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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11:16am

Thu January 24, 2013
The Two-Way

Democrats Unveil Bill To Ban Assault-Style Weapons

Semi-automatic assault-style rifles on display at a gun show in Chantilly, Va., in 2009.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

As they said they would following the Dec. 14 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Democrats today unveiled legislation that would ban assault-style weapons.

The lead lawmaker, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, has summed up the legislation's key points this way:

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9:52am

Thu January 24, 2013
The Two-Way

Yikes! 15,000 Crocodiles Escape Farm In South Africa, Area Evacuated

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 5:44 pm

His cousins are on the loose. (2008 file photo taken at the Leopard Creek Country Club in Malelane, South Africa.)
Warren Little Getty Images

As flood waters rose Sunday, a South African crocodile farmer near the border with Botswana was forced to open his gates to prevent a storm surge from destroying the property.

And, no, this isn't the plot of some horror flick:

About 15,000 crocodiles escaped, according to the local newspaper, Beeld.

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8:23am

Thu January 24, 2013
The Two-Way

Obama Chooses Former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White To Head SEC

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 9:43 am

Mary Jo White, who President Obama wants to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Brendan McDermid Reuters /Landov

Mary Jo White, a former U.S. attorney in New York who prosecuted terrorists responsible for the bombings of the World Trade Center and U.S. embassies in Africa, will be nominated by President Obama to head the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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8:22am

Thu January 24, 2013
The Two-Way

After Clinton's 'Outrage,' It's On To Kerry's Confirmation Hearing

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her testimony Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

The post-hearing stories about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's appearances Wednesday on Capitol Hill are focusing on her strong response to Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson's charge that the Obama administration initially misled the nation about who was responsible for the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, last September.

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7:45am

Thu January 24, 2013
The Two-Way

Jobless Claims Hold At Five-Year Low

The number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance dipped by 5,000 last week from the week before, to 330,000, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

That means claims remain at a low level not seen since January 2008.

Another measure, the "4-week moving average" that is supposed to give a broader look at the trend, declined by 8,250 — to 351,750.

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6:51am

Thu January 24, 2013
The Two-Way

Combat? Reaction Of Many Women In Military Is 'Been There, Done That'

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 5:44 pm

Hospital Corpsman Shannon Crowley, with a Marine Corps. Female Engagement Team, in Musa Qala, Afghanistan, in November 2010.
Paula Bronstein Getty Images
  • Tom Bowman reporting for the NPR Newscast
  • From 'Morning Edition': The news on women in combat

Update at 1:40 p.m. ET: Saying that American men and women are "fighting and dying together and the time has come for our policies to recognize that reality," Defense Secretary Leon Panetta confirmed Thursday afternoon that the Pentagon's rule banning women from combat positions is being rescinded.

Panetta said that as the Pentagon works through how to implement the change, the goal will be to "eliminate all unnecessary gender-based barriers to service."

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12:47pm

Wed January 23, 2013
The Two-Way

A Tennis Tale: Once Famous, 'Gorgeous Gussie' Dies In Obscurity

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 9:10 am

Gertrude Moran, "Gorgeous Gussie," playing at Wimbledon in 1949. Her attire, which included a bit of lace, shocked some.
George W. Hales Getty Images

11:38am

Wed January 23, 2013
The Two-Way

House Passes GOP's Debt-Ceiling Plan; Senate Democrats Offer Their Support

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 1:01 pm

The House of Representatives (Jan. 3 file photo).
Kevin Lamarque Reuters /Landov

Update at 1:25 p.m. ET: By a vote of 285-144, the House just passed a Republican plan that postpones for three months the federal government's next bump up against the so-called debt ceiling.

As we said earlier, the measure would head off another big battle over raising the government's borrowing authority — such as the one in 2011 that almost led to a government shutdown.

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10:23am

Wed January 23, 2013
The Two-Way

Beyonce May Have Been Live And Pre-recorded

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 10:47 am

Pat Benic DPA /LANDOV

8:36am

Wed January 23, 2013
The Two-Way

U.K.'s Cameron Floats Idea Of Vote On E.U. Membership; Other Leaders Protest

British Prime Minister David Cameron earlier today in London as he spoke about a vote on E.U. membership.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

"Britain's prime minister said Wednesday he will offer citizens a vote on whether to leave the European Union if his party wins the next election, prompting warnings from fellow member states about the soundness of such a move," The Associated Press writes.

The wire service adds that:

"Cameron proposed Wednesday that his Conservative Party renegotiate the U.K.'s relationship with the European Union if it wins the next general election, expected in 2015.

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7:45am

Wed January 23, 2013
The Two-Way

Manti Te'o Says He Lied After Learning 'Girlfriend' Was A Hoax

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 10:19 am

Manti Te'o during his interview with Katie Couric.
ABCNews.go.com

ABC News is beginning to release bits of Katie Couric's conversation with Notre Dame football star Manti Te'o, and the first highlight the network is spotlighting is this:

"Manti Te'o briefly lied to the media and the public after discovering his online girlfriend did not exist ... he admitted in an exclusive interview with ABC News' Katie Couric."

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7:01am

Wed January 23, 2013
The Two-Way

How Cold Is It? It's So Cold ...

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 6:20 am

Julie Caruso of Akron, Ohio, was wrapped up Tuesday as she waited in line for a White House tour. It was well below freezing in the nation's capital. Temperatures were even lower in other parts of the nation.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters /Landov
  • From the NPR Newscast: Jean Cochran on the cold wave

As Mom would say, bundle up. If you go outside today just about anywhere from North Dakota east and south through the upper Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and up into New England, it's freezing.

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2:36pm

Tue January 22, 2013
The Two-Way

French Soldier's Skeleton Scarf Goes Viral, Military Launches Investigation

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 5:54 pm

This isn't the sort of picture of a French soldier that his commanders want to see. Photographer Issouf Sanogo says troops were protecting their faces from dust kicked up by a helicopter landing in central Mali on Sunday.
Issouf Sanogo AFP/Getty Images

The photo is quite striking, to be sure.

Agence France Press photographer Issouf Sanogo writes that when he was with French soldiers in central Mali on Sunday, "a helicopter was coming in to land and churning up tremendous dust clouds. Instinctively, all the soldiers grabbed their scarfs to avoid getting a mouthful of sand."

Sanogo started taking pictures.

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1:49pm

Tue January 22, 2013
The Two-Way

Beyonce's National Anthem Was Pre-Recorded, Marine Band Says

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 1:02 pm

Pat Benic DPA /LANDOV

Update at 6:14 p.m. ET. Backing Off?

Capt. Eric Flanagan, a spokesman for the United States Marine Corps, sent us a statement that seems to back off a bit from their earlier statements saying Beyoncé lip-synced her way through the National Anthem during President Obama's inauguration, yesterday.

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12:35pm

Tue January 22, 2013
The Two-Way

White House 'Welcomes' House Vote On Extending Debt Limit

White House spokesman Jay Carney.
Drew Angerer AFP/Getty Images

President Obama "welcomes" the plan by House Republicans to vote Wednesday on a three-month extension of the nation's borrowing limit, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters today, and "would not stand in the way of the bill becoming law." (The Hill)

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