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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10:52am

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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11:17am

Thu October 27, 2011
The Two-Way

Six Animals That Survived Ohio Tragedy To Be Given To Owner's Wife

(A new lede was put on this story at 2:35 p.m. ET)

As the widow of the Ohio man who last week paralyzed a community by releasing 56 lions, tigers, bears and other exotic animals from his farm came this afternoon to claim the six creatures who survived, the Ohio Department of Agriculture put a stop to her plans.

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10:46am

Thu October 27, 2011
The Two-Way

Suddenly, The 'Ladies Love Libyan Rebels'

Young Libyan men who less than a year ago were "hopeless layabouts" are now "marriageable heroes" because they took up arms against the regime of Moammar Gadhafi and toppled the dictator who had ruled Libya for 42 years, journalist Ellen Knickmeyer writes for Foreign Policy magazine.

Or, as the magazine's headline says, "Ladies Love Libyan Rebels: The Sexual Revolution Arrives In Tripoli."

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9:58am

Thu October 27, 2011
The Two-Way

Real-Life 'Slumdog Millionaire': Poor Clerk Wins $1M On Indian Game Show

Sushil Kumar, left, with Bollywood actor and game show host Amitabh Bachchan, shows off his $1 million check.

AP

In a case of life imitating the movies, a young man in India who earns about $120 a month as a government office worker has won $1 million on his country's version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

Sushil Kumar, the first person to win $1 million on an Indian show, is now something of a real-life Slumdog Millionaire, the rags-to-riches tale from 2008 that won an Oscar for Best Picture.

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9:22am

Thu October 27, 2011

9:03am

Thu October 27, 2011
The Two-Way

Cities Aim To Control 'Occupy' Protests, But Oakland Clashes Loom Large

Tuesday in Oakland: An Occupy protester and police.

Kimihiro Hoshino AFP/Getty Images

Scott Olsen, a 24-year-old veteran of the Iraq War, is hospitalized in Oakland with a skull fracture. Tuesday night he suffered, as the Oakland Tribune says, "the first serious injury nationwide in the Occupy Wall Street movement" when some type of projectile — possibly a tear gas canister fired by police — struck above his right eye.

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8:44am

Thu October 27, 2011
The Two-Way

Economy Grew At 2.5 Percent Rate In Third Quarter

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.5 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates, up from the second quarter's 1.3 percent pace.

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7:50am

Thu October 27, 2011
The Two-Way

'Horrific' Situation Led Bernard And Ruth Madoff To Try Suicide, She Says

"I thought, 'I just can't, I can't take this. I don't know how I'll ever get through this, nor do I want to.' So we decided to do it."

So says Ruth Madoff — wife of the mastermind behind what's thought to be the biggest Ponzi scheme ever — to The New York Times about the Christmas Eve 2008 suicide attempt by the couple.

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7:10am

Thu October 27, 2011
The Two-Way

European Debt Deal: Markets Rally Because It Could Have Been Worse

Originally published on Thu October 27, 2011 10:17 am

A pedestrian passes a vendor selling Greek flags in Athens on Wednesday (Oct. 26, 2011). Greece's crushing debts triggered the latest crisis.

Thanassis Stavrakis AP

Marathon talks that ended around 4 a.m. local time today in Brussels produced a deal that European leaders hope will mark the beginning of the end of the continent's debt crisis, as NPR's Eric Westervelt reports for Morning Edition.

And financial markets are rallying on the news.

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1:22pm

Wed October 26, 2011
The Two-Way

World Series: Decision Coming On Whether To Play Tonight

Originally published on Wed October 26, 2011 4:15 pm

Update at 3:35 p.m. ET: MLB.com has posted the news that Game 6 of the World Series, which was scheduled for tonight in St. Louis, has been postponed to Thursday at 8:05 p.m. ET because of rainy weather.

That means Game 7, if one is needed, would be played on Friday (weather permitting).

The American League's Texas Rangers lead the National League's St. Louis Cardinals, 3 games to 2.

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12:16pm

Wed October 26, 2011
The Two-Way

Report: College Costs Continue Rising, Aid Cuts Could Add To Pain

Students and parents won't be surprised to hear that the prices colleges and universities officially charge for tuition, room and board went up yet again this academic year.

The College Board reported Tuesday that:

-- "Published in-state tuition and fees at public four-year institutions average $8,244 in 2011-12, $631 (8.3 percent) higher than in 2010-11."

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11:19am

Wed October 26, 2011
The Two-Way

Community Board Backs 'Occupy' Protesters; Asks Them To Quiet Down

The local community board for the part of Manhattan where the Occupy Wall Street protests are being held voted Tuesday night to bless the occupation "within certain parameters," The Village Voice reports.

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10:32am

Wed October 26, 2011
The Two-Way

Sales Of New Homes Rose In September As Builders Cut Prices

Originally published on Wed October 26, 2011 10:35 am

There was a 5.7 percent increase in sales of new homes in September from August, the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development report.

The 313,000 (at an annual rate) pace was still down 0.9 percent, however, from a year earlier.

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10:20am

Wed October 26, 2011
The Two-Way

Alcohol Killed Amy Winehouse, Coroner Rules

Amy Winehouse in 2007.

Matt Dunham AP

There were no illegal drugs in singer Amy Winehouse's system when she died on July 23, a British coroner reported today.

Instead, the troubled 27-year-old suffered "death by misadventure" — a drinking binge.

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9:50am

Wed October 26, 2011
The Two-Way

Army Ranger On 14th Deployment Killed In Afghanistan

Originally published on Wed October 26, 2011 9:58 am

Sgt. 1st Class Kristoffer B. Domeij.

U.S. Army Special Operations Command

This young man's death says a lot about how much has been asked of the nation's men and women in uniform and their families since Sept. 11, 2001:

Sgt. 1st Class Kristoffer B. Domeij, 29, was killed on Saturday in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, by an improvised explosive device, according to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.

"He was on his 14th combat deployment to Afghanistan in support of the War on Terror," the statement adds.

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8:57am

Wed October 26, 2011
The Two-Way

New Insider Trading Case Reaches Into 'Iconic Corporate America'

The news this morning that "a prominent former Goldman Sachs board member" has surrendered to federal authorities in New York City "to face criminal charges stemming from a massive hedge fund insider trading case" (as the AP writes), takes the federal investigation into new territory, New York Times reporter Azam Ahmed said earlier today on Morning Edition.

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