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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1:28pm

Fri June 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Obama, Romney Have Sharply Different Takes On Weak Jobs News

Earlier, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney blamed what he said have been President Obama's "failed" economic policies for the nation's stubbornly high unemployment rate and weak job growth.

In Minnesota this hour, President Obama conceded "we've got a lot of work to do before we get to where we need to be," but also claimed credit for policies that he said prevented another Great Depression after the financial crisis of 2008.

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10:54am

Fri June 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Crazy For The Queen's Diamond Jubilee? Here's A Guide To The Guides

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 10:57 am

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in London on Wednesday.
Lewis Whyld AFP/Getty Images

If royal watching's your kind of thing, the next four days are going to be a treat.

Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee celebration — marking 60 years on the throne — looks like it will be quite a show. Sunday's huge flotilla alone is predicted to be "the most spectacular nautical event seen in London for 350 years."

Want to know when to tune in?

The official website of the British Monarchy, of course, has a ton of information.

For broadcast schedules, though, you need to look elsewhere.

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9:33am

Fri June 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Stocks Drop On Weak Jobs News

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 4:57 pm

Stock prices fell on Wall Street today as investors digested the much-weaker-than-expected report on job growth in May.

The damage? The Dow plunged 274 points or 2.2 percent. The Nasdaq fell 80 points or 2.82 percent.

CNN Money reports the Dow had the worst day of 2012, erasing "all its gains for the year."

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8:52am

Fri June 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Just 69,000 Jobs Added In May; Unemployment Rate Edges Up To 8.2 Percent

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 1:31 pm

Horrid. Lousy. Awful.

Those are just three of the words economists are using to describe the news that just 69,000 net jobs were added to public and private payrolls last month — and that the nation's jobless rate edged up to 8.2 percent from April's 8.1 percent.

The news has raised fears that the hoped-for strengthening of the economy may not materialize.

We posted on the news and followed with details from the report and reaction to it. It's now 11:22 am. ET, here's our original post and earlier updates:

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8:17am

Fri June 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Obama 'Sped Up Wave Of Cyberattacks Against Iran,' Says 'NYT'

This morning's talker:

"From his first months in office, President Obama secretly ordered increasingly sophisticated attacks on the computer systems that run Iran's main nuclear enrichment facilities, significantly expanding America's first sustained use of cyberweapons, according to participants in the program," The New York Times reports.

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7:57am

Fri June 1, 2012
The Two-Way

'Hero' Of Seattle Shootings: 'I Just Threw The Frigging Stool' At Gunman

Left to right: Karen Eides, Tim Torres and David Gordon embrace as they kneel in front of a makeshift memorial outside the cafe in Seattle where a gunman killed four people.
Stephen Brashear Getty Images

Lawrence Adams doesn't want to be called a hero, but many in Seattle are saying that's just what he is.

As The Seattle Times reports this morning, police believe Adams saved the lives of at least three people on Wednesday when he picked up a stool at a cafe and threw it at a gunman who killed four people there. Adams' action distracted the gunman, identified as Ian Stawicki, and allowed Adams and some others to escape.

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7:09am

Fri June 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Did Jobs Grow Fast Enough In May? Probably Not

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 8:35 am

Hoping for work: Job seekrs lined up Thursday at a job fair in Los Angeles.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Breaking news at 8:34 a.m. ET: "Unemployment Rate 8.2 Percent In May As Just 69,000 Jobs Added

Our original post:

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2:31pm

Thu May 31, 2012
The Two-Way

Wal-Mart Pulls Out Of Group That Advocates 'Stand Your Ground' Laws

Selina Gray of Sanford, Fla., at a protest there on March 31.
Julie Fletcher AP

Wal-Mart has joined the list of major corporations withdrawing their support from a conservative political group that advocates the "Stand Your Ground" laws that came under intense focus after the Trayvon Martin killing became a national story.

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1:39pm

Thu May 31, 2012
The Two-Way

Russia Is 'Propping Up' The Assad Regime, Secretary Clinton Says

By resisting efforts at the United Nations to bring concerted pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad to end the killing in his country, Russia is "in effect, propping up the [Assad] regime at a time when we should be working on a political transition," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said earlier today in Copenhagen.

Clinton also told an audience that Russia's implicit support for Assad could "help contribute to a civil war" in Syria, The Associated Press reports.

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11:49am

Thu May 31, 2012
The Two-Way

Defense Of Marriage Act Is Unconstitutional, Federal Court Rules

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 12:05 pm

"A federal appeals court Thursday declared that the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally denies federal benefits to married gay couples, a ruling all but certain to wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court," The Associated Press reports from Boston.

