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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8:55am

Wed November 2, 2011

8:35am

Wed November 2, 2011
The Two-Way

French Newspaper Firebombed After Satire Involving Prophet Muhammad

Originally published on Wed November 2, 2011 8:36 am

Charlie Hebdo's publisher, known only as Charb, talked to journalists today (Nov. 2, 2011) in front of his publication's burned-out offices.

Alexander Klein AFP/Getty Images

The Paris offices of a French newsweekly that in its latest issue "invited" the Prophet Muhammad to be a guest editor and satirically wrote of what a "soft version" of Sharia law might be like, were burned early today.

According to The Associated Press:

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8:10am

Wed November 2, 2011

7:45am

Wed November 2, 2011
The Two-Way

Lawyer: One Of Cain's Accusers Wants Her Story Told

Republican presidential contender Herman Cain on Monday (Oct. 31, 2011) in Washington, D.C.

Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

The lawyer for one of two women who in the late 1990s accused Republican presidential contender Herman Cain of sexual harassment wants her side of the story to come out because she believes Cain has not been telling the truth about what happened, a lawyer who represents her said Tuesday on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360.

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7:19am

Wed November 2, 2011
The Two-Way

WikiLeaks' Julian Assange Loses Extradition Appeal

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as he arrived at London's High Court this morning (Nov. 2, 2011).

Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

British judges ruled this morning that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can be extradited from the U.K. to Sweden, where authorities want to question him about allegations from two women that he sexually assaulted them in August 2010.

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12:00pm

Tue November 1, 2011
The Two-Way

Bank Of America Dropping Plan For $5 Monthly Debit-Card Fee

Bank of America just confirmed that it is dropping a plan to charge many of its debit-card customers $5 a month if they use them to make purchases.

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11:00am

Tue November 1, 2011
The Two-Way

Secretary Clinton's Mother Has Died, Dorothy Howell Rodham Was 92

Dorothy Rodham (center) with her daughter Hillary and granddaughter Chelsea at a January 2008 campaign event in Iowa.

Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's mother, 92-year-old Dorothy Howell Rodham, has died.

The Clinton Foundation just sent this statement to the news media:

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10:43am

Tue November 1, 2011
The Two-Way

VIDEO: Jumbo Jet Makes Emergency 'Wheels Up' Landing In Warsaw

The early reports are that everyone's OK after LOT Airlines flight 16 from Newark, N.J., to Warsaw, Poland, had to land on its belly today because of problems with the landing gear. According to CNN, Polish TV says there were 230 people on board the Boeing 767.

Local TV cameras were rolling as the plane came in.

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10:14am

Tue November 1, 2011
The Two-Way

'Frustration Mounting' In New England States Still Without Power

As a million or two customers in towns and cities across much of New England begin another day without power since Saturday's "historic October snowstorm," frustration is growing, The Hartford Courant reports.

"The state's largest utility said Monday that it was stepping up its efforts to restore electricity to more than 700,000 customers still without power as of Monday evening," the Courant says.

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9:32am

Tue November 1, 2011
The Two-Way

Chinese Authorities Send Outspoken Artist Ai Weiwei A $2.4 Million Tax Bill

Originally published on Tue November 1, 2011 9:36 am

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in Beijing on June 23, 2011.

Peter Parks AFP/Getty Images

Artist Ai Weiwei, who earlier this year was jailed by Chinese authorities for nearly three months, said today that the government there has sent him a $2.4 million tax bill.

"His supporters," the BBC says, say the bill and accusations that he owes back taxes "are part of a plot to silence Mr. Ai, who is an outspoken critic of the government."

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8:29am

Tue November 1, 2011

8:09am

Tue November 1, 2011
The Two-Way

Stunned By Greek Plan For Bailout Referendum, Markets Drop

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou.

Yiannis Liakos AFP/Getty Images

"Markets plunged Tuesday on fears that Europe's plan to save the euro was already unraveling after the shock decision by Greek Prime Minister to call a referendum on the country's latest rescue," The Associated Press writes.

