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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12:04pm

Thu January 3, 2013
The Two-Way

Nice Moment: Sen. Mark Kirk Returns To Capitol One Year After Stroke

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., holding a cane. He was helped up the steps of the Capitol by Vice President Biden (behind Kirk) and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., (in red tie). Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., is at right.
C-SPAN

Before lawmakers get back to the business of arguing about taxes, deficits and other issues as they open a new session of Congress today, there was just a nice moment outside the Capitol.

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., who suffered a stroke last Jan. 21, came to the Capitol for the first time since then. And as C-SPAN cameras watched, he made a very public return — slowly walking up the steps of the Capitol with assistance from Vice President Biden and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va.

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11:25am

Thu January 3, 2013
The Two-Way

Putin Grants French Actor Depardieu Russian Citizenship

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 3:12 pm

French actor Gerard Depardieu (left) and Russian leader Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg in December 2010.
Ria Novosti Reuters /Landov

If French actor Gerard Depardieu really does want to renounce his native land and evade its taxes, he's now got a home land in Russia if he wishes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin today ordered that Depardieu be granted Russian citizenship, the Kremlin announced.

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10:30am

Thu January 3, 2013
The Two-Way

NPR's Michele Norris Returning As Host/Special Correspondent

NPR's Michele Norris.

Stephen Voss

Michele Norris, who stepped away from the hosting duties at All Things Considered during the 2012 presidential election because her husband took a senior position with President Obama's re-election campaign, is returning to NPR "in a new role as host/special correspondent," Margaret Low Smith, senior vice president for news, just announced.

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9:32am

Thu January 3, 2013
The Two-Way

This May Blow Your Mind: Video Of New Year's Eve Fireworks In Reverse

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 11:27 am

In the video, you can watch them disappear.
http://www.youtube.com/jcltay

Before the holiday mood completely disappears, take a break if you can to watch this video of the New Year's Eve fireworks in Melbourne, Australia.

The guy who made it, Julian Tay, writes he was:

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8:13am

Thu January 3, 2013
The Two-Way

Layoffs Have Slowed, Hiring Has Picked Up, But Jobless Claims Are Higher

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 8:46 am

The scene at a career fair in New York City last fall.
Mike Segar Reuters /Landov

Update at 8:40 a.m. ET. Jobless Claims Went Up; So Two Out Of Three Reports Were Positive:

There were 372,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up by 10,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says. What's more, that previous week's total was revised up from the previous estimate of 350,000.

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7:44am

Thu January 3, 2013
The Two-Way

With Those Lost In Mind, Sandy Hook Students And Staff Return To Classes

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 2:49 pm

Early Thursday morning, a school bus carrying students from Sandy Hook Elementary headed to their new school.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images
  • Jean Cochran reporting on the NPR Newscast

(Scroll down for updates. Our most recent was at 2:45 p.m. ET.)

Hoping that they have done their best to create "a safe and a secure learning environment for these kids," school officials in Connecticut today welcomed the 500 or so surviving students from Sandy Hook Elementary School and their teachers back to class.

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1:56pm

Wed January 2, 2013
The Two-Way

Malala, Shot For Speaking Out Against Pakistan's Taliban, To Stay In U.K.

In November, Pakistani students in Karachi participated in a "Malala Day" to show support for the girl who was shot when she spoke out against the Taliban.
Masroor Xinhua /Landov

Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old girl who was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman because she had been speaking out against that group's efforts to stop Pakistani girls from going to school, will be staying in Great Britain.

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12:57pm

Wed January 2, 2013
The Two-Way

Andrew Sullivan's 'The Dish' Is Leaving 'The Daily Beast,' Going Solo Again

Andrew Sullivan
Andrew H. Walker Getty Images

Saying that he and his team want "to help build a new media environment that is not solely about advertising or profit above everything, but that is dedicated first to content and quality," blogger Andrew Sullivan confirmed today that The Dish is leaving The Daily Beast and striking out on its own again.

