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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11:36am

Tue January 8, 2013
The Two-Way

Must-See Or Must-Avoid TV? Alex Jones Rails On Piers Morgan

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 2:18 pm

Piers Morgan, left, and Alex Jones on Monday night.
CNN.com

There's really not much we need to add regarding Monday night's "discussion" about guns and gun control on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight. Everyone's perfectly capable of forming their own opinions.

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10:18am

Tue January 8, 2013
The Two-Way

A Life Examined: Who Was The Victim So Brutally Murdered In India?

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 5:37 pm

At a vigil last week in Calcutta, India, the victim was remembered and calls were made for new laws to protect women.
Dibyangshu Sarkar AFP/Getty Images

Her death has caused outrage in India and around the world.

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9:05am

Tue January 8, 2013
The Two-Way

Gays Separated From Military Since Late '04 To Get Full Discharge Pay

Dec. 21, 2011: Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta, left, kisses her girlfriend of two years, Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek in Virginia Beach, Va. Gaeta's ship had returned from 80 days at sea. Their "first kiss" that day was a first of its kind for the Navy.
Brian J. Clark The Virginian-Pilot/AP

Gays who were forced to leave the U.S. military before 2011's repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy were often given honorable discharges — but were only granted about half of the discharge pay that otherwise would have been due to them.

After the settlement Monday of a class action lawsuit brought in New Mexico, about 181 such men and women will be getting the money that was withheld.

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8:20am

Tue January 8, 2013
The Two-Way

Mystery: How Did Million Dollar Lottery Winner End Up Dead From Cyanide?

Urooj Khan, with his winning lottery ticket. Not long after this photo was taken, he was dead.
AP

One day after the check was issued, million dollar lottery winner Urooj Khan was dead.

The initial report from the Cook County (Ill.) Medical Examiner's office cited natural causes.

But now, authorities say, they've determined that Khan's July 20 death was due to cyanide poisoning. So Chicago police are back on the case.

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7:38am

Tue January 8, 2013
The Two-Way

Richard Ben Cramer, Winner Of Pulitzer Prize And Masterful Reporter, Dies

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 12:22 pm

Richard Ben Cramer
Bill Marr Simon & Schuster

Richard Ben Cramer, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1979 for his reporting from the Middle East for the Philadelphia Inquirer and went on to write critically acclaimed books and magazine pieces, has died.

The Inquirer reports that Cramer, who was 62, "died Monday ... of lung cancer at the Johns Hopkins [Medical Institutions] in Baltimore."

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7:10am

Tue January 8, 2013
The Two-Way

'Enough,' Says Giffords As She Launches Campaign For New Gun Laws

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 8:22 am

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., during her interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer.
ABCNews.com

When children are gunned down in their classrooms, as happened last month in Newtown, Conn., it's time to say "enough," former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., tells ABC News.

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6:30am

Tue January 8, 2013
The Two-Way

Benghazi Attack: Only Man Who Was In Custody Is Now Free, Lawyer Says

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 8:22 am

A burned vehicle outside the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, after the Sept. 11, 2012, attack.
Esam Omran Al-Fetori Reuters /Landov

Ali Harzi, the only person who had been known to be in custody in connection with last September's attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, has been released by authorities in his native Tunisia, the suspect's lawyer tell The Associated Press.

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2:45pm

Mon January 7, 2013
The Two-Way

'Gun Appreciation Day' Is Jan. 19, Conservative Groups Declare

At the Great Southern Gun and Knife Show in Birmingham, Ala., over the weekend, rows of weapons drew a record crowd.
Joe Songer AL.COM /Landov

Saying they're following the example of last year's Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, a coalition of "gun rights" activists announced today that they're calling on like-minded Americans to visit gun stores, gun ranges and gun shows on Jan. 19 in a show of unity they're calling "Gun Appreciation Day."

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1:57pm

Mon January 7, 2013
The Two-Way

Kilograms With Weight Problems May Get High-Tech Cleanings

Back in 2009, as Morning Edition reported, some scientists were worried that the small metal cylinder used as the world's standard for what a kilogram should be might be losing weight.

But there were also those who thought the problem might have nothing to do with that carefully sealed away cylinder in Paris — that the real problem might be that the 40 replicas sent around the world are gaining weight.

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11:49am

Mon January 7, 2013
The Two-Way

Obama Nominates Hagel For Defense, Brennan For CIA

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 1:16 pm

The nominees: John Brennan (left), who is President Obama's choice to head the CIA; and former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., who the president has asked to be secretary of defense.
STAFF Reuters /Landov
  • NPR coverage of the Hagel/Brennan nomination announcements

President Obama this afternoon nominated former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., to be his next defense secretary and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to lead the Central Intelligence Agency.

In those two, the president said, he has chosen men with experience in the field and who "understand the consequences of decisions we make in this town" on the men and women who serve America around the world,

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11:49am

Mon January 7, 2013
The Two-Way

Secretary Clinton Back At Work

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (at right, in front) in a photo released today (Jan 7, 2013) by the State Department. A spokesman says it was taken around 9:15 a.m. ET at a meeting with the department's assistant secretaries.
State Department

After nearly a month of health problems that culminated with a stay in a New York City hospital for treatment of a blood clot in a vein between her brain and her skull, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was back in her office Monday morning.

The State Department released a photo of the 65-year-old, soon-to-be-retired Clinton chairing a weekly meeting of assistant secretaries.

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10:35am

Mon January 7, 2013
The Two-Way

Big Banks Agree To Pay $8.5 Billion To Settle Foreclosure-Abuse Claims

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 5:26 pm

April 2011: A foreclosure sign in front of a home in Richmond, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Ten of the nation's major mortgage servicing companies, including household names such as Bank of America and Citibank, have agreed to pay $8.5 billion to resolve claims that they abused some homeowners when they foreclosed on mortgages during the recent housing crisis, the Federal Reserve and the Comptroller of the Currency announced late Monday morning.

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9:51am

Mon January 7, 2013
The Two-Way

Lee Harvey Oswald's Apartment Building Is Coming Down, Dallas Declares

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 4:25 pm

Lee Harvey Oswald on Nov. 23, 1963, after his arrest for President Kennedy's assassination. The next day, Oswald was shot and killed as he was being moved from a Dallas police station to the local county jail.
dpa /Landov

After more than a year of legal wrangling, the city of Dallas has apparently decided enough is enough.

It is sending contractors to an apartment building once lived in by presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald to tear the dilapidated structure down.

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7:50am

Mon January 7, 2013
The Two-Way

Top Stories: CIA Nomination; Aurora Shooting Hearing; Football

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III reinjured his right knee during Sunday's playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks. Washington lost 24-14.
Al Bello Getty Images

Good morning.

Our first two headlines of the day were on news that broke this morning:

-- Counterterrorism Adviser Brennan To Be Tapped For CIA.

-- Bank Of America To Pay Fannie Mae $3.6B, Buy Back $6.75B In Mortgages.

Other stories making headlines:

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7:39am

Mon January 7, 2013
The Two-Way

Bank Of America To Pay Fannie Mae $3.6B, Buy Back $6.75B In Mortgages

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 8:43 am

Bank of America's corporate center in Charlotte, N.C.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Bank of America announced this morning that it will pay the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) $3.6 billion in cash and will buy back $6.75 billion worth of mortgages to resolve claims related to mortgage-backed securities sold to Fannie Mae by the bank and Countrywide Financial Corp. (which BofA acquired in 2008.

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