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7:48am

Tue November 1, 2011
The Two-Way

Hundreds Of Millions Missing From MF Global, 'New York Times' Reports

Originally published on Tue November 1, 2011 2:08 pm

Not only has MF Global had to file for bankruptcy protection, now there's this news about the securities firm run by former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D):

The New York Times reports that:

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7:25am

Tue November 1, 2011
The Two-Way

Herman Cain Now Recalls 'Settlement' With Accuser

Republican presidential contender Herman Cain during an appearance at the American Enterprise Institute on Monday.

Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain was consistent Monday in saying he has "never sexually harassed anyone." But some parts of his response to a Politico report about past allegations had shifted by day's end.

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6:35pm

Mon October 31, 2011
The Two-Way

Halloween Chicago-Style: 'Da Mayor And 'Da Zombies

Originally published on Mon October 31, 2011 6:44 pm

The mayor's message: Have a safe Halloween, zombies included.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office

Set aside your doubts about zombies and ignore the signs of Photoshopping (like that reflection in the window of a guy with a baseball cap).

Here's a photo/illustration that begs for some creative caption suggestions (and ChicagoNow.com has just such a contest going).

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10:52am

Mon October 31, 2011
The Two-Way

Cardinals Manager La Russa Retires

Originally published on Mon October 31, 2011 4:18 pm

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa celebrated with the World Series trophy Friday night in St Louis.

Charlie Riedle Pool-Getty Images

Tony La Russa, who just managed the St. Louis Cardinals to the World Series title, announced this morning that he's retiring after 33 seasons.

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10:32am

Mon October 31, 2011
The Two-Way

Trapped In A Jet For 7 Hours, 'We Were All Slowly Losing It'

Originally published on Mon October 31, 2011 2:07 pm

The snowy scene Sunday in Glastonbury, Conn.

Jessica Hill AP

The major problems after the weekend's surprising snowstorm in the Northeast relate to a couple of million customers who are without power.

But one of the other stories we can relate to is about the passengers who were stranded on the ground Saturday in jets that landed at Bradley International Airport near Hartford, Conn.

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8:42am

Mon October 31, 2011
The Two-Way

7 Billion People? Yes, Give Or Take 56 Million

Originally published on Mon October 31, 2011 8:44 am

Several babies born today have been deemed the symbolic 7 billionth person — including a little girl named Nargis in Lucknow, India. Here she is with her mother, Vinita.

Rajesh Kumar Singh AP

As NPR and just about every other news outlet report about the milestone that United Nations experts estimate the world passed today — a population of 7 billion people — there's this from the BBC:

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8:06am

Mon October 31, 2011
The Two-Way

No Treat: About Two Million Still Without Power In Northeast

Originally published on Mon October 31, 2011 2:05 pm

This tree split in two due to heavy snow on its branches in Belmont, Mass.

Michael Dwyer AP

That unusually early winter storm that struck the Northeast over the weekend, dumping up to 30 inches of wet heavy snow in some places, has left a couple million customers without electricity because snapped limbs and falling trees brought down power lines across New England.

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7:32am

Mon October 31, 2011
The Two-Way

Reporter: Herman Cain Story Based On Documentation, Dozens Of Sources

Originally published on Mon October 31, 2011 2:03 pm

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain at The National Press Club today (Oct. 31, 2011).

Win McNamee Getty Images

"I have never sexually harassed anyone," Republican presidential contender Herman Cain told Fox News Channel this morning. The former business executive said he was "falsely accused" of harassment "while I was at the National Restaurant Association" in the early 1990s.

Cain, appearing on Fox just after 11:20 a.m. ET, said that if the restaurant association, where he served as CEO from late-1996 to mid-1999, paid any accusers to settle such claims, "I wasn't even aware of it and I hope it wasn't for much."

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2:26am

Sat October 29, 2011
The Two-Way

Comeback Cards Win It All: St. Louis Takes World Series Title

The St. Louis Cardinals celebrate after defeating the Texas Rangers 6-2 to win the World Series in Game 7 at Busch Stadium in St Louis, Miss., on Friday.

