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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10:43am

Tue May 22, 2012
The Two-Way

Existing Home Sales And Prices Both Rose In April

As sales of existing homes rose 3.4 percent in April from March, prices of those previously owned houses, townhouses, condominiums and co-ops also rose, the National Association of Realtors said this morning.

"The recovery appears to be extending to home prices," NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says in a report issued earlier.

Sales were 10 percent above the level of April 2011, NAR adds. Last month's pace: a 4.62 million annual rate.

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9:44am

Tue May 22, 2012
The Two-Way

Europe's Crisis Threatens To Kill Global Economic Recovery, Experts Warn

Unless leaders in Europe act quickly, the financial crisis there could drag down the global economy and kill what appears to be a "fragile, extremely uneven" recovery, the multi-national Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned today.

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9:05am

Tue May 22, 2012
The Two-Way

U.S. Ambassador To Afghanistan To Step Down, Reports Say

Ryan Crocker, U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, last month in Kabul.
Johannes Eisele AFP/Getty Images

Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, "is expected to step down soon from his post," sources familiar with the matter tell Reuters and a few other news outlets.

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8:34am

Tue May 22, 2012
The Two-Way

Let's Catch Two: Same Fan Grabs Back-To-Back Home Run Balls

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 6:02 pm

Caleb Lloyd, with the ball in his left hand, celebrates after catching the first of the back-to-back home runs that came his way Monday night in Cincinnati.
MLB.com
  • Caleb Lloyd speaking to NPR

"That's just crazy," Cincinnati Reds fan Caleb Lloyd said Monday night after he ended up snagging two home runs balls — from consecutive batters — during the Reds' 4-1 win over the visiting Atlanta Braves.

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7:48am

Tue May 22, 2012
The Two-Way

Word Of Deal To Inspect Iran's Nuclear Program Raises Hopes For Broader Talks

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 5:50 pm

International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Yukiya Amano earlier today in Vienna, after his return from talks in Tehran.
Dieter Nagl AFP/Getty Images

A deal has been agreed to that will facilitate international monitors' effort to investigate whether Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency told reporters in Vienna earlier today.

The Financial Times puts the news this way:

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3:54pm

Mon May 21, 2012
It's All Politics

Booker, Bain, Romney & Obama: Ad Wars Go Full Circle And Then Some

Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, N.J.
Bennett Raglin Getty Images for Macy's

This is a classic chain of events that never seems to go out of style in an election year.

First one of the presidential campaigns put out videos that it says are informational but critics say are attack ads. This time, it's President Obama's team and the target is Republican rival Mitt Romney. The point of the spots, such as this one, is to make the case that when Romney ran Bain Capital, some of the companies the investment firm took over ended up shedding jobs rather than creating them.

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2:25pm

Mon May 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Someone Couldn't Count To 10, So British Olympian Can't Claim Personal Best

Heptathlon athlete Jessica Ennis in March at the official British team kit launch for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Warren Little Getty Images for adidas

When she hit the tape Sunday at the Powerade Great City Games in Manchester, England, Britain's Jessica Ennis hadn't only beaten Olympic heptathlon champion Dawn Harper.

Ennis had also run a personal best 12.75 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles — 0.04 of a second faster than she'd ever run that race.

It was her personal best, that is, until 2004 Olympic heptathlon bronze medalist Kelly Sotherton, also of the U.K., tweeted this question:

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12:49pm

Mon May 21, 2012
The Two-Way

30 Days In Jail, Three Years Probation In Rutgers Webcam Case

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 2:36 pm

Dharun Ravi in a Brunswick, N.J., court today during his sentencing.
Mel Evans AP

After emotional appeals from parents on both sides of the case, Dharun Ravi was this afternoon sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years of probation for bias intimidation and invasion of privacy when he used a webcam to spy on his gay roommate at Rutgers University in September 2010.

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11:37am

Mon May 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Supreme Court Lets Stand Student's $675,000 Penalty For Downloading

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 12:16 pm

Without commenting on the merits of the case, the Supreme Court this morning let stand a $675,000 jury verdict against a 25-year-old Boston University student who downloaded 30 songs nearly a decade ago and then shared them with others on a peer-to-peer network.

The court denied Joel Tenenbaum's "write of certiorari," which means his appeal of a lower court's ruling and the judgment were turned down.

