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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The Two-Way
12:16 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Democrats Unveil Bill To Ban Assault-Style Weapons

Semi-automatic assault-style rifles on display at a gun show in Chantilly, Va., in 2009.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

As they said they would following the Dec. 14 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Democrats today unveiled legislation that would ban assault-style weapons.

The lead lawmaker, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, has summed up the legislation's key points this way:

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The Two-Way
9:19 am
Thu January 24, 2013

After Clinton's 'Outrage,' It's On To Kerry's Confirmation Hearing

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her testimony Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 9:22 am

The post-hearing stories about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's appearances Wednesday on Capitol Hill are focusing on her strong response to Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson's charge that the Obama administration initially misled the nation about who was responsible for the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, last September.

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The Two-Way
9:15 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Obama Chooses Former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White To Head SEC

Mary Jo White, who President Obama wants to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Brendan McDermid Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 10:43 am

Mary Jo White, a former U.S. attorney in New York who prosecuted terrorists responsible for the bombings of the World Trade Center and U.S. embassies in Africa, will be nominated by President Obama to head the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Jobless Claims Hold At Five-Year Low

The number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance dipped by 5,000 last week from the week before, to 330,000, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

That means claims remain at a low level not seen since January 2008.

Another measure, the "4-week moving average" that is supposed to give a broader look at the trend, declined by 8,250 — to 351,750.

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Combat? Reaction Of Many Women In Military Is 'Been There, Done That'

Hospital Corpsman Shannon Crowley, with a Marine Corps. Female Engagement Team, in Musa Qala, Afghanistan, in November 2010.
Paula Bronstein Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 6:44 pm

  • Tom Bowman reporting for the NPR Newscast
  • From 'Morning Edition': The news on women in combat

Update at 1:40 p.m. ET: Saying that American men and women are "fighting and dying together and the time has come for our policies to recognize that reality," Defense Secretary Leon Panetta confirmed Thursday afternoon that the Pentagon's rule banning women from combat positions is being rescinded.

Panetta said that as the Pentagon works through how to implement the change, the goal will be to "eliminate all unnecessary gender-based barriers to service."

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The Two-Way
1:47 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

A Tennis Tale: Once Famous, 'Gorgeous Gussie' Dies In Obscurity

Gertrude Moran, "Gorgeous Gussie," playing at Wimbledon in 1949. Her attire, which included a bit of lace, shocked some.
George W. Hales Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 10:10 am

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The Two-Way
12:38 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

House Passes GOP's Debt-Ceiling Plan; Senate Democrats Offer Their Support

The House of Representatives (Jan. 3 file photo).
Kevin Lamarque Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 2:01 pm

Update at 1:25 p.m. ET: By a vote of 285-144, the House just passed a Republican plan that postpones for three months the federal government's next bump up against the so-called debt ceiling.

As we said earlier, the measure would head off another big battle over raising the government's borrowing authority — such as the one in 2011 that almost led to a government shutdown.

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Beyonce May Have Been Live And Pre-recorded

Pat Benic DPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 11:47 am

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The Two-Way
9:36 am
Wed January 23, 2013

U.K.'s Cameron Floats Idea Of Vote ON E.U. Membership, Other Leaders Protest

British Prime Minister David Cameron earlier today in London as he spoke about a vote on E.U. membership.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

"Britain's prime minister said Wednesday he will offer citizens a vote on whether to leave the European Union if his party wins the next election, prompting warnings from fellow member states about the soundness of such a move," The Associated Press writes.

The wire service adds that:

"Cameron proposed Wednesday that his Conservative Party renegotiate the U.K.'s relationship with the European Union if it wins the next general election, expected in 2015.

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Manti Te'o Says He Lied After Learning 'Girlfriend' Was A Hoax

Manti Te'o during his interview with Katie Couric.
ABCNews.go.com

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 11:19 am

ABC News is beginning to release bits of Katie Couric's conversation with Notre Dame football star Manti Te'o, and the first highlight the network is spotlighting is this:

"Manti Te'o briefly lied to the media and the public after discovering his online girlfriend did not exist ... he admitted in an exclusive interview with ABC News' Katie Couric."

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The Two-Way
8:01 am
Wed January 23, 2013

How Cold Is It? It's So Cold ...

Julie Caruso of Akron, Ohio, was wrapped up Tuesday as she waited in line for a White House tour. It was well below freezing in the nation's capital. Temperatures were even lower in other parts of the nation.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 7:20 am

  • From the NPR Newscast: Jean Cochran on the cold wave

As Mom would say, bundle up. If you go outside today just about anywhere from North Dakota east and south through the upper Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and up into New England, it's freezing.

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The Two-Way
3:36 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

French Soldier's Skeleton Scarf Goes Viral, Military Launches Investigation

This isn't the sort of picture of a French soldier that his commanders want to see. Photographer Issouf Sanogo says troops were protecting their faces from dust kicked up by a helicopter landing in central Mali on Sunday.
Issouf Sanogo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 6:54 pm

The photo is quite striking, to be sure.

Agence France Press photographer Issouf Sanogo writes that when he was with French soldiers in central Mali on Sunday, "a helicopter was coming in to land and churning up tremendous dust clouds. Instinctively, all the soldiers grabbed their scarfs to avoid getting a mouthful of sand."

Sanogo started taking pictures.

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The Two-Way
3:00 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Beyonce's National Anthem Was Pre-Recorded, Marine Band Says

Pat Benic DPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 2:02 pm

Update at 6:14 p.m. ET. Backing Off?

Capt. Eric Flanagan, a spokesman for the United States Marine Corps, sent us a statement that seems to back off a bit from their earlier statements saying Beyoncé lip-synced her way through the National Anthem during President Obama's inauguration, yesterday.

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The Two-Way
1:35 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

White House 'Welcomes' House Vote On Extending Debt Limit

White House spokesman Jay Carney.
Drew Angerer AFP/Getty Images

President Obama "welcomes" the plan by House Republicans to vote Wednesday on a three-month extension of the nation's borrowing limit, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters today, and "would not stand in the way of the bill becoming law." (The Hill)

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The Two-Way
11:47 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Prince Harry On Killing Taliban: 'Take A Life To Save A Life'

Prince Harry, known when on duty as "Capt. Wales," in the cockpit of an Apache helicopter while he was in Afghanistan last month.
John Stillwell/PA wire/pool EPA /Landov
  • Larry Miller reports for the NPR Newscast

"We fire when we have to," and sometimes that means you "take a life to save a life."

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