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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2012 elections
7:28 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

In Final Debate: Some Sparks, But Also Points Of Agreement

President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at tonight's debate in Boca Raton, Fla.
Rick Wilking/Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 9:14 pm

Foreign policy proved to be a subject that kept the tone mostly substantive tonight in the third and final debate between President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney before the Nov. 6 election.

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Elections 2012
8:18 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Along with sparks, errors fly in second presidential debate

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 5:18 am

The "facts" came fast in Tuesday's presidential debate, and the checkers found many that didn't quite check out.

Here are some of the early words from the news outlets and independent organizations that were watching closely what President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said.

From PolitiFact.com's tweets:

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Presidential Debate
8:27 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

The heat was on: Obama, Romney have sharp debate

Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 3:23 am

In a town hall-style debate that saw the candidates constantly challenge each other on issues ranging from the economy to the handling of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney got up close and personal at times Tuesday night.

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2012 elections
11:13 am
Fri October 12, 2012

What's all this malarkey about malarkey?

Vice President Biden thought much of what his opponent said Thursday night was malarkey, and his face often showed what he was thinking.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 9:50 am

"With all due respect, that's a bunch of malarkey," Vice President Biden said during Thursday's debate as he challenged Rep. Paul Ryan's assertion that U.S. foreign policy has unraveled under President Obama.

A little later in the debate, Biden said Ryan's criticisms were "a bunch of stuff" — and when moderator Martha Raddatz asked "what does that mean?" he said, "we Irish call it malarkey."

Biden's use of the word has many asking: Where does it come from?

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2012 elections
5:52 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Live blog: Biden vs. Ryan in the vice presidential debate

Vice President Joe Biden (left) and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan during Thursday's debate.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 9:54 am

Vice President Biden and his Republican opponent, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, had a lively debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky., this evening — one marked by Biden's aggressive challenges to many of the Republican vice presidential nominee's claims and Ryan's oft-repeated message that the Obama-Biden administration's policies aren't working.

The discussion was steered by ABC News' Martha Raddatz. It's the only vice presidential debate of the campaign.

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NPR science
2:56 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

'Softball-Sized Eyeball' Washes Up In Florida; Can You I.D. It?

Quite a baby blue.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 7:41 am

Tell us you can resist clicking on this headline from Florida's Sun Sentinel:

"Huge Eyeball From Unknown Creature Washes Ashore On Florida Beach."

It's big, it's blue and the newspaper says "among the possibilities being discussed are a giant squid, some other large fish or a whale or other large marine mammal."

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has sent the eye off for study.

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NPR science
6:19 am
Tue October 9, 2012

French and American scientists share physics Nobel Prize

The medal for the Nobel in Physics. According to the Nobel committee, the inscription reads: " 'Inventas vitam juvat excoluisse per artes' loosely translated 'And they who bettered life on earth by their newly found mastery.' "
NobelPrize.org

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 5:07 am

The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to Serge Haroche of France and David Wineland of the United States for their work on the "fundamental interactions between light particles and matter."

"The Nobel laureates have opened the door to a new era of experimentation with quantum physics by demonstrating the direct observation of individual quantum particles without destroying them," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement.

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It's All Politics
10:03 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Romney Goes On Offense, Pays For It In First Wave Of Fact Checks

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 4:03 am

In their first of three debates, President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney "traded barbs" and stretched some facts, say the nonpartisan watchdogs at PolitiFact.com.

Similarly, the researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center's FactCheck.org found examples of truth-stretching by both men.

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Presidential debate
5:27 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Live blog: Obama & Romney's first debate

President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney participate in the first presidential debate at Magness Arena at the University of Denver on Wednesdasy, moderated by Jim Lehrer of the PBS NewsHour.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 9:38 am

President Obama and his Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, engaged Thursday night in a sometimes spirited, but always cordial, debate that got very technical at times.

It was the "corporate executive" (Romney) vs. the "government professor" (Obama) and the GOP nominee appeared to be "full of confidence and full of sales pitch," NPR Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving says, while Obama put pressure on the Republican to explain what he would do as president.

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2012 elections
3:09 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Here's where to get your 'fact checks' during and after tonight's debate

The stage is set: Tonight's debate is at the University of Denver.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 2:52 pm

Looking to see and hear what the fact checkers are saying during and after tonight's presidential debate about the claims made by President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney?

-- PolitiFact.com says it will be updating on its website and on Twitter. It's also pitching an Argument Ender app.

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NPR tech news
7:43 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Apple Is 'Extremely Sorry' For Its Much-Maligned Maps, CEO Tim Cook Says

Will it take you where you want to go? A new iPhone 5 and Apple's new mapping software.
Beck Diefenbach Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 7:46 am

How much of a "public relations disaster" has Apple's new mapping software been?

Big enough that the famously proud company has apologized — and suggested that users can turn to arch rival Google Maps instead.

In a message "to our customers" posted this morning, CEO Tim Cook says:

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Da Vinci mystery
9:15 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Could this be an early 'Mona Lisa?'

A closeup from the portrait that a Swiss foundation says is an early "Mona Lisa" by Leonard Da Vinci.
Denis Balibouse Landov

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 11:41 am

The Zurich-based Mona Lisa Foundation said today that it has evidence that a painting that first came to light in the late 1800s is an early "Mona Lisa" also done by Leonard Da Vinci.

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The Two-Way
9:58 am
Wed September 26, 2012

City Folk Are More Likely To Read This Post

Remember these? They're most important to those who live in small towns, a new survey shows.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 9:24 am

Reinforcing some things you might have suspected, the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism and Internet & American Life Project, along with the Knight Foundation, report today that a national telephone survey of adults finds:

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The Two-Way
7:24 am
Wed September 26, 2012

After Uproar, No Signal That NFL Refs Will Be Back Soon

Things haven't been going well for these guys: Some of the NFL's replacement referees, during a Sept. 23 game between the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 11:22 am

Though the nation's football fans — from President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to the average couch quarterback — are begging the two sides to settle their contract dispute so that regular NFL referees can come back to work, there seems to be no clear reason to think that's going to happen in time for this week's games.

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The Two-Way
12:10 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Bring Back The Real NFL Refs! Debacle At End Of Game Adds To Outrage

Confusion: One official (to the left) signals touchdown for Seattle. The other signals that a touchback — possession — for Green Bay.
Stephen Brashear AP

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 4:39 pm

Football fans are furious. Bettors are out an estimated $150 million. Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin — the Republican who's famous for battling with organized labor — is on the side of the referees union. And the NFL is in something of a "prevent defense," saying that nothing can be done to change the outcome.

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