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
12:19 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Newtown Shootings Inspire '26 Acts Of Kindness' Campaign

A woman and child earlier this week at a makeshift memorial in Newtown, Conn.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 2:33 pm

The idea is simple:

Do "26 acts of kindness" — one for each of the 20 children and six adults killed last Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Since NBC News' Ann Curry tweeted that idea earlier this week, it's taken off. Thousands have tweeted back to her about things they've done.

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The Two-Way
10:26 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Armored Backpacks, Volunteer Guards Among Responses To School Shootings

U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Sgt. Craig Pusley stood guard Wednesday at Hughson Elementary School in Modesto, Calif.
Ed Crisostomo MCT /Landov

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 10:47 am

The latest stories about how the nation is reacting to last Friday's school shooting in Newtown, Conn., which left 20 first-graders and six adults dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School, include:

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The Two-Way
9:39 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Sales Of Existing Homes Hit Three-Year High

San Francisco: A "sold" sign in front of a home earlier this year.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 10:04 am

There was a 5.9 percent rise in sales of previously owned homes in November from October, the National Association of Realtors says.

At their 5.04 million annual rate, sales were the highest since November 2009.

"Momentum continues to build," NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun says in the organization's report.

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The Two-Way
8:13 am
Thu December 20, 2012

NYSE Being Bought For $8.2B By Atlanta-based IntercontinentalExchange

The floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:34 pm

The New York Stock Exchange will be acquired by IntercontinentalExchange of Atlanta in a deal valued at about $8.2 billion, the two rivals confirmed Thursday morning.

In matching press releases, they say the sale "combines two leading exchange groups to create a premier global exchange operator diversified across markets including agricultural and energy commodities, credit derivatives, equities and equity derivatives, foreign exchange and interest rates."

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The Two-Way
7:51 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Third Quarter Economic Growth Revised Up Again

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 7:48 am

The best estimate of how quickly the economy was growing in the third quarter has been revised upward again — a sign that as summer turned into fall things were better than first thought.

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The Two-Way
7:31 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Blizzard Warnings In Upper Midwest; Possible Tornado In Alabama

A snow plow made its way down a county road in Waupun, Wis., earlier today.
Jeffrey Phelps EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 11:26 am

A winter storm that has brought blizzard conditions to parts of the Upper Midwest from Iowa into Minnesota and Wisconsin has authorities urging folks to stay off the roads and airlines warning of flight delays at Chicago's O'Hare and other airports in the region.

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The Two-Way
7:09 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Today's 'Plan B' Vote: Part Of Posturing Or A Push Over The 'Fiscal Cliff?'

Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 11:45 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': Mara Liasson and David Greene

With the House set to vote this afternoon on Republicans' "Plan B" for avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff, the questions that have been asked every day for weeks are being asked yet again, with added urgency:

Are we headed over that "cliff" of automatic spending cuts, tax increases and expiring job benefits? Or are President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, closer to a deal than they're letting on in public?

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Death Penalty Possible In Court Martial Of Army Sgt. Accused Of Afghan Killings

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales during an August 2011 training exercise at Fort Irwin, Calif.
Spc. Ryan Hallock AFP/Getty Images

The Army staff sergeant accused in the March 11 murders of 16 Afghan civilians and shooting of six others could be given the death penalty if he's convicted of all the charges officially filed against him this week, a General Court-Martial Convening Authority announced Wednesday.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, 39, prosecutors say, attacked two villages near his base in southern Afghanistan. Among the 16 people killed, nine were children.

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The Two-Way
12:19 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Let Teachers Carry Guns? Some State Lawmakers Say Yes

A sign some would like to see amended at schools.
Dave Kaup Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 1:52 pm

There are reports from a variety of states about local lawmakers who want to give teachers the right to bring guns to school. They're making the case that school shootings such as the one Friday in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 small children and six adults dead could be prevented or stopped if some school staffers were armed.

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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Wed December 19, 2012

'Take Me Out Of It,' President Urges GOP, And 'Take The Deal'

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 1:32 pm

With the end-of-year deadline looming on automatic tax increases and spending cuts, President Obama on Wednesday made the case that Republicans should recognize "I have met them at least halfway in order to get something done for the country."

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The Two-Way
11:29 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Obama Asks Biden To Draft 'Concrete Proposals' On Guns By January

Vice President Biden watched as President Obama spoke earlier today in the White House briefing room.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 12:28 pm

Saying the nation has a "deep obligation" to take steps to reduce gun violence, President Obama confirmed Wednesday that he's asked Vice President Biden to head a task force charged with drafting "concrete proposals, no later than January."

And, Obama said, he will push them "without delay."

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The Two-Way
9:40 am
Wed December 19, 2012

White House Says Obama Would Veto GOP's 'Plan B' For Avoiding 'Fiscal Cliff'

The president would use his pen to just say no, White House promises.
Kristoffer Tripplaar/Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 10:22 am

Making the case that the "Plan B" proposed by House Republicans to keep the federal government from going over the so-called fiscal cliff at the end of the year "does not meet the test of balance," the White House announced this morning that President Obama would veto such legislation if it came to his desk.

