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
6:25 am
Sun November 20, 2011

VIDEO: After Pepper-Spraying, A Powerfully Silent Protest At UC Davis

University of California Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi walked through a three-block long group of silent protesters Friday night after campus police used pepper spray on some protesters earlier in the day. There have been calls for her resignation.
http://www.youtube.com/lhfang86

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The Two-Way
1:45 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

NCAA To Examine Penn State's Sports Programs

Former Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno in September.
Justin K. Aller Getty Images

Saying it is deeply troubled by "tragic events" alleged to have happened at Penn State, the NCAA has told the school it is launching an examination of whether the university has "institutional control over its intercollegiate athletics program, as well as the actions, and inactions, of relevant ... personnel."

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The Two-Way
11:58 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Balanced Budget Amendment Falls Short In House

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 12:02 pm

A balanced budget amendment to the Constitution just failed to get the two-thirds majority vote in the House that's needed to move such a measure forward.

It was approved by a simple majority: 261 to 165. But for a two-thirds majority, at least 290 votes would be needed.

There are currently 434 House members (one seat is vacant). Of those, 242 are Republicans and 192 are Democrats.

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The Two-Way
10:06 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Detroit Mayor Plans To Lay Off 1,000 City Employees

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 10:09 am

"Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, who outlined an emergency plan two days ago, isn't wasting any time taking action" in tackling his city's financial crisis, our colleague Micki Maynard at the Changing Gears project reports. "Today, Bing said the city will lay off 1,000 employees, or about 9 percent of the city's payroll, by Feb. 25."

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The Two-Way
9:37 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Hotter Hot Days, And More Of Them, 'Virtually Certain'

"It is virtually certain that on a global scale hot days [will] become even hotter and occur more often" in coming decades, according to a report released today from a group of more than 100 scientists convened by the United Nations.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Fri November 18, 2011

'Leading Indicators' Rise Sharply

An index that's designed to forecast how the economy will be doing in coming months rose a solid 0.9 percent in October from September, the business research group The Conference Board reports. It had risen just 0.1 percent in September and had fallen 0.3 percent in August.

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The Two-Way
7:55 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Oklahoma State Women's Basketball Coach Killed In Plane Crash

Kurt Budke, coach of the women's basketball team at Oklahoma State University, was killed in the crash of a small plane last night in Perry County, Ark.

Also dead: assistant women's basketball coach Miranda Serna and two others, including the pilot. The coaches had been on a recruiting trip to Arkansas.

As The Oklahoman reports:

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The Two-Way
7:17 am
Fri November 18, 2011

New Tests Support Claim That Speed Of Light's Been Broken

A 2010 light installation entitled 'Speed of Light' in London.
Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Images

It's not the final word, but scientists at the Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics report today that "new tests conducted at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory of INFN by the OPERA Collaboration, with a specially set up neutrino beam from CERN, confirm so far the previous results on the measurement of the neutrino velocity."

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Syracuse Assistant Coach Put On Leave After New Accusation

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 1:51 pm

Update at 3:50 p.m. ET: Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine has called the accusations about him "patently false," The Associated Press reports.

Our original post:

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The Two-Way
6:34 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Tea Party And Occupy Members Find Common Ground In Memphis

An Associated Press reporter was on hand last night in Tennessee when two representatives from the Occupy Memphis movement sat down with about 75 members of the Mid-South Tea Party and had what's described as a "sometimes strained and confrontational, but mostly civil discussion."

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Robert Wagner Supports New Look Into Natalie Wood's Death

Authorities in Los Angeles plan to say more later today about why they're reopening the investigation into actress Natalie Wood's drowning death over the weekend of Thanksgiving 1981.

Wood's husband at the time, actor Robert Wagner, says through a spokesman that he supports the new probe.

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The Two-Way
5:15 am
Fri November 18, 2011

'Flickers Of Progress' Prompt Plan For Clinton To Visit Myanmar

Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Khin Maung Win AP

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 10:24 am

When he announced early today that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will visit Myanmar next month, President Obama cited "flickers of progress" on respect for human rights in the country also known as Burma as grounds for the first visit by an American secretary of state in 50 years.

Among those signs: the release of some political prisoners new President Thein Sein's government and relaxing of some restrictions on the media.

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The Two-Way
1:32 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Alleged White House Shooter Charged With Attempted Assassination

Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez has been charged with attempting to assassinate the president for allegedly firing at least two shots at the White House last Friday evening.

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The Two-Way
1:11 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Baseball's Houston Astros To Switch Leagues In 2013

Where are we going, skip? Houston Astros manager Brad Mills, left, and pitching coach Doug Brocail.
John Sommers II Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 1:13 pm

The Houston Astros will be moving from Major League Baseball's National League to the American League "as soon as the 2013 season," MLB announced this afternoon.

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The Two-Way
11:22 am
Thu November 17, 2011

California Court Says Same-Sex Marriage Foes May Defend Prop 8

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 12:00 pm

Californians who oppose same-sex marriage just won a procedural victory in court.

