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
7:23 am
Wed September 26, 2012

New Home Sales Were Flat In August, But Prices Rose Sharply

Model homes at a new development in Millbrae, Calif., earlier this year.
David Paul Morris Getty Images

While the number of new homes sold in August was barely changed from July, the median sales price was up sharply, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development report. So the news adds to other recent signs, including Tuesday's report about higher home prices in major cities, of a recovering housing sector.

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The Two-Way
6:48 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Andy Williams Dies; Crooner Was Known For 'Moon River,' Christmas TV Specials

Singer Andy Williams in 1970.
Central Press Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 7:24 am

  • A bit of Andy Williams singing 'Moon River'

Singer Andy Williams, best known for his rendition of Moon River, his Christmas TV specials and his long-running show in Branson, Mo., has died.

He was 84.

Williams' publicist, Paul Shefrin, says in a statement sent to reporters that the singer "passed away last night (Tuesday) at home in Branson, Mo, following a year long battle with bladder cancer. ... Williams, 84, who also had a residence in La Quinta, Calif., is survived by his wife Debbie and his three children, Robert, Noelle and Christian."

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The Two-Way
6:18 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Before U.N. Address, Ahmadinejad Talks Of New World Order

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his address today at the U.N.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 10:44 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Michele Kelemen previews Day II at the U.N.

In something of a swan song, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad used his eighth — and likely final — appearance before the U.N. General Assembly to elaborate on his vision of a new world order and criticize what he calls the world's "hegemonic" and "expansionist" powers.

In general, the Iranian leader took a less confrontational tone than in previous years.

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The Two-Way
5:43 am
Wed September 26, 2012

After Uproar, No Signal That NFL Refs Will Be Back Soon

Things haven't been going well for these guys: Some of the NFL's replacement referees, during a Sept. 23 game between the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 11:22 am

  • David Green and Tom Goldman talk on 'Morning Edition'

Though the nation's football fans — from President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to the average couch quarterback — are begging the two sides to settle their contract dispute so that regular NFL referees can come back to work, there seems to be no clear reason to think that's going to happen in time for this week's games.

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The Two-Way
4:49 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Tear Gas, Rocks Fly At Anti-Austerity Protest In Athens

In Athens today, anti-austerity demonstrations began peacefully. Later, protesters threw rocks and petrol bombs. Police responded with tear gas.
John Kolesidis Reuters /Landov
  • On 'Morning Editon': Lauren Frayer reporting from Spain

Riot police in Athens have fired tear gas at protesters who in turn have been lobbing stones and petrol bombs in one of the largest anti-austerity demonstrations to hit the Greek capital in months.

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The Two-Way
4:23 am
Wed September 26, 2012

U.S. Believes It Has Pakistan's 'Tacit Consent' For Drone Strikes, 'WSJ' Reports

February: A protest in Multan, Pakistan, over the drone attacks.
S.S. Mirza AFP/Getty Images

The CIA tells Pakistan in advance about "broad areas" where it intends to take aim at suspected terrorists with drone strikes and interprets the other government's silence and clearing of airspace as "tacit consent," The Wall Street Journal reports this morning.

Saying its sources are "U.S. officials" and "two senior [Obama] administration officials," the Journal adds that:

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The Two-Way
10:57 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Who Killed Messy Mya? High-Profile New Orleans Murder Trial Halted

Messy Mya.
YouTube

New Orleans is known for being different. The trial of the man accused in the 2010 murder of "social-media celebrity Anthony Barre, better known as Messy Mya," is adding to the city's reputation.

As The Times-Picayune reports, the trial was halted Monday after the district attorney's office "got wind of a YouTube video of the 7th Ward slaying and dropped the murder charge against Jason Baptiste Hamilton in an attempt to track down the footage."

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The Two-Way
9:53 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Obama Focuses On 'Outrage Of Human Trafficking'

Saying it "must be called by its true name, 'modern slavery,' " President Obama this afternoon used his address before the Clinton Global Initiative to focus on "the outrage of human trafficking."

When a man is "working, toiling for little or no pay and [is] beaten if he tries to escape, that is slavery," Obama said.

"When a woman is locked in a sweat shop or trapped in a home as a domestic servant ... that is slavery."

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Obama: Chris Stevens And Those Like Him Must Determine World's Future

President Obama at the U.N. General Assembly this morning.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 9:31 am

  • The 2012 president's address to the U.N.

Using the example set by the life of slain U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, President Obama this morning told delegates to the United Nations that the diplomat's killers will not determine the world's future. Instead, Obama said, it will be people such as Stevens who build "bridges across oceans and cultures" and set the world's agenda.

