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
12:08 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

House Set For 'Marathon Debate' On Sandy Aid; Final Vote Likely Tonight

Shattered homes lined the beach front in Mantoloking, N.J., after Sandy tore through. The superstorm caused billions of dollars in damage to New Jersey, New York and surrounding states.
Tom Mihalek Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 7:39 pm

Update at 7:35 p.m. House Passes Measure

The U.S. House of Representatives voted Tuesday to approve $50.7 billion in aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy.

The vote was 241-80; the measure now goes to the Senate, which is expected to take it up next week.

Here's more from The Associated Press:

"Northeast lawmakers from both parties have been pressing for the aid for more than two months.

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The Two-Way
10:59 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Pakistan's Latest Political Crisis: Court Orders Arrest Of Prime Minister

Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf.
Waqar Hussein EPA /LANDOV

"The news that the [country's] Supreme Court had called for the arrest of Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf ran through Pakistan like an electric current Tuesday afternoon," The Christian Science Monitor writes from Islamabad.

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The Two-Way
10:07 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Wal-Mart Offers Veterans Jobs, Expects To Hire 100,000 Over Five Years

The scene in a Wal-Mart store in Alexandria, Va.
AP

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 12:28 pm

Saying that "hiring a veteran can be one of the best business decisions you make," Wal-Mart U.S. CEO Bill Simon confirmed this morning that the retail giant is launching a plan to hire more than 100,000 recently discharged veterans over the next five years.

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The Two-Way
9:11 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Retail Sales Rose As 2012 Ended; Inflation Remained In Check

Shoppers in Manhattan on Christmas Eve last month.
Keith Bedford Reuters /Landov

Retail sales rose 0.5 percent in December from November, the Census Bureau says. That may be a sign that as 2012 ended consumers were still in a shopping mood even as lawmakers in Washington struggled to keep the federal government from going over the so-called fiscal cliff.

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The Two-Way
8:44 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Justice Clarence Thomas Speaks, Many Listen; But What Was He Saying?

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 11:33 am

"Well — he did not --"

Just four words.

No one's sure what he meant.

But just the fact that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was heard saying them Monday is news. After all, the famously silent justice has not asked a question from the High Court's bench since Feb. 22, 2006.

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Reports: 'Lance Armstrong Admits Doping'

Lance Armstrong in 2010.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 9:34 am

Update at 8:10 a.m. ET. Confession Confirmed:

On CBS This Morning moments ago, Oprah Winfrey confirmed that Lance Armstrong admitted to her in an interview recorded Monday that he did use performance-enhancing drugs during a cycling career that included seven Tour de France victories (titles he has since been stripped of).

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The Two-Way
7:22 am
Tue January 15, 2013

White House Plan On Guns To Include 19 Executive Actions, Lawmakers Say

At a gun shop in Phoenix, a customer holds a handgun. Among the executive actions President Obama is expected to propose is an expansion of background checks for gun buyers.
Ralph D. Freso Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 1:30 pm

Update at 1:25 p.m. ET. Announcement on Wednesday:

The White House says President Obama and Vice President Biden will unveil the steps they intend to take and legislation they recommend to reduce gun violence at 11:45 a.m. ET on Wednesday.

Our original post:

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The Two-Way
2:56 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Reports: Lance Armstrong Has Told Livestrong Staff He's Sorry

Lance Armstrong in 2010.
Nathalie Magniez AFP/Getty Images

Cycling superstar Lance Armstrong, who has been stripped of his many victories because anti-doping authorities say he used performance enhancing drugs throughout his career, has reportedly told the staff at his Livestrong cancer charity that he's sorry. But it's not clear at this hour exactly what it is he's supposedly apologized for.

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The Two-Way
1:54 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Elder President Bush Released From Hospital

Former President George H.W. Bush in June.
Michael Loccisano Getty Images for HBO

After nearly two months in a Houston hospital, where he spent some of the time in intensive care for treatment of complications related to bronchitis, an infection and a stubborn fever, former President George H.W. Bush was sent home today.

