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
10:27 am
Wed November 9, 2011

'This Is Only A Test;' National Alert System Gets Trial Run Today

Don't be alarmed at 2 p.m. ET today when broadcasters across the U.S., including NPR stations, take part in the first-ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System.

After all, as NPR's Brian Naylor reports for our Newscast Desk, "remember, this is only a test."

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Wed November 9, 2011

Penn State Coach Paterno Will Retire At End Of Season

Penn State football coach Joe Paterno.
Kevin C. Cox Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 5:19 pm

Saying "I wish I had done more" about accusations that one of his former assistants had been sexually abusing young boys for more than a decade, Penn State football coach Joe Paterno just confirmed that he will retire at the end of this season.

The 84-year-old Paterno, who holds the record for most wins by a Division I coach, released this statement moments ago:

"I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case. I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief.

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The Two-Way
8:20 am
Wed November 9, 2011

Top Stories: Cain Allegations, Penn State Scandal, 2011 Elections

Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 8:37 am

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The Two-Way
8:09 am
Wed November 9, 2011

Cain Accuser Says She Didn't Want Controversy

Cain accuser and longtime government employee Karen Kraushaar once worked as a spokesperson for the Immigration and Naturalization Service. She offered a statement after meeting with the Miami family of Elian Gonzalez in March of 2000.
Miami Herald Getty Images

A few of the developments since our last post about the sexual harassment allegations against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain — who calls them "false, anonymous, incorrect accusations":

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The Two-Way
7:15 am
Wed November 9, 2011

Penn State Scandal: Trustees' Support For Paterno Said To Be 'Eroding'

Scott Paterno, left, greeted his father — Penn State football coach Joe Paterno — as the coach arrived at his home, Tuesday evening in State College, Pa. Hundreds of students had gathered to show support for the coach.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 7:27 am

Catching up on some of the latest developments in the scandal at Penn State University — where former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky has been charged with sexually abusing young boys, two university officials have been charged with lying to a grand jury and not alerting police, and there have been calls for legendary coach Joe Paterno to step down because of concern that he didn't do enough to alert authorities to what was allegedly happening:

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Wed November 9, 2011

2011 Election Results: Mixed Messages

Voter stickers at a polling station Tuesday in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

As news outlets try to decipher what Tuesday's election results tell us about what voters are thinking, they're reaching various conclusions.

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Tue November 8, 2011

Coming Up: Herman Cain Interview

"I can categorically say I have never acted inappropriately with anyone, period," Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain just told ABC News' Jonathan Karl on a live ABC/Yahoo webcast.

Responding to the latest accusation by a woman — Sharon Bialek of Chicago — who says he sexually harassed her in the late 1990s, Cain said the charge is "baseless, bogus and false" and that Bialek is lying.

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The Two-Way
1:04 pm
Tue November 8, 2011

'Superstar Conservative' Judge Writes Opinion Upholding Health Care Law

"An appeals court judge appointed by President Ronald Reagan just wrote an opinion affirming the constitutionality of the federal law overhauling health care," our colleague Scott Hensley writes over at the Shots blog.

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The Two-Way
12:03 pm
Tue November 8, 2011

Another Cain Accuser Identified

Karen Kraushaar, a 55-year-old federal employee and registered Republican, has been identified as one of the two women who in the late 1990s settled claims of sexual harassment against 2012 GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, our colleague Liz Halloran reports on the It's All Politics blog and the NPR Newscast.

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The Two-Way
9:56 am
Tue November 8, 2011

Berlusconi Loses Majority In Key Vote

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, left, holds the hand of Reforms Minister Umberto Bossi during a must-watched vote at the Lower Chamber, in Rome, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011.
Andrew Medichini AP

Originally published on Tue November 8, 2011 3:38 pm

Update at 2:26 p.m. ET. In a meeting with Italy's president, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi offered to resign after Parliament approved a budget filled with new austerity measures.

The Guardian reports that President Giorgio Napolitano broke the news in a statement that read in part:

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Tue November 8, 2011

White House: Government Has No Evidence Of Extraterrestrial Life

We're pretty sure these guys are in costumes. (2004 file photo from Comic-Con Convention in San Diego.)
Sandy Huffaker Getty Images

This probably isn't going to satisfy many of those who think of The X-Files as a documentary series, but the Obama administration has now put the White House on record as saying the government doesn't have any evidence of life "out there."

And the Obama team doesn't believe anything's being hidden from us.

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The Two-Way
8:30 am
Tue November 8, 2011

Reports: Sarkozy Heard Telling Obama That Netanyahu Is 'A Liar'

President Obama, right, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy last Thursday in Cannes, France.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 8, 2011 8:33 am

French President Nicolas Sarkozy was overheard last week telling President Obama that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is "a liar," according to reports from Reuters, The Associated Press and other news outlets.

Sarkozy also said of Netanyahu that "I can't stand him," the stories say.

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The Two-Way
7:35 am
Tue November 8, 2011

Should Penn State Clean House, Including Paterno?

Penn State football coach Joe Paterno in 1997.
Rick Stewart Getty Images

The allegations that former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky sexually abused young boys and that university officials, including legendary coach Joe Paterno, had been warned years ago about what was supposedly happening and never informed police have raised an obvious question:

Is it time for the 84-year-old Paterno to step down and for a complete "house cleaning" of the school's football program?

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Tue November 8, 2011

Boxer Joe Frazier, Who Beat Ali In The 'Fight Of The Century,' Has Died

Joe Frazier (left) hits Muhammad Ali during the 15th round of their heavyweight title bout — the "Fight of the Century" — at New York's Madison Square Garden in March 1971.
AP

Originally published on Tue November 8, 2011 7:02 am

A "sledgehammer left hook" that put Muhammad Ali on the canvas in 1971 pretty much tells the story of Joe Frazier's career, NPR's Tom Goldman says.

