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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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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10:41am

Thu November 15, 2012
The Two-Way

Update: United Airlines Says It's Back In Operation

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 11:08 am

United Airlines jets in San Francisco earlier this year.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Update at 11:05 a.m. ET: "Our system is up. We're resuming operations for affected flights," United Airlines says. There's no word yet on how long it will take to get everyone where they need to go.

Our original post:

If you're headed to the airport and planning to fly on United today, be aware:

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9:58am

Thu November 15, 2012
The Two-Way

What Are They Smoking In Seattle? Check Out Police Dept.'s Guide To Pot Use

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 12:11 pm

A young cannabis plant at grows at The Joint Cooperative in Seattle, Washington Jan. 27.
Cliff DesPeaux Reuters/Landov

We love when police departments put some personality and pizzazz into their public statements.

So the Seattle Police Department's blog post headlined "Marijwhatnow? A Guide to Legal Marijuana Use In Seattle," definitely got our attention.

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8:56am

Thu November 15, 2012
The Two-Way

Superstorm Sandy Sends Jobless Claims Up Sharply

The line was long last week at a job fair in Chicago.
Scott Olson Getty Images

There were 439,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up by 78,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says. Behind the big increase: Superstorm Sandy, which threw some people in the Mid-Atlantic onto the unemployment rolls and shut down state unemployment offices the week before — meaning that some claims were postponed into last week.

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7:31am

Thu November 15, 2012
The Two-Way

In Israel And Gaza Strip: More Explosions, Deaths On Both Sides

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 9:21 am

An Israeli soldier lies on the ground as missiles are fired from an Iron Dome anti-missile station on Thursday near the city of Beer Sheva, Israel. The Iron Dome was activated to intercept incoming rockets launched from Gaza.
Ilia Yefimovich Getty Images
  • Anthony Kuhn talks with Linda Wertheimer on 'Morning Editon'

Update at 1:30 p.m. ET. Firing Continues:

"Intensive fire" has continued through the day across the border of Israel and the Gaza Strip, correspondent Linda Gradstein, who is in Jerusalem, tells our Newscast Desk.

Hamas has now fired more than 130 rockets toward southern Israel and the Israeli military continues to fire at targets in Gaza. Palestinian officials report at least 13 deaths on their side of the border. The death toll in Israel remains at three.

White House spokesman Jay Carney today told reporters that:

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1:22pm

Wed November 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Live Blog: President Obama's News Conference

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 9:44 pm

President Obama during his news conference at the White House today.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images
  • Listen to NPR Coverage of the News Conference

Eight days after his re-election — with the fiscal cliff looming, questions being raised about the deadly attack on the U.S.

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9:57am

Wed November 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Hamas Military Chief Killed By Israeli Airstrike, Reports Say

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 9:13 am

A car hit by one of today's airstrikes in Gaza City.
Ali Hassan Reuters /Landov

Update at 3 p.m. ET. At Least 10 Dead; Israel Issues More Warnings:

As we've been reporting, Israel hit targets in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip today with multiple airstrikes. The Associated Press says at least 10 people were killed. Among them was Ahmed Jabari, the commander of Hamas' military wing.

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9:39am

Wed November 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Reports: Pelosi Wants To Remain Democratic Leader In House

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 10:31 am

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Update at 10:25 a.m. ET. Pelosi Confirms:

Saying that she wants to work on "empowering women .... growing the economy ... [and] a healthy political climate," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California just confirmed that she intends to remain as leader of the Democratic caucus in the House.

Pelosi, who was first elected to Congress in 1987, is the only woman to have served as speaker of the House (from 2007 to 2011).

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8:49am

Wed November 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Should Petraeus Scandal Be A Big Topic At Obama's News Conference Today?

President Obama at the White House last week.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Eight days after his re-election, President Obama today holds his first full-scale news conference in the East Room of the White House since March.

It's safe to think that the White House had hoped the focus would be on subjects such as the fiscal cliff, taxes, the economy and the president's thoughts on what he can get accomplished in his second term.

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