Michael Heiman Getty Images

A World Series that saw plenty of drama, some history and a bit of the bizarre ended Friday night with the St. Louis Cardinals defeating the Texas Rangers by a score of 6-2 in the deciding Game 7.

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2:10pm

Fri October 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Live From New York: Statue Of Liberty Webcams Are On

The view from above at the Statue of Liberty, where webcams were turned on today.

EarthCam.com

On this 125th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty's dedication, webcams have been turned on to let everyone see views of:

-- The torch.

-- The crown and the ground below.

-- Ellis Island.

-- A streaming of the harbor from the torch.

-- And a streaming view of the statue from Brooklyn.

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11:14am

Fri October 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Find Your Spot Among World's 7 Billion And Meet The 'Most Typical Person'

National Geographic's composite sketch of the world's most typical person (left) and the real Mu Li.

CBS/National Geographic

Maybe you haven't heard yet, but the world's population is set to hit 7 billion people on Monday. At least that's what the United Nations Population Fund says.

Most news outlets are already covering the story or have plans to (Morning Edition has a four-part series scheduled for next week).

Two reports this week caught our attention.

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9:50am

Fri October 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Consumer Spending Rose In September, But At Expense Of Savings

There was a 0.6 percent increase in consumer spending in September vs. August, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. The increase was much larger than the 0.2 pecent gain in August from July.

But personal income grew only 0.1 percent last month — meaning that consumers dug into their savings in order to boost spending. According to the bureau: "Personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income was 3.6 percent in September, compared with 4.1 percent in August."

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9:35am

Fri October 28, 2011
The Two-Way

International Criminal Court Confirms 'Indirect' Talks With Gadhafi Son

Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, in Tripoli on Aug. 23, 2011.

Imed Lamloum AFP/Getty Images

Officials of the International Criminal Court are having "indirect" talks with Saif al-Islam Gadhafi about his possible surrender, the ICC's prosecutor told The Associated Press and other news outlets today.

Saif al-Islam, one of Moammar Gadhafi's sons, once was seen as the heir apparent to the former Libyan dictator.

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9:05am

Fri October 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Report: Prominent Obama Fundraisers Have Ties To Lobbyists

"Despite a pledge not to take money from lobbyists, President Obama has relied on prominent supporters who are active in the lobbying industry to raise millions of dollars for his re-election bid," The New York Times reports this morning.

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8:32am

Fri October 28, 2011
The Two-Way

British Princesses To Be Equal To Princes In Line Of Succession

April 29, 2011: Their Royal Highnesses Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge kiss on the balcony at Buckingham Palace after their wedding.

Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

"Sons and daughters of any future U.K. monarch will have equal right to the throne" under royalty succession reforms agreed to today by all 16 Commonwealth countries, the BBC reports.

And under the new rules, British kings and queens will no longer be banned from marrying Roman Catholics — though the rule barring a Catholic from becoming king or queen will remain.

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7:54am

Fri October 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Top Stories: Cards Win, Markets May Dip, Bangkok Braces For More Flooding

Good morning.

If you're looking for the score and a heads-up on the key moments from last night's World Series action, we've got that here:

-- Cards Win On 11th-Inning Freese Clout; Force Game 7. St. Louis beat Texas 10-9 thanks to a dramatic solo home run in the 11th inning from third baseman David Freese.

As for other stories making headlines, they include:

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1:05pm

Thu October 27, 2011
The Two-Way

Our Heads Are Spinning: U.S. Skater Nailed First 'Quadruple Lutz'

Figure skater Brandon Mroz.

Harry How Getty Images

The sports channel in our brains was tuned to baseball and the World Series yesterday, so we missed this announcement from the world of figure skating:

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12:27pm

Thu October 27, 2011
The Two-Way

Arrests Made In Alleged $1 Billion Disability Scheme On Long Island

An alleged scandal involving doctors, a union president and hundreds of Long Island Rail Road workers led to the arrest of 10 people today on charges related to what officials say was a scam that paid an estimated $1 billion in disability benefits to people who didn't deserve them.

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