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11:18am

Wed January 2, 2013
The Two-Way

Financial Markets Cheer 'Fiscal Cliff' News

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 5:08 pm

Looking up: Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange earlier today.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Though more big battles lie ahead in Washington, Wall Street is following the lead of financial markets around the world in giving a thumbs-up to the deal that kept the federal government from going completely over the so-called fiscal cliff.

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10:19am

Wed January 2, 2013
The Two-Way

More Than 60,000 Have Died In Syria, U.N. Estimates

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 10:47 am

An almost deserted, rubble-filled street in Aleppo, Syria (Oct. 9, 2012).
Tauseef Mustafa AFP/Getty Images

Blaming the regime of President Bashar Assad for "ruthless suppression of what were initially peaceful and legitimate protests by unarmed civilians," the U.N. Human Rights Office today released a report that estimates at least 59,648 people had been killed in Syria through November in the protests and fighting there since March 2011.

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9:48am

Wed January 2, 2013
The Two-Way

Well, It Is In The Dictionary: Boehner Reportedly Aimed 'F-Bomb' At Reid

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 10:47 am

House Speaker John Boehner (right) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at the White House in April 2011. Last week, they weren't so chummy.
Olivier Douliery/Pool Getty Images

Politico's long "tick-tock" account of "the fiscal cliff deal that almost wasn't" is getting lots of attention this morning because of this vignette:

"House Speaker John Boehner couldn't hold back when he spotted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the White House lobby last Friday. ... 'Go f— yourself,' Boehner sniped as he pointed his finger at Reid, according to multiple sources present."

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8:57am

Wed January 2, 2013
The Two-Way

N.Y. News Outlet That Posted Names Of Gun Owners Hires Armed Guards

The Journal News' map of gun owners in Rockland County, N.Y. At its website, the image is interactive so that users can see who has handgun permits and where they live.
The Journal News

The Journal News newspapers that drew intense criticism after posting an interactive map showing the names and addresses of people with licenses to own handguns in three counties just to the north of New York City has hired a security firm and placed armed guards at its offices, a competing newssi

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8:01am

Wed January 2, 2013
The Two-Way

Bipartisan Outrage As Vote On Superstorm Sandy Aid Is Postponed

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 4:01 pm

Nov. 6: Some of the damage from Superstorm Sandy on New York's Staten Island.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

(We put a new top on this post at 3:45 p.m. ET.)

The House of Representatives will vote on aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy before Jan. 15, according to promises Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, made to legislators from the affected areas this afternoon. The speaker met with angry representatives at 3 p.m., seeking to quell their outrage over the postponement of a vote on federal help.

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7:30am

Wed January 2, 2013
The Two-Way

It's Not Over: Big Battles Ahead Even After 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 2:59 pm

President Obama was in the Oval Office late Tuesday night as the House finished voting on the "fiscal cliff" deal. After praising the passage, he left for Hawaii to resume a vacation with his family.
Aude Guerrucci/Pool Getty Images
  • From 'Morning Edition': The upcoming battles

We're sorry to start the first work day of 2013 on a negative note, but here goes:

Though the House voted 257-167 late Tuesday to OK legislation that kept the federal government from going over the so-called fiscal cliff — and stopped income taxes from rising for about 99 percent of Americans — lawmakers didn't reach agreement on other very divisive issues.

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1:22pm

Mon December 31, 2012
The Two-Way

Deal To Avert 'Fiscal Cliff' Appears Likely

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 10:01 am

The Capitol is illuminated in Washington, where the House and Senate remain in session. The two chambers will miss a deadline to avoid the "fiscal cliff" tonight, as 2013 begins.
Drew Angerer Getty Images
  • NPR's coverage of President Obama's comments on the "fiscal cliff" talks

Update at 9:45 p.m. Deal Reached

Vice President Joe Biden was meeting late Monday with Senate Democrats to brief them on a proposed deal to stop sharp tax increases and spending cuts. A source told NPR the deal with congressional Democratic and Republican leaders includes a mix of both.

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