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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8:48am

Thu January 10, 2013
The Two-Way

If Obama Took 'Executive Action' On Guns, What Might He Do?

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 6:29 am

Vice President Biden and President Obama at the White House on Dec. 19. Biden has been charged with drawing up "concrete proposals" on how to reduce gun violence.
Fang Zhe Xinhua /Landov

After Vice President Biden said Wednesday that the Obama administration might take some executive actions on the issues of guns and gun-related violence, questions naturally arose:

What kinds of things was he talking about? What might the administration do that doesn't require Congressional action?

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7:49am

Thu January 10, 2013
The Two-Way

'Lincoln' Leads With 12 Oscar Nominations

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 8:20 am

Daniel Day-Lewis, in the lead role of Lincoln.
David James DreamWorks

Update at 9:00 a.m. ET:

Lincoln, director Stephen Spielberg's acclaimed look at the 16th president's push for the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery, has been nominated for Oscar awards in 12 categories, it was announced this morning in Hollywood. That's the most for any single film.

Life of Pi is up for 11 awards. Les Miserables and Silver Linings Playbook are up for eight.

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7:16am

Thu January 10, 2013
The Two-Way

Crazy Or Canny? Talk Grows About $1 Trillion Platinum Coin

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 12:15 pm

No, this isn't worth $1 trillion. It's a commemorative coin minted in the U.K. in 2008. But some have suggested the president's image should be on it if he orders up a $1 trillion coin.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

We're pretty sure this won't happen.

But ...

You practically can't visit a news site these days without seeing a story about why President Obama should or should not order the Treasury Department to strike a platinum coin "worth" $1 trillion and deposit it with the Federal Reserve.

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6:17am

Thu January 10, 2013
The Two-Way

Three Kurdish Activists Found Dead In Paris; 'Without Doubt An Execution'

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 11:10 am

An undated of Sakine Cansiz, one of three Kurdish activists found shot to death today in Paris.
AFP/Getty Images

Three Kurdish women, one of them a founding member of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that seeks autonomy for Kurds in Turkey, were found shot to death today in Paris.

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1:49pm

Wed January 9, 2013
The Two-Way

Signature? Doodle? Check How A Treasury Secretary Lew Might Sign Your Dollars

Jacob "Jack" Lew's signature, on the 2012 "Mid-Session Review" of the federal budget. He was director of the Office of Management and Budget at the time.
WhiteHouse.gov

Treasury secretaries get to see their signatures on the nation's currency.

With word that President Obama wants to nominate his chief of staff, Jacob "Jack" Lew," to that post, lots of sites are taking a look at his rather unique signature.

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12:17pm

Wed January 9, 2013
The Two-Way

Colorado Shooting Hearing Ends With Chilling Photos, No Defense Witnesses

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 5:31 pm

James Holmes in a photo from the Arapahoe County (Colo.) Sheriff's Office.
AP

In the weeks before the attack, James Holmes took photos of the Colorado movie theater where 12 people were killed and dozens more wounded in last summer's mass shooting, prosecutors revealed Wednesday at a court hearing in Colorado.

They also introduced photos he took on the night of the midnight massacre, the Denver Post reports:

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11:45am

Wed January 9, 2013
The Two-Way

Gun Show Will Go On In N.Y. Town Despite Post-Sandy Hook Opposition

The crowd was large at a March 2012 gun show in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Ed Burke Courtesy of The Saratogian

"City Center officials announced Wednesday that this weekend's Saratoga Arms Fair will go on as scheduled, despite pleas from opponents who want the event canceled," the local Saratogian reports.

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10:40am

Wed January 9, 2013
The Two-Way

Reports: Obama Has Settled On Jack Lew, His Chief Of Staff, For Treasury

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 5:46 am

Jack Lew, current White House chief of staff. He's likely to be the nominee for treasury secretary.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Update: At 6 a.m. ET. Jan. 10, White House Announcement:

The White House has officially confirmed that President Obama will nominate his chief of staff, Jacob "Jack" Lew, to be the next Treasury secretary. According to a statement, the announcement is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET today (Thursday).

NPR's Scott Horsley had more about the nomination on Morning Edition.

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9:05am

Wed January 9, 2013
The Two-Way

Many Injured When Ferry Hits Pier In Lower Manhattan

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 3:54 pm

An injured person is moved to an ambulance following a ferry accident during rush hour in Lower Manhattan on Wednesday. At least 50 people were injured, according to news reports. The ferry ran into a pier, causing a large gash on its front side.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

"A commuter ferry had a hard landing when it pulled into a Lower Manhattan pier, injuring at least 53 people Monday morning," WABC-TV is reporting.

At least one person suffered a serious head injury, according to The Associated Press.

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8:36am

Wed January 9, 2013
The Two-Way

'Zorbing' Death Brings Call For Safety Rules; Fatal Ride Captured On Video

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 9:02 am

A screen image from video of the "zorb" as it began rolling down a mountain in southern Russia last week. One of the two men inside would die from injuries received after it careened into a ravine.
YouTube

Video of two Russian men climbing into an inflatable ball and rolling down a Russian mountain on a ride that would take them over a cliff, into a ravine, on to a frozen lake and cause one of the men's death, is getting a lot of views today.

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7:10am

Wed January 9, 2013
The Two-Way

AIG Would Be 'Hard Pressed' To Join Lawsuit Over Its Federal Bailout

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 4:00 pm

Manhattan: The headquarters of American International Group Inc. (AIG).
Shen Hong Xinhua /Landov
  • From 'Morning Edition'

Update at 4:50 p.m. ET. AIG Board Confirms Its Stance:

AIG's board of directors say they've rejected calls by Starr International Company to contest part of the federal rescue of AIG in September of 2008.

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6:30am

Wed January 9, 2013
The Two-Way

Talk Of Delaying Brennan Nomination 'Unfortunate,' White House Says

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 8:49 am

John Brennan, President Obama's nominee to be the next CIA director.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

While the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., to be secretary of defense has drawn opposition from groups who question his views on policy toward Israel and Iran, the nomination of White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to be CIA director may be delayed by senators who want to know more about last September's attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.:

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2:04pm

Tue January 8, 2013
The Two-Way

NRA Accepts Biden's Invitation To Meet

Vice President Biden.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters /Landov

"We are sending a rep to hear what they have to say," National Rifle Association spokesman Andrew Arulanandam says of the organization's decision to accept an invitation from the task force Vice President Biden is leading — the group that's studying gun laws and related issues in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Con

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1:37pm

Tue January 8, 2013
The Two-Way

It's In The Books: 2012 Was Warmest Year On Record For Lower 48 States

July 22, 2012: In Baltimore, John Rose tried to keep cool during one of the year's heat waves.
Rob Carr Getty Images

Last year "marked the warmest year on record for the contiguous United States," the National Climatic Data Center just confirmed.

This probably won't surprise many, but "a record warm spring, second-warmest summer, fourth-warmest winter and a warmer-than-average autumn" combined to make the year's average temperature 55.3°F.

That's "3.2°F above the 20th century average, and 1.0°F above 1998, the previous warmest year."

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1:09pm

Tue January 8, 2013
The Two-Way

911 Calls Played And Traps In Holmes' Apartment Described In Colo. Court

A courtroom sketch of James Holmes as he was brought into a courtroom in Centennial, Colo., this week.
Bill Robles Reuters /Landov

On Day 2 of the preliminary hearing for James Holmes, who is charged with the murders of 12 people and wounding of dozens at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., last summer:

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