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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9:55am

Fri November 30, 2012
The Two-Way

Train Derails Near Philadelphia, Some Chemicals Reportedly Spilled

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 10:54 am

The scene of the derailment today in Paulsboro, N.J., from above.
NBC10 Philadephia

There's a developing story this morning from Paulsboro, N.J., south and across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, where several railroad tank cars have derailed and fallen into a creek after a bridge collapse.

It's being reported that the cars were transporting vinyl chloride, which could ignite and would be highly irritating if breathed in. There are local reports of about 18 people being treated for breathing problems.

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9:12am

Fri November 30, 2012
The Two-Way

Consumer Spending Dipped In October; Superstorm Sandy Blamed

Nov. 17: A sign in a Staten Island storefront tells a lot. It was still closed because of the damage done by Superstorm Sandy in late October.
Mario Tama Getty Images

The economic effects of Superstorm Sandy continue to be felt. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, consumer spending edged down 0.2 percent in October from September, and personal income dipped 0.1 percent.

As Bloomberg News says, "Sandy kept some in the Northeast from getting to work or from shopping at malls and car dealerships."

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8:53am

Fri November 30, 2012
The Two-Way

Today's Three Stories To Read About The 'Fiscal Cliff'

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner as he arrived at the Capitol on Thursday for negotiations with congressional leaders.
Alex Wong Getty Images

The White House and congressional leaders continue to talk about taxes, spending cuts and how to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff that arrives at midnight Dec. 31 — when Bush-era tax cuts are set to expire and automatic spending cuts are set to go into effect.

As NPR and others cover the story, we'll try to to point to interesting reports and analyses. Here are three of the latest.

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8:25am

Fri November 30, 2012
The Two-Way

In Egypt: Draft Of Constitution OK'd; Protesters Return To Tahrir Square

A protester shouts early Friday in Cairo's Tahrir Square.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

Protesters have streamed into Cairo's Tahrir Square again today, correspondent Merrit Kennedy tells our Newscast Desk.

She says they're there both to demonstrate again against President Mohammed Morsi's decree giving himself sweeping new powers and to express concern about a draft constitution passed early today by Egypt's constitutional assembly.

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2:59pm

Thu November 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Former NBC Chief Jeff Zucker Taking Over At CNN

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 4:56 pm

Jeff Zucker, who's going to CNN.
Robert Pitts Landov

"Veteran news producer and former NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker will become the president of CNN Worldwide in January," CNN confirmed earlier today.

The Associated Press writes that:

"Zucker will be based in New York and report to Phil Kent, who runs all of the Turner networks for parent company Time Warner.

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2:06pm

Thu November 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Does Anybody Have More Fun Than Joe Biden? Check These Photos

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 6:46 pm

"No, this really is Joe Biden!" (He borrowed a Costco employee's phone to say hello to someone.)
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Yes, he talked about the negotiations over taxes and spending cuts. Yes, it was a holiday photo op. But what really struck us about Vice President Joe Biden's this morning to Washington, D.C.'s first Costco store was how, once again, he just seems to have so much fun.

We think a picture gallery is in order.

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12:50pm

Thu November 29, 2012
The Two-Way

In Syria: Battle Rages Outside Damascus Airport, Internet Goes Down

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 5:39 pm

CIA World Factbook

Syria's Internet services went down all across the country on Thursday and heavy fighting was reported near the airport in the capital Damascus, which led a number of airlines to suspend flights.

These developments come after a series of rebel victories in recent days and suggest that President Bashar Assad's government is facing increased pressure from the rebels in an uprising now 20 months old.

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11:47am

Thu November 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Former President George H.W. Bush In Hospital

Former President George H.W. Bush in September at the Ryder Cup golf match in Medinah, Ill.
Mike Ehrmann Getty Images

"Former President George H.W. Bush remains in a Houston hospital, where he has been for seven days as doctors battle a lingering cough that has drawn concern," the Houston Chronicle writes.

But Bush's chief of staff, Jean Becker, tells the newspaper that the former president, now 88, has bronchitis and that it's expected he'll be released from Methodist Hospital this coming weekend.

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10:50am

Thu November 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Trayvon Martin Update: Zimmerman's Defense Fund Is Offering His Autograph

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 11:50 am

The signed card that donors will get from George Zimmerman.
GZDefenseFund.com

"Thank You Cards ... personally signed by George," are now going to be sent to those who donate money to the man facing second-degree murder charges for the Feb. 26 shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

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10:15am

Thu November 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Webcast: NPR & Wilson Center Host National Conversation On Foreign Policy

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 1:53 pm

Flags from nations around the world fly outside the U.N. building in New York City. The challenges facing President Obama's foreign policy team will be among the topics of today's national conversation, hosted by Talk of the Nation and the Wilson Center.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

NPR's Talk of the Nation and the Wilson Center, a public policy institute in Washington, D.C., are teaming up Thursday afternoon for a "national conversation" webcast and broadcast.

The topics for discussion, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET:

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9:24am

Thu November 29, 2012
The Two-Way

U.K. Inquiry: News Media 'Wreaked Havoc,' New Watchdog Needed

Britain's tabloids ruined many lives, a judge concludes. Now, he's recommending more oversight.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Saying that the British news media have "caused real hardship and, on occasion, wreaked havoc with the lives of innocent people whose rights and liberties have been disdained," the judge appointed to sort out the mess after the U.K.'s tabloid scandal has recommended creation of an independent watchdog. It would be charged with "promoting high standards of journalism and protecting the rights of individuals."

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8:48am

Thu November 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Third-Quarter Economic Growth Revised Upward

Better than expected: Economic growth was higher in the third quarter than first thought. Here, a worker at a Ford plant in Michigan plugs a batter into a Ford C-MAX plug-in hybrid vehicle.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.7 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says. That's a sharp upward revision in its estimate of gross domestic product growth from mid-summer into the fall. In its first look at the quarter's GDP, the agency estimated growth at a 2 percent annual rate.

According to BEA, consumer spending, inventory investment, exports and federal spending all contributed to growth from July 1 through Sept. 30.

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8:15am

Thu November 29, 2012
The Two-Way

What Will A U.N. Upgrade Mean For Palestinians?

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:39 am

In the southern West Bank city of Hebron today, supporters of Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas gathered in anticipation of today's vote at the U.N.
Hazem Bader AFP/Getty Images
  • NPR's Philip Reeves, reporting on 'Morning Edition'

At the United Nations this afternoon, the General Assembly is expected to overwhelmingly approve a resolution that would shift the status of Palestinians from that of a "non-member observer entity" to a "non-member observer state."

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7:30am

Thu November 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Winning Powerball Tickets Sold In Arizona And Missouri; Who Bought Them?

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 2:15 pm

Ticket sales soared as the jackpot grew.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

After all the hype and hoopla, millions of Americans (including us) are waking up this morning to learn that they aren't sudden millionaires.

Yes, there were winning tickets sold for Wednesday night's $580 million Powerball jackpot.

But there were only two tickets that correctly matched the numbers drawn: 5, 16, 22, 23, 29 and Powerball of 6.

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2:29pm

Wed November 28, 2012
The Two-Way

Economy Is Growing At A 'Measured Pace,' Federal Reserve Says

Shoppers at a Target store in Westbury, N.Y., last week. Consumer spending drives the economy. And the holiday shopping season is crucial for retailers.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

The nation's economy "expanded at a measured pace" in recent weeks, the Federal Reserve Board reports in its latest anecdotal look at how things are going across the U.S.

The central bank's Beige Book review of conditions in its 12 bank districts finds that:

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