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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4:01pm

Thu August 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Ambassador To Afghanistan: 'Vast Majority' Of Afghans Support Coalition

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 4:03 pm

U.S. Marines with 1st Platoon, Company I, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines (3/5), Regimental Combat Team 2, in Afghanistan. (January 2010 file photo.)
Corporal David R. Hernandez 3rd Battalion 5th Marines-RCT 2
  • Amb. James Cunningham on who is attacking U.S. troops
  • Amb. James Cunningham on the Afghan people's support

With "green on blue" attacks by Afghans in uniform increasingly in the news, Americans officials are being asked whether the people of Afghanistan are turning against the coalition troops that have been in the Central Asian nation since late 2001.

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1:26pm

Thu August 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Drought's Still Deep In Nation's Midsection

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 3:04 pm

The week of Aug. 21.
National Drought Mitigation Center

Though there were "a few notable improvements" in places such as Indiana, where beneficial rains fell, the deep drought that has dug in across much of the nation's midsection continued in the past week, according to the statisticians at the National Drought Mitigation Center.

Their maps from the past three weeks tell the story.

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11:04am

Thu August 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Former Penn State President Launches 'Full-Throttle Defense'

Then-Penn State President Graham Spanier and then-head football coach Joe Paterno last fall, before the Jerry Sandusky scandal cost them both their jobs.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Graham Spanier, who lost his job as president of Penn State University for allegedly not doing enough to investigate whether former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was molesting young boys, has "launched a full-throttle defense" against charges that he cared more about the university's reputation than Sandusky's victims, Harrisburg's

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10:25am

Thu August 23, 2012
The Two-Way

No Parole For Mark David Chapman, John Lennon's Killer

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 10:32 am

Mark David Chapman in May 2012.
NYS Dept. of Corrections Reuters /Landov

The man who murdered Beatle John Lennon in December 1980 has been denied parole for a seventh time, The Associated Press reports.

Mark David Chapman, New York State Corrections inmate No. 81A3860, is now 57-years-old. He's serving a prison term of 20 years to life.

Lennon was gunned down at the entrance to his Manhattan apartment building.

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9:43am

Thu August 23, 2012
The Two-Way

His Nakedness Should Not Be Shown, Palace Says Of Prince Harry's Photos

That's Harry, but not the prince: The Sun recreated the scene.
@suttonnick

The fuss over photos of Prince Harry enjoying some billiards-in-the-buff fun with a lady or two in Las Vegas has led the queen's office to contact Britain's Press Complaints Commission to warn that newspapers in the U.K. better not publish them.

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8:41am

Thu August 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Jobless Claims Rose Slightly Last Week

There were an estimated 372,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up by 4,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

Another way of measuring, to show the recent trend, also rose: "The 4-week moving average was 368,000, an increase of 3,750 from the previous week's revised average of 364,250."

Overall, what we've said the past two weeks still applies:

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8:33am

Thu August 23, 2012
The Two-Way

SEAL's Book On Bin Laden Raid, Woodward Book On Obama Due Sept. 11

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other members of his national security team as they monitored the mission that ended with the death of Osama bin Laden in May 2011.
Pete Souza White House

Those old-fashioned things called books can roil campaigns, and two that are due to hit stores on Sept. 11 certainly have that potential.

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7:31am

Thu August 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Isaac Could Be A Hurricane By Friday; Florida And GOP Convention Brace

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 3:00 pm

The projected track as of 11 a.m. ET today. The path has moved slightly to the west.
National Hurricane Center
  • Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn on 'Tell Me More'

Here's the latest on tropical storm Isaac, which could hit Florida this weekend and drench the Republican National Convention in Tampa early next week:

-- The National Hurricane Center says the center of the storm should pass "to the south of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico today ... [then] approach the Dominican Republic tonight and Friday."

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2:52pm

Wed August 22, 2012
The Two-Way

Curiosity Is On A Roll: Makes Its First Movements On Mars

Those tracks to the top and right were made by Curiosity as it moved today.
NASA

It didn't go far, but the NASA rover Curiosity has taken its first test drive on Mars.

"This is how I roll," NASA writes (speaking for Curiosity) with a photo it has released showing the rover's first tracks. "Forward 3 meters, 90 [degree] turn, then back. Electric slide, anyone?"

"We have a fully functioning mobility system," NASA engineer Matt Heverly just told reporters. He said Curiosity ended up moving about 4 1/2 meters during today's test. It also did a full revolution going forward, backed up and did another revolution.

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1:49pm

Wed August 22, 2012
The Two-Way

Check It Out, Yo: 'Hot Cheetohs & Takis,' This Summer's 'Truly Great Jam'

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 10:14 am

It's a summer hit.
YouTube

10:48am

Wed August 22, 2012
The Two-Way

Sales Of Existing Homes Rose In July, Another Sign Of Stronger Market

More of these sorts of signs are popping up (November 2011 file photo from San Rafael, Calif.).
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

A 2.3 percent increase in sales of previously owned homes in July from June is the latest sign that the housing market is on the mend, Reuters reports.

The National Association of Realtors said this morning that sales of existing homes increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.47 million.

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10:19am

Wed August 22, 2012
The Two-Way

Deficit To Be $1.1 Trillion, Unemployment To Stay Above 8 Percent, CBO Says

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 10:33 am

Expect to hear about this from the campaign of Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney as he continues to take aim at President Obama's record on the budget and the economy:

The Congressional Budget Office reports this morning that "for fiscal year 2012 (which ends on September 30), the federal budget deficit will total $1.1 trillion ... marking the fourth year in a row with a deficit of more than $1 trillion."

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9:45am

Wed August 22, 2012
The Two-Way

Wildfires Have Burned Nearly 7 Million Acres So Far, Up 6 Percent From Last Year

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 5:08 pm

A photograph from June 8, 2002 shows flames from the Hayman wildfire, which burned in in the Rocky Mountains southwest of Denver.
Bryan Dahlberg/FEMA Getty Images

There's word this morning of another wildfire, this time outside the community of Manton in Northern California, where "dozens of buildings, many of them likely homes, have been destroyed," as The Associated Press reports.

Wildfires out West have been a constant topic this summer, it seems, on The Two-Way and other news outlets.

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8:32am

Wed August 22, 2012
The Two-Way

Prince Harry Exposed: Photos Show Up Of Naked Royal 'Cavorting' In Vegas

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 10:17 am

Prince Harry, fully clothed, watching a beach volleyball match at the Olympic Games in London on Aug. 8.
Pascal Le Segretain Getty Images

We absolutely, positively will not make a reference to the crown jewels.

Oops, we just did.

It seems that last Friday night in Las Vegas, Prince Harry — third in line to the throne over in England and one of the world's most eligible bachelors — did some "cavorting with two naked women in a Las Vegas hotel room," as the London Evening Standard puts it.

The evening apparently involved some "strip billiards."

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7:51am

Wed August 22, 2012
The Two-Way

Texas Sheriff: Sacred White Buffalo Was Not Slaughtered

Lightning Medicine Cloud, a sacred white buffalo, last June.
LM Otero AP

The mystery surrounding the death of a rare white buffalo and the claim by some Lakota Sioux in Texas that it had been killed by other Native Americans deepened Tuesday. A local sheriff announced that investigators believe the animal died of a bacterial disease and said the case is now closed.

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