"It was as crushing and symbolic" as any of Frazier's punches over his long career, Tom said on Morning Edition. "It put his bitter rival, Muhammad Ali, on his 'float like a butterfly, sting like a bee' keister at Madison Square Garden in what came to be known as the "Fight of the Century."

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The Two-Way
6:22 am
Tue November 8, 2011

Cain: 'There's Not An Ounce Of Truth' In Latest Allegations

Sharon Bialek, left, aired her accusations against Herman Cain during a news conference Monday in New York City. The event was organized by lawyer Gloria Allred, right.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 8, 2011 10:23 am

After watching a woman accuse him Monday of groping her and other inappropriate sexual behavior, "I says 'well, I know what we got to do,' because there's not a ounce of truth in all of these accusations," Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said early today on ABC TV's Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Cain said he'll be holding a news conference this afternoon in Phoenix to address the allegations.

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The Two-Way
2:47 pm
Mon November 7, 2011

President Clinton: 'There's Very Little Talk About What Actually Works'

Former President Clinton and President Obama at the White House; December 10, 2010.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

As he listens to the current debate in Washington over the budget deficit, taxes and economic policy, former President Bill Clinton says the discussion lacks a lot.

"It's all about 'is the government good or bad or taxes always good or bad?' " he told Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep during an conversation that's scheduled to air Tuesday. "There's very little talk about what actually works."

That's why Clinton has a new book — Back to Work — with this subtitle: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy.

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The Two-Way
1:12 pm
Mon November 7, 2011

New Cain Accuser Steps Forward With Detailed Allegation

Sharon Bialek during her appearance before reporters today in New York City.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

A Chicago woman just told reporters that in a 1997 encounter with 2012 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain in Washington, D.C., he reached under her skirt and tried to pull her head toward his crotch.

A Cain spokesman calls the story "more false accusations."

Sharon Bialek, who said she had come to Cain for employment advice, claimed he took her out to dinner and then in his car "suddenly reached over and put his hand on my leg under my skirt and reached for my genitals." Then, she said, he "grabbed my head and brought it toward his crotch."

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The Two-Way
10:32 am
Mon November 7, 2011

New Cain Accuser Expected To Come Forward Today

Originally published on Mon November 7, 2011 11:58 am

Attorney Gloria Allred's office just sent this message to reporters:

"A woman who alleges that she was sexually harassed by Presidential hopeful, Herman Cain, when she sought his help with an employment issue when he was President of the National Restaurant Association will hold a news conference with her Attorney, Gloria Allred on Monday, November 7th, at 1:30 p.m. (e.s.t.) at the Friars Club, 57 East 55th Street New York, NY 10022.

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The Two-Way
9:05 am
Mon November 7, 2011

Ali Has Frazier In His Prayers: Smokin' Joe Is In Hospice Care

You didn't have to be a boxing fan in the '70s to know the name Joe Frazier and to know that he'll forever be linked to Muhammad Ali.

Smokin' Joe was, as The Associated Press reminds us, the first man to beat Ali, "knocking him down and taking a decision in the so-called Fight of the Century at Madison Square Garden in 1971. He would go on to lose two more fights to Ali, including the epic 'Thrilla in Manila.' "

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The Two-Way
8:35 am
Mon November 7, 2011

Berlusconi: Resignation Rumors 'Are Groundless'

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi during the G-20 summit last Friday in Cannes, France.
Michel Euler AP

Originally published on Mon November 7, 2011 8:42 am

It's never a good sign for a leader's longevity when he has to issue a statement like this:

"The rumors of my resignation are groundless."

That's from Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi this morning, on his official Facebook page.

As The Associated Press writes, earlier today:

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Mon November 7, 2011

Older Adults Are Now 47 Times Richer Than Those Under 35

In Los Angeles: A man dressed as John Lennon at the "Move Your Money" protest on Saturday. He and others protested bank fees and pushed for "good jobs."
David McNew Getty Images

There's been a huge increase in the wealth gap between older Americans and those just entering adulthood, according to a new analysis of Census Bureau data done by the Pew Research Center.

According to Pew's study:

In 2009, "households headed by adults ages 65 and older ... had 47 times as much net wealth as the typical household headed by someone" under 35 years of age. Pew says that "back in 1984, this had been a less lopsided 10-to-1 ratio."

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Mon November 7, 2011

Top Stories: Iran, Penn State, Greece

The Two-Way
6:55 am
Mon November 7, 2011

Penn State Abuse Allegations: 'A Culture That Did Nothing To Stop It'

Aug. 6, 1999: Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno, right, with his then-defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
Paul Vathis AP

Originally published on Mon November 7, 2011 12:18 pm

The alleged sexual abuse of children by a former assistant coach on the Penn State University football team was allowed to continue for at least a decade because of "a culture that did nothing to stop it" at the school, Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan just told reporters in Harrisburg.

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The Two-Way
6:00 am
Mon November 7, 2011

Report: Iran On 'Threshold Of Nuclear Capability'

April 2010: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveils a sample of the third generation centrifuge for uranium enrichment during a ceremony in Tehran on April 9, 2010. Iran says its nuclear ambitions are peaceful.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

"Intelligence provided to U.N. nuclear officials shows that Iran's government has mastered the critical steps needed to build a nuclear weapon, receiving assistance from foreign scientists to overcome key technical hurdles," The Washington Post reports this morning.

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