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
5:45 am
Thu March 8, 2012

In Video, Man Said To Be Syrian Oil Ministry Official Says He's Defecting

  • Kelly McEvers on 'Morning Edition'

As we've relearned from the overthrows of oppressive leaders in Libya and Egypt, among the signs to watch for when looking or evidence of cracks in such regimes are defections and transfers of money out of the country by a dictator's cronies.

Today:

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The Two-Way
5:00 am
Thu March 8, 2012

House Expected To OK Jobs Bill In 'Rare Agreement' With Obama

Sometimes bipartisanship does shine down on the Capitol.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 8, 2012 12:01 pm

Update at 1:55 p.m. ET. The House Passes JOBS Act:

Saying that it shows the federal legislature can work in a bipartisan fashion, the Republican-controlled House passed the JOBS Act, which was supported by President Obama.

"It is a welcome sign that we can put our differences aside and work together to produce results to help boost the economy and get people back to work," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said, according to the AP.

The bill was passed with a vote of 390-23.

Our Original Post Continues:

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The Two-Way
4:40 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

'Give It To Your Woman, It's Her Job' Laundry Tag Doesn't Wash With Many

The Twitpic that exposed some dirty laundry.
twitter.com/emmabarnett

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 4:46 pm

When Emma Barnett saw the laundry tag in her boyfriend's pants she was shocked.

"Give It To Your Woman," it read. "It's Her Job."

So Barnett did what you would expect the digital media editor of The Telegraph would do. She posted the photo online and started tweeting.

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The Two-Way
4:05 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Utah Legislature Votes To Prohibit Schools From Teaching About Contraception

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 4:07 pm

A bill "that would let schools skip teaching sex education and prohibit instruction in the use of contraception" is headed to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert's desk after the state Senate today approved it by a 19-10 vote, The Salt Lake Tribune writes.

Schools would need to focus on "abstinence-only" instruction.

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Limbaugh Says Business Is Fine; Maybe 28 Of 18,000 Advertisers Have Left

Things are fine, Limbaugh says. (January 2010 file photo.)
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Saying that "everything is fine on the business side" and that the number of advertisers who have left his show is akin to "losing a couple of french fries in the container when it's delivered to you at the drive-thru," conservative radio broadcaster Rush Limbaugh today took time to clear up what he says has been "misinformation" about the repercussions from his recent comments about Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke.

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The Two-Way
12:00 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Ugandan Warlord Joseph Kony Under Spotlight Thanks To Viral Video

The leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, Joseph Kony, in 2006.
Stuart Price AP

Originally published on Thu March 8, 2012 10:08 am

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The Two-Way
4:34 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Colts Will Release Peyton Manning, Making Him A Free Agent, ESPN Says

Peyton Manning.
Rob Carr Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 11:07 am

ESPN is reporting that sources close to the NFL's Indianapolis Colts say the team is going to let star quarterback Peyton Manning become a free agent.

An announcement is due Wednesday, the network adds.

Manning, who has spent his entire 14-year career with the Colts and is a lock to be a hall of famer, "missed the entire 2011 season after having his third neck surgery in 19 months, a fusion of two vertebrae," as ESPN writes.

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The Two-Way
3:10 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Join Us For Live Blogging Of Super Tuesday Contests

Originally published on Tue March 6, 2012 3:56 pm

As the news comes in tonight about the Republican presidential campaign's 10 Super Tuesday contests, we'll be helping out the Elections Desk by live blogging.

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It's All Politics
2:55 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Obama To Romney: 'Good Luck Tonight ... Really'

Originally published on Tue March 6, 2012 2:58 pm

Before we get deep into the news of the Super Tuesday primaries, here's something from the lighter side of politics.

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The Two-Way
2:10 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Rough Day On Wall Street; Dow Has Sharpest Drop Of Year

The stock market has been having a good year, so you might have been expecting some sort of a "correction."

Today may have been that day.

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

In Egypt These Days, Lying About A Nose Job Can Bring A Politician Down

Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 12:49 pm

It was more than 30 years before Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak lost his grip on power, though many of his people had long suffered under his oppressive regime.

It took less than a week for "a newly minted ultra-conservative Islamist member" of the post-Mubarak parliament in Egypt to be forced to resign because he lied about getting a nose job.

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The Two-Way
12:15 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

Report: 'McCain To Call For Air Strikes On Syria'

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., will later today become the first senator to call for U.S.-led air strikes on the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Foreign Policy magazine's The Cable blog reports:

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The Two-Way
11:20 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Should NFL's Gregg Williams Be Banned, Fined Or Pardoned For Bounties?

Gregg Williams, then the defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints, in August 2010.
Chris Graythen Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 11:22 am

Gregg Williams, who has spent time as an assistant or head coach at six NFL teams, is meeting with league investigators today to talk about what he's admitted was "a bounty pool of up to $50,000 over the last three seasons that rewarded players with thousand-dollar payoffs for knocking targeted opponents out of games while he was the New Orleans Saints' defensive coordinator," The Associated Press reports.

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Mon March 5, 2012

U.S., Israel Stand Together On Iran Issue, Obama And Netanyahu Say

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looked on as President Obama spoke this morning in the Oval Office of the White House.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 11, 2012 7:05 am

With Iran and its nuclear program looming over the discussions, President Obama said this morning that "the United States will always have Israel's back." The president's comment came with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is at the White House for talks today, by his side.

For his part, Netanyahu told reporters that the U.S. and Israel stand together on policy toward Iran, The Associated Press reports.

