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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1:01pm

Tue February 7, 2012
The Two-Way

California's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Is Unconstitutional, Court Says

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 6:26 pm

At the top: Proposition 8's supporters (who oppose same-sex marriage). Below: Proposition 8's opponents. Outside the court today in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today in a much-anticipated decision from the nation's most populous state. The judges upheld a lower court's ruling.

As you'd expect, the ruling has drawn praise from those who support same-sex marriage and condemnation from those who oppose it. Both sides acknowledge that the decision isn't the last word on the subject — an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is expected.

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12:45pm

Tue February 7, 2012
The Two-Way

Ticker-Tape Sure Sounds Better Than 'Recycled Unprinted Newspaper' Parade

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 1:59 pm

As the paper falls, New York Giants fans cheer during today's parade in Manhattan.
John Minchillo AP

Ah, the ticker-tape parade.

A celebration of heroes. A welcome home for champions. An outpouring of joy.

And since the late '60s, a ticker-tapeless affair.

As the NFL champion New York Giants parade Broadway's Canyon of Heroes today in the 200th-or-so "ticker-tape parade," let's take a moment to consider just what is floating down from buildings above.

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11:25am

Tue February 7, 2012
The Two-Way

'Year Of The Dragon' Means It's 'Year Of The Baby' Too

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 10:19 am

Yu Qiuyan (right) held her newborn baby girl Li Muhua, as father Li Wanhong (left) and a relative stood by in Beijing on January 26.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

There's been more than enough grim news this morning. How about something lighter?

The Los Angeles Times catches up with the every-12-years story that since it's the "Year of the Dragon" in the zodiac cycle that means "in Chinese, Vietnamese and other Asian communities across the world" this is thought to be an especially fortunate time to have a baby.

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11:09am

Tue February 7, 2012
The Two-Way

Komen Official At Center Of Planned Parenthood Controversy Resigns

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 11:31 am

The Susan G. Komen Foundation just confirmed to NPR.org's Scott Hensley that Karen Handel has resigned from her post as the organization's senior vice president of public policy.

Scott will be posting about the news over at Shots.

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9:40am

Tue February 7, 2012

9:25am

Tue February 7, 2012
The Two-Way

Gulf Arab Nations Recall Ambassadors From Syria, Expel Syrian Diplomats

"Gulf Arab countries announced on Tuesday they were recalling their ambassadors from Damascus and expelling Syrian envoys in response to worsening violence in Syria," Reuters says.

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8:55am

Tue February 7, 2012
The Two-Way

Before Dying In Inferno, Little Boys Were Struck

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 8:57 am

Toys and flowers have been left outside the Puyallup, Wash., home of Chuck and Judy Cox, the grandparents of Charlie and Braden Powell.
Ted S. Warren AP

Horrific details keep emerging about the deaths in Graham, Wash., on Sunday of Braden and Charlie Powell.

Among the disturbing news: Authorities now say it appears that before the boys died in a fire ignited by their father, Josh Powell, he struck his sons with a hatchet.

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8:00am

Tue February 7, 2012
The Two-Way

As L.A. Probes Sex Abuse Charges, Staff Replaced At Elementary School

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 6:26 pm

Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles.
Krista Kennell AFP/Getty Images

"In a dramatic move to quell parents' fears, Los Angeles school officials said they will temporarily replace the entire staff of an elementary school south of downtown Los Angeles, where two teachers have been accused of lewd acts against students," the Los Angeles Times writes.

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7:30am

Tue February 7, 2012
The Two-Way

As Gunfire Echoes Inside Syria, A Cry For Help From A City Under Attack

With heavy machine gun fire in the background as he spoke from the Baba Amr section of Homs, Syrian citizen journalist and blogger Omar Shakir told Morning Edition co-host Renee Montagne earlier today that "we are asking for [an] SOS" and help from the International Red Cross to stop what he said has been the deadly shelling of his city by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad.

"There is no one with us," Shakir said.

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3:20pm

Mon February 6, 2012
The Two-Way

First Barbie, Now Bart Simpson Is Banned In Iran

Homer, left, and Bart Simpson: too dangerous for Iran.
Claire Greenway Getty Images

As most of the headlines we're seeing say: "Aww, man!"

