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
8:38 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Feeling Miserable? You're Not Alone, And The Flu Epidemic Has Yet To Peak

Reaching for relief: A customer at a pharmacy in New York City was grabbing some medicine on Thursday.
Andrew Kelly Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 11:50 am

If you haven't caught the flu yet or don't know someone who has, you might want to buy a lottery ticket today. You're one lucky person.

As The Associated Press writes, "from the Rocky Mountains to New England, hospitals are swamped with people with flu symptoms." More than 40 states report "widespread" outbreaks. The flu's been blamed for the deaths of at least 20 children, the AP adds.

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The Two-Way
7:21 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Reports: FAA To Order Review Of Boeing 787 Dreamliner

The interior of a United Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 1:05 pm

Update at 9:42 a.m. ET. Review Ordered:

Saying that "we are confident about the safety of this aircraft, but we are concerned about these incidents," Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Michael Huerta confirmed Friday morning that his agency has ordered a review of Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner after a series of problems in recent days, including fuel leaks and an electrical fire.

The planes are not being grounded. Boeing says it welcomes the review and is confident in the aircraft's safety.

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The Two-Way
2:24 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Reports: Two Hurt, One Suspect In Custody After Shooting At Calif. School

An area is cordoned off outside Taft Union High School in Taft, Calif., Thursday. Authorities said a student was shot and wounded and another student was taken into custody.
Doug Keeler AP

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 6:33 pm

There was a shooting incident at a high school in Taft, Calif., this morning. Now that many reports have come in from the scene, it appears that two people were injured and a shooter has been taken into custody.

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The Two-Way
2:14 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Obama Taps Top Aide Lew For Treasury

Jack Lew has been nominated to be the next Treasury secretary.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 2:57 pm

  • President Obama announces nomination of Jack Lew for Treasury

Saying he "cannot think of a better person" to take the job, President Obama this afternoon formally announced he is nominating Jacob "Jack" Lew, his chief of staff, to be the next Treasury secretary.

Word of Obama's decision to tap Lew, who previously served as budget director in the Obama and Clinton administration, broke Wednesday.

"Jack has my complete trust," Obama said.

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The Two-Way
9:48 am
Thu January 10, 2013

If Obama Took 'Executive Action' On Guns, What Might He Do?

Vice President Biden and President Obama at the White House on Dec. 19. Biden has been charged with drawing up "concrete proposals" on how to reduce gun violence.
Fang Zhe Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 7:29 am

After Vice President Biden said Wednesday that the Obama administration might take some executive actions on the issues of guns and gun-related violence, questions naturally arose:

What kinds of things was he talking about? What might the administration do that doesn't require Congressional action?

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The Two-Way
8:38 am
Thu January 10, 2013

'Lincoln' Leads With 12 Oscar Nominations

Daniel Day-Lewis, in the lead role of Lincoln.
David James DreamWorks

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 9:20 am

Update at 9:00 a.m. ET:

Lincoln, director Stephen Spielberg's acclaimed look at the 16th president's push for the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery, has been nominated for Oscar awards in 12 categories, it was announced this morning in Hollywood. That's the most for any single film.

Life of Pi is up for 11 awards. Les Miserables and Silver Linings Playbook are up for eight.

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The Two-Way
8:16 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Crazy Or Canny? Talk Grows About $1 Trillion Platinum Coin

No, this isn't worth $1 trillion. It's a commemorative coin minted in the U.K. in 2008. But some have suggested the president's image should be on it if he orders up a $1 trillion coin.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 1:15 pm

We're pretty sure this won't happen.

But ...

You practically can't visit a news site these days without seeing a story about why President Obama should or should not order the Treasury Department to strike a platinum coin "worth" $1 trillion and deposit it with the Federal Reserve.

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The Two-Way
7:17 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Three Kurdish Activists Found Dead In Paris; 'Without Doubt An Execution'

An undated of Sakine Cansiz, one of three Kurdish activists found shot to death today in Paris.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 12:10 pm

Three Kurdish women, one of them a founding member of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that seeks autonomy for Kurds in Turkey, were found shot to death today in Paris.

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The Two-Way
2:47 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Signature? Doodle? Check How A Treasury Secretary Lew Might Sign Your Dollars

Jacob "Jack" Lew's signature, on the 2012 "Mid-Session Review" of the federal budget. He was director of the Office of Management and Budget at the time.
WhiteHouse.gov

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 2:49 pm

Treasury secretaries get to see their signatures on the nation's currency.

With word that President Obama wants to nominate his chief of staff, Jacob "Jack" Lew," to that post, lots of sites are taking a look at his rather unique signature.