The state's Supreme Court ruled this hour that opponents of same-sex marriage who successfully pushed the Proposition 8 law that bans such unions in the state may defend the initiative in court. The court's opinion is here.

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Arrests Being Made At Occupy Portland Protest, Scene Is 'Orderly'

In Los Angeles today: Occupy protesters march.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 2:31 pm

The focus is on Manhattan today as protesters mark the two-month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, but there are things happening in other U.S. cities as well. We'll add to this post as reports come in.

-- 4:15 p.m.: Our colleague Bill Chappell has used Storify to gather other feeds and reports about what's happening at various protests.

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The Two-Way
9:52 am
Thu November 17, 2011

90 Is The New 85: 'Oldest Old' Population Is Expanding Rapidly

From 720,000 in the year 1980 to more than 1.9 million in 2010, the number of Americans who are 90 years of age or older has nearly tripled, the Census Bureau reports today in its first comprehensive look at the over-90 population.

And according to the Census Bureau, "over the next four decades, this population is projected to more than quadruple."

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Thu November 17, 2011

At Occupy Wall Street: Some Arrests; A Chaotic 'Morning Rush'

As Eyder continues to file posts from the streets of lower Manhattan, where Occupy Wall Street protesters have been on the march today, here are some other views of what's happening there and other resources for monitoring what's happening:

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The Two-Way
8:01 am
Thu November 17, 2011

White House Shooting Suspect Reportedly Hates Obama, Washington

Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, who is in custody for allegedly firing shots toward the White House last week, "hates the president, he hates Washington, he hates society," a law enforcement official tells The Washington Post.

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Solyndra Loan Decisions 'Were Mine,' Energy Secretary Chu Says

"The final decisions on Solyndra were mine, and I made them with the best interest of the taxpayer in mind," Energy Secretary Steven Chu plans to tell Congress today, as a House committee digs into the controversial $528 million in federal loans made to the now-bankrupt solar energy company.

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Jobless Claims Decline By 5,000

There were 388,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 5,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

The agency also said that the "4-week moving average" of claims — a way of gauging the trend over a slightly longer period of time — was "396,750, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week's revised average of 400,750."

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Top Stories: Occupy Wall Street Day Of Action; Penn State Scandal

Good morning.

Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York have begun what they say will be a day full of marches, civil disobedience and other actions aimed at — this is their goal — shutting down Wall Street.

Eyder is there to follow the story as it develops. His posts from the streets are being collected here.

Our other early-morning headlines:

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The Two-Way
2:13 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

New Judge Named To Handle Penn State Scandal Case

A judge from a different Pennsylvania county who "has no known connections with Pennsylvania State University, the Second Mile charity, nor any officers or representatives of any of those entities," will handle the Dec. 7 preliminary hearing of the case against accused child sex abuser Jerry Sandusky, The Patriot-News of Harrisburg reports.

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The Two-Way
1:50 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Benetton Drops Image Of Pope Kissing Imam After Vatican Objects

Reacting to sharp objections from the Vatican over a digitally created ad image showing Pope Benedict XVI kissing an Egyptian imam, Benetton has quickly agreed to drop the photo illustration from its new "Unhate" campaign.

The company just posted this statement:

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The Two-Way
1:31 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Other Victims Of Arizona Rampage Move On Without Letting Go

Suzi Hileman inspects an aloe on her front porch on Wednesday, Aug. 24.
Ron Medvescek Courtesy Arizona Daily Star

We've heard from Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) in recent days about her slow recovery from being shot in the head on Jan. 8.

There were 18 other victims of that day's shooting rampage in Tucson — six of whom died. And beyond them, there are dozens of family members and loved ones in pain about what happened.

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The Two-Way
9:15 am
Wed November 16, 2011

Bullets Found At White House, One Struck A Window

The "Israel" tattoo on Ortega-Herndandez's neck.
U.S. Park Police

Originally published on Wed November 16, 2011 12:27 pm

(New top to this post added at 2:20 p.m. ET)

The U.S. Secret Service just confirmed that Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez has been arrested in connection with the gunshots fired Friday night in Washington — one of which apparently hit a window at the White House.

In a statement sent to reporters, the agency says:

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Wed November 16, 2011

Manufacturing Output Up For Fourth Straight Month

Though the U.S. economy faces lots of problems, as we said yesterday, there are some encouraging signs out there too.

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The Two-Way
7:19 am
Wed November 16, 2011

Syrian Defectors Attack Military Sites, Opposition Groups Say

"Syrian activists say that army defectors have attacked an intelligence complex in the Damascus suburbs in what appears to be one of their boldest assaults so far against government security forces," al-Jazeera reports.

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The Two-Way
6:50 am
Wed November 16, 2011

Consumer Prices Ticked Down In October

There was a scant 0.1 percent dip in the consumer price index in October from September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported.

The major reason for the dip: "The energy index turned down in October after increasing in each of the three previous months as the gasoline and household energy indexes declined after a series of seasonally adjusted increases."

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