A newspaper in Iran says the authorities there have banned dolls of characters from The Simpsons because they supposedly promote Western culture.

So that means Homer, Marge, Lisa, Maggie and, of course, Bart, join Barbie on the list of toys deemed to be too hot for Iranian children to handle.

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1:55pm

Mon February 6, 2012
The Two-Way

'Prop 8' Ruling Expected Tuesday; California Measure Banned Gay Marriage

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals plans to release its ruling on the constitutionality of Calfornia's Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the state, at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday (10 a.m. in California), the court just announced.

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1:15pm

Mon February 6, 2012
The Two-Way

'What If?' Moments Stand Out In Story Of Father Who Killed Himself And Sons

Investigators work around the smoldering remains of the house near Graham, Wash., on Sunday (Feb. 5, 2012).
John Froschauer AP

"I'm sorry, goodbye," Josh Powell wrote in an email to his attorney just before he apparently ignited an explosive fire Sunday that took not just his life but those of his 5- and 7-year-old sons, authorities say.

The tragic events at Powell's home in Graham, Wash., came nearly three years after the disappearance of Powell's wife Susan and the emergence of Powell as the only "person of interest" in the case. Throughout, he maintained his innocence.

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11:55am

Mon February 6, 2012
The Two-Way

Obama Signs Order Extending Sanctions To Property Of Iranian Government

President Obama has signed an executive order blocking the movement of "all property and interests in property of the government of Iran, including the Central Bank of Iran," if the assets are in the U.S. or are controlled by an American or U.S. entity at foreign branches of U.S. institutions.

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11:05am

Mon February 6, 2012
The Two-Way

M.I.A.'s Flip Of The Finger: Big Deal Or Not?

M.I.A.'s now famous finger during halftime of the Super Bowl.
Christopher Polk Getty Images
(Note: If seeing someone "flip the bird" greatly offends you, this might not be the post for you.)

If it's the morning after a Super Bowl then that must mean everybody's talking not just about the game but about the ads and the halftime show as well.

The game? OK, but not the greatest. (If you haven't heard, the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots 21-17.)

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9:55am

Mon February 6, 2012

9:30am

Mon February 6, 2012
The Two-Way

Release Americans 'Immediately,' Ambassador Rice Tells Egypt

Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 9:31 am

Saying that "these Americans have done absolutely nothing wrong," the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations this morning called on Egypt to immediately allow 19 U.S. citizens to leave that country and to drop plans to accuse them of illegally funding groups that oppose Egypt's ruling military regime.

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8:45am

Mon February 6, 2012
The Two-Way

Poll Gives Obama 'Clear Edge' Over Romney

Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 5:14 pm

President Obama has his first "clear edge" over Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney in polling done for The Washington Post and ABC News:

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8:10am

Mon February 6, 2012
The Two-Way

Eli Has Two Rings, Peyton Has One; Time For Little 'Bro To Get More Respect?

Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 8:14 am

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the NFL Super Bowl XLVI game against the New England Patriots, Sunday (Feb. 5, 2012).
Charlie Riedel AP
  • NPR's Mike Pesca reports on the Super Bowl

After leading his New York Giants to a 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots last night, quarterback Eli Manning is now 2-0 in Super Bowl games.

That puts him ahead of older brother Peyton, who has taken the Indianapolis Colts to two Super Bowls and won one.

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7:30am

Mon February 6, 2012
The Two-Way

Syrian Regime Has 'License To Kill' After Diplomatic Impasse, Activists Say

Activists say this image, taken from a video uploaded to YouTube, shows Syrians outside a field hospital in Homs earlier today. Blood stains the sidewalk. Because few foreign journalists are inside Syria, images such as this cannot be independently verified.
AFP/Getty Images
  • Steve Inskeep talks with Kelly McEvers about the violence in Homs

People in Homs, Syria, say government forces are shelling the city and that at least 15 to 20 people have died so far today. The renewed attacks follow an even deadlier weekend barrage — human rights groups say government forces killed about 200 people in Homs on Saturday, making it perhaps the bloodiest day since opposition protests began last spring.

