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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12:28pm

Mon November 19, 2012
The Two-Way

27 Animals In 'Hobbit' Movie Died At Farm Where They Were Housed

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 1:33 pm

A promotion for J.R.R. Tolkien's classic, which is now being made into a movie trilogy, at the Frankfurt Book Fair last month.
Arne Dedert EPA /LANDOV

Just days before the movie's premiere, there's word that during the filming of director Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey as many as 27 animals used in its production died at the farm in New Zealand where they were housed.

Animal wranglers tell The Associated Press that there were "bluffs, sinkholes and other 'death traps' " at the farm. Three horses died, along with "six goats, six sheep and a dozen chickens."

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11:04am

Mon November 19, 2012
The Two-Way

Will San Francisco Tell Its Nudists To Cover Up?

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 12:30 pm

Woody Miller, a "naturist," was among the men out on Market Street in San Francisco this day.
Kimhiro Hoshino AFP/Getty Images

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener (yes, that's his name) says last year's law ordering those who bare everything in public to put a towel between their bottoms and public benches or restaurant seats hasn't stopped the complaints he gets about men who prefer to go without (clothes, that is) in the city's Castro District.

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10:25am

Mon November 19, 2012
The Two-Way

Good Signs: Home Sales Are Up; Builders' Confidence Is Also Higher

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 2:39 pm

This home sold last month in Miami.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Two positive economic indicators:

-- "Sales of existing homes increased in October, even with some regional impact from Hurricane Sandy, while home prices continued to rise due to lower levels of inventory supply," the National Association of Realtors reports.

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10:04am

Mon November 19, 2012
The Two-Way

Outrage In India Over Woman's Arrest For Facebook Post

Bal Thackeray's funeral cortege made its way through a sea of supporters in Mumbai on Sunday.
Indranil Mukherjee AFP/Getty Images

There was no violence, as had been feared, when hundreds of thousands of people gathered Sunday in Mumbai, India, to express their grief over the death of Bal Thackeray, "a Hindu extremist leader linked to waves of mob violence against Muslims and migrant workers in India."

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8:56am

Mon November 19, 2012
The Two-Way

Top Stories: Israel, Hamas Trade More Fire; Obama Visits Cambodia

In New York City's Rockaway neighborhood, a sign asking for help in the clean-up.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

8:23am

Mon November 19, 2012
The Two-Way

U.S. Policy Is To Say 'Burma'; Obama Also Uses 'Myanmar'

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 12:31 pm

President Obama and President Thein Sein of Myanmar (also known as Burma) earlier today in Yangon.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images
  • NPR's Scott Horsley, reporting on 'Morning Edition'

We've noted before that whether you call the Southeast Asian nation Burma or Myanmar has mattered to many for many years.

It's official U.S. policy, out of support for the opposition that has pressed for democratic reform in that country, to call it Burma. That's the name the nation was known by before a military regime took power in 1989 and started using Myanmar.

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7:25am

Mon November 19, 2012
The Two-Way

Pressure For Truce Grows, But Israel And Hamas Continue Firing

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 9:48 am

A man covers his face as he passes smoke and fire after Israeli air strikes in Gaza City earlier today.
Mohammed Abed AFP/Getty Images
  • On 'Morning Edition': Anthony Kuhn reports from Gaza City
  • On 'Morning Editon': Sheera Frankel reports about 'Iron Dome'

(We rewrote the top of this post at 7:45 p.m. ET to sum up the day's news.)

The sixth day of Israel's military operation in the Gaza Strip saw Israel striking a media center and other Palestinian targets, raising the Palestinian death toll to more than 100. Palestinian militants fired 95 rockets at Israel; a third of them were intercepted by Iron Dome, the Israeli missile shield. Also Monday, a flurry of diplomacy that attempted to mediate a cease-fire between the two sides.

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6:24am

Sun November 18, 2012
The Two-Way

It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's A ... Guy In A Giraffe Suit?

Armstrong Baillie, in costume.
YouTube

"Scotland Is Growing To Love The Good Giraffe's High Ideals:

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10:13am

Fri November 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Fiscal Cliff Talks Get Started

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 12:13 pm

Getting started: President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, at the start of today's meeting.
Larry Downing Reuters /Landov

President Obama and congressional leaders from both major parties met at the White House this morning for the first of what will likely be many negotiations aimed at averting a plunge over the so-called fiscal cliff.

We watched for news from the key players — who include House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio — and updated with highlights.

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9:23am

Fri November 16, 2012
The Two-Way

East German Political Prisoners Made Some Of Its Products, IKEA Admits

Denis Charlet AFP/Getty Images

News outlets in German and Sweden have been reporting for the past year that some of the products made in past decades for Swedish furniture giant IKEA were produced by political prisoners in Cold War-era East Germany.

Today, IKEA conceded that the reports are true and that some of its "representatives" were aware of what was happening.

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8:22am

Fri November 16, 2012
The Two-Way

No More Twinkies? Hostess Brands Is Shutting Down

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 9:53 am

Stock up now.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Carrying through on its warning about what could happen, the management of Hostess Brands announced this morning that the company is going out of business and laying off its 18,500 employees.

At issue: According to Hostess CEO Gregory Rayburn, "we simply do not have the financial resources to survive an ongoing national strike."

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7:57am

Fri November 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Petraeus Supports White House On Post-Benghazi Accounts, Lawmakers Say

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 12:44 pm

Sept. 11: The U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was aflame after coming under attack.
AFP/Getty Images
  • Dina Temple-Raston on 'Morning Edition'
(We added a new top to this post at 12:40 p.m. ET to round up the latest developments.)

The White House did not insert politics into the process of determining what could be said about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in the days immediately afterward, former CIA Director David Petraeus told Congress this morning, according to lawmakers who were inside closed briefings today.

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7:29am

Fri November 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Both Sides 'Ready To Escalate' As Israel And Hamas Fire Away

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 9:26 am

Israeli tanks on the border with the Gaza Strip earlier today. Israeli officials have said they are prepared to mount a ground offensive.
Menahem Kahana AFP/Getty Images
  • NPR's Anthony Kuhn talks with Steve Inskeep

Even though there were talks of a ceasefire to coincide with the visit of the Egyptian prime minister to Gaza, today, the fighting has instead escalated.

Avital Leibovich, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces confirmed that for the first time, rockets fired from Gaza hit an area outside Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, who leads the West Bank, said that the "escalation is at its peak," both in Gaza and out of Gaza.

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3:44pm

Thu November 15, 2012
The Two-Way

Al Gore: Most Americans Still Agree Climate Change Is Getting Worse

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 7:04 pm

Former Vice President Al Gore.
Jon Kalish NPR

Climate change and the environment were not major topics of the presidential campaign. And on Wednesday, President Obama said that while he believes more needs to be done to address what's happening, he won't "ignore jobs and growth simply to address climate change."

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12:08pm

Thu November 15, 2012
The Two-Way

BP's $4 Billion Criminal Penalty: Who Gets The Money?

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 2:37 pm

July 2010: Two pelicans sit on booms protecting Queen Bess Island, La., from oil that spilled after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in April.
Chris Graythen Getty Images

(We updated this post with more details at 2:25 p.m. ET. Scroll down to see them.)

Now that BP has pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $4 billion in criminal penalties for misconducted related to the 2010 Gulf Oil spill, there's a logical question:

Where does the money go?

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