We updated as the president spoke. Scroll down to read through the highlights.

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The Two-Way
6:52 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Romney Touts 'Prosperity Pacts' To Help Middle East, Developing Nations

One former president, one would-be: Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney (left), spoke this morning at former President Bill Clinton's annual forum in New York City. President Obama addresses the Clinton Global Initiative later today.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Saying that foreign aid must play a role in bringing peace to the Middle East, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney made the case today for what he calls "prosperity pacts" that would aim U.S. assistance packages at nations that develop "the institutions of liberty, the rule of law, and property rights."

Romney was addressing the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, a forum that will host President Obama later today.

If he's elected in November, Romney said (per his prepared remarks):

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The Two-Way
6:34 am
Tue September 25, 2012

More Positive News On Housing: Prices Rose For Third Straight Month

A home for sale in Los Angeles last month.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Home prices rose in July from June by 1.5 percent in its 10-city index and 1.6 percent in the 20 major cities where it tracks changes, the latest S&P/

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The Two-Way
5:59 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Syria's Children Are Victims Of 'Appalling' Violence, Report Says

A young Syrian girl wiped her tears after not being allowed entry to Turkey last month. Thousands of Syrians have fled to neighboring countries to escape the civil war raging in their nation.
Aris Messinis AFP/Getty Images

Unfortunately, this news is not a surprise:

"As Syria's civil war has intensified, thousands of children have died in brutal attacks and many more have been injured, traumatized or forced to flee their homes," the international charity Save the Children reports. And it warns that "boys and girls continue to be killed, maimed and tortured. These appalling violations against children must stop and those carrying them out held to account."

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The Two-Way
5:27 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Obama To Tell Iran That U.S. Will 'Do What We Must' On Nukes

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 5:33 am

  • Michele Kelemen on 'Morning Edition'

"President Barack Obama will warn Iran on Tuesday that the United States will 'do what we must' to prevent it from acquiring a nuclear weapon, and appeal to world leaders for a united front against further attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions in Muslim countries," Reuters reports this morning.

Update at 8:30 a.m. ET. According to excerpts released by the White House, the president will say:

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The Two-Way
4:48 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Bring Back The Real NFL Refs! Debacle At End Of Game Adds To Outrage

Confusion: One official (to the left) signals touchdown for Seattle. The other signals that a touchback — possession — for Green Bay.
Stephen Brashear AP

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 4:39 pm

Football fans are furious. Bettors are out an estimated $150 million. Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin — the Republican who's famous for battling with organized labor — is on the side of the referees union. And the NFL is in something of a "prevent defense," saying that nothing can be done to change the outcome.

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The Two-Way
11:46 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Obscenities Fly In E-Mails Between Reporter, Top Aide To Sec. Clinton

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 12:05 pm

BuzzFeed says an email exchange between a journalist and one of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's top aides grew quite heated and profane on Sunday — marking at least the second time in recent months that a spokesman for a major political figure used an obscenity to get across his point.

This time it was the journalist who fired off the first word we can't repeat. But the Clinton aide deploys more verbal bombs.

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The Two-Way
10:12 am
Mon September 24, 2012

'Flo' Makes List Of 'Top 10 Female Ad Icons;' Who's Missing?

Flo's an icon, the folks at Ad Age say.
Flo, the Progressive Girl's Facebook page

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 12:01 pm

Ad Age just unveiled its "top 10 female ad icons of all time" list:

-- Morton Salt's 'umbrella girl"

-- Betty Crocker

-- Miss Chiquita

-- Rosie the Riveter

-- Josephine the Plumber (Comet cleanser)

-- Mrs. Olson (for Folgers coffee)

-- Madge the manicurist (Palmolive soap)

-- Rosie the waitress (Bounty paper towels)

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The Two-Way
8:01 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Secretary Clinton Hails Rejection Of Extremists In Benghazi

On Friday and again on Saturday in Benghazi: Protesters took to the streets in opposition to the extremist militias that have operated in the city since the toppling of Moammar Gadhafi.
Tariq Al-Hun UPI /Landov

One of the most interesting stories from over the weekend was the move by people in Benghazi, Libya, against the armed extremist groups that had been operating in their city and which have been linked to the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate there that left Ambassador Chris Stevens dead.

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The Two-Way
5:40 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Debate Preview: Obama And Romney Shadow Box On '60 Minutes'

CBS News' 60 Minutes

The first official presidential debate isn't until Oct. 3 in Denver. But as The New York Times writes, last night on CBS News' 60 Minutes there was something of a "shadow debate that offered a likely preview of the tone and substance" of what will happen on stage next week.

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