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3:20pm

Fri February 3, 2012
The Two-Way

Winklevoss Twins May Reap $300 Million From Facebook IPO

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 3:23 pm

Tyler (left) and Cameron Winklevoss.
Thomas Samson AFP/Getty Images

Before we finish the week, we have to pass on at least one more story related to Facebook's plan to raise about $5 billion with its first sale of shares to the public.

It seems that Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss — the "Winklevii" twins — could get up to $300 million worth of Facebook shares when the deal goes through.

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1:40pm

Fri February 3, 2012
The Two-Way

'Anonymous' Follows Hacking Of FBI-Scotland Yard Phone Call With Attacks

The Greek Ministry of Justice website after it was hacked earlier today.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

A day that began with the Anonymous hackers posting a nearly 17-minute recording of a conference call between officials of the FBI and Scotland Yard has been followed with some tweeted taunting of law enforcement and the news media, and the hacking of websites for the Greek Ministry of Justice, Boston Police Department and lawyers who defended a U.S. Marine at the center of the killing of 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians.

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11:35am

Fri February 3, 2012
The Two-Way

Komen Foundation Now Says It Will Continue Grants To Planned Parenthood

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 2:14 pm

The Susan G. Komen Foundation just announced it will be providing grants to Planned Parenthood for that organization to use in basic screening and educating women about breast cancer.

"We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities."

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11:03am

Fri February 3, 2012
The Two-Way

Reports: Two American Women Freed In Egypt

NBC News, al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya are reporting that police in Egypt say two American women and an Egyptian tour guide have been released by gunmen who kidnapped them earlier today near the Red Sea

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10:20am

Fri February 3, 2012
The Two-Way

Baseball's Josh Hamilton Reportedly Suffers Relapse; Seen Drinking At Bar

Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers during last year's World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Ezra Shaw Getty Images

Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers, one of baseball's biggest stars and someone who has been battling addiction demons for the last decade, was spotted drinking alcohol at a Dallas bar on Monday, the local Morning News has reported.

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9:35am

Fri February 3, 2012

8:32am

Fri February 3, 2012
The Two-Way

Unemployment Rate Edges Down To 8.3 Percent

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 9:41 am

The nation's unemployment rate dipped to 8.3 percent in January from 8.5 percent the month before as private employers added 257,000 jobs to their payrolls, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported. Overall, after a small drop at government agencies, employment grew by 243,000.

We'll add more from the report momentarily.

Update at 9:40 a.m. ET. White House, Republican Reactions:

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8:20am

Fri February 3, 2012
The Two-Way

Egypt Roiling: Deaths At Protests; Two Americans Reportedly Kidnapped

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 8:23 am

In Cairo earlier today, a masked Egyptian protester prepared to throw back a tear gas canister fired by security forces.
Mahmud Hams AFP/Getty Images

The news from Egypt is grim again today:

-- "At least two people have been shot and killed in the Egyptian city of Suez, as police used live rounds to hold back crowds during a protest over security forces' failure to prevent a deadly football riot," al-Jazeera reports. And it adds that "one person was killed in Cairo just feet away from the Interior Ministry, as police in Cairo set off salvos of tear gas and fired birdshot."

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7:55am

Fri February 3, 2012
The Two-Way

Freddie Mac's Regulator 'Completely Puzzled' By Allegations Of Conflict

Federal Housing Finance Agency Acting Director Edward DeMarco during testimony before Congress in December.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images
  • Steve Inskeep speaks with Edward DeMarco

Saying he is "completely puzzled by the notion that there was something immoral that went on here," the man at the top of the agency that regulates Freddie Mac has explained why he believes the taxpayer-owned mortgage company did nothing wrong when one of its arms, as NPR and ProPublica have reported, "placed multibillion-dollar bets against American homeowners being able to refinance to cheaper mortgages."

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7:15am

Fri February 3, 2012
The Two-Way

Iran Defiant Amid Talk Of Israeli Attack On Its Nuclear Sites

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in 2009.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

"We have our own threats to impose at the right time" and "I have no fear of saying that we will back and help any nation or group that wants to confront and fight against the Zionist regime (Israel)," Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said today after reports surfaced that Israel could soon mount air strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities.

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12:38pm

Thu February 2, 2012
The Two-Way

Is That CEO Being Honest? Tone Of Voice May Tell A Lot

  • Steve Inskeep talks with Shankar Vedantam

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