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
5:15 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Santorum Endorses Romney

Back in their sparring days: Rick Santorum (left) and Mitt Romney during a Feb. 22, 2012, Republican presidential debate in Arizona.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Saying that "above all else, we both agree that President Obama must be defeated," Rick Santorum on Monday evening endorsed former Republican rival Mitt Romney's presidential bid.

In an email to supporters, the former Pennsylvania senator said that:

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The Two-Way
4:37 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Clinton Hopes To Soon Welcome Chinese Activist Chen To The U.S.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during a news conference in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Saturday (March 5, 2012).
Munir Uz Zaman AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 5:41 am

Though she won't put a timetable on when activist Chen Guangcheng will be able to leave China with his family and go to the United States, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said today that "we're certainly making progress."

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The Two-Way
2:23 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Soccer Stars Are Paid The Best, And Indian Cricketers Out-Earn NFL Players

Lionel Messi of Barcelona during a match Saturday against RCD Espanyol.
David Ramos Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 6:26 am

Think the players on your favorite team are the most overpaid in the world?

Well, American sports fans, you may not be able to brag (or complain?) about that.

As the number crunchers at Sporting Intelligence reported earlier this month, European soccer teams hold the top four spots when it comes to average pay per player.

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Mon May 7, 2012

VIDEO: Biden On Being Comfortable With Same-Sex Marriage

Vice President Biden.
Win McNamee Getty Images

By saying Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press that he is "absolutely comfortable" with equal rights for partners in same-sex marriages and that love is at the root of all marriages "whether they're marriages of lesbians or gay men or heterosexuals," Vice President Biden has set off speculation about whether the Obama administration may soon fully endorse same-sex marriage.

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The Two-Way
7:57 am
Mon May 7, 2012

What Killed Soldier In Afghanistan Who Died While Skyping With His Wife?

Capt. Bruce Kevin Clark.
U.S. Army AP

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 9:41 am

The mystery surrounding the death of Army Capt. Bruce Kevin Clark, who collapsed on April 30 while on a Skype call from Afghanistan to his wife back in the U.S., has deepened.

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The Two-Way
5:51 am
Mon May 7, 2012

'Strategic Release' Program Has Set Free Some Afghan Insurgents

Former Taliban fighters displayed their weapons as they joined Afghan government forces during a ceremony in Herat province last Wednesday ( May 2, 2012).
Aref Karimi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 5:52 am

"The United States has for several years been secretly releasing high-level detainees from a military prison in Afghanistan as part of negotiations with insurgent groups," reports The Washington Post, which calls the program "a bold effort to quell violence, but one that U.S. officials acknowledge poses substantial risks."

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The Two-Way
5:20 am
Mon May 7, 2012

'Seismic Shift' In Europe After French And Greek Elections

In Paris on Sunday, supporters of newly elected president Francois Hollande celebrated.
Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 10:53 am

  • Eleanor Beardsley, reporting on 'Morning Edition'
  • Sylvia Poggioli reporting on 'Morning Edition'
(Note: We updated the market news in this post at midday.)

A victory Sunday by Socialist presidential candidate Francois Hollande in France and the rejection by voters in Greece of that country's austerity policies have caused a "seismic shift" that threatens the future of the euro,

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The Two-Way
11:44 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch Has Died

Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys during a 2001 performance in New York City.
Scott Gries Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 1:26 pm

Update at 2:30 p.m. ET: The news that Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys has died has now been confirmed by the group's public relations firm.

Our original post:

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The Two-Way
10:21 am
Fri May 4, 2012

'Falling Bear,' We Hardly Knew You; Famous Bruin Killed On Highway

The "falling bear" photo that brought him fame.
Andy Duann CU Independent

It was just a week ago that he dropped into our lives.

Now, we're sorry to report that "falling bear" is dead.

In case you're not familiar with the story, it was April 26 when University of Colorado Boulder student Andy Duann snapped a shot of a tranquilized bear as it was falling from a tree on campus.

The bear survived and was released back into the wild about 50 miles from Boulder.

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Fracking: New Rules Aim To Bring 'Best Practices' To Public Lands

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 10:45 am

Saying that the rules would "make sure that fracturing operations conducted on public and Indian lands follow common-sense industry best practices," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar this morning issued proposed regulations that would:

-- Require "public disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations on federal lands."

