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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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

11:38am

Thu February 2, 2012
The Two-Way

Trump's Announcement Set For Midafternoon: Gingrich? Romney?

Donald Trump on April 16, 2011, in Boca Raton, Fla.
John W. Adkisson Getty Images

As the never-shy Donald Trump prepares for what he says will be "a major announcement ... pertaining to the presidential race" at 3:30 p.m. ET in Las Vegas, there's word from CNN that its sources say the Donald will endorse Mitt Romney's bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

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6:00pm

Mon January 30, 2012
The Two-Way

?yllaeR 'Alyssa Talks Backwards' seoG lariV

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 6:18 pm

Alyssa the backwards talker.
YouTube

"Talent, odd it is," Yoda might say.

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4:55pm

Mon January 30, 2012
The Two-Way

Japanese Auto Parts Companies To Pay $548M In Fines For Price-Fixing

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 5:21 pm

One of the biggest antitrust investigations in the nation's history has led to fines of $470 million against one Japanese auto parts manufacturer and $78 million against another, the U.S. Justice Department announced today.

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1:25pm

Mon January 30, 2012
The Two-Way

Secretary Clinton Heading To U.N. For Session Condemning Syrian Regime

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 2:56 pm

As reports come in about an escalation in fighting around Damascus and the deploying of army troops in the city's suburbs, the State Department just announced that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will go to the United Nations on Tuesday to join other nations in condemning the Assad regime's use of violence.

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5:30pm

Fri January 27, 2012
The Two-Way

'Welcome Home Heroes' Parade For Iraq Vets Set For Saturday In St. Louis

Veterans of the war in Iraq will be honored Saturday morning in St. Louis in what organizers say is the first major welcome home parade in the nation.

Local KSDK-TV reports that "75 floats, two marching bands and the Budweiser Clydesdales" will be involved.

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4:30pm

Fri January 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Multiple Views Add Perspective To Colten Moore's Extreme Crash At X Games

Colten Moore lost his hold on his snowmobile in mid-air.
X Games

3:45pm

Fri January 27, 2012
The Two-Way

In Egypt: Charges, Trial Could Be Next, Says Sam LaHood

While he says it is "patently false" for anyone to say that the International Republican Institute offices he directs are in any way behind the anti-government protests in Egypt, American Sam LaHood told All Things Considered host Melissa Block this afternoon that he's been warned by the organization's attorney that he and others may soon be charged and brought to trial by authorities there.

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3:15pm

Fri January 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Facebook's IPO Filing Could Come Next Week, 'Wall Street Journal' Says

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 3:17 pm

We've been hearing it would happen for quite a while, so keep that in mind when you read this scoop. The Wall Street Journal says:

"Facebook Inc. could file papers for an initial public offering as early as next week and is currently looking at a deal that would value the social network between $75 billion to $100 billion, said people familiar with the matter."

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2:50pm

Fri January 27, 2012
The Two-Way

'Barefoot Bandit' Gets 6 1/2 Years On Federal Charges

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 2:55 pm

Colton Harris-Moore, the "Barefoot Bandit."
Ted S. Warren AP

Colton Harris-Moore, who gained international fame for being the so-called Barefoot Bandit, was just sentenced by a federal judge to 6 1/2 years in prison.

But since the time is to be served while he finishes out the 7 years in prison that he was sentenced to by a state court last December, it looks like Harris-Moore won't actually be spending any additional time behind bars.

The Associated Press reminds us that in 2010:

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1:55pm

Fri January 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Why Could Romney's Father Run For President If He Was Born In Mexico?

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 2:29 pm

George Romney, center, with his wife, Lenore, and teenage son Mitt, in 1962.
AP

One of the more dramatic moments in Thursday night's Republican presidential debate was when Mitt Romney said it was "repulsive" of Newt Gingrich to suggest that Romney was the most "anti-immigrant" candidate among the GOP contenders.

