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
5:41 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Jobless Claims Rose Slightly Last Week

There were an estimated 372,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up by 4,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

Another way of measuring, to show the recent trend, also rose: "The 4-week moving average was 368,000, an increase of 3,750 from the previous week's revised average of 364,250."

Overall, what we've said the past two weeks still applies:

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The Two-Way
5:33 am
Thu August 23, 2012

SEAL's Book On Bin Laden Raid, Woodward Book On Obama Due Sept. 11

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other members of his national security team as they monitored the mission that ended with the death of Osama bin Laden in May 2011.
Pete Souza White House

Those old-fashioned things called books can roil campaigns, and two that are due to hit stores on Sept. 11 certainly have that potential.

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The Two-Way
4:31 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Isaac Could Be A Hurricane By Friday; Florida And GOP Convention Brace

The projected track as of 11 a.m. ET today. The path has moved slightly to the west.
National Hurricane Center

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 12:00 pm

  • Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn on 'Tell Me More'

Here's the latest on tropical storm Isaac, which could hit Florida this weekend and drench the Republican National Convention in Tampa early next week:

-- The National Hurricane Center says the center of the storm should pass "to the south of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico today ... [then] approach the Dominican Republic tonight and Friday."

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The Two-Way
11:52 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Curiosity Is On A Roll: Makes Its First Movements On Mars

Those tracks to the top and right were made by Curiosity as it moved today.
NASA

It didn't go far, but the NASA rover Curiosity has taken its first test drive on Mars.

"This is how I roll," NASA writes (speaking for Curiosity) with a photo it has released showing the rover's first tracks. "Forward 3 meters, 90 [degree] turn, then back. Electric slide, anyone?"

"We have a fully functioning mobility system," NASA engineer Matt Heverly just told reporters. He said Curiosity ended up moving about 4 1/2 meters during today's test. It also did a full revolution going forward, backed up and did another revolution.

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Check It Out, Yo: 'Hot Cheetohs & Takis,' This Summer's 'Truly Great Jam'

It's a summer hit.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 7:14 am

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The Two-Way
7:48 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Sales Of Existing Homes Rose In July, Another Sign Of Stronger Market

More of these sorts of signs are popping up (November 2011 file photo from San Rafael, Calif.).
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

A 2.3 percent increase in sales of previously owned homes in July from June is the latest sign that the housing market is on the mend, Reuters reports.

The National Association of Realtors said this morning that sales of existing homes increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.47 million.

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The Two-Way
7:16 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Deficit To Total $1.1 Trillion, Unemployment To Stay Above 8 Percent, CBO Says

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 7:33 am

Expect to hear about this from the campaign of Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney as he continues to take aim at President Obama's record on the budget and the economy:

The Congressional Budget Office reports this morning that "for fiscal year 2012 (which ends on September 30), the federal budget deficit will total $1.1 trillion ... marking the fourth year in a row with a deficit of more than $1 trillion."

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Wildfires Have Burned Nearly 7 Million Acres So Far, Up 6 Percent From Last Year

A photograph from June 8, 2002 shows flames from the Hayman wildfire, which burned in in the Rocky Mountains southwest of Denver.
Bryan Dahlberg/FEMA Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 2:08 pm

There's word this morning of another wildfire, this time outside the community of Manton in Northern California, where "dozens of buildings, many of them likely homes, have been destroyed," as The Associated Press reports.

Wildfires out West have been a constant topic this summer, it seems, on The Two-Way and other news outlets.

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The Two-Way
5:32 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Prince Harry Exposed: Photos Show Up Of Naked Royal 'Cavorting' In Vegas

Prince Harry, fully clothed, watching a beach volleyball match at the Olympic Games in London on Aug. 8.
Pascal Le Segretain Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 7:17 am

We absolutely, positively will not make a reference to the crown jewels.

Oops, we just did.

It seems that last Friday night in Las Vegas, Prince Harry — third in line to the throne over in England and one of the world's most eligible bachelors — did some "cavorting with two naked women in a Las Vegas hotel room," as the London Evening Standard puts it.

The evening apparently involved some "strip billiards."

