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
8:46 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Jobless Claims Rise; Employment Report Likely To Show Slow Job Growth

Will there be more signs like this? An automotive service shop in El Cerrito, Calif., was looking for workers last month.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 10:24 am

There were 385,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up by 28,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

The news follows Wednesday's report of slower-than-expected job growth in the private sector: The ADP National Employment Report estimated that businesses added just 158,000 jobs last month.

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The Two-Way
8:18 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Top Stories: Conn. Gun Law; North Korea's Threats; Rutgers Firing

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 10:20 am

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Thu April 4, 2013

North Korea Moves Missile, Threatens To Close Factories Used By South

On Thursday, a South Korean security guard kept watch as South Korean trucks waited to enter the Kaesong industrial complex in North Korea. For the second day, the North blocked the trucks and workers from the South from entering its territory.
Kim Hong-ji Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 2:02 pm

Bear in mind that, as NPR's Louisa Lim has said, North Korea's regime is skilled at making threats. And fortunately, the most ominous of those threats have not been followed by action in recent decades.

With those caveats in mind, here are Thursday's developments in the latest round of provocative moves by the communist state. From Beijing, Louisa tells our Newscast Desk that:

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Thu April 4, 2013

'Historic' Gun Bill To Become Law In Connecticut

A Bushmaster rifle, similar to the type used by Adam Lanza during the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and some ammunition magazines. The sale and possession of this type of weapon, and high-capacity magazines, will be severely restricted in Connecticut under new legislation.
Michelle McLoughlin Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 12:27 pm

Saying that on this "profoundly emotional day" he hoped that his state would serve as an example to the rest of the nation, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy sat down Thursday at 12:20 p.m. ET to sign into law what's being described as the most sweeping gun control legislation in the nation since the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Malloy praised lawmakers and those who helped craft the legislation for coming together "as few places in our nation have demonstrated the ability to do."

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The Two-Way
1:50 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

It's Set: Jimmy Fallon To Replace Jay Leno On 'Tonight Show' In Spring 2014

Jay Leno (left) and Jimmy Fallon at the Golden Globe Awards in January. Next year, Fallon will be taking Leno's place on The Tonight Show, NBC says.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 6:04 am

Here's the official word, courtesy of NBC News' tweets:

-- "JUST IN: Jay Leno will depart NBC's 'Tonight Show' in Spring 2014; Jimmy Fallon to replace, NBC says."

-- "MORE: 'Tonight Show' will return to New York City in 2014; Lorne Michaels will be executive producer."

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The Two-Way
12:16 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

'Best Jobs In North Korea' Pay $62 A Month; Now They're Diplomatic Pawns

An undated file photo showing a general view of the North-South industrial complex in the North Korean city of Kaesong.
Yonhap News EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 2:03 pm

  • From 'All Things Considered': North Korea expert Aidan Foster-Carter

At an industrial park where they build appliances and other products for companies from South Korea, 55,000 North Koreans typically earn about $62 each a month, a North Korea expert tells NPR.

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The Two-Way
9:22 am
Wed April 3, 2013

All Clear In Berlin After 220-Pound WWII-Era Bomb Is Defused

Safe and secure: The bomb after it was defused Wednesday in Berlin.
Tobias Schwarz Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 12:52 pm

From Berlin, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson tells us that:

An unexploded bomb from World War II was successfully defused Wednesday. Its discovery Tuesday night near the city's main railway station forced trains to divert and snarled traffic in the German capital.

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The Two-Way
8:49 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Job Growth Slowed In March, Survey Signals

The scene at a job fair in Manhattan on March 6.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

There were 158,000 more jobs on private employers' payrolls in March than in February, the latest ADP National Employment Report estimates.

The gain was less than economists expected, Reuters reports. They thought ADP would say there had been a 200,000-jobs increase.

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The Two-Way
6:52 am
Wed April 3, 2013

North Korea's Brinksmanship: Same As Before, More Dangerous Or Both?

Turned back: South Korean trucks returned Wednesday after being barred from entering a joint industrial complex just across the border inside North Korea.
Park Jin-hee Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 10:47 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Louisa Lim and Steve Inskeep discuss North Korea

Wednesday's news from the Korean peninsula, where tensions seem to rise each day:

"North Korea ... barred South Korean workers from entering a jointly run factory park just over the heavily armed border in the North, officials in Seoul said."

