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
1:45 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Here's How To Learn What The Supreme Court Says About Health Care

The U.S. Supreme Court, which will be in the news on Thursday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 2:15 pm

The biggest surprise Thursday morning at the Supreme Court will be if the justices do not issue their most-anticipated decision of the year — on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act; the health care overhaul enacted in 2010.

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The Two-Way
10:43 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Violence In Syria Is As Bad, Or Worse, Than Before Ceasefire, U.N. Says

May 26, 2012: In this picture provided by the Syrian opposition's Shaam News Network, people watch the mass burial of victims in Houla.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 1:50 pm

From The Associated Press:

"The U.N.'s deputy envoy for Syria, Jean-Marie Guehenno, [has] told the U.N. Human Rights Council that the violence in Syria has 'reached or even surpassed' levels seen before the April 12 ceasefire agreement and that a six-point peace plan forged by his boss, U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, 'is clearly not being implemented.' "

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The Two-Way
10:19 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Contracts For Home Sales Rose Sharply In May

"Pending home sales bounced back in May, matching the highest level in the past two years, and are well above year-ago levels," the National Association of Realtors reports. The association says that:

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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Wed June 27, 2012

City Of Stockton's Looming Bankruptcy: Pictures Tell The Story

Among the projects that have helped put Stockton in the red: this downtown multiplex, which opened in 2003 and cost $15 million in public and private money.
Ian Hill KQED

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 10:19 am

Stockton, Calif., is on the verge of becoming the largest city in the nation to declare bankruptcy after its city council voted 6-1 Tuesday night to approve a spending plan that's essentially "a day-to-day survival budget," as the Los Angeles Times puts it.

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The Two-Way
8:41 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Orders For Durable Goods Rose In May

There was a 1.1 percent increase in new orders for so-called durable goods in May from April, the Census Bureau says. That's more than economists had forecast, Bloomberg News reports. According to Reuters, economists thought Census would say orders went up about 0.4 percent.

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Sign Of Peace: Queen Elizabeth Shakes Hand Of Former IRA Commander

Queen Elizabeth II shook hands with Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness today in Belfast. McGuinness is a former senior member of the IRA.
Paul Faith WPA Pool/Getty Images

Something that was "unimaginable a couple of decades ago" happened today in Belfast, Northern Ireland, when Queen Elizabeth II shook the hand of former Irish Republican Army commander Martin McGuinness, NPR's Philip Reeves tells our Newscast Desk.

As Philip adds:

"McGuinness used to be a senior member of the IRA, the group that killed the queen's cousin, Lord Louis Mountbatten in 1979. ... The handshake signals times have greatly changed since the end of the conflict, which claimed more than 3,500 lives, though some tensions remain."

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The Two-Way
7:44 am
Wed June 27, 2012

On The Left, Rangel Survives; On The Right, Hatch Easily Wins

Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., at his victory party Tuesday night.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Two high-profile, veteran lawmakers — one from the left side of the aisle and the other from the right — overcame primary challengers Tuesday. One had a much easier time than the other.

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The Two-Way
7:13 am
Wed June 27, 2012

'Epic' Wildfire Sends Tens Of Thousands Scrambling For Safety In Colorado

Flames from the Waldo Canyon Fire glowed on the western side of Colorado Springs, Colo., Tuesday night.
Bryan Oller AP

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 6:17 pm

"A firestorm of epic proportions" continues to threaten Colorado Springs, Colo., as more than 1,000 firefighters battle flames that by midday had forced more than 26,000 people to flee their homes.

It was local Fire Chief Rich Brown who called the inferno epic Tuesday night. Today, Lt. Jeff Kramer of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office said it's an event "that is certainly unprecedented in this city," The Denver Post reports.

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The Two-Way
2:07 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

How Do They Know Those Sprinters Finished In A Dead Heat?

In this handout photo provided by the USATF, Jeneba Tarmoh (bottom, lane 1) and Allyson Felix cross the finish line at exactly the same time in the women's 100 meter dash final during Day Two of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on Saturday in Eugene, Ore. It's their torsos, not head, hands, feet or arms, that matter.
USATF Getty Images

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Tue June 26, 2012

If News Corp. Splits Its Businesses, Many Investors Would Be Pleased

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 8:15 am

With a simple statement saying that "it is considering a restructuring to separate its business into two distinct publicly traded companies," News Corp. this morning confirmed the thrust of a story reported by its own Wall Street Journal, NPR's David Folkenflik tells us.

