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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1:03pm

Mon December 24, 2012
The Two-Way

One Comment Says A Lot: Here's Why We're Grateful

Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

We want to say thank you.

Our colleague Kate Myers has been helping us look back on The Two-Way's year — the most popular posts, the most frequent commenters, the heaviest traffic days and other such measures. We'll share some of what she's found in coming days.

But something Kate just turned up strikes us as worth noting right away.

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11:50am

Mon December 24, 2012
The Two-Way

Christmas Day May Bring Tornadoes In Southeast

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 8:11 pm

Looking ahead to Tuesday and Wednesday: the darker the shading, the greater the risk of severe weather.
National Weather Service

Snow likely won't be the big weather story for much of the nation on Christmas Day, say the forecasters at the National Weather Service and The Weather Channel. But some potentially severe weather is in the forecast.

Tornadoes are possible along the Gulf Coast and in the Southeast. Here's what The Weather Channel says about Tuesday:

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9:55am

Mon December 24, 2012
The Two-Way

Firefighters Responding To Blaze Near Rochester, N.Y., Shot And Killed

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 1:38 pm

Two firefighters responding to the scene of a blaze near Rochester, N.Y., were killed today and another two were wounded when a gunman opened fire.

The apparent ambush in Webster, N.Y., was carried out by convicted murderer William Spengler, police believe. He was found dead at the scene, from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Spengler, 62, spent 17 years in prison for the 1980 murder of his grandmother.

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9:39am

Mon December 24, 2012
The Two-Way

VIDEO: NRA's LaPierre Says No To Ban On Large Capacity Magazines

The National Rifle Association's Wayne LaPierre.
Molly Riley UPI /Landov

One of the sharpest exchanges during his more than 20-minute long appearance Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press came when National Rifle Association CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre was asked why it wouldn't make sense to ban high capacity magazines for guns such as the one used to kill 20 school children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

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8:03am

Mon December 24, 2012
The Two-Way

Forget About Chimneys: Think Wormholes If You Want To See Santa

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 1:40 pm

Science says Santa's been tricking us with that reindeer stuff.
Martti Kainulainen AFP/Getty Images
  • David Greene and Neil deGrasse Tyson on the "science of Santa'

Sorry, Google. Sorry, NORAD.

Your online "Santa trackers" are cool.

But that jolly old elf has you both fooled.

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7:17am

Mon December 24, 2012
The Two-Way

Top Stories: 'Fiscal Cliff' Looms; NRA Sparks Controversy; Gun Sales Surge

At the Get Some Guns & Ammo store in Murray, Utah, over the weekend, sales were strong and there were empty spots beginning to appear on the wall display of weapons.
George Frey Landov

Good morning.

Our headlines from over the weekend and early today included:

-- Ho-Ho-Hum Last Shopping Weekend As 'Fiscal Cliff' Loomed.

-- Syrian Airstrikes Hit Bakery: 'Piles Of Bodies'.

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6:35am

Mon December 24, 2012
The Two-Way

Romney Didn't Want To Run, Son Says

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 6:41 am

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Election Night in Boston, as he conceded the race to President Obama.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

6:34am

Mon December 24, 2012
The Two-Way

Ho-Ho-Hum Last Shopping Weekend As 'Fiscal Cliff' Loomed

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 11:42 am

On this Christmas Eve there's this not-so-cheery news from The Associated Press:

"Christmas shoppers thronged malls and pounced on discounts but apparently spent less this year, their spirits dampened by concerns about the economy and the aftermath of shootings and storms."

The wire service says that:

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3:00pm

Fri December 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Darwin The 'IKEA Monkey' Can't Go Home For Christmas, Judge Rules

Darwin, when he was on the lam at IKEA.
ABC News

(Now, for something completely different.)

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10:08am

Fri December 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Only 'A Good Guy With A Gun' Can Stop School Shootings, NRA Says

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 1:08 pm

National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre at this morning's news conference in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

(We retopped this post at 11:35 a.m. ET.)

Saying that last week's mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., could have been prevented or stopped if there had been armed, trained security personnel on site, officials of the National Rifle Association on Friday called for Congress to appropriate funds to put police officers in every American school.

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9:37am

Fri December 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Obama Taps Sen. Kerry For Secretary Of State

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 3:02 pm

President Obama and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., at the White House this afternoon.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images
  • President Obama nominates Sen. Kerry

President Obama announced this afternoon that he will nominate Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to be his next secretary of state.

Kerry's long experience in the Senate (he was first elected in 1984) and especially in foreign affairs (he chairs the Foreign Relations Committee) mean the senator's "not going to need a lot of on-the-job training," Obama said.

We followed the short appearance at the White House by the president and Kerry and posted some highlights.

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9:09am

Fri December 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Boehner: 'We'll Continue To Work' On Avoiding Fiscal Cliff

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 9:14 am

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, at the Capitol on Wednesday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

On this morning after he couldn't get fellow Republicans to support his "Plan B" for avoiding the year end "fiscal cliff" of automatic tax increases and spending cuts, House Speaker John Boehner took some questions from reporters.

We listened in and posted updates. Hit your "refresh" button to see our latest additions:

-- Update at 10:12 a.m. ET. House Will Come Back "If We're Needed":

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7:53am

Fri December 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Consumer Spending, Orders For Durable Goods Rose In November

Shoppers at a K-B Toy store in northern Virginia last month.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

There are two positive economic signals to pass along this morning:

-- The Census Bureau says orders for durable goods rose 0.7 percent in November from October. That follows a 1.1 percent rise in October from September and is the sixth increase in the past seven months.

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7:30am

Fri December 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Everybody Over The Cliff?

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 8:25 am

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on Thursday in the Capitol.
Alex Wong Getty Images

House Speaker John Boehner's "major defeat" Thursday night — when he had to pull his "Plan B" to extend Bush-era tax cuts for nearly all American taxpayers because he couldn't get enough support from his fellow Republicans — means negotiations about avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff remain at an impasse.

So now what?

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6:58am

Fri December 21, 2012
The Two-Way

#MomentForSandyHook In Memory Of Newtown Victims

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 8:38 am

Stuffed animals and flowers at a makeshift memorial near the entrance to the grounds of Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Update at 9:36 a.m. ET: In Newtown and across the nation, bells rang starting at 9:30 a.m. ET, to honor the 20 children and six adults killed one week ago at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. And on the Web, it appears many did take part in #MomentForSandyHook — judging from the sharp slowdown in our Twitter feed.

Our original post:

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