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The Two-Way
1:31 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

James Hansen, NASA Scientist Who Raised Climate Change Alarm, Is Retiring

NASA scientist and climatologist James Hansen in 2009.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

"After nearly half a century of research in planetary and climate science for NASA, James E. Hansen is retiring on Wednesday to pursue his passion for climate activism without the hindrances that come with government employment," The New York Times' Dot Earth blog writes.

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The Two-Way
12:56 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

NRA Task Force Recommends Training School Personnel Who Want To Be Armed

Former Republican Congressman Asa Hutchinson holds up his task force's report during a news conference Tuesday in Washington, D.C.
Shawn Thew EPA /LANDOV

A task force launched by the National Rifle Association after the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn., has come back with a report that recommends the creation of programs that give additional weapons training to school resource officers as well as "selected and designated school personnel" who could then carry arms.

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The Two-Way
11:13 am
Tue April 2, 2013

New York Politicians Accused In Plot To Sell GOP Spot In NYC Mayoral Race

New York State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D)
New York State Senate Reuters /Landov

New York State Sen. Malcolm Smith, a Democrat, was led from his Queens home in handcuffs Tuesday morning after being arrested for allegedly trying to buy his way on to the Republican ticket in this year's New York City mayoral election.

Also arrested Tuesday: City Councilman Daniel Halloran, a Republican, and four other local politicians (also Republicans) from the New York metropolitan area, who stand accused of conspiring with Smith.

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The Two-Way
10:17 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Obama Says $100 Million Will Be Invested In Brain-Mapping Initiative

Mauricio Lima AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 1:11 pm

Adding some details to an initiative he announced during his latest State of the Union address, President Obama on Tuesday said that federal agencies plan to spend $100 million to jump start an effort to map the human brain. It's research that could lead to breakthroughs in the treatment and prevention of brain disorders.

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The Two-Way
9:47 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Fannie Mae Posts Record Profit; Paid Taxpayers $11.6 Billion In 2012

Fannie Mae's headquarters in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The government-controlled mortgage giant Fannie Mae, which needed a $116 billion federal bailout after the housing bubble burst in 2007, said Tuesday that it earned a record $7.6 billion in fourth-quarter 2012 and $17.2 billion for the year.

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The Two-Way
8:46 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Top Stories: North Korea's Latest Threat; Probe Continues In Texas D.A.'s Death

A deputy sheriff walks down the street where the home of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland is located in Forney, Texas. McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were shot dead in their home over the weekend.
Tim Sharp Reuters /Landov
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The Two-Way
8:16 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Atlanta Educators Accused In Cheating Scandal Start Turning Themselves In

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 7:59 pm

Ongoing coverage as 35 educators from Atlanta's school system turn themselves in to face charges related to that city's cheating scandal:

Updated at 7:53 p.m. ET Atlantic Public Schools Superintendent Beverly Hall Surrenders.

Former Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Beverly Hall arrived at the Fulton County jail just after 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Tue April 2, 2013

UConn And Cal Punch First Two Tickets To Women's Final Four

Connecticut center Stefanie Dolson hugs teammate Caroline Doty (No. 5) after the Huskies' win Monday night over Kentucky at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn.
Cloe Poisson/Hartford Courant MCT /Landov

The Connecticut women cruised into the Division I basketball championship's Final Four Monday night with an 83-53 win over Kentucky. In the evening's other matchup, California squeaked by Georgia, 65-62.

The Final Four's other two slots will be filled Tuesday night. Notre Dame faces Duke, while Tennessee takes on Louisville. (Check the brackets here. The games are being broadcast by ESPN.)

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The Two-Way
6:46 am
Tue April 2, 2013

North Korea's Latest Threat: It Will Restart Nuclear Reactor

North Korea's KCNA news agency released this photo Monday, saying it shows leader Kim Jong Un (at left) speaking during a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the DPRK in Pyongyang. Hanging above is the image of his father, former leader Kim Jong Il, who died in 2011.
Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 4:22 pm

A vow Tuesday from North Korea that it will restart a nuclear reactor that eventually could make about one bomb's worth of plutonium a year further escalates tensions that were already high due to that nation's almost daily threats, NPR's Louisa Lim tells our Newscast Desk.

According to Louisa, who filed her report from Beijing:

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The Two-Way
2:13 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Once Again, Polls Show Attitudes Toward Guns Returning To Pre-shooting Levels

Guns on display at a show in Chantilly, Va., in July 2012.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA /Landov

The day after last December's mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School we wrote that:

"The tragedy in Newtown, Conn., will surely spur pollsters to ask Americans again about guns, gun ownership, gun laws and the Second Amendment.

"If recent experience is a good guide, public opinion may not shift too much."

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