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.

Pages

The Two-Way
5:05 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Dozens Killed, Hundreds Wounded In Iraq; Attacks Blamed On Al-Qaida

An Iraqi policeman inspects a destroyed vehicle at the site of a blast in the northern city of Kirkuk earlier today (Feb. 23, 2012).
Marwan Ibrahim AFP/Getty Images

"A rapid series of attacks spread over a wide swath of Iraqi territory killed at least 50 people on Thursday, targeting mostly security forces in what appeared to be another strike by al-Qaida militants bent on destabilizing the country," The Associated Press reports.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:05 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

'Pepper Spray Cop' Suit Filed

Nov. 18, 2011: Occupy protesters get sprayed at University of California Davis.
YouTube

Some of those Occupy protesters who famously got face fulls of pepper spray last November on the campus of University of California Davis have now filed suit in federal court.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:00 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

'A Long Time Coming,' Obama Says Of African-American Museum

An artist's conception of what the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture will look like when it's finished in 2015. The Washington Monument is in the background.
Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup Courtesy of the museum

A museum first proposed in 1915 by black veterans from the Civil War is finally, officially, under construction on the National Mall in Washington.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:50 am
Wed February 22, 2012

Mubarak Verdict Due On June 2

Outside the court in Cairo where former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been on trial, a man earlier today held a sign saying there was a noose waiting for Mubarak.
Marco Longari AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 11:00 am

As the case against former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak came to a close today, the trial judge announced he expects to deliver a verdict on June 2.

According to al-Jazeera:

Read more
The Two-Way
9:55 am
Wed February 22, 2012

Sales Of Existing Homes At Highest Level In Nearly Two Years

There were 4.3 percent more existing homes sold in January than in December, and the 4.57 million annual rate was the highest since May 2010, the National Association of Realtors reports.

Sales have gone up three of the past four months.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:50 am
Wed February 22, 2012

Obama Sings Again: Belts A Bit Of 'Sweet Home Chicago'

Blues legend B.B. King during last night's performance at the White House.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 8:56 am

Read more
The Two-Way
6:20 am
Wed February 22, 2012

Obama Administration To Propose Cut In Corporate Tax Rate

The Obama administration is today going to propose a cut in the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent, according to multiple reports. NPR's Scott Horsley notes that the president also wants to scale back some deductions that businesses now get. So, the overall effect of any such changes could be "revenue neutral" and keep corporations' share of the nation's tax burden unchanged, Scott says.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:45 am
Wed February 22, 2012

Protests Continue In Afghanistan Over Quran Burnings; Some Killed

In Kabul today, demonstrators shouted anti-American slogans.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

"At least four people have been killed and 20 injured in Afghanistan after protests spread over the burning of copies of the Koran at a US airbase," the BBC writes. "One person was killed in Kabul, one in the eastern city of Jalalabad and two in Parwan province."

Read more
The Two-Way
5:15 am
Wed February 22, 2012

Killing Continues In Syria, Two Western Journalists Among Victims

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 6:07 am

There's more deadly news today from Syria:

Read more
The Two-Way
12:40 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Indiana Lawmaker Says Girl Scouts Are Destroying 'American Family Values'

Would Indiana Rep. Bob Morris approve of his fellow Republican's endorsement of this organization? 1997: Former President Reagan receives cookies from members of Girl Scout Troop #313 as a gift for his 86th birthday.
Mike Guastella AFP/Getty Images

Saying that the Girl Scouts is a "radicalized organization" that promotes "homosexual lifestyles" and is aligned with honorary president Michelle Obama's "pro-abortion" viewpoint, an Indiana state legislator has told his fellow Republicans he can't support a proclamation honoring the organization's 100th anniversary.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:00 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Supreme Court To Hear Affirmative Action Case That Could Be Campaign Issue

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 9:05 am

The Supreme Court today agreed to hear oral arguments in a Texas affirmative action case that has, as NPR.org's Liz Halloran wrote last fall, "the potential to rewrite law on how or whether public colleges and universities may consider race and ethnicity as a factor in admissions."

Read more
The Two-Way
7:40 am
Tue February 21, 2012

U.S. General Apologizes To 'Noble People Of Afghanistan' For Quran Burnings

An Afghan demonstrator holds a copy of a half-burnt Quran, allegedly set on fire by soldiers at Bagram Air Field, during a protest outside the base today.
Massoud Hossaini AFP/Getty Images

Read more
The Two-Way
6:00 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Back On The Air, Stephen Colbert Gives Nod To Ailing Mom

Stephen Colbert, explaining his absence.
ColbertNation.com

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 6:04 am

Without directly saying so, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert all-but-confirmed last night that he was off the air for two days last week because his 91-year-old mother Lorna has been ill.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:35 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Lawyer Says Strauss-Kahn Didn't Know Women At Orgies Were Prostitutes

Dominique Strauss-Kahn in the studio of the French TV network TF1.
Francois Guillot AFP/Getty Images

Former International Monetary Fund managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who famously faced a sexual assault charge in New York City last year — a charge that was later dropped — is now being questioned by police in France about whether he was a customer of an alleged multinational prostitution ring.