-- Ensure that "wells used in fracturing operations [on public lands] meet appropriate construction standards."

-- Require operators to "put in place appropriate plans for managing flowback waters from fracturing operations."

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Junior Seau's Family OKs Having His Brain Studied, 'L.A. Times' Reports

Junior Seau in 2008, when he played for the New England Patriots.
Otto Greule Jr Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 2:49 pm

As soon as it was learned on Wednesday that former NFL star Junior Seau had killed himself, there was speculation about whether he may have suffered brain injuries during his career that in turn led to depression or dementia.

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The Two-Way
7:43 am
Fri May 4, 2012

AP Apologizes For WWII-Era Firing Of Reporter

May 7, 1945: In Frankfurt, Germany, Allied commanders including British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, U.S. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Soviet Marshal Gregori Zhukov and others celebrate the German surrender.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 7:55 am

Sixty seven years later, The Associated Press is apologizing for the way it condemned and then fired one of its correspondents for reporting "perhaps the biggest scoop in its history."

Edward Kennedy was among a small group of reporters taken by Allied military officials to witness the May 7, 1945, surrender by German forces at a schoolhouse in Reims, France.

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Just 115,000 Jobs Added Last Month, But Jobless Rate Dipped To 8.1 Percent

A sign earlier this month in New York City's Queens borough.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 7:58 am

The nation's jobless rate edged down to 8.1 percent in April from 8.2 percent in March, but just 115,000 jobs were added to private and public payrolls, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

The job growth was well below expectations and has raised new questions about the strength of the U.S. economy.

We'll add more to this post as we read through the report and gather reactions and analysis. So be sure to hit your "refresh" button to get our latest updates.

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The Two-Way
6:05 am
Fri May 4, 2012

No Mo! Yankees Great Mariano Rivera Suffers Possible Career-Ending Injury

New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera, earlier this season.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 3:19 pm

Update at 5:18 p.m. ET. He'll Be Back:

"I can't go out like this."

That's what Mariano Rivera told the AP about an injury that many thought could end the greatest closer in baseball history's career.

The AP reports that Rivera said he would be back on the mound by 2013.

Our Original Post Continues:

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The Two-Way
5:20 am
Fri May 4, 2012

'Elegant Solution' Possible For Chinese Activist; He May Study Abroad

Chen Guangcheng, left, with U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke on Tuesday at the U.S. embassy in Beijing.
State Department

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 6:17 am

  • Louisa Lim, reporting on 'Morning Edition'

The news that China's Foreign Ministry now says legal activist Chen Guangcheng can apply to study abroad could be an "elegant solution [of] a really difficult diplomatic problem," NPR's Louisa Lim reported earlier on Morning Edition.

Chen has "a letter of invitation" from New York University, she says.

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The Two-Way
12:47 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Finish This Sentence: 'Before I Die, I Want To ...'

From the Before I Die wall in New Orleans.
Candy Chang

Artist Candy Chang turned the wall of an abandoned house in New Orleans into "a giant chalkboard where residents can write on the wall and remember what is important to them."

And since putting up that public art project in February 2011, "Before I Die" walls have spread to at least 19 cities around the world. Friday, a wall goes up in Denver.

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The Two-Way
11:23 am
Thu May 3, 2012

With Chen's Fate Uncertain, Online 'Dark Glasses' Campaign Continues

The Dark Glasses blog.
ichenguangcheng.blogspot.com

Before his escape from house arrest, his stay at the U.S. embassy in Beijing and now his plea that he be allowed to go to the U.S., Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng was the focus of a "Dark Glasses" campaign aimed at drawing attention to his plight.

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The Two-Way
6:51 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Coming Up: Bin Laden Documents To Go Online

Osama bin Laden.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 11:59 am

Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was frustrated with "regional jihadi groups and his seeming inability to exercise control over their actions" in the last few years before he was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs.

That's "the most compelling story to be told," according to an analysis of some documents seized from bin Laden's Pakistani compound in the May 2011 raid that ended with his death, West Point's Combating Terrorism Center reported today.