The two leaders just held something of a photo op. Other reports on what they had to say:

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The Two-Way
8:37 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Obama To Hold News Conference Tuesday

With lots of topics to choose from, including the economy, the 2012 presidential race, Syria, Iran's nuclear ambitions and his meetings today with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, there will be plenty to ask President Obama about Tuesday afternoon when he holds a just-announced news conference.

No word yet on the exact time.

The Two-Way
8:10 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Yemen: More Killing; Reporters Look Back At Uprising, Ahead To Uncertainty

Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 8:12 am

  • Kelly McEvers reports on 'Morning Edition'

There's news from Yemen today that's depressing in its familiarity:

"Al-Qaida militants launched a surprise attack against army bases in southern Yemen, killing 78 soldiers, seizing weapons and parading 55 troops they had taken captive through the center of a town under their control, military officials said.

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Mon March 5, 2012

4.0 Magnitude Quake Rattles San Francisco

For those who just felt the earth shake in Northern California, the U.S. Geological Survey says there was a 4.0 magnitude temblor in the "San Francisco bay area" at 5:33 a.m. local time (8:33 a.m. ET).

There's no word yet on whether there was much, if any, damage.

The USGS says the quake was centered about 1 mile from El Cerrito, Calif.

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The Two-Way
6:34 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Putin's Victory Comes With Claims Of 'Widespread Violations'

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at a rally in Moscow on Sunday. He won election to the post he previously held: president.
Alexei Nikolsky AFP/Getty Images

It's no surprise that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin won Sunday's election to return to the more powerful post he previously held — president. His victory was widely expected. Putin appears to have gotten about two-thirds of the votes.

Also not surprising: Sunday's results are being followed with reports today that, as The Associated Press says, "the opposition and independent observers insisted the vote had been marred by widespread violations."

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The Two-Way
5:55 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Update: Limbaugh Loses Ninth Advertiser Over Comments About Law Student

Rush Limbaugh.
Ron Edmonds AP

Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 4:10 pm

Update at 6:08 p.m. ET. USA Today's On Politics blog reports that both Sears and Allstate are distancing themselves from Limbaugh as well. Both firms said their media buying firms bought space on the show, today, but they have instructed them not to continue.

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Toddler's Death Brings Toll From Latest Tornadoes To 39

In Henryville, Ind., on Sunday, Janet Clark stood outside what remains of her home, which was destroyed in Friday's tornado.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 5:33 am

  • Erica Peterson reporting on 'Morning Edition'

There's more sad news from the stretch of five states across the Midwest and South that were slammed by tornadoes on Friday.

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Fri March 2, 2012

Student Is Outraged By Rush Limbaugh Calling Her A 'Slut' And 'Prostitute'

Sandra Fluke, a third-year law student at Georgetown University, during her House testimony about contraceptives and insurance coverage.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 1:04 pm

Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University law student who has become a "poster child" for Democrats since Republicans wouldn't let her testify at a House hearing about President Obama's policy on contraception, said today she was stunned and outraged Wednesday when conservative radio broadcaster Rush Limbaugh called her a "slut" and "prostitute" on his nationally syndicated show.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Fri March 2, 2012

California Woman Awarded $168 Million In Workplace Harassment Case

The scales of justice tipped toward the plaintiff in this case.
Christophe Ena AP

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 12:32 pm

A California woman's nearly $168 million award from a jury is "believed to be the largest for a single victim of workplace harassment in U.S. history," the Los Angeles Times reports.

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The Two-Way
7:35 am
Fri March 2, 2012

Taliban Claims It Killed More Than 20 Rival Militants In Pakistan

Among the reports of more deadly violence in Pakistan today — about 70 people were killed in three incidents, DAWN reports — is word that about 20 of the deaths were the result of one militant group attacking another.

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The Two-Way
6:35 am
Fri March 2, 2012

Red Cross Aid Convoy Arrives In Devastated Syrian City

After weeks of shelling and sniper fire from Syrian Army forces, the people who remain in the Baba Amr district of the city of Homs may finally get some aid from the outside world today.

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The Two-Way
5:50 am
Fri March 2, 2012

Ohio School Reopens, Coach Who Chased Shooter Says 'I'm Not A Hero'

Chardon High School assistant football coach Frank Hall.
Tony Dejak AP

Classes are resuming today at Chardon High School in Ohio, where three teenaged boys were killed Monday when a gunman — identified by witnesses as a fellow student — opened fire in the cafeteria. Two other students were wounded.

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The Two-Way
5:25 am
Fri March 2, 2012

Tornado Trauma: Five Died On One Short Street; More Storms Due Today

The areas inside the red lines are where tornadoes were being reported at 11:36 a.m. ET.
National Weather Service

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 4:09 pm

Five of the estimated 13 deaths from the tornadoes that pounded Illinois, Missouri and Tennessee on Wednesday happened on one "short avenue in a tight-knit neighborhood" of Harrisburg, Ill., the Los Angeles Times writes today.

Brady Street was pummeled. "There are no words to describe this," Dena McDonald, whose mother was killed there, tells the Times. The newspaper describes the aftermath this way:

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Russia, China Join Call For Syria To Let U.N. Human Rights Official Visit

In what Israel's Haaretz.com is referring to as a "rare move" by longtime supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime, Russia and China today joined other members of the U.N. Security Council in calling on Syria to let U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos see what's happening inside that nation.

Syria so far has not allowed Amos to visit.

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Senate Says No To Challenge Of Obama's Birth Control Policy

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 10:21 am

By a 51-48 vote, the Senate just set aside an effort to reverse the Obama administration's policy requiring most employers to provide health insurance plans that cover the cost of women's contraception methods.

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