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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12:09pm

Thu December 13, 2012
The Two-Way

Here's Some Good News: Volunteering Is On The Rise

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 4:23 pm

Nov. 22: Volunteers prepared Thanksgiving dinners for people in the Queens borough of New York City, which was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Enough of the bad news for a moment.

Smack in the middle of the holiday season, here's something that underscores how generous many Americans are:

"64.3 million Americans (more than one in four adults) volunteered through a formal organization last year, an increase of 1.5 million from 2010," the Corporation for National and Community Service and the National Conference on Citizenship report.

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11:27am

Thu December 13, 2012
The Two-Way

On 'Fiscal Cliff,' Majority Of Public Sides With Democrats, Pew Poll Says

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:01 pm

President Obama, with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) behind him, delivering his State of the Union address last January.
Saul Loeb Getty Images

As the end-of-year tax increases and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff" near, "Democrats are in a strong position with the public," the Pew Research Center reports.

A new national poll Pew released this morning shows that:

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10:33am

Thu December 13, 2012
The Two-Way

The Late Whitney Houston Was The Year's Hottest Search

Whitney Houston in 2004.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

8:33am

Thu December 13, 2012
The Two-Way

Nurse Who Fell Victim To Royal Hoax Was Found Hanged, Authorities Say

Westminster Coroners Court in London, where the inquest into the death of Jacintha Saldanha was held.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse "fooled by a hoax call to the London hospital treating the Duchess of Cambridge was later found hanged," the BBC says.

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8:07am

Thu December 13, 2012
The Two-Way

Diplomatic Shift? Russia Acknowledges Assad May Be On Way Out

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 12:33 pm

Northwest of Aleppo, Syria, this week, rebels were in control of this Syrian military base.
Herve Bar AFP/Getty Images

"Syria's most powerful ally, Russia, said for the first time Thursday that President Bashar Assad is losing control of his country and the rebels might win the civil war, dramatically shifting the diplomatic landscape at a time of enormous momentum for the opposition," The Associated Press writes.

Here's what Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said, according to the AP:

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2:58pm

Wed December 12, 2012
The Two-Way

Flying High: Cannon Fires Cans Filled With Marijuana Across Mexican Border

They flew in from Mexico: Cans of marijuana found in a field near Yuma, Ariz.
Customs and Border Protection

Last year, smugglers tried using a catapult to get pot into the U.S.

Now, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents say they recently discovered 30 large cans of marijuana in a field near Yuma, Ariz., — and that the barrels apparently landed there after being fired from a pneumatic-powered cannon 500 feet away in Mexico.

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1:07pm

Wed December 12, 2012
The Two-Way

Federal Reserve Boosts Effort To Lift Economy

The Federal Reserve's headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Saying it is concerned that the economy won't be strong enough in coming months to keep adding jobs to the labor market, the Federal Reserve announced this afternoon that is increasing its efforts to give the economy a boost.

And in an unusually specific statement from the central bank, its policymakers said they expect to keep a key short-term interest rate at or near zero percent "as long as the unemployment rate remains above 6.5 percent."

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11:24am

Wed December 12, 2012
The Two-Way

Census: We Continue To Get Older And More Diverse; Though More Slowly

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 3:02 pm

The crowded scene on "Black Friday" at Macy's in Manhattan. The U.S. population is projected to hit 400 million in 2051, Census says, up from 321 million in 2015.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

The trends continue:

"The U.S. population will be considerably older and more racially and ethnically diverse by 2060, according to projections released today by the U.S. Census Bureau."

Based on data from the 2010 census, the bureau projects that:

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9:59am

Wed December 12, 2012
The Two-Way

Just Because We Can: 12 Lines Of 12 Words Each About 12-12-12

An auspicious date? The rings for a wedding earlier today — 12/12/12 — in Mumbai, India.
Indranil Mukherjee AFP/Getty Images

Last year, lots of folks certainly seemed to be excited about 11/11/11.

So we feel obliged to point out the obvious: Today is 12/12/12.

And, yes, once again there's much fuss being made about a date:

-- "Other-dimensional energy abounds" on double-digit dates, numerologist Scott Petullo tells ABC News.

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8:55am

Wed December 12, 2012
The Two-Way

McAfee To Be Released, Supporters Say

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 3:21 pm

John McAfee, in Guatemala City before his detention.
Johan Ordonez AFP/Getty Images

Update at 3 p.m. ET. On His Way To Miami:

John McAfee, the anti-virus software pioneer who's wanted for questioning in Belize about the murder of a neighbor, tells Bloomberg TV that he has been released from a detention center in Guatemala and is flying to Miami.

He also says he has apologized to Guatemala's president for "putting him into a very slippery position."

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8:04am

Wed December 12, 2012
The Two-Way

As Shots Rang Out In Oregon Mall, Shoppers And Santa Dove For Cover

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 2:52 pm

Jacob Tyler Roberts.
Clackamas County (Ore.) Sheriff's Department

1:30 p.m. ET. Gunman Identified:

The man who killed two people and seriously wounded a third person at a suburban Portland, Ore., shopping mall on Tuesday has been identified by police as Jacob Tyler Roberts, 22, of Portland, Oregon Public Broadcasting tells us.

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7:20am

Wed December 12, 2012
The Two-Way

'Global Chorus Of Condemnation' After North Korea's Rocket Launch

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 2:52 pm

A North Korean military band performed today in Pyongyang to celebrate the country's rocket launch. Other nations, though, condemned the launch.
Kyodo Reuters /Landov
  • Louisa Lim on 'Morning Edition'

"The global chorus of condemnation has been loud and clear," after North Korea's successful launch of a long-range rocket that carried a satellite into space, NPR's Louisa Lim said today on Morning Edition.

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3:24pm

Tue December 11, 2012
The Two-Way

Rush Is In! The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, That Is

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 4:30 pm

Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson (left) and singer/bassist Geddy Lee.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

After all our whining, we have to pass along word that Rush has made it into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

And, yes, we know that some of this year's other inductees, announced today, may be more "important":

-- Heart.

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2:42pm

Tue December 11, 2012
The Two-Way

Sick Of Year-End Lists Yet? Or Do You Love Them?

If we listed the sites that do the most lists, Gawker would be up there.
Gawker.com

Twitter's out with its take on what the tweets of 2012 supposedly tell us about ourselves. The "Golden Tweets" (most retweeted) were the "four more years" photo of President Obama and the first lady hugging, and the "RIP Avalanna.

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2:11pm

Tue December 11, 2012
The Two-Way

NFL Players' 'Bountygate' Suspensions Vacated

New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma.
Chris Szagola CSM /LANDOV

The four NFL players who were fined and given multi-game suspensions for their alleged parts in the New Orleans Saints' "bountygate" scheme that paid bonuses for injuring opposing players have had their punishments vacated, the league says.

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