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The Two-Way
9:09 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Robert Bork, Who Was Turned Down For Supreme Court, Dies

Judge Robert Bork in September 1987, at the Senate hearing on his nomination to the Supreme Court.
Charles Tasnadi AP

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 12:26 pm

Robert Bork, who was at the center of Senate hearings that "marked the modern battle lines over judicial nominations," as NPR's Nina Totenberg has said, is dead, according to The New York Times, Fox News and The Associated Press.

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The Two-Way
8:07 am
Wed December 19, 2012

UPDATE: 'Eagle Snatches Kid' Video Makers Admit Hoax

Real or not?
YouTube

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 1:14 pm

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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Newtown Shootings: Funerals Continue; Biden To Lead Task Force

Candles with the names of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, at a makeshift memorial near the entrance to the grounds of Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Some of today's headlines and news about the shootings at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., last Friday. Twenty children and six adults were killed by the gunman who attacked Sandy Hook Elementary:

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The Two-Way
7:02 am
Wed December 19, 2012

President Obama Is 'Time' Magazine's 'Person Of The Year'

Spencer Platt Getty Images

Writing that "after four of the most challenging years in the nation's history, his chance to leave office as a great president who was able to face crises and build a new majority coalition remains within reach," Time magazine has named President Obama its "person of the year."

The others on Time's "short list" were:

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The Two-Way
6:18 am
Wed December 19, 2012

UBS To Pay $1.5 Billion For 'Routine And Widespread' Rate Rigging

The logo of Swiss banking giant UBS in Zurich, Switzerland.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Swiss banking giant UBS AG has agreed to pay $1.5 billion in fines to regulators in the U.S., Britain and Switzerland for its part in a scheme to manipulate the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR), which is used to set rates on contracts around the world.

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The Two-Way
2:46 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

How Much Good Can You Do? There's A Calculator For That

Toby Ord, founder of Giving What We Can.
Giving What We Can

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 2:16 pm

This time of year, many are thinking about giving to one charity or another and wondering just how much good their donations will do.

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The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Obama Supports New Bid To Ban Assault Weapons, Close Gun Show 'Loophole'

At the Freddie Bear Sports shop in Tinley Park, Ill., Jason Zielinski shows AR-15 style rifles to a customer.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 12:59 pm

President Obama has thrown his support behind a leading Democratic senator's effort to reinstate a ban on assault weapons — another sign that Friday's mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut has put gun control back on Washington's political agenda.

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Tue December 18, 2012

No Federal 'Cyberstalking' Charges Against Woman In Petraeus Affair

Paula Broadwell in July 2011.
ISAF Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 12:54 pm

Paula Broadwell, whose affair with retired Gen. David Petraeus led to his resignation from the post of CIA director, will not face federal charges related to the alleged cyberstalking of another woman, according to a letter sent by the Justice Department to Broadwell's attorney.

Robert Muse, Broadwell's lawyer, has released the letter from Assistant U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow that says, in part:

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The Two-Way
10:04 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Nancy Lanza, Gunman's Mother: From 'Charmed Upbringing' To First Victim

Nancy J. Lanza, mother of suspected mass shooter Adam Lanza, was one of the 26 victims of the mass shooting on Friday.
Handout Courtesy of family of Nancy Lanza via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 12:34 pm

Before he forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday and began a rampage that would leave 20 children and six adults dead, police say, 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother at their home in Newtown, Conn.

Who was Nancy Lanza, 52?

A picture is emerging.

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The Two-Way
7:22 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Is A 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal Near?

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, at the White House last month.
Toby Jorrin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 4:50 am

(Scroll down for updates on the GOP's "plan B" and White House rejecting it.)

Talks are "heating up."

Differences are "narrowing."

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The Two-Way
7:01 am
Tue December 18, 2012

NBC News' Richard Engel, Two Colleagues Freed From Syrian Captors

NBC News' Richard Engel. (2009 file shot.)
Meet the Press Getty Images

NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel and two members of his production team are free after five days of being held captive in Syria.

The network says Engel and his colleagues were traveling with rebels in Syria last Thursday when they were kidnapped by armed men. Their captors "executed one of the rebels 'on the spot,' " NBC says.

Monday evening, NBC reports:

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The Two-Way
6:35 am
Tue December 18, 2012

In A 'Numb' Newtown, Students Head Back To School

In Newtown: A memorial to the victims.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 12:00 pm

  • NPR's Don Gonyea, reporting on 'Morning Edition'

Most students returned to school today in Newtown, Conn., site of Friday's mass shooting at an elementary school that left 20 first-graders and six adults dead or dying.

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The Two-Way
1:45 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Time To Talk About Assault Weapon Ban, Says 'Gun Rights' Sen. Manchin

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
Mike Theiler UPI /Landov

It's time to talk about both banning assault weapons and how the nation treats those with mental illness, one of the Senate's most notable "gun rights" Democrats said today.

Friday's mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., "has changed where we go from here," West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said on MSNBC's Morning Joe show.

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