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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8:42am

Mon September 19, 2011
The Two-Way

Investigation Continues Into Reno Air Crash; Iran Still Holds 2 Americans

Good morning.

President Obama this morning lays out what his aides say is a plan to reduce projected budget deficits by about $4 trillion over the decade. Earlier, we posted about "Five Things To Know About Obama's Deficit Plan."

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7:35am

Mon September 19, 2011
The Two-Way

Five Things To Know About Obama's Deficit Plan

President Obama last week.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

President Obama this morning outlines a deficit-reduction plan that his economists say would reduce anticipated federal budget deficits by about $4 trillion over the next decade.

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1:45pm

Fri September 16, 2011
The Two-Way

Alabama's Largest County Takes Big Step To Avoid Bankruptcy

The Jefferson County Commission in Alabama approved a plan today that could mean the county will avoid having to declare bankruptcy because of a $3.1 billion debt.

The Birmingham News cautions, though, that "the agreement [with creditors] is only a framework or a concept to settle the crisis, and work remains toward crafting a definitive, binding deal."

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1:05pm

Fri September 16, 2011
The Two-Way

Haven't Seen The 'Webcam 101 For Seniors' Video Yet? Here It Is

Originally published on Fri September 16, 2011 1:09 pm

Bruce and Esther Huffman, video darlings.
YouTube

It's one of this week's "viral video sensations," as ABC News' Technology Review says.

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10:10am

Fri September 16, 2011
The Two-Way

Miami Battling Invasion Of Giant African Snails

Originally published on Fri September 16, 2011 10:13 am

The invaders: Two Giant African Snails, in the hands of Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services staffers on Thursday (Sept. 15, 2011).
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Giant African Snails, "one of the most damaging land snails in the world," have invaded a southwest Miami subdivision and are now the focus of "a time-consuming expensive counter-attack" by authorities, the Miami Herald reports.

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9:45am

Fri September 16, 2011
The Two-Way

No Joking This Time: 4 Men Hospitalized After Bee Attack In California

We had a bit of fun Thursday with a story about a 200-pound beehive in Arizona.

This story's nothing to laugh about:

"4 Men Hospitalized In Honeybee Attack." (OC Weekly)

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9:25am

Fri September 16, 2011
The Two-Way

New Book Cites 'Bitter Disputes' Among Obama's Economic Advisers

RonSuskind.com

Journalist Ron Suskind had already said that his new book about the Obama administration's response to the 2008-2009 financial crisis would reveal "bitter disputes" among the president's economic advisers.

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8:50am

Fri September 16, 2011

8:30am

Fri September 16, 2011
The Two-Way

Reports: Emails Indicate White House Was Worried About Solyndra

Originally published on Fri September 16, 2011 8:32 am

President Obama visited Solyndra's plant in Fremont, Calif., in May 2010.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

"A White House official fretted privately that the Obama administration could suffer serious political damage if it gave additional taxpayer support to the beleaguered solar-panel company Solyndra, according to newly released emails," The Washington Post write

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8:05am

Fri September 16, 2011
The Two-Way

Will She Tip Over? Norwegian Cruise Ship Listing Dangerously After Fire

The MS Nordlys sits stricken in the water at Aalesund in western Norway.
Hakon Mosvold Larsen AFP/Getty Images

Norway's VG-TV is streaming video from the scene as workers try to keep the cruise ship MS Nordlys from tipping over.

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7:30am

Fri September 16, 2011
The Two-Way

Texas Execution Put On Hold By Supreme Court

Duane Buck, "a black man convicted of a double murder in Texas 16 years ago was at least temporarily spared from lethal injection" on Thursday when the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to "his lawyers' claims that race played an improper role in his sentencing," The Associated Press writes.

As the wire service adds:

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3:30pm

Thu September 15, 2011

3:04pm

Thu September 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Medal Of Honor Recipient Is Among 'Best Of A Generation,' Obama Says

"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty," U.S. Marine Dakota Meyer was just presented with the nation's highest honor for valor on the battlefield. He's the first living Marine since the Vietnam War to receive the Medal of Honor.

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1:55pm

Thu September 15, 2011
The Two-Way

V.P. Boehner? Not If He Has To Go To Funerals, The Speaker Jokes

Originally published on Thu September 15, 2011 4:17 pm

One of House Speaker John Boehner's tearful moments came as he took over from Democrat Nancy Pelosi last January.
Charles Dharapak AP

There was a funny moment during House Speaker John Boehner's appearance at The Economic Club of Washington a few minutes ago.

Asked if he might be a possible Republican vice presidential nominee in 2012, Boehner — who's known for his habit of tearing up — joked that it's unlikely he'd be good for that job:

"It's hard enough for me to go to funerals of people I know, much less don't know."

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1:35pm

Thu September 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Postal Service Eyes 250 Processing Facilities For 'Consolidation Or Closure'

Originally published on Thu September 15, 2011 1:39 pm

U.S. Postal Service mail delivery trucks sit idle at the Manassas post office in Virginia on September 5.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

The beleaguered U.S. Postal Service, which is facing losses of up to $10 billion in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, today proposed what it says are "sweeping changes designed to save the organization up to $3 billion a year by cutting its network of processing facilities by over half and adjusting service standards."

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12:50pm

Thu September 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Tip: Don't Tackle A 200-Pound Hive Of Killer Bees Yourself

We love local TV news.

Especially stories such as this exclusive from KOLD in Tucson, Ariz:

"Killer Bees Attack, Kill Farm Animals In Bisbee."

Stick with it to the end (or fast forward to about the 2-minute mark) and the part where reporter Sonu Wasu says that if you find a 200-pound hive containing an estimated 250,000 killer bees "do not try to eradicate these bees yourself, it is a very dangerous job that should be left up to professionals."

