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
10:58 am
Thu June 7, 2012

U.N. Monitors Were Shot At Today In Syria, Secretary General Says

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 7:18 pm

United Nations monitors in Syria were shot at with small arms fire today as they tried to reach the scene of another alleged massacre, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said this morning.

At the U.N. General Assembly, Ban also condemned today's "shocking and sickening" reports about the killings of dozens. And, NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, he called this yet another "pivotal moment" that could see Syria fall into a full-blown civil war.

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The Two-Way
10:28 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Economy Is Poised For More Growth, But 'Fiscal Cliff' Looms, Bernanke Says

A word cloud of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's prepared testimony to the congressional Joint Economic Committee.
wordle.net

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 12:37 pm

"Economic growth appears poised to continue at a moderate pace over coming quarters," Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is telling Congress this hour, and will be supported in part by additional "accommodative monetary policy" from the central bank.

While there's been a slowing in job growth, Bernanke says that Fed policymakers believe household spending has been "relatively well sustained" and are encouraged by "consumer spentiment [that is] ... up noticeably from its levels late last year."

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The Two-Way
9:03 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Japanese Dock Reaches Oregon; Tsunami Debris Arriving Sooner Than Expected

A man looks at the massive dock from Japan that washed ashore on Oregon's Agate Beach this week.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 10:42 am

"A massive dock" that was washed away from a city on Japan's northeast coast by the devastating March 2011 tsunami landed this week on an Oregon beach. It's a warning sign that dangerous chunks of debris from that disaster are reaching the Pacific coast of the mainland U.S. much sooner than predicted, The Oregonian reports.

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The Two-Way
8:42 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Jobless Claims Dipped Last Week

There were 377,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 12,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

But in yet another mixed signal about how the economy's doing, that welcome dip is tempered by the fact that the "4-week moving average was 377,750, an increase of 1,750 from the previous week's revised average of 376,000." Economists watch that average because it offers a slightly larger look at the trend.

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The Two-Way
8:17 am
Thu June 7, 2012

After Big Gain, Markets Look To Rise Again; All Eyes On Bernanke

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 10:21 am

Following up on one of the best rallies in months on Wednesday, stock index futures are pointing to a higher start today on Wall Street, Dow Jones Newswires says.

The Associated Press says there are "hopes that Europe is preparing to take action to tackle the region's financial crisis and that the Federal Reserve will consider additional support for the U.S. economy."

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The Two-Way
7:54 am
Thu June 7, 2012

U.S. Is Running Out Of Patience With Pakistan, Panetta Says

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta earlier today in Kabul.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

American officials are "reaching the limits of our patience" with Pakistan because that nation continues to allow terrorists to use its territory "as a safety net in order to conduct ... attacks on our forces," U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said today in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The Associated Press also writes that:

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The Two-Way
7:25 am
Thu June 7, 2012

New Massacre Reported In Syria; Clinton Condemns 'Unconscionable' Acts

With reports coming out of Syria about another massacre, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today used some of her sternest language yet about what she said is the Assad regime's "unconscionable" crackdown on the Syrian people. Reuters reports she said President Bashar Assad must cede all power and leave Syria.

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The Two-Way
2:11 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Economy Grew At 'Moderate Pace' In April And May, Federal Reserve Says

Anecdotal reports from across the nation "suggest overall economic activity expanded at a moderate pace" from early April through late May, the Federal Reserve just reported.

In its "beige book" review of conditions around the country, the Fed said the only one of its 12 bank districts to report slower growth was Philadelphia.

The report also adds that:

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The Two-Way
1:24 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Delta CEO Pushes For National Airline Policy That Lets 'Free Market Work'

A traveler walks by a Delta Airlines skycap kiosk at San Francisco International Airport.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 7:29 pm

"Airlines are expecting a banner year," NPR's Yuki Noguchi is due to report on All Things Considered later today.

More planes are flying with full passenger loads, as any frequent flier will tell you. Mergers have helped cut costs. Ticket prices are up. Airlines are charging fees for bags. Fuel costs have eased a bit.

In these relatively good times, what does an airline CEO want?

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The Two-Way
10:57 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Ray Bradbury, Author Of 'Fahrenheit 451' And Other Classics, Dies

Science fiction writer Ray Bradbury in 2000.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 11:45 am

  • Bradbury on writing 'Fahrenheit 451'

Author Ray Bradbury has died, his daughter tells The Associated Press. The wire service says Bradbury passed away Tuesday night.