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11:08am

Thu May 31, 2012
The Two-Way

What Tweets Do Politicians Delete? 'Politwoops' Can Tell You

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 12:01 pm

Politwoops

Most of what they're catching isn't all that exciting, but the folks at the Sunlight Foundation have launched something that has the potential to expose elected officials and politicians as they try to hide embarrassing things that get on to their Twitter feeds.

Politwoops, Sunlight says, is "the only comprehensive collection of deleted tweets by U.S. politicians. From minor typos to major gaffes, Politwoops is now there to offer a searchable window into what they hoped you didn't see."

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10:30am

Thu May 31, 2012
The Two-Way

'We Could See This Coming,' Brother Says Of Man ID'd In Seattle Killings

This frame grab from a security camera, released by the Seattle Police Department, shows a man identified by his brother as Ian Stawicki after Wednesday's shooting at Cafe Racer.
Seattle Police Department AFP/Getty Images

The man who reportedly shot and killed five people Wednesday in Seattle, before taking his own life, changed about five years ago into a mentally ill individual who was "really angry toward everything," his brother tells The Seattle Times.

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8:40am

Thu May 31, 2012
The Two-Way

Job Growth Slow, Jobless Claims Up, GDP Revised Down

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 8:49 am

The number of jobs on private employers' payrolls grew by a modest 133,000 positions from April to May, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.

ADP's monthly report is sometimes a decent barometer of what the Bureau of Labor Statistics will say when it issues its employment estimates. We're due to hear from BLS about the May employment situation on Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET.

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8:14am

Thu May 31, 2012
The Two-Way

Youngest Speller Is Out Of The Bee; Tripped Up By 'Ingluvies'

Six-year old Lori Anne Madison during Wednesday's competition at the National Spelling Bee.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

The youngest contestant ever in the National Spelling Bee, 6-year-old Lori Anne Madison of Woodbridge, Va., was foiled by a word most of us have probably never heard of before.

Ingluvies.

Definition: "The crop, or craw, of birds."

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7:11am

Thu May 31, 2012
The Two-Way

LIVE: SpaceX Capsule Heads Home

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 1:03 pm

The Dragon capsule has successfully detached from the International Space Station and is headed toward a splashdown in the Pacific that should happen around 11:45 a.m. ET.

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6:59am

Thu May 31, 2012
The Two-Way

Bloomberg Aims To Take Gulp Out Of Sugary Drinks With Ban On Big Ones

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 8:04 am

Bloomberg's got his sights on these.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Having gone after smoking and artificial trans fats, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg now has his eye on big sugary drinks.

As NY1 reports, the mayor:

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3:54pm

Wed May 30, 2012
The Two-Way

Banned In Idaho, 'Five Wives Vodka' Says It Meant No Offense

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 5:47 pm

Bottles of Ogden's Own Distillery Five Wives Vodka at a state liquor store in Salt Lake City.
Brian Skoloff AP

They're "five wives who just like to get together and have a cocktail."

They're not meant to be a direct reference to polygamy and those kittens they're holding in their laps are ... just part of a photograph that's reflective of the 1890s to early 1900s.

For all anyone knows, they might be lesbians.

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2:47pm

Wed May 30, 2012
The Two-Way

Pakistani Court Did Not Connect Doctor's Conviction To Bin Laden Hunt

The Pakistani doctor who American officials say was recruited by the CIA to help in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and has since been sentenced to 33 years in prison, was convicted of having ties to a banned militant group, not for alleged treason.

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12:58pm

Wed May 30, 2012
The Two-Way

'Bath Salts' Drug Suspected In Miami Face-Eating Attack

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 9:00 am

An undated booking mug made available by the Miami-Dade Police Dept., showing Rudy Eugene. He was shot and killed by Miami-Dade Police after he refused to stop eating another man's face.
AP
Note: As you may have guessed from the headline, there is disturbing content in this post. And scroll down for an update.

More is becoming known about one of the most horrific crimes we've heard about recently — the attack in Miami on Saturday during which a man was "biting off parts of another man's face."

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10:57am

Wed May 30, 2012
The Two-Way

'I Could No Longer Bear Witness To Such Barbaric Crimes,' Syrian Says

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 2:22 pm

Hazem Chehabi.
University of California Irvine Foundation

The man who has represented the interests of Syrians living in Southern California as honorary consul general there has resigned from the volunteer position because he "could no longer bear witness to such barbaric crimes" by the regime of President Bashar Assad.

