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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6:30am

Tue June 26, 2012
The Two-Way

Debby Is Really Dumping On Florida

Convenience store employee Lindsey Bennight watched floodwaters surround the store where she works in Crawfordville, Fla., on Monday (June 25, 2012).
Dave Martin AP

Debby is doing a number on folks along the Gulf Coast from Alabama to northern Florida.

The tropical storm, which has been lashing the region since the weekend, could dump another 2 feet of rain by the end of the week, forecasters warn. Residents are being warned to also watch out for tornadoes, flash floods and sinkholes.

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1:20pm

Thu June 21, 2012
The Two-Way

After Knitters Get In A Twist, USOC Apologizes For 'Cease And Desist' Letter

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 1:48 pm

Note to the USOC: Those are balls of yarn, not puts.
Michael Brandy AP

It wouldn't seem to be a good idea to get 2 million people with pointy sticks angry at you, but the U.S. Olympic Committee did just that.

So it has just apologized for sending a "cease and desist" letter to a social networking site for knitters that is holding its own sort-of Olympic games.

Here's what the knotty legal dispute is about:

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10:23am

Thu June 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Commerce Secretary Bryson Resigns; Suffered Seizure Earlier This Month

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 10:40 am

Commerce Secretary John Bryson.
Rajanish Kakade AP

Just under two weeks after suffering a seizure that led to two car accidents within minutes of each other, Commerce Secretary John Bryson has submitted his resignation.

Our former colleague David Gura (now with Marketplace) has downloaded a copy of Bryson's letter to the president and posted it here.

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10:07am

Thu June 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Supreme Court Strikes Indecency Rules, Doesn't Address Free Speech Issue

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 4:20 pm

By an 8-0 vote, the Supreme Court today threw out fines the Federal Communications Commission filed against Fox and ABC.

The court did not address whether the FCC rules violated anyone's First Amendment right to free speech. Instead, the justices ruled that the FCC "failed to give Fox or ABC fair notice prior to the broadcasts in question that fleeting expletives and momentary nudity could be found actionably indecent."

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8:21am

Thu June 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Bullied Bus Monitor Wants Apology, But Still Believes 'All Kids Aren't Bad'

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 1:46 pm

From the video of Karen Klein being bullied.
youtube.com

7:39am

Thu June 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Jobless Claims Hold Steady; 387,000 Filed Last Week

There were 387,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits filed last week, down just 2,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

The previous week's number, by the way, was revised up slightly — to 389,000 from the initial estimate of 386,000.

The Associated Press writes that:

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7:31am

Thu June 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Arrest Warrant Issued For Pakistan's Prime Minister Nominee

Makhdoom Shahabuddin, who has been nominated to be Pakistan's next prime minister.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

"Turmoil" doesn't seem like a strong enough word anymore to describe what's happening in Pakistani politics.

Tuesday, Pakistan's highest court ruled that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was "disqualified" from remaining in office because he had refused to reopen a multi-million-dollar corruption probe aimed at President Asif Ali Zardari.

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7:08am

Thu June 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Zimmerman's Account Of Fatal Encounter With Trayvon Made Public

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 11:06 am

Defense attorney Mark O'Mara (left) with his client, George Zimmerman, at an April hearing related to second-degree murder charges in the killing of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla.
Pool Getty Images

George Zimmerman's written, audio and video accounts of what happened when he shot and killed Trayvon Martin have been put online by his defense team. Much of what is in the materials has been previously reported, but their release offers the most detailed looks so far at his claim that he acted in self defense.

The materials, posted here, include the statement Zimmerman wrote on Feb. 26 — the day of his fatal encounter with 17-year-old Trayvon in Sanford, Fla. In it, the neighborhood watch volunteer writes:

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6:14am

Thu June 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Syrian Fighter Jet Lands In Jordan, Pilot Reportedly Seeks Asylum

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 11:11 am

"A Syrian MiG 21 fighter jet has landed in Jordan," al-Jazeera and other news outlets report. And according to Reuters, a Jordanian official says the pilot has asked for asylum. The BBC is reporting that news as well.

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5:57am

Thu June 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Reminder: Supreme Court's Heath Care Ruling Possible Today

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 9:29 am

Waiting for word: The U.S. Supreme Court building.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Update at 10:30 a.m. ET: The Supreme Court is done issuing opinions today and its take on the constitutionality of the 2010 health care overhaul was not among them.

The next likely day: Monday.

Our Original Post:

What we said on the last two Mondays applies again today:

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3:23pm

Wed June 20, 2012
The Two-Way

House Committee Cites Attorney General Holder For Contempt

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 3:46 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder during congressional testimony in 2011.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Acting along partisan lines, with a vote of 23 to 17, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted this afternoon to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt. Republicans, who control the committee, say Holder's Justice Department has not turned over all the documents that the committee needs to see as it probes the so-called Fast and Furious gun-trafficking operation.

And they want to know more about why the Justice Department initially told a senator that it had not pursued such an operation.

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1:45pm

Wed June 20, 2012
The Two-Way

No iPads Or iPhones For You, Apple Store Clerk Tells Iranians

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 1:51 pm

The scene at an Apple store.
Martin Bureau AFP/Getty Images

Sahar Sabet of Alpharetta, Ga., says that when she was in an Apple store at the local North Pointe Mall last week to buy an iPad and an iPhone, she and her uncle were overheard by a clerk.

The sales rep asked what language they were speaking and where they were from. When they said they were speaking Farsi and originally from Iran, Sabet tells Atlanta's WSB-TV, the clerk's response was a shock:

"I can't sell this to you."

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9:13am

Wed June 20, 2012
The Two-Way

White House Exerts Executive Privilege Over 'Fast And Furious' Documents

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 2:24 pm

The battle between the Obama administration and the House Oversight and Government over the Fast and Furious operation just ratcheted up another notch. There's word that the White House is exerting executive privilege over documents that the committee's Republican majority has subpoenaed.

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8:59am

Wed June 20, 2012
The Two-Way

Greece Has New Prime Minister

New Democracy party leader Antonis Samaras has been sworn in as Greek prime minister, correspondent Joanna Kakissis and Sky News report.

As Joanna reported earlier for our Newscast Desk, Samaras' conservative New Democracy party came in first during Sunday national elections, but didn't get enough support to govern on its own. So it will share power with the Socialist PASOK and a small pro-European party — The Democratic Left.

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8:27am

Wed June 20, 2012
The Two-Way

Two Major East Coast Bridges Will Close Today For 'Delicate Maritime Ballet'

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 2:37 pm

We don't do too many traffic reports, but this news has the potential to be both fascinating and frustrating — depending on whether you're watching from afar or stuck inside a gridlocked car:

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge that carries U.S. Route 50 traffic back-and-forth between Washington, D.C., and mid-Atlantic beaches will be closed for about 40 minutes today, starting around 1:15 p.m. ET, so that a cargo ship carrying four huge cranes can pass (safely, we hope) beneath the span.

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