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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8:27am

Wed December 14, 2011

7:25am

Wed December 14, 2011
The Two-Way

Terrorism Not Thought To Have Been Motivation Of Attacker In Belgium

Originally published on Wed December 14, 2011 7:28 am

Grieving: At a bus shelter that was shattered during Tuesday's grenade and gun attack in Liege, Belgium, people gathered today to express their sorrow and pay respects.
Philippe Huguen AFP/Getty Images

While it still isn't clear why a man attacked a crowded square in Liege, Belgium, on Tuesday with grenades and gunfire, killing at least three people and injuring more than 120, authorities are saying that evidence indicates terrorism was not his motivation, according to The Associated Press and other news outlets.

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6:45am

Wed December 14, 2011
The Two-Way

'The Protester' Is 'Time' Magazine's Person Of The Year

Originally published on Wed December 14, 2011 7:04 am

Time magazine

"The protester" has been named Time magazine's person of the year, it was just announced on NBC-TV's The Today Show and on Time's website.

That covers, most notably of course, those who went to the streets in the Arab Spring movement that swept across much of North Africa and the Middle East.

But as Time writes, protesters have also had major impacts in Greece, Spain, the U.K. and — via the Occupy Wall Street movement — the United states.

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6:00am

Wed December 14, 2011
The Two-Way

Fate Of Payroll Tax Cut, Jobless Benefits Uncertain As Lawmakers Haggle

Originally published on Wed December 14, 2011 6:17 am

Outside the Capitol, there's goodwill. Inside, less so.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

A veto threat. Finger-pointing. The end of some jobless benefits.

We've been through all this before this year and we're going through it again as 2011 draws to a close.

As The Associated Press says:

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3:45pm

Tue December 13, 2011
The Two-Way

Biden: Iraq Will Be A Partner; History Will Judge If War Was Worth It

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 6:49 pm

Vice President Joe Biden is interviewed by NPR's Robert Siegel in the Secretary of War Suite of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Dec. 13.
David Lienemann The White House

Saying that the U.S. is not looking for Iraq to be an ally, Vice President Biden told NPR's Robert Siegel this afternoon that the U.S. now views that country as a partner.

"We're looking for a stable, democratic government that is not beholden to anyone in the region and is able to be secure within its own borders and have its own policy ," he said during an interview in Washington's Eisenhower Executive Office Building, adjacent to the White House.

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2:30pm

Tue December 13, 2011
The Two-Way

Do You Ignore Your Phone While Driving?

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 2:32 pm

Just put it in the cupholder.
Michael Smith Getty Images

"No call, no text, no update, is worth a human life."

That's the message from the National Transportation Safety Board, which today recommended that states "ban the nonemergency use of portable electronic devices (other than those designed to support the driving task) for all drivers."

That means put the phone down and leave it there.

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2:00pm

Tue December 13, 2011
The Two-Way

You're Fired, Trump Tells Himself; He Won't Be Moderating Any Debate

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 2:59 pm

Donald Trump on the FOX & Friends set last week.
Astrid Stawiarz Getty Images

He'd hinted that this might happen.

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1:25pm

Tue December 13, 2011
The Two-Way

Fed: Economy 'Expanding Moderately,' Policy Unchanged

Signs suggest "that the economy has been expanding moderately" in recent months, "notwithstanding some apparent slowing in global growth," Federal Reserve Policymakers just reported.

And, as expected, they announced no policy changes that would either add or subtract to the amount of help the central bank gives the economy.

In "Fed speak":

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1:15pm

Tue December 13, 2011
The Two-Way

The Buck Stops: Treasury Suspends Production Of Presidential Dollars

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 3:05 pm

The $1 George Washington coin.
U.S. Mint AP

Saying it can save taxpayers $50 million a year, the Treasury Department announced today that it is suspending almost all production of presidential dollar coins.

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12:40pm

Tue December 13, 2011
The Two-Way

Robocalls To Cellphones? States Marshal Opposition

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 1:51 pm

"No, I don't want to renew my subscription." What if they could reach you anywhere?
Mario Tama Getty Images

A bill before Congress that would allow some types of "robocalls" to be made to cellphones if consumers have given companies their numbers doesn't have many sponsors and wouldn't seem to be the kind of legislation that would stand much of a chance of passing when an election year looms.

But it's getting an increasing amount of attention this week thanks to something that's very rare these days — bipartisan opposition.

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10:25am

Tue December 13, 2011
The Two-Way

White House's 'Promise Kept' Iraq Timeline Starts On Jan. 20, 2009

"Promise Kept," it says on the landing page of the Iraq War interactive timeline posted by the White House today.
WhiteHouse.gov

A message from the White House on its Twitter page popped up a few minutes ago saying:

"After nearly 9 years of sacrifice, America's war in Iraq is coming to an end. Experience the interactive timeline: wh.gov/iraq"

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9:25am

Tue December 13, 2011
The Two-Way

One Man Blamed In Grenade, Gun Attack That Kills Several In Belgium

Rescuers evacuate injured people in Liege, Belgium, today, after a grenade and gun attack that killed at least three and injured dozens.
Reuters /Landov

Authorities now say a lone attacker who had recently been in prison on weapons and drug charges appears to have been responsible for a harrowing grenade and gun attack today in Liege, Belgium.

As of now, it's being reported that the attacker killed three people and wounded more than 60 before taking his own life.

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8:40am

Tue December 13, 2011
The Two-Way

Buildings Design Sparks Anger Over 9/11 Similarity

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 11:48 am

An artist's rendering provided by Dutch architectural company MVRDV of its design for two skyscrapers in Seoul.
AP

A Dutch architectural firm says its designers didn't see the resemblance.

But many, many others certainly do think the two buildings — linked by a "cloud" of skybridges — that MVRDV has proposed for a project in Seoul look very much like the haunting images of the World Trade Center's twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001, after they were hit by high-jacked passenger planes.

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7:20am

Tue December 13, 2011

7:05am

Tue December 13, 2011
The Two-Way

Update: Progress, But No Success On Search For 'God Particle'

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 9:31 am

Update at 9:50 a.m. ET. Not Conclusive:

The presentation continues in Switzerland, where scientists are briefing their peers on the search for the Higgs boson — or so-called God particle — that gives matter mass. The bottomline: They've made progress, "but not enough to make any conclusive statement on the existence or non-existence of the elusive Higgs."

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