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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9:21am

Wed November 28, 2012
The Two-Way

Winning Powerball? It's More Likely A Vending Machine Will Kill You

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 7:26 am

Don't shake it.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

Update at 12:25 p.m. ET: Since we first posted, the jackpot's been increased to $550 million from $500 million when the day began, so we've changed that figure below. That doesn't do anything to change the odds of winning.

Our original post:

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6:40am

Wed November 28, 2012
The Two-Way

In Cairo, Tensions Still High As 'Die-Hards' Continue To Protest

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 6:59 am

This protester in Cairo's Tahrir Square last night had a message for Egypt's president.
Khalil Hamra AP

Police have fired tear gas again in Cairo's Tahrir Square as authorities try to disperse several hundred protesters who are angry over President Mohammed Morsi's controversial grab for more power.

The crowd is much smaller than Tuesday's, according to NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, as well as correspondents from other news outlets.

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2:12pm

Tue November 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Powerball Jackpot Is $500 Million; Now Will You Buy A Chance?

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 6:23 pm

A ticket and a dream.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

We know there's only a 1 in 175 million chance of winning. Even then, you might have to share the prize.

But with Wednesday's Powerball jackpot now estimated to be $500 million (a record for that lottery), we wonder: Are Two-Way readers playing?

Yes, it is kind of silly to think that just because the jackpot has hit half a billion dollars it makes a lot more sense to buy a chance now than it did when you would "only" win $40 million.

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12:44pm

Tue November 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Grover Norquist: Pink Unicorns Aren't Real And GOP Won't Break Tax Pledge

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 5:35 pm

Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform and the man behind the pledge.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images
  • Grover Norquist on Keynesianism
  • Grover Norquist: Pink unicorns aren't real either
  • Congressman-elect Ted Yoho on 'Morning Edition'

There has not been a wave of defections by Republicans who signed on to his "no new taxes" pledge and even the few who have spoken about possibly going along with revenue increases won't do so in the end, anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist told NPR Tuesday.

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10:54am

Tue November 27, 2012
The Two-Way

GOP Senators More Troubled About Benghazi After Talking With Amb. Rice

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 3:56 pm

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., speaking to reporters after their meeting with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.
Win McNamee Getty Images

After meeting with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice this morning, three key Republican senators emerged to say they're more troubled — not less — by what they say were intelligence failures and misleading information concerning the September attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, which left four Americans dead.

One, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, said it's too soon to even be speculating about promoting Rice to be secretary of state.

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10:03am

Tue November 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Marvin Miller, Union Leader Who Brought Free Agency To Baseball, Dies

Marvin Miller, who rocked baseball, in 1966.
AP

Marvin Miller, "arguably the most significant figure in 20th century baseball" according to Morning Edition commentator Frank Deford, has died.

The former head of the Major League Baseball Players Association was 95.

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9:34am

Tue November 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Attention Chinese Media: Kim Jong Un Is 2012's Most Interesting Man

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 7:32 am

The mysterious, most-interesting, super-sexy North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (And if you believe all that, you may be reading too many reports from Chinese media.)
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Update at 8:15 a.m. ET, Nov. 28. And Now, It's Gone:

People's Daily Online has realized it was duped and removed its glorious account of Kim Jong Un's sexiness, NPR's Frank Langfitt tells us.

But you can still read our original post:

Shh.

Please don't tell the editors at People's Daily Online that our headline might not be true.

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7:58am

Tue November 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Top Stories: Cairo Clashes; Fiscal Cliff Talks; Sandy's Huge Costs

Ortley Beach, N.J.: The aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

7:32am

Tue November 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Protests, Clashes Build Again In Cairo

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 12:43 pm

A cloud of tear gas surrounds a protester earlier today near Cairo's Tahrir Square.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

As feared, the news that "Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has not given any signal that he is backing down from most of his power grab" has lead to more protests and more violence in the streets of Cairo.

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7:01am

Tue November 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Deal Reached On Greek Debt, Markets Rise In Relief

Nov. 7: A protester wrapped in a Greek flag stands in front of the parliament in Athens. Today's agreement may not bring an end to anti-austerity protests in Greece.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images
  • Teri Schultz reporting on the deal for the NPR Newscast

There's some good news this morning about the country that's come to symbolize Europe's financial problems and the efforts of leaders to shore up their common economy:

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6:30am

Tue November 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Arafat's Grave Opened, Samples Taken To Be Tested For Poison

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 7:36 am

Palestinians walking in front of a mural of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Gaza City earlier today.
Mohammed Abed AFP/Getty Images

Claims that former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned with a radioactive substance before his death in 2004 are now literally being put to the test.

Arafat's grave was briefly opened today so that samples could be taken from his remains.

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1:56pm

Mon November 26, 2012
The Two-Way

News Outlets Punk'd, Somebody Profits: Google Wi-Fi Buy Is A Hoax

Google.com

This Associated Press report today wasn't true:

"Google has bought an operator of Wi-Fi hotspots in high-traffic locations such as airports, hotels and fast-food restaurants. Google Inc. is paying $400 million for ICOA Inc., a Warwick, R.I., company, as part of the search company's efforts to diversify its portfolio."

It was so wrong, in fact, that the AP later moved a "KILL BULLETIN" saying it was:

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12:39pm

Mon November 26, 2012
The Two-Way

Paying For Success: River Otters Are Being Trapped Again In Illinois

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 4:30 pm

Once almost gone from Illinois, river otters are now back in big numbers.
Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources
  • On 'Morning Edition': Steve Inskeep speaks Illinois biologist Bob Bluett

"They're wonderful, they're great. But sometimes too much is too much."

That's the basic problem confronting Illinois and its wild river otters, state Department of Natural Resources biologist Bob Bluett said earlier today on Morning Edition.

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10:03am

Mon November 26, 2012
The Two-Way

SEC Chief Schapiro Is Leaving

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 11:15 am

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

(We updated the top of this post at 11:50 a.m. and 12:15 p.m ET):

Moving quickly after the announcement that Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro is leaving on Dec. 14, the White House just said that President Obama has designated SEC Commissioner Elisse Walter to be her replacement.

In a statement, the president says:

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9:17am

Mon November 26, 2012
The Two-Way

Supreme Court Turns Down Appeal From Former Rep. William Jefferson

Former Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., in 2009.
Molly Riley Reuters /Landov

The congressman who became known as "Dollar Bill" Jefferson appears to have run out of options in his bid to overturn a 2009 corruption conviction.

The Supreme Court just announced it will not hear an appeal from former Rep. William Jefferson, D-La. So, as The Times-Picayune says:

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