His attorney, though, says Strauss-Kahn has a defense.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:10 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Doubts Linger After Late-Night Deal On Bailout For Greece

Luxembourg Prime Minister and Eurogroup President Jean-Claude Juncker scratches his eyes during a press conference following the meeting of Eurozone nations earlier today in Brussels.
Georges Gobet AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 7:36 am

  • NPR's Eric Westervelt, reporting on 'Morning Edition'

The top of the news today about the ongoing financial crisis in Europe is that:

"Greece won a second massive financial bailout early Tuesday morning when its partners in the 17-country eurozone finally stitched together a $170 billion rescue, meant to avoid a potentially disastrous default and secure the euro currency." (The Associated Press)

Read more
The Two-Way
10:50 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Deal With Banks Isn't Only Way For Homeowners To Get Help, HUD Chief Says

For sale signs on a foreclosed house in Glendale, Calif., last September.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images
  • Michel Martin talks with HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan

The $25 billion settlement with five banks unveiled Thursday, which aims to give some mortgage relief and other help to homeowners who got hurt when the housing bubble burst before the 2007-2009 recession, has been viewed with skepticism by some folks in the nation's hardest-hit housing markets, as NPR's Greg Allen reported.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:25 am
Fri February 10, 2012

White House To Detail Changes To Controversial Contraception Rule

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 10:21 am

Hospitals and organizations operated by religious institutions will not have to pay for or provide free contraception coverage to their employees, but the insurance companies that offer coverage to those workers will have to do that, White House officials just told reporters during a conference call.

They're explaining changes to a controversial plan the administration unveiled in recent days. The goal of the change appears to be to provide the coverage, but at the same time to not force religious groups to violate their principles.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:10 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Josh Powell Turned Out To Be 'A Monster,' Says Social Worker

The social worker who watched in horror last Sunday as a Washington state man blew up the house that his two young sons had gone into moments before says he had never before seemed dangerous.

But she knows now, Elizabeth Griffin-Hall tells ABC News, that "Josh Powell was really, really evil."

Read more
The Two-Way
6:45 am
Fri February 10, 2012

If Women Are In Combat, Men May Try To Protect Them, Santorum Says

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum in McKinney, Texas, on Wednesday.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

On CNN last evening, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum was asked about the Pentagon's plan to open up more jobs to women in the military — and to bring them closer to, but not right into, combat roles.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:55 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Rep. Bachus Is Focus Of Ethics Investigation Into Possible Insider Trading

Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The Washington Post broke this story last evening:

"The Office of Congressional Ethics is investigating the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee over possible violations of insider-trading laws, according to individuals familiar with the case.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:30 am
Fri February 10, 2012

'Situation Could Not Be More Dire,' Syrians In Besieged City Say

An anti-regime fighter peered through a window in Idlib, Syria, on Thursday (Feb. 9, 2012).
AP

From inside the Syrian city of Homs, where activists say several hundred people have been killed by government forces in the past week and troops are preparing for what could be a "ground offensive" in coming days, residents say the "situation could not be more dire," NPR's Kelly McEvers reports.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:15 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Escaped 'Rhino' Successfully Captured In Tokyo

Netting the escapee.
BBC News

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 1:40 pm

In 2010, it was a guy dressed up in a tiger suit that wouldn't have scared many toddlers. One year keepers successfully captured a "zebra."

Read more
The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Call It 'Gulf Of America,' Not Gulf Of Mexico, Lawmaker Says In Bit Of Satire

Sept. 2005: Hurricane Rita enters the Gulf of Mexico — or Gulf of America, as Mississippi House Rep. Stephen Holland would say.
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 4:26 pm

Update at 3:25 p.m. ET. It's Satirical, The Lawmaker Says:

Daniel Cherry of Mississippi Public Broadcasting just talked with Rep. Stephen Holland — the Democratic lawmaker who's getting a lot of attention for introducing a bill to rename the Gulf of Mexico to Gulf of America.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:35 am
Thu February 9, 2012

Ban On Insider Trading By Lawmakers Passes House, Heads To Obama's Desk

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 10:39 am

By a nearly unanimous vote this morning the House passed the STOCK Act, which as NPR's Tamara Keith has reported, "would, among other things, explicitly ban insider trading for members of Congress and their staffs."

The vote was 417-2, with 14 members absent. The two nay votes were from Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif., and Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:05 am
Thu February 9, 2012

Women In Combat: Inevitable?

American soldiers Kris Kuntz (left) and Hayley Barner in Afghanistan, near the border with Pakistan, last October.
Tauseef Mustafa AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 5:43 pm

  • NPR's Tom Bowman reports

The word that Pentagon rules may soon "catch up a bit with reality" as the military considers formally allowing women to do something that they've already been asked to do in Iraq and Afghanistan — serve close to the front lines but technically not "in combat" — raises a question.

As NPR's Tom Bowman reports, the new rules still wouldn't allow women to serve in front line combat jobs such as infantry, armor or Special Forces.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:38 am
Thu February 9, 2012

Jobless Claims Drop By 15,000

The number of Americans who filed first-time claims for jobless benefits dipped to 358,000 last week, down by 15,000 from a revised 373,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

At 358,000, claims were the lowest they've been since March 2008.

The "four-week moving average" number of claims was "366,250, a decrease of 11,000 from the previous week's revised average of 377,250."

Read more

Pages