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The Two-Way
4:51 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Texas Sheriff: Sacred White Buffalo Was Not Slaughtered

Lightning Medicine Cloud, a sacred white buffalo, last June.
LM Otero AP

The mystery surrounding the death of a rare white buffalo and the claim by some Lakota Sioux in Texas that it had been killed by other Native Americans deepened Tuesday. A local sheriff announced that investigators believe the animal died of a bacterial disease and said the case is now closed.

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The Two-Way
4:11 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Romney's Pick Of Ryan Hasn't Changed Race, Polls Signal

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, left, shakes hands with his choice for running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Monday in in Manchester, N.H.
John Moore Getty Images

Two new polls come to much the same conclusion about the 2012 presidential campaign:

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The Two-Way
10:08 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Roger Clemens Returns To Pro Baseball Saturday; Majors Next?

Roger Clemens in 2007, as he was throwing batting practice for the Houston Astros. Could he be back in an Astros' uniform next month?
David J. Phillip AP

The Rocket is going to be pitching again Saturday night.

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The Two-Way
7:02 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Three Year Olds Told To Fight By Delaware Day Care Workers, Police Say

A notice on the door at the Hands of Our Future day care center in Dover, Del., which has been closed because employees allegedly had two 3-year-olds fight each other.
CBS Philly

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 8:40 am

It's tempting to make a "fight club" reference (and some news outlets have), but the outrageous nature of the allegations seems to call for a more straight-forward approach:

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The Two-Way
6:03 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Rosie O'Donnell Had Heart Attack, Uses Verse To Spread News And Message

Rosie O'Donnell in July 2011.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 8:15 am

Rosie O'Donnell has chosen an unusual way to tell her fans that she suffered a heart attack last week:

In verse.

On her blog.

And she's using the experience to urge other women to "listen to the voice inside" and call 911 if they suffer the symptoms she did — which she tried to ignore for a day.

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The Two-Way
5:24 am
Tue August 21, 2012

In Afghanistan: General's Plane Damaged; Afghans Start Spying On Own Troops

An aircraft that had been set to fly Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey out of Afghanistan today was damaged by shrapnel from rockets fired at the Bagram air field north of Kabul from outside its fences.

Two maintenance workers on the ground were slightly wounded, NPR's Tom Bowman reports. Dempsey was not near the aircraft at the time. He later left Afghanistan on another plane.

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The Two-Way
5:09 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Diana Nyad Ends Latest Bid To Swim From Cuba To Key West

Diana Nyad in the Florida Straits on Monday.
Christi Barli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 8:21 am

Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad has ended her third recent attempt to swim the 100 miles or so from Cuba to Key West, Florida, her official Twitter page says.

That word followed reports from ABC News' Good Morning America and CNN.

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The Two-Way
4:23 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Update: Akin Vows Again To Stay In Missouri Senate Race

Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., talking with reporters at the Missouri State Fair last week.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 3:47 am

  • NPR's Brian Naylor on 'Morning Edition'
  • Tim Lloyd of St. Louis Public Radio, on 'Morning Edition'

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The Two-Way
10:42 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Obama: Congressman's Rape Remarks 'Don't Make Sense,' Were 'Way Out There'

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 6:20 pm

Saying that the comments "don't make sense to the American people" and were "way out there," President Obama just weighed in on the controversial remarks made over the weekend by Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., who said in a television interview that "if it's a legitimate rape," it's rare for a woman to get pregnant and therefore want an abortion.

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The Two-Way
8:28 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Famed Augusta National Golf Club Adds First 2 Female Members

The 16th green at Augusta National — framed by some of the course's famed azaleas — in 2001.
Roberto Schmidt AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 10:06 am

Breaking news from The Associated Press about a historic day for one of the nation's most historic sporting venues:

"For the first time in its 80-year history, Augusta National Golf Club has female members.

"The home of the Masters has invited former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore to become the first women in green jackets when the club opens for a new season in October. Both women have accepted."

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The Two-Way
7:57 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Scott McKenzie, Who Sang 'San Francisco' In The Summer Of Love, Dies

Scott McKenzie, center, with the members of The Mamas and the Papas in 1967. John Phillips, far right, wrote San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair). McKenzie died Saturday.
Worth AP

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 10:04 am

He sang a gentle song that became a hit and something of a theme song for 1967's "Summer of Love."

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