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12:10pm

Thu September 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Boehner To Push GOP Ideas On Overhauling Taxes

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) "plans Thursday to urge the supercommittee charged with cutting the nation's deficit to overhaul the tax code, his most direct remarks about the path the panel should undertake," Politico reports.

According to Politico, "Boehner will prod the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction lower the corporate rate and close loopholes — the preferred GOP method for cleaning up the nation's tax system."

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11:04am

Thu September 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Global Economy Has Entered 'Dangerous New Phase,' IMF Chief Warns

"We are certainly living through times of great economic anxiety," International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said this morning.

"Exactly three years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers," she cautioned in a Washington, D.C., speech, "the economic skies look troubled and turbulent as global activity slows and downside risks increase."

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10:10am

Thu September 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Humble Medal Of Honor Winner Felt 'Like A Failure'

At the White House on Wednesday, President Obama and Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer sipped beers and talked. Meyer told CBS News he asked the president for advice on how to be successful. "He said, 'You know, first thing, get an education' and he said 'just take it slow and don't try to make any rash decisions,' " Meyer told CBS.
Pete Souza The White House

There are many remarkable things about what U.S. Marine Dakota Meyer did two years ago in Afghanistan.

NPR's Tom Bowman tells the story of the then-corporal's heroics. Along with Staff Sgt. Juan Rodriguez-Chavez, Meyer (now a sergeant in the Marine Corps Reserve) disobeyed orders and undertook a dangerous, six-hour battle to rescue stranded troops who had been ambushed by enemy fighters.

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8:40am

Thu September 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Jobless Claims Rose By 11,000 Last Week; Prices Rose 0.4 Percent In August

The number of people filling first-time claims for unemployment insurance rose by 11,000 last week from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

There were 428,000 such claims. After peaking at 659,000 in March 2009, weekly claims started to edge down. But they've remained near or above 400,000 since early April of this year.

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8:30am

Thu September 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Colorado Cat Turns Up In Manhattan

Originally published on Thu September 15, 2011 9:09 am

Willow, who somehow got from Colorado to Manhattan, at her temporary home in a New York animal care facility on Wednesday (Sept. 14, 2011).
Bebeto Matthews AP

The stories of lost pets turning up years later and hundreds (or thousands) of miles from home keep coming.

Today's tale, from The Associated Press:

"A calico cat named Willow, who disappeared from a home near the Rocky Mountains five years ago, was found Wednesday on a Manhattan street and will soon be returned to a family in which two of the three kids and one of the two dogs may remember her.

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8:05am

Thu September 15, 2011

7:55am

Thu September 15, 2011
The Two-Way

U.K. Prime Minister To Gadhafi: 'It Is Over, Give Up'

"It is over. Give up. The mercenaries should go home."

That's the message today from British Prime Minister David Cameron to ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, The Guardian reports.

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7:25am

Thu September 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Swiss Bank UBS Says Rogue Trader Caused $2 Billion Loss

Oli Scarff Getty Images

"Unauthorized trading" by one of its traders has led to a loss "in the range of $2 billion," Swiss banking giant UBS announced this morning.

He reportedly worked in the bank's London equities division, Larry Miller reports for NPR, and was arrested by authorities there early today "on suspicion of using his position to commit fraud."

According to UBS, none of its clients were affected by the loss.

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2:55pm

Wed September 14, 2011
The Two-Way

Al Gore: It's An Honor To Be Attacked On Climate Change

"There's a long tradition of people who don't like a particular message turning to attack the person delivering the message," former Vice President Al Gore just said on NPR's Talk of the Nation.

That's why, the 2000 Democratic presidential nominee added, "I view it as an honor, really," to be the target of Republican jabs on the issue of climate change.

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1:10pm

Wed September 14, 2011
The Two-Way

Cats That Glow For AIDS Research Join List Of Animals That Shine

Originally published on Wed September 14, 2011 1:12 pm

Glowing for science.
Mayo Clinic

A story that's been getting some attention the past day or so — that AIDS researchers at the Mayo Clinic have inserted genes into cats that make the animals glow green in the dark — sounded familiar.

Haven't researchers been doing this sort of thing for years? We wondered.

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11:00am

Wed September 14, 2011
The Two-Way

'Wi-Fi Refugees' Are Moving To West Virginia To Escape Radio Waves

"Dozens of Americans who claim to have been made ill by Wi-Fi and mobile phones have flocked to the town of Green Bank, W.Va.," the BBC reports.

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10:25am

Wed September 14, 2011
The Two-Way

Gulf Spill Blamed On Poor Management, Bad Cement Job, Other Missteps

"A key federal report blames poor management, key missteps and a faulty cement job by BP and others for the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history and the deaths of 11 rig workers," The Associated Press reports.

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9:15am

Wed September 14, 2011
The Two-Way

Report: White House 'Tried To Rush' Decision On Solar Firm Loan

May 26, 2010: President Obama tours the Solyndra solar panel company with Executive VP of Engineering Ben Bierman.
Pool Getty Images

One of the scoops of the day, from The Washington Post:

"The Obama White House tried to rush federal reviewers for a decision on a nearly half-billion-dollar loan to the solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra so Vice President Biden could announce the approval at a September 2009 groundbreaking for the company's factory, newly obtained e-mails show."

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8:38am

Wed September 14, 2011
The Two-Way

Retail Sales And Wholesale Prices Unchanged In August

A sharp drop in energy costs helped keep prices at the wholesale level unchanged in August vs. July, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported.

According to BLS, while food costs went up 1.1 percent, energy costs fell 1 percent.

Still, over the 13 months ended Aug. 31 the producer price index rose 6.5 percent, BLS added.

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