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The Two-Way
1:58 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

New Report: Lance Armstrong 'Discussed Admission Of Guilt'

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

USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan writes that:

"Lance Armstrong and U.S. Anti-Doping CEO Travis Tygart met for more than an hour in early to mid-December to discuss the possibility of a public admission that the banned cyclist used performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions during his long career, a person with knowledge of the meeting said Wednesday morning."

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The Two-Way
1:17 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Colorado Shooting Hearing Ends With Chilling Photos, No Defense Witnesses

James Holmes in a photo from the Arapahoe County (Colo.) Sheriff's Office.
AP

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 6:31 pm

In the weeks before the attack, James Holmes took photos of the Colorado movie theater where 12 people were killed and dozens more wounded in last summer's mass shooting, prosecutors revealed Wednesday at a court hearing in Colorado.

They also introduced photos he took on the night of the midnight massacre, the Denver Post reports:

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Gun Show Will Go On In N.Y. Town Despite Post-Sandy Hook Opposition

The crowd was large at a March 2012 gun show in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Ed Burke Courtesy of The Saratogian

"City Center officials announced Wednesday that this weekend's Saratoga Arms Fair will go on as scheduled, despite pleas from opponents who want the event canceled," the local Saratogian reports.

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Reports: Obama Has Settled On Jack Lew, His Chief Of Staff, For Treasury

Jack Lew, current White House chief of staff. He's likely to be the nominee for treasury secretary.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 6:46 am

Update: At 6 a.m. ET. Jan. 10, White House Announcement:

The White House has officially confirmed that President Obama will nominate his chief of staff, Jacob "Jack" Lew, to be the next Treasury secretary. According to a statement, the announcement is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET today (Thursday).

NPR's Scott Horsley had more about the nomination on Morning Edition.

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The Two-Way
10:58 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Many Injured When Ferry Hits Pier In Lower Manhattan

An injured person is moved to an ambulance following a ferry accident during rush hour in Lower Manhattan on Wednesday. At least 50 people were injured, according to news reports. The ferry ran into a pier, causing a large gash on its front side.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 4:54 pm

"A commuter ferry had a hard landing when it pulled into a Lower Manhattan pier, injuring at least 53 people Monday morning," WABC-TV is reporting.

At least one person suffered a serious head injury, according to The Associated Press.

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The Two-Way
10:02 am
Wed January 9, 2013

'Zorbing' Death Brings Call For Safety Rules; Fatal Ride Captured On Video

A screen image from video of the "zorb" as it began rolling down a mountain in southern Russia last week. One of the two men inside would die from injuries received after it careened into a ravine.
YouTube

Video of two Russian men climbing into an inflatable ball and rolling down a Russian mountain on a ride that would take them over a cliff, into a ravine, on to a frozen lake and cause one of the men's death, is getting a lot of views today.

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The Two-Way
9:49 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Talk Of Delaying Brennan Nomination 'Unfortunate,' White House Says

John Brennan, President Obama's nominee to be the next CIA director.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

While the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., to be secretary of defense has drawn opposition from groups who question his views on policy toward Israel and Iran, the nomination of White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to be CIA director may be delayed by senators who want to know more about last September's attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.:

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Wed January 9, 2013

AIG Would Be 'Hard Pressed' To Join Lawsuit Over Its Federal Bailout

Manhattan: The headquarters of American International Group Inc. (AIG).
Shen Hong Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 5:00 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition'

Update at 4:50 p.m. ET. AIG Board Confirms Its Stance:

AIG's board of directors say they've rejected calls by Starr International Company to contest part of the federal rescue of AIG in September of 2008.

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Top Stories: Frightful Weather; Fiscal Cliffhanger; Soft Shopping Season

Will someone come back to fill it up? On Christmas Day at the Lakeside Mall in New Orleans, this shopping cart sat all alone. After what's been said to have been a soft holiday shopping season, retailers are hoping that post-holiday sales will be strong.
David Grunfeld The Times-Picayune /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 7:59 am

Good morning.

Our early headline:

-- Weather Outside Is Frightful; Tornadoes, Snow, Rain Lash Much Of Nation.

Some of the other stories making news today:

-- " 'Fiscal Cliff' To Bring President Obama Back Early From Hawaii." (Los Angeles Times)

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The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

'Housing Recovery Is Gathering Strength,' New Report On Prices Signals

A "sold" sign outside a home under construction in Peoria, Ill., in October.
Daniel Acker Landov

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 9:48 am

Home prices were up 4.3 percent in October from the same month a year before in the 20 major U.S.

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The Two-Way
1:19 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Weather Outside Is Frightful; Tornadoes, Snow, Rain Lash Much Of Nation

The wicked weather covers a lot of territory. (Image shows conditions as of late afternoon Wednesday, ET.
National Weather Service

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 7:27 am

  • From the NPR Newscast: Giles Snyder on the storm

(On Wednesday, we weaved new information into the top of this post and in updates below. Thursday, we began a new post about the weather.)

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