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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2:31pm

Fri May 18, 2012
The Two-Way

Insurers Paid $479 Million In Claims For Dog Bites Last Year

Matthew Weins of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Los Angeles, works with Daisy on a demonstration aimed at showing that even small dogs can jump high to bite.
Damian Dovarganes AP

With National Dog Bite Prevention Week set to start Saturday, the Insurance Information Institute wants Americans to know that:

-- Insurers paid $479 million in home owner insurance claims involving dog bites last year, up 16.1 percent from the year before.

-- The number of such claims rose 3.3 percent, to 16,292.

-- The average cost per claim grew by 12.3 percent from the year before, to $29,296.

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10:35am

Fri May 18, 2012
The Two-Way

Is It Fair That A Quarterback Set The Record For Paper Airplane Tossing?

Joe Ayoob (in red shirt) winding up for the record-breaking throw. Plane designer John Collins is behind him.
ThePaperAirplaneGuy

9:39am

Fri May 18, 2012
The Two-Way

Updated: French President Sticks By Quicker Troop Withdrawal Schedule

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 1:36 pm

President Barack Obama meets with French President Francois Hollande on Friday in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Update at 1:17 p.m. ET. Support Afghanistan In 'Different Way':

During their meeting in the White House, President Francois Hollande, the new socialist leader of France, said he told President Obama that he was committed to withdrawing French troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year.

But, the AP reports, Hollande said he was committed to supporting Afghanistan in a "different way."

This was Obama's first meeting with Hollande.

The two leaders also said they wanted Greece to remain a part the European monetary union.

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9:33am

Fri May 18, 2012
The Two-Way

French Plan To Pull Troops From Afghanistan Starts Busy Diplomatic Days

Before President Obama welcomes world leaders to Camp David and Chicago, new French President Francoise Hollande is expected to say he wants his nation's 3,300 troops home from Afghanistan by year's end. That could upset other NATO nations.

8:34am

Fri May 18, 2012
The Two-Way

5 Takeaways From Trove Of Evidence Related To Trayvon Martin's Death

A photograph of George Zimmerman's head taken after the Feb. 26 shooting death of Trayvon Martin. It shows blood from injuries he Zimmerman says he received during their encounter.
Florida State Attorney's Office AFP/Getty Images
  • NPR's Greg Allen reporting on 'Morning Edition'

Among the key things to know about what's in the hundreds of pages of evidence and other materials related to the Feb. 26 shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, which were released Thursday:

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7:33am

Fri May 18, 2012
The Two-Way

Like It Or Not, It's Facebook's Day On Wall Street

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 4:03 pm

Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images
  • Steve Henn talks with Steve Inskeep on 'Morning Edition'

Facebook's much-publicized first sale of stock to the public started with a bang late this morning as the price per share jumped. But though the volume of shares sold was a record for an initial public offering, the stock's price gave up its gains as the day continued.

By the end of trading in the U.S., Facebook had settled right at the $38 initial offering price that had been set before shares went on sale.

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3:09pm

Thu May 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Diplomat: U.S. Has Military Option Ready, If Needed, To Deal With Iran

Originally published on Sun May 20, 2012 8:43 am

President Obama has said "I don't bluff," when it comes to opposing any effort by Iran to develop nuclear weapons (which that nation says it is not trying to do). And, he told The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg in March, "all options are on the table."

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12:16pm

Thