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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11:12am

Thu September 22, 2011
The Two-Way

Ahmadinejad: U.S. Used 'Mysterious Sept. 11 Incident' As Pretext For War

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the U.N. today.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

American diplomats just walked out of the United Nations General Assembly after hearing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ask what to him is a rhetorical question: who used "the mysterious Sept. 11 incident as a pretext to attack Afghanistan and Iraq?"

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10:24am

Thu September 22, 2011
The Two-Way

Arkansas' Missing Moon Rock Turns Up In Boxes Of Clinton's Memorabilia

July 20, 1969: astronaut Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. on the moon.
Neil Armstrong/NASA AP

That's one small step for historians ...

We'll stop there and just go to the news:

"An archivist sifting through boxes of former President Bill Clinton's papers and memorabilia from his time as Arkansas governor [has] found a missing moon rock given to the state 35 years ago," the Arkansas News Bureau reports.

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8:35am

Thu September 22, 2011
The Two-Way

GOP Rep. Ryan On Obama's Plan: 'Why Would We Want To Do This Again?'

Originally published on Thu September 22, 2011 4:01 pm

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) at NPR headquarters in May.
Erin Schwartz NPR

Earlier this month on Morning Edition, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner made the case for President Obama's latest jobs plan, saying it "would have a substantial, powerful effect on strengthening the economy." Click here to read and hear his conversation with host Steve Inskeep.

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7:00am

Thu September 22, 2011
The Two-Way

Diplomats Owe NYC $17.2M For Parking Tickets; DC Is Owed $340,000

A car with diplomat license plates near the United Nations in New York City.
Stephen Chernin Getty Images

There was outrage yesterday over the $16 muffins and $32 snack packs purchased by the Justice Department in recent years.

Today's this is outrageous news:

Diplomats owe the city of New York $17.2 million and owe Washington, D.C., more than $340,000 for unpaid parking tickets, Washington's WTOP-radio reports.

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6:35am

Thu September 22, 2011
The Two-Way

Jobless Claims Dipped Slightly Last Week

Originally published on Thu September 22, 2011 6:38 am

There were 423,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment benefits last week, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

That's down 9,000 from the previous week. But, as The Associated Press says, claims "remain elevated" and at a level that underscores the weakness of the labor market.

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6:25am

Thu September 22, 2011

6:04am

Thu September 22, 2011
The Two-Way

Backburner Or Frontburner? Views Vary On Palestinian Strategy At UN

Originally published on Mon September 26, 2011 11:47 am

The Associated Press says Palestinians remain "undeterred in U.N. statehood bid" despite a U.S. plan to use its Security Council veto to block a move by Palestinian leaders for U.N. membership as a state.

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5:30am

Thu September 22, 2011
The Two-Way

After The Execution: Relief For Victim's Mom; Anguish For Davis' Supporters

Now that the execution of convicted cop killer Troy Davis has been carried out in Georgia, the morning-after stories are focusing on the controversy over his punishment and the effect the case has had on all those involved.

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12:32pm

Wed September 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Federal Reserve Confirms It Plans To 'Twist' In Bid To Bring Down Rates

Originally published on Wed September 21, 2011 12:34 pm

"To support a stronger economic recovery and to help ensure that inflation, over time, is at levels consistent with the dual mandate, the Committee decided today to extend the average maturity of its holdings of securities."

That sentence from a statement just released by the Federal Reserve confirms that the central bank's policymakers have indeed decided to launch what's being referred to as "Operation Twist."

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11:40am

Wed September 21, 2011
The Two-Way

It's The End For R.E.M.: Band Decides To 'Call It A Day"

Originally published on Wed September 21, 2011 12:14 pm

R.E.M.'s 15th studio album, Collapse Into Now, was released in March.
Courtesy of the artist

This message has been posted on official website of R.E.M., which as our friends over at NPR Music have said is one of the legendary rock bands of the last 30 years:

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11:24am

Wed September 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Reports: Hewlett-Packard May Tap Meg Whitman To Be Its CEO

Meg Whitman, on April 12, 2011, at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Meg Whitman, the former eBay CEO and 2010 Republican candidate for governor of California, may be Hewlett-Packard's next CEO.

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8:11am

Wed September 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Live Blog: Obama Addresses U.N. General Assembly

President Obama addresses the opening of the Untied Nations General Assembly on Sept. 21 in New York City.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

In an address that focused on "the pursuit of peace," President Obama just told delegates at the U.N. General Assembly that people everywhere want "to live with dignity and freedom; to get an education and pursue opportunity; to love our families and our God."

It is world leaders' responsibility, he said, to build "the kind of peace that makes life worth living."

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8:10am

Wed September 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Driven By Foreclosures, Existing Home Sales Rose In August

Sales of existing homes rose 7.7 percent in August from July, the National Association of Realtors just reported.

According to a statement from the association's chief economist, Lawrence Yun:

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7:12am

Wed September 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Obama Tells Biden To 'Just Go Be Joe' On Campaign Trail

Go get 'em, the president tells Biden.
Susan Walsh AP

A new McClatchy-Marist poll shows that a majority of voters believe President Obama will lose "to any Republican" in next year's election and that "a solid plurality" of those surveyed say they will definitely vote against the president, the McClatchy news service reports.

And, it adds, "most potential Republican challengers" are gaining on Obama in one-on-one matchups.

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6:50am

Wed September 21, 2011

6:30am

Wed September 21, 2011
The Two-Way

$16 Muffins, $8 Coffees, $5 Meatballs: Justice Dept. Spending Rapped

Originally published on Wed September 21, 2011 12:05 pm

Anel Fernandez Cover/Getty Images

There's more ammunition today for those who collect evidence of government waste.

In a new report covering the last few years of the George W. Bush administration and the first year of the Obama administration, the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General found that at conferences hosted by DOJ there was some "allowable but ... extravagant" spending.

A few notes from the report:

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6:00am

Wed September 21, 2011
The Two-Way

At UN: Obama To Speak As Critics Take Aim At Mideast Policy

Originally published on Mon September 26, 2011 11:41 am

When President Obama steps to the podium at the U.N. General Assembly later this morning, he'll have a chance to explain why the U.S. opposes the bid by Palestinians to join that world body.

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5:42am

Wed September 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Former NPR News Exec Ellen Weiss Takes Job At Center For Public Integrity

Ellen Weiss, who resigned in January from her job as NPR's senior vice president for news after an independent review raised questions about "the speed and handling" of news analyst Juan Williams' termination, has been named executive editor at the Center for Public Integrity.

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5:10am

Wed September 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Developing: Iran Has Released Jailed Americans, State TV Says

A photo released by Iran's state-run Press TV on Feb. 6, 2011, shows U.S. hikers Shane Bauer (left) and Josh Fattal at court in Tehran.
AFP/Getty Images

Two American men jailed as spies in Iran since 2009 have been released, Iran's official Press TV reports.

The news site says it "has learned" that news.

Its report follows word from The Associated Press that attorney Masoud Shafiei said a court has approved a $1 million bail-for-freedom deal for the release of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal.

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1:43pm

Tue September 20, 2011
The Two-Way

Is Another Shutdown Showdown Looming In Washington?

Originally published on Tue September 20, 2011 1:49 pm

The Capitol building.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Less than two months after nearly shutting down the federal government as they argued over the best way to reduce the budget deficit, there's word that Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill are again at odds and that another shutdown showdown is possible.

Politico reports that:

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