine Will Kill You

Don't shake it.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 6:26 am

Update at 12:25 p.m. ET: Since we first posted, the jackpot's been increased to $550 million from $500 million when the day began, so we've changed that figure below. That doesn't do anything to change the odds of winning.

Our original post:

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The Two-Way
5:59 am
Wed November 28, 2012

In Cairo, Tensions Still High As 'Die-Hards' Continue To Protest

This protester in Cairo's Tahrir Square last night had a message for Egypt's president.
Khalil Hamra AP

Police have fired tear gas again in Cairo's Tahrir Square as authorities try to disperse several hundred protesters who are angry over President Mohammed Morsi's controversial grab for more power.

The crowd is much smaller than Tuesday's, according to NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, as well as correspondents from other news outlets.

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The Two-Way
1:12 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Powerball Jackpot Is $500 Million; Now Will You Buy A Chance?

A ticket and a dream.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 5:23 pm

We know there's only a 1 in 175 million chance of winning. Even then, you might have to share the prize.

But with Wednesday's Powerball jackpot now estimated to be $500 million (a record for that lottery), we wonder: Are Two-Way readers playing?

Yes, it is kind of silly to think that just because the jackpot has hit half a billion dollars it makes a lot more sense to buy a chance now than it did when you would "only" win $40 million.

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Grover Norquist: Pink Unicorns Aren't Real And GOP Won't Break Tax Pledge

Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform and the man behind the pledge.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 4:35 pm

  • Grover Norquist on Keynesianism
  • Grover Norquist: Pink unicorns aren't real either
  • Congressman-elect Ted Yoho on 'Morning Edition'

There has not been a wave of defections by Republicans who signed on to his "no new taxes" pledge and even the few who have spoken about possibly going along with revenue increases won't do so in the end, anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist told NPR Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
9:54 am
Tue November 27, 2012

GOP Senators More Troubled About Benghazi After Talking With Amb. Rice

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., speaking to reporters after their meeting with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 2:56 pm

After meeting with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice this morning, three key Republican senators emerged to say they're more troubled — not less — by what they say were intelligence failures and misleading information concerning the September attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, which left four Americans dead.

One, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, said it's too soon to even be speculating about promoting Rice to be secretary of state.

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The Two-Way
9:03 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Marvin Miller, Union Leader Who Brought Free Agency To Baseball, Dies

Marvin Miller, who rocked baseball, in 1966.
AP

Marvin Miller, "arguably the most significant figure in 20th century baseball" according to Morning Edition commentator Frank Deford, has died.

The former head of the Major League Baseball Players Association was 95.

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Attention Chinese Media: Kim Jong Un Is 2012's Most Interesting Man

The mysterious, most-interesting, super-sexy North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (And if you believe all that, you may be reading too many reports from Chinese media.)
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 6:32 am

Update at 8:15 a.m. ET, Nov. 28. And Now, It's Gone:

People's Daily Online has realized it was duped and removed its glorious account of Kim Jong Un's sexiness, NPR's Frank Langfitt tells us.

But you can still read our original post:

Shh.

Please don't tell the editors at People's Daily Online that our headline might not be true.

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The Two-Way
8:13 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Consumer Confidence Edges Up Again; Reaches Highest Point Since Early 2008

If they're confident, they will shop: Two women carry shopping bags down Manhattan's 34th St. last week.
Andrew Kelly Getty Images

There was a "moderate increase" in American consumers' confidence this month, the private Conference Board just reported.

Its widely watched consumer confidence index rose to 73.7 from 73.1 in October. The index is the highest it has been since February 2008, when the economy had just fallen into recession and was headed down.

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The Two-Way
7:39 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Home Prices Rose For Sixth Month, Survey Shows

A sold sign at a housing development in Boca Raton, Fla., earlier this month.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

The nation's housing market continues to improve, according to the latest look at home prices across the nation from the analysts who put together the

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The Two-Way
6:58 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Top Stories: Cairo Clashes; Fiscal Cliff Talks; Sandy's Huge Costs

Ortley Beach, N.J.: The aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
Mark Wilson Getty Images
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The Two-Way
6:32 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Protests, Clashes Build Again In Cairo

A cloud of tear gas surrounds a protester earlier today near Cairo's Tahrir Square.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 11:43 am

As feared, the news that "Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has not given any signal that he is backing down from most of his power grab" has lead to more protests and more violence in the streets of Cairo.

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