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The Two-Way
11:26 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Grieving Families, Community Launch 'Sandy Hook Promise'

SandyHookPromise.org

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 3:05 pm

Pledging to do all they can "to encourage and support common sense solutions that make my community and our country safer from similar acts of violence," parents, family and friends of the 20 children and six educators killed in the Dec. 14 mass shooting at a school in Newtown, Conn., just launched Sandy Hook Promise.

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Obama: I Will Not Let Deficit Talks Be Tied To Another Debt Ceiling Debate

President Obama speaks during his news conference in the East Room of the White House on Monday.
Jason Reed Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 3:03 pm

At a news conference dominated by discussion of what's expected to be Washington's next big political battle, President Obama insisted Monday that he will not let Republicans tie an increase in the federal government's borrowing limit to negotiations over cuts in future federal spending.

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Top Stories: Fighting In Mali; Biden's Gun Report Coming

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. His team beat the Houston Texans on Sunday and will go up against the Baltimore Ravens in next week's AFC championship game.
Elsa Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 9:25 am

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The Two-Way
8:20 am
Mon January 14, 2013

'Biggest Gathering On Earth' Begins In India; Kumbh Mela May Draw 100 Million

Hindu devotees prayed and washed as they attended the first "Shahi Snan" (grand bath) at the opening of the Kumbh Mela festival today in Allahabad, India.
Jitendra Prakash Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 12:46 pm

Imagine one-third of the entire U.S. population — 100 million or so people — visiting Dallas in the next 55 days.

That gives you a sense of what began today in Allahabad, India, a northern city of about 1.1 million people. Over about the next eight weeks it is expected to host nearly 100 times its population in pilgrims (not all at once, obviously). They're coming for the Hindu festival of Kumbh Mela, which happens every 12 years.

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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Mon January 14, 2013

As French Claim Gains In Mali, Islamists Vow To Strike Back

This photo, released on Saturday by the French Army Communications Audiovisual office (ECPAD), shows French Mirage 2000 D jets flying over Mali.
ECPAD Xinhua /Landov

On this fourth day of French military operations aimed at routing Islamist militants in Mali, the al-Qaida-linked rebels are "vowing to drag France into a long and brutal ground war," Reuters reports.

"France has opened the gates of hell for all the French. She has fallen into a trap which is much more dangerous than Iraq, Afghanistan or Somalia," a spokesman for the MUJWA Islamist group told Europe 1 radio, the wire service writes.

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The Two-Way
3:36 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Spike That Email About Welfare And Work; Fact-Checkers Say It's Not True

If this arrives in your inbox, fact checkers advise just hitting delete.
PolitiFact.com

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 6:58 pm

If you've gotten the "Death Spiral" email that's apparently been arriving in many inboxes, here's the verdict from two major, nonpartisan fact checkers:

It is NOT true, as the email claims, that in 11 states there are more people on welfare than there are working.

The debunkers: both PolitiFact.com and FactCheck.org.

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The Two-Way
1:02 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

With End Of U.S. Forces' Role In Sight, Obama And Afghanistan's Karzai Meet

Afghan President Hamid Karzai and President Obama during Friday's news conference at the White House.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 6:18 pm

American and coalition forces will move into a "support" role in Afghanistan starting this spring, President Obama announced Friday afternoon at the White House during a joint news conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Obama said Afghan soldiers "are stepping up" and U.S. forces can now step back.

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The Two-Way
11:21 am
Fri January 11, 2013

'State Of The Union' Set For Feb. 12

President Obama, Vice President Biden (at left) and House speaker John Boehner at the 2012 State of the Union address.
Saul Loeb DPA /Landov

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has sent President Obama the invitation that precedes each year's State of the Union address:

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The Two-Way
11:03 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Ai Weiwei: In China, Lack Of Truth 'Is Suffocating'

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in June 2012.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 12:15 pm

  • From WBUR: Ai Weiwei on the suffocation of truth.
  • From WBUR: Ai Weiwei on being known despite censorship.
  • From WBUR: Ai Weiwei on life in prison.

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who has been outspoken about the lack of freedom in his homeland and was imprisoned in what he and his supporters say was an effort to keep him quiet, told our colleagues at Boston's WBUR this week that the lack of truth in China is "suffocating ... like bad air all the time."

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