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The Two-Way
10:21 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Nearly 6.5 Million LinkedIn Passwords Reportedly Stolen

LinkedIn

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 3:55 pm

"Our team is currently looking into reports of stolen passwords," the business networking website LinkedIn confirms, after word of a Russian hacker's claim to have stolen nearly 6.5 million users' passwords.

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The Two-Way
9:50 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Drop In Productivity Paints 'Mixed Picture'

The Associated Press takes a traditional view of the news that American workers' productivity fell more than first thought in the first quarter.

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The Two-Way
9:26 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Ho-Hum: Dull And Boring Are Now A Pair

The signs tell the story.
Facebook.com

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 11:32 am

Boring, Ore., took not-so-bold action Tuesday night.

The town in Clackamas County is now in an "unofficially official pairing" with tiny Dull, Scotland.

Yes, Dull and Boring have joined forces. As they were destined to.

According to The Oregonian, there was a unanimous vote — of the 38 residents who attended a Boring planning board meeting — to form this "Pair for the Ages," as T-shirts on sale in Boring declare.

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The Two-Way
8:18 am
Wed June 6, 2012

'Little Worry' At Federal Reserve About Another Recession, 'WSJ' Says

Job seekers lined up at a jobs fair in Portland, Ore., earlier this year.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 8:39 am

Midway through a Wall Street Journal story today about whether the Federal Reserve will do something in coming weeks to give the economy a boost is this eye-catching line:

"There is little worry at the Fed of a new recession."

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The Two-Way
7:48 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Suicide Bombers Strike In Afghanistan; More Than 20 Civilians Killed

An Afghan man inspects a motorcycle used in today's suicide attack near Kandahar.
AFP/Getty Images

At least 22 people were killed and another 50 wounded in southern Afghanistan today when three suicide bombers blew themselves up in a market near the Kandahar Air Field used by U.S. and coalition forces.

Most of the victims were Afghan civlians, officials tell the BBC.

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The Two-Way
7:14 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Win For Wisconsin's Walker Seen As Blow For Democrats, Boost For The GOP

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) after his victory Tuesday.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 7:50 am

  • NPR's Don Gonyea, reporting on 'Morning Edition'

Now that it's over and Republican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin has easily defeated a recall attempt, the morning-after analyses are in. There's a common theme:

-- Walker's win "is a stinging blow" to President Obama's re-election chances, says National Journal's 2012 Decoded blog.

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The Two-Way
3:27 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Report Of First Doctor To Treat Lincoln Rediscovered

Hulton Archive Getty Images

"When I entered the box the ladies were very much excited. Mr. Lincoln was seated in a high backed arm-chair with his head leaning towards his right side supported by Mrs. Lincoln who was weeping bitterly. Miss Harris was near her left and behind the President.

"While approaching the President I sent a gentleman for brandy and another for water."

Those are the words of Dr. Charles A. Leale, 23, the first physician to reach Abraham Lincoln's side on April 14, 1865, after assassin John Wilkes Booth shot the president in the head.

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The Two-Way
1:18 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

California's Prop 8 Same-Sex Marriage Ban Looks Headed To Supreme Court

A federal appeals court in San Francisco says it will not reconsider an earlier ruling that California's Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

That means, as our colleagues at KQED's News Fix blog report, that "Prop 8 supporters will almost certainly ask the United States Supreme Court to hear the case."

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Disney To Put Limits On Food Ads In Bid To Nudge Kids To Eat Healthier

Mickey thinks kids should eat better.
Yoshikazu Tsuno AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 7:53 pm

With an endorsement from first lady Michelle Obama for its effort, Walt Disney Co. confirmed this morning that it is going to apply new standards to food ads aimed at children and their families during programming for kids. The entertainment giant says it will try "to inspire kids to lead healthier lifestyles."

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The Two-Way
10:54 am
Tue June 5, 2012

This Video May Creep You Out: Artist Turns Dearly Departed Cat Into Helicopter

Orville, the flying helicopter cat made by artist Bert Jansen. The cat is part of an art fair in Amsterdam.
Ade Johnson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 2:20 pm

(Did you read our headline? Think twice before clicking "play.")

Dutch artist Bart Jansen says he loved his cat, Orville.

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