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11:25am

Fri January 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Spokesman Rejects Report That Ron Paul 'Signed Off' On Racist Newsletters

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 1:11 pm

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, during Thursday night's Republican presidential debate in Jacksonville, Fla.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

For more than a decade, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has had to deal with questions about why a newsletter he published in the 1980s and '90s included some racist writings. He's said more than once that, while he takes responsibility for what was in the newsletters, he didn't pay enough attention to what was printed, wasn't aware of the racist messages at the time and rejects them.

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5:10pm

Thu January 26, 2012
The Two-Way

McCain Says History Will Judge Obama Harshly On Policy Toward Iran

Sen. John McCain, right, as he endorsed Mitt Romney's bid for the presidency earlier this month.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

President Obama has made the case that his administration spoke out forcefully when Iran's government used deadly force to suppress protests in the spring of 2009.

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3:45pm

Thu January 26, 2012
The Two-Way

Americans Barred From Leaving Egypt Include Secretary LaHood's Son

Egyptian authorities' efforts to prevent organizations that promote democracy from freely working inside their country have now ensnared the son of a U.S. cabinet secretary.

Sam LaHood, the son of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and at least five other Americans have been barred from leaving Egypt.

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2:05pm

Thu January 26, 2012
The Two-Way

At Penn State: Memorial Service Under Way For Joe Paterno

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 7:32 pm

Sue Paterno, widow of Joe Paterno, consoles one of her grandsons following the memorial service.
Patrick Smith Getty Images

An estimated 10,000 people are a memorial service for former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, on the school's campus in the Bryce Jordan Center this afternoon.

The Big Ten Digital Network is among several outlets that will be webcasting the service.

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4:55pm

Wed January 25, 2012
The Two-Way

Treasury Secretary Geithner Doesn't Expect To Be Part Of A Second Term

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 5:26 pm

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Bloomberg Television today that he's "pretty confident" he won't be asked to stay in his job if President Obama is re-elected for a second term.

"He's not going to ask me to stay on, I'm pretty confident," Geithner said. "I'm confident he'll be president. But I'm also confident he's going to have the privilege of having another secretary of the treasury."

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4:05pm

Wed January 25, 2012
The Two-Way

Alaska Airlines To Stop Handing Out Prayer Cards

An Alaska Airlines jet. On that airline, prayer cards are no longer going to be part of the flying experience.
Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

"After more than 30 years of handing prayer cards to customers aboard its planes, Alaska Airlines has decided the practice is outdated and will stop doing it on Feb. 1," The Seattle Times reports.

A few things struck us about this news.

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1:20pm

Wed January 25, 2012
The Two-Way

'Blue Marble 2012': NASA's 'Most Amazing' High Def Image Of Earth So Far

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 5:41 pm

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"Blue Marble 2012." Want to see a really big version of this photo? Click here.
NASA

The "Blue Marble" image of Earth snapped by the crew of Apollo 17 in 1972 is one of the most famous photos ever taken. When it appeared, we all suddenly saw the world in a much different way.

In the years since, NASA has added other "Blue Marble" photos to its collection, and has used technology to enhance and sharpen the images.

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12:45pm

Wed January 25, 2012
The Two-Way

Fed: Economy Is 'Expanding Moderately,' But No Change In Rates

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 3:24 pm

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke during his news conference this afternoon.
Win McNamee Getty Images

The economy "has been expanding moderately, notwithstanding some slowing in global growth" in recent weeks, the Federal Reserve just reported.

In a statement timed for release at the end of their most recent meetings, Fed policymakers also said they expect economic growth in coming quarters "to be modest," that the jobless rate will "decline only gradually" and that inflation will run "at ... or below" levels the central bank wants to see.

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12:03pm

Wed January 25, 2012
The Two-Way

Europe Lacks Structures To Make Euro Work Properly, Merkel Says

Europe does not now have the "political structures" to make the euro work properly, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told world leaders today.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, The Associated Press reports, "she said the weaknesses 'arose over years — so they can't be overcome at one fell swoop.' "

But, Merkel added, "we are determined to do this."

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