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10:25am

Mon May 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Four Tons Of Marijuana Found Floating Off California Coast

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 1:33 pm

It would take a lot of marijuana plants such as these to make four tons.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Who dumped the dope?

That's the question of the day along the coast of Southern California as authorities try to figure out how four tons of marijuana — more than 150 bales — got into the Pacific Ocean near Orange County's Dana Point Harbor. They were found this weekend about 15 miles out to sea.

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10:04am

Mon May 21, 2012
The Two-Way

On Its Second Day, Facebook Stock Drops

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 9:54 am

After its much-ballyhooed initial public offering on Friday ended with the stock's price just about where it started, Facebook ended sharply lower today.

Just after the start of trading, the social media giant's shares were trading around $33, down 13 percent about $5 from Friday's close. At close, it ended 11 percent lower at $34.03.

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9:10am

Mon May 21, 2012

8:54am

Mon May 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Pakistan Threatens To Overshadow NATO Summit

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 1:23 pm

  • Scott Horsley reporting for 'Morning Edition'

As President Obama and other NATO leaders wrap up a two-day summit today in Chicago, the ongoing dispute with Pakistan over reopening supply routes from that country into Afghanistan threatens to "put a crimp in the Obama administration's efforts to lay out a clear strategy for winding down the war in Afghanistan," NPR's Jackie Northam tells our Newscast desk.

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7:45am

Mon May 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Dozens Killed By Suicide Bomber In Yemen

It's been another deadly day in Yemen:

According to the BBC: "At least 63 people have been killed in a suicide bomb attack during a rehearsal for a military parade in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, officials say. The assailant, who was reportedly wearing an army uniform, blew himself up among a group of soldiers at al-Sabin Square, near the presidential palace."

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7:31am

Mon May 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Eclipse Of The Sun: Did You Fall Into The Ring Of Fire's Path?

This combination picture shows the annular solar eclipse as viewed from Tokyo earlier today.
Kazuhiro Nogi AFP/Getty Images

"That's got to be the prettiest thing I've ever seen," Brent Veltri of Salida, Colo., told The Associated Press, when asked about the eclipse of the sun that was visible across the western U.S. on Sunday afternoon and in much of Asia earlier today.

The celestial show attracted quite a crowd. According to the AP:

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2:31pm

Fri May 18, 2012
The Two-Way

Insurers Paid $479 Million In Claims For Dog Bites Last Year

Matthew Weins of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Los Angeles, works with Daisy on a demonstration aimed at showing that even small dogs can jump high to bite.
Damian Dovarganes AP

With National Dog Bite Prevention Week set to start Saturday, the Insurance Information Institute wants Americans to know that:

-- Insurers paid $479 million in home owner insurance claims involving dog bites last year, up 16.1 percent from the year before.

-- The number of such claims rose 3.3 percent, to 16,292.

-- The average cost per claim grew by 12.3 percent from the year before, to $29,296.

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10:35am

Fri May 18, 2012
The Two-Way

Is It Fair That A Quarterback Set The Record For Paper Airplane Tossing?

Joe Ayoob (in red shirt) winding up for the record-breaking throw. Plane designer John Collins is behind him.
ThePaperAirplaneGuy

9:39am

Fri May 18, 2012
The Two-Way

Updated: French President Sticks By Quicker Troop Withdrawal Schedule

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 1:36 pm

President Barack Obama meets with French President Francois Hollande on Friday in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Update at 1:17 p.m. ET. Support Afghanistan In 'Different Way':

During their meeting in the White House, President Francois Hollande, the new socialist leader of France, said he told President Obama that he was committed to withdrawing French troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year.

But, the AP reports, Hollande said he was committed to supporting Afghanistan in a "different way."

This was Obama's first meeting with Hollande.

The two leaders also said they wanted Greece to remain a part the European monetary union.

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9:33am

Fri May 18, 2012
The Two-Way

French Plan To Pull Troops From Afghanistan Starts Busy Diplomatic Days

Before President Obama welcomes world leaders to Camp David and Chicago, new French President Francoise Hollande is expected to say he wants his nation's 3,300 troops home from Afghanistan by year's end. That could upset other NATO nations.