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10:06am

Wed May 30, 2012
The Two-Way

White House Offers Regrets For President Referring To 'Polish Death Camp'

The gates of the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz, Poland. (1965 file photo.)
Keystone Getty Images

President Obama misspoke Tuesday when he referred to a "Polish death camp" and "we regret the misstatement," White House national security spokesman Tommy Vietor has told reporters.

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9:31am

Wed May 30, 2012
The Two-Way

Ex-Rutgers Student Offers First 'Clear Apology' For Spying On Roommate

Dharun Ravi in court on May 21.
Mel Evans AP

"I accept responsibility for and regret my thoughtless, insensitive, immature, stupid and childish choices" and apologize "to everyone affected by those choices." With those words, Dharun Ravi has offered what's being called his first "clear apology" for setting up a webcam to spy on his gay roommate in September 2010.

That spying shortly preceded roommate Tyler Clementi's suicide.

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8:32am

Wed May 30, 2012
The Two-Way

WikiLeaks' Assange Has Two Weeks To Appeal Extradition Decision

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 9:33 am

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange last December.
Geoff Caddick AFP/Getty Images

While Britain's Supreme Court today said that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can be extradited to Sweden to face accusations of sex assault, he was also given two weeks to appeal that ruling.

Assange's lawyer said that she needs that time to probe whether the court's decision was based in part on matters that weren't argued during the legal proceedings.

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8:07am

Wed May 30, 2012
The Two-Way

Turkey Expels All Syrian Diplomatic Staff, 'Most Significant' Such Move So Far

Turkey announced today that it is ordering all Syrian diplomats and their staffs out of the country, as it joins other nations in registering outrage about a massacre over the weekend that has been blamed on forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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7:37am

Wed May 30, 2012
The Two-Way

For The Record, Basically: It's Romney

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 12:05 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Tuesday in Las Vegas.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images
  • Ari Shapiro, reporting on 'Morning Edition'

There hadn't been any doubt about it for several weeks, but with his win Tuesday in the Texas primary Mitt Romney has "clinched the Republican presidential nomination," according to The Associated Press.

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7:10am

Wed May 30, 2012
The Two-Way

Liberia's Charles Taylor Sentenced To 50 Years For War Crimes

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor during his sentencing today in The Hague.
Toussaint Kluiters AFP/Getty Images

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for war crimes that the presiding judge on an international war crimes court says were of the "utmost gravity in terms of scale and brutality."

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3:34pm

Tue May 29, 2012
The Two-Way

A 'Macabre' Process: Nominating Terrorists To Nation's 'Kill List'

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 8:45 pm

President Obama and John Brennan, his top counterterrorism adviser, in the Oval Office on Jan. 4, 2010. Brennan is a key voice about who gets put on the "kill list."
Pete Souza White House

One of the day's most-discussed stories has to be The New York Times' report headlined "Secret 'Kill List' Proves A Test Of Obama's Principles And Will."

It's a long, detailed look at how the president has "placed himself at the helm of a top secret 'nominations' process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical."

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1:54pm

Tue May 29, 2012
The Two-Way

No Way She'll Run For Senate In 2016, Michelle Obama Says

First lady Michelle Obama.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

The New York Times' Frank Bruni floated the idea, saying he'd heard "a vague murmuring" about Michelle Obama running for the Senate from Illinois in 2016.

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12:31pm

Tue May 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Wrigley The Goat Aims At Cubs' Curse; Xiao Sa The Dog Races Across China

Wrigley, the goat that is.
Facebook.com/CrackTheCurse

If a goat walks about 2,000 miles from Arizona to Chicago can that "reverse the curse" that has plagued the Cubs for nearly 67 years?

Odd as that question sounds, it's about to be put to the test.

Five Cubs fans and a goat have just finished a three-month walk from Mesa, Ariz., to the Windy City and are due at Wrigley Field this afternoon when the Cubs host the San Diego Padres.

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10:56am

Tue May 29, 2012
The Two-Way

'Flame' Malware Said To Be Targeting Iran: Huge Deal Or Huge Hype?

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 3:44 pm

An undated screen grab, released by the Kaspersky Lab, showing some of the programming behind Flame.
AFP/Getty Images

Word from the antivirus experts at Kaspersky Lab that "we've found what might be the most sophisticated cyber weapon yet unleashed," and that this Flame spyware is targeting Iran and some places in the Middle East, is getting lots of attention this morning:

-- "Massive Cyber-Attack Discovered, Researchers Say." (BBC News)

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