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The Two-Way
9:42 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Home Prices Tick Up, Housing Market Recovery May Be Strengthening

This "For Sale" sign was hanging outside a home in Brooklyn, N.Y., earlier this month.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Home prices rose in nearly all major U.S. cities in April from March, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report.

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The Two-Way
9:03 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Turkey Warns Syria It May Respond Militarily If Provoked; Tensions Escalate

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier today in Ankara.
Adem Altan AFP/Getty Images

"Any military element that approaches the Turkish border from Syria and poses a security risk and danger will be regarded as a threat and treated as a military target," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his nation today.

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The Two-Way
8:27 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Orbitz Shows Mac Users Pricier Hotel Options: Big Deal Or No Brainer?

Using a Mac may mean you'll see some pricier options when booking online.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 3:26 pm

There's lots of chatter today about The Wall Street Journal's report that:

"Orbitz Worldwide Inc. has found that people who use Apple Inc.'s Mac computers spend as much as 30% more a night on hotels, so the online travel agency is starting to show them different, and sometimes costlier, travel options than Windows visitors see."

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Debby Is Really Dumping On Florida

Convenience store employee Lindsey Bennight watched floodwaters surround the store where she works in Crawfordville, Fla., on Monday (June 25, 2012).
Dave Martin AP

Debby is doing a number on folks along the Gulf Coast from Alabama to northern Florida.

The tropical storm, which has been lashing the region since the weekend, could dump another 2 feet of rain by the end of the week, forecasters warn. Residents are being warned to also watch out for tornadoes, flash floods and sinkholes.

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The Two-Way
1:57 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

After Knitters Get In A Twist, USOC Apologizes For 'Cease And Desist' Letter

Note to the USOC: Those are balls of yarn, not puts.
Michael Brandy AP

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 2:48 pm

It wouldn't seem to be a good idea to get 2 million people with pointy sticks angry at you, but the U.S. Olympic Committee did just that.

So it has just apologized for sending a "cease and desist" letter to a social networking site for knitters that is holding its own sort-of Olympic games.

Here's what the knotty legal dispute is about:

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The Two-Way
11:26 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Commerce Secretary Bryson Resigns; Suffered Seizure Earlier This Month

Commerce Secretary John Bryson.
Rajanish Kakade AP

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 11:40 am

Just under two weeks after suffering a seizure that led to two car accidents within minutes of each other, Commerce Secretary John Bryson has submitted his resignation.

Our former colleague David Gura (now with Marketplace) has downloaded a copy of Bryson's letter to the president and posted it here.

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Supreme Court Strikes Indecency Rules, Doesn't Address Free Speech Issue

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 5:20 pm

By an 8-0 vote, the Supreme Court today threw out fines the Federal Communications Commission filed against Fox and ABC.

The court did not address whether the FCC rules violated anyone's First Amendment right to free speech. Instead, the justices ruled that the FCC "failed to give Fox or ABC fair notice prior to the broadcasts in question that fleeting expletives and momentary nudity could be found actionably indecent."

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The Two-Way
9:21 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Bullied Bus Monitor Wants Apology, But Still Believes 'All Kids Aren't Bad'

From the video of Karen Klein being bullied.
youtube.com

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 2:46 pm

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The Two-Way
8:39 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Jobless Claims Hold Steady; 387,000 Filed Last Week

There were 387,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits filed last week, down just 2,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

The previous week's number, by the way, was revised up slightly — to 389,000 from the initial estimate of 386,000.

The Associated Press writes that:

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The Two-Way
8:31 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Arrest Warrant Issued For Pakistan's Prime Minister Nominee

Makhdoom Shahabuddin, who has been nominated to be Pakistan's next prime minister.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

"Turmoil" doesn't seem like a strong enough word anymore to describe what's happening in Pakistani politics.

Tuesday, Pakistan's highest court ruled that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was "disqualified" from remaining in office because he had refused to reopen a multi-million-dollar corruption probe aimed at President Asif Ali Zardari.

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