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The Two-Way
6:38 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Jobless Claims Dropped By 27,000 Last Week

There were 365,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance filed last week, down 27,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

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The Two-Way
6:20 am
Thu May 3, 2012

No Note, No Firm Clues So Far In Junior Seau's Death

Junior Seau in 2002, when he was with the San Diego Chargers.
Stephen Dunn Getty Images

While the signs so far point to suicide, there aren't yet any really revealing clues to why former NFL star Junior Seau apparently killed himself Wednesday.

About all there is so far is a hint that, in retrospect, Seau may have said some goodbyes. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that:

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The Two-Way
5:33 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Chinese Activist Wants To Leave With Clinton; U.S. Diplomats Back In Touch

Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng (in wheelchair) held the hand of Gary Locke (at right) the U.S. ambassador to China in Beijing as he arrived at a hospital in Beijing on Wednesday.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 6:07 pm

  • Chen speaks with NPR
  • Michele Kelemen talks with Steve Inskeep

The fate of Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng remains uncertain one day after he left the U.S. embassy in Beijing.

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The Two-Way
1:42 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

It's Official: Newt Gingrich Bows Out

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 2:31 pm

Saying "I never could have predicted either the low points or the high points," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich just officially suspended his bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

He's been leading up to this for more than a week. Tuesday, he posted a video to say goodbye to his supporters.

Update at 4:30 p.m. ET. Romney On Gingrich:

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The Two-Way
1:35 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Former NFL Player Junior Seau Is Dead; Possible Suicide

Junior Seau in 2009, when he played with the New England Patriots.
Elsa Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 2:36 pm

San Diego's Union Tribune reports that former NFL linebacker Junior Seau "has died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at his beachfront home."

It adds that:

"Chargers chaplain Shawn Mitchell said he was notified of the death and is on his way to be with family members."

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Student Left And Forgotten In Holding Cell For Five Days Gets Apology

Daniel Chong, a California college senior who "was left alone in a federal holding cell for five days with no food or water," now at least has an apology from the Drug Enforcement Adminstration.

That likely won't make up for having to drink his urine to survive, as Chong spoke of to reporters on Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

13 Face Criminal Charges In Florida A&M Hazing Death

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 2:28 pm

Criminal charges have been filed against 13 individuals in the November 2011 death of Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion, Florida State Attorney Lawson Lamor just announced.

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The Two-Way
11:59 am
Wed May 2, 2012

After Bar Brawl, British Parliament Moves To Limit Members' Drinks

When Parliament is in session, some may be overdoing it.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images
  • Larry Miller reporting from London

Getting into a fight at one of the four bars within the borders of the British Parliament's grounds not only brought House of Commons member Eric Joyce (a Labour MP) unwanted notoriety, it has also led to orders that bartenders and event staff start cutting off obviously intoxicated lawmakers.

Which, of course, would seem like something they already should have known they should do.

As the BBC says:

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The Two-Way
10:37 am
Wed May 2, 2012

NFL Suspends Four Players, One For Full Season, Over Saints' Bounties

Oct. 31, 2010: Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (then of the New Orleans Saints) talks to linebacker Jonathan Vilma. Williams has been suspended from the league indefinitely. Vilma will miss the 2012 season.
Matthew Sharpe Getty Images

Four NFL players tied to the so-called bountygate have now been hit with suspensions by the league. They were part of a scheme in which a New Orleans Saints coach created a bounty system for hits that knocked opponents out of games.

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The Two-Way
10:04 am
Wed May 2, 2012

Stocks Give Back Some Gains After Weak Economic Data Are Released

After hitting its highest mark since December 2007 on Tuesday because of a bullish report about the health of the manufacturing sector in April, the Dow Jones industrial average is right now down about 45 points (less than 0.3 percent) because of negative news about hiring and manufacturing.

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The Two-Way
7:42 am
Wed May 2, 2012

Hiring Slowed In April, Report Signals

Businesses added just 119,000 jobs to their payrolls in April, a sharp drop from an estimated 201,000-gain in March, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.

The private group's report is "a troubling sign" two days before the Bureau of Labor Statistics issues its figures on April employment growth and unemployment, The Associated Press says.

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