8:34am

Fri May 18, 2012
The Two-Way

5 Takeaways From Trove Of Evidence Related To Trayvon Martin's Death

A photograph of George Zimmerman's head taken after the Feb. 26 shooting death of Trayvon Martin. It shows blood from injuries he Zimmerman says he received during their encounter.
Florida State Attorney's Office AFP/Getty Images
  • NPR's Greg Allen reporting on 'Morning Edition'

Among the key things to know about what's in the hundreds of pages of evidence and other materials related to the Feb. 26 shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, which were released Thursday:

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7:33am

Fri May 18, 2012
The Two-Way

Like It Or Not, It's Facebook's Day On Wall Street

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 4:03 pm

Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images
  • Steve Henn talks with Steve Inskeep on 'Morning Edition'

Facebook's much-publicized first sale of stock to the public started with a bang late this morning as the price per share jumped. But though the volume of shares sold was a record for an initial public offering, the stock's price gave up its gains as the day continued.

By the end of trading in the U.S., Facebook had settled right at the $38 initial offering price that had been set before shares went on sale.

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3:07pm

Thu May 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Diplomat: U.S. Has Military Option Ready, If Needed, To Deal With Iran

Originally published on Sun May 20, 2012 8:43 am

President Obama has said "I don't bluff," when it comes to opposing any effort by Iran to develop nuclear weapons (which that nation says it is not trying to do). And, he told The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg in March, "all options are on the table."

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12:16pm

Thu May 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Hot Pants Indeed: Rocks In Pocket Set Woman's Shorts On Fire

The look so harmless.
Win McNamee Getty Images

A 43-year-old woman in San Clemente, Calif., suffered second- and third-degree burns on her right leg and right arm Saturday after rocks in a pocket set her shorts on fire, The Orange County Register says.

Orange County Fire Authority officials tell the newspaper that the woman collected the rocks on a nearby beach, returned home and "was standing in her kitchen ... when the pocket of her cargo shorts caught fire."

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11:20am

Thu May 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Good News, Bad News: Japanese Economy Surges, But Likely Will Slow

In a classic example of "on the one hand, on the other hand" economic analysis, the word that Japan's economy grew at a strong 4.1 percent annual rate in the first quarter is being followed by cautionary talk of slower growth for the world's third-largest economy in coming quarters.

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9:56am

Thu May 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Romney's $40.1 Million Haul In April Nearly Matches Obama's

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 10:24 am

Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney at a campaign event on Wednesday in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Edward Linsmier Getty Images

The campaign for GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney and the Republican Party together raised $40.1 million in April, just shy of the $43.6 million that President Obama and the Democratic Party took in.

This is the first monthly report since Romney effectively wrapped up the Republican presidential nomination. And because money is one way to keep score during a presidential campaign, the news is getting a great deal of attention from the political media this morning.

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8:47am

Thu May 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Jobless Claims Held Steady Last Week; Back To 4-Year Low

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 10:25 am

There were 370,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance filed last week, the same number as during the week before, according to the Employment and Training Administration.

So, after a spike to a range around 390,000 per week in April, claims have slowed again to a pace that's roughly the lowest since the spring of 2008.

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8:36am

Thu May 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Activist Chen May Soon Have Passport, Be Able To Leave China

Chen Guangcheng just before he left the U.S. embassy in Beijing, on May 2.
U.S. Embassy Beijing Getty Images

Legal activist Chen Guangcheng has reportedly finished submitting applications to Chinese authorities and has been told that he and his immediate family could be issued passports within the next two weeks.

That would then allow him to come to the United States.

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7:56am

Thu May 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Minorities Are Now Majority Of U.S. Births, Census Says

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 9:12 am

"For the first time, racial and ethnic minorities make up more than half the children born in the U.S," The Associated Press writes.

As USA Today adds, that news from the Census Bureau is "a sign of how swiftly the USA is becoming a nation of younger minorities and older whites."

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7:03am

Thu May 17, 2012
The Two-Way

As Feared, JPMorgan's Losses Are Growing; Reportedly At $3 Billion

Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

The word on Monday that JPMorgan Chase's losses from risky trades that went wrong could climb from $2 billion to perhaps as high as $4 billion in coming quarters is being bolstered this morning.

There's this report from The New York Times' Deal Book blog:

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2:29pm

Wed May 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Chipping In To Your Office Lottery Pool? Read This First

Tim Boyle Getty Images

Here's yet another reminder about why it's important to have somebody write down the rules and keep accurate records if you're pooling money at the office to buy lottery tickets.

After all, for every heart-warming story about "three amigos" who seem to have gotten along swimmingly and deserved the money they won, there are tales such as this:

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