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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The Two-Way
11:14 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Stealing Candy From Your Kids? It's A Halloween Tradition

The Witch Head nebula, a spooky image from NASA. But is it scarier that more than half of adults think about the best way to eat candy corn?
NASA.gov

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 10:06 am

We've rounded up some Halloween-related news. Think of this as our treat bag:

-- Bad Moms And Dads. "Eighty-one percent of parents surveyed say that they take candy from their children's Halloween candy haul for their own enjoyment (with 26 percent admitting that they sneak treats after the children go to bed or school)." National Confectioners Association

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The Two-Way
10:31 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Report: NSA Has Broken Into Google And Yahoo Data Centers

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 10:39 am

"The National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world," The Washington Post reported at midday Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Job Growth Slowed Further In October, Survey Signals

Looking for work: The scene at a job fair earlier this month in Emeryville, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 8:21 am

Only a relatively low 130,000 jobs were added to private employers' payrolls in October and the labor market in September was even weaker than first thought, according to the latest data from the ADP National Employment Report.

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The Two-Way
9:43 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Obama's 'Keep Your Health Care Plan' Pledge Fails Fact Checks

September 2010: President Obama at an event in Falls Church, Va., where he answered questions about his health care plan.
Dennis Brack/pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 9:30 am

As lawmakers grill Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about the botched startup of HealthCare.gov and other issues related to the Affordable Care Act, nonpartisan fact checkers are giving failing grades to President Obama's oft-repeated pledge to Americans that "if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan."

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The Two-Way
10:31 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Consumer Confidence Fell Sharply This Month; Shutdown Blamed

A "For Sale" sign outside a home in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago on Monday.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 7:15 am

The 16-day partial shutdown of the federal government and the wrangling in Washington over the nation's finances combined to shake consumers' confidence sharply in October, the private Conference Board reported Tuesday morning.

Its widely watched consumer confidence index dropped to 71.2 from 80.2 in September.

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The Two-Way
10:04 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Obama Aide Apologizes For HealthCare.gov's Troubled Launch

Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, during her testimony Tuesday on Capitol Hill.
Shawn Thew EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 9:55 am

The first of two days worth of hearings about the problems plaguing HealthCare.gov got going Tuesday with an apology for the botched rollout from Marilyn Tavenner — administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. As It's All Politics noted earlier, she heads the agency "that oversaw the ill-fated website project."

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The Two-Way
9:27 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Michael Jackson's Doctor Freed After Serving Half Of Sentence

Conrad Murray at a court hearing in 2010.
David McNew AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 6:55 am

Conrad Murray, the physician convicted two years ago in the death of pop star Michael Jackson, was released from a Los Angeles jail at 12:52 a.m. local time Monday.

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The Two-Way
9:27 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Report: Add 60 Million Spanish Phone Calls To NSA's List

Some of the electronic equipment atop the National Security Agency's facility in Fort Meade, Md.
Greg Mathieson MAI/Landov

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 5:50 am

Spain's El Mundo newspaper is reporting that a document leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden shows that the NSA scooped up data from 60 million phone calls made in Spain over a four-week period in late 2012 and early 2013, The Associated Press writes.

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The Two-Way
5:43 pm
Sat October 19, 2013

Shedding Stereotypes, More Librarians Show Us Their Tats

Jennifer Galpern, August
Kate Fischer Rhode Island Library Association

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 10:56 am

Is it their love of ink?

There seems to be something about tattoos that appeals to quite a few librarians.

Back in 2009 there was the Texas Library Association's "Tattooed Ladies of TLA" calendar that raised money for libraries damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

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The Two-Way
1:56 pm
Sat October 19, 2013

190-Plus Nations In 23 Years For World's 'Most Traveled' Man

Mike Spencer Bown in Mogadishu, Somalia, in December 2010.
Mustafa Abdi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 19, 2013 9:18 am

Mike Spencer Bown's latest Facebook post has him in Cork, Ireland, which means he isn't quite finished wandering the world.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Sat October 19, 2013

JPMorgan Strikes Tentative $13B Mortgages Settlement

JP Morgan Chase & Company headquarters in New York.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 19, 2013 2:28 pm

In what would be the largest such settlement in U.S. history, JPMorgan Chase & Co. has reportedly reached a tentative deal with the Justice Department that would see the bank pay $13 billion to settle civil charges related to wrongdoing by some of its units just before and during the housing crisis.

The deal, sources tell news outlets including NPR, would not absolve JPMorgan from possible criminal liability.

Word of the tentative agreement emerged around 3 p.m. ET. Saturday. We posted when the news broke and followed with background and more details.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Sat October 19, 2013

Violin Said To Have Been On The Titanic Sells For $1.6M

This violin is said to have been played by bandmaster Wallace Hartley during the final moments before the sinking of the Titanic. It's thought he put the instrument in that leather case. Hartley's body and the case were found by a ship that responded to the disaster. Now the violin has been sold.
Peter Muhly AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 19, 2013 11:37 am

An anonymous buyer on Saturday paid about $1.6 million for a violin believed to have been played by one of the musicians who famously stayed aboard as the Titanic sank in the icy waters of the North Atlantic in April 1912.

The Associated Press writes that "the sea-corroded instrument, now unplayable, is thought to have belonged to bandmaster Wallace Hartley, who was among the disaster's more than 1,500 victims."

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The Two-Way
6:17 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Book News: External Monitor To Watch Over Apple

Kimberly White Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 6:05 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
10:32 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Tasteless Or Not? Restaurant Puts Communion Wafer On Burger

The controversial burger, which comes with an unconsecrated communion wafer, at the Kuma's Corner restaurant in Chicago.
AP

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 9:21 am

Kuma's Corner, a Chicago restaurant that's built a reputation with foodies for its venturesome dishes, "has cooked up a controversial burger of the month for October, garnishing it with an unconsecrated communion wafer and a red wine reduction sauce," The Associated Press says.

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The Two-Way
10:29 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Siri, Who Are You? She Won't Say, But Her ID's Been Blown

Voice actor Susan Bennett, talking to herself (or, rather, Siri) for CNN.
CNN.com

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 7:43 am

We tried Friday morning to get Siri to confirm CNN's report that a real woman named Susan Bennett is the "classic" American voice of Apple's virtual assistant.

But all Siri would do is tell us, repeatedly, that "this is about you, not me." As for whether she does have a "real" voice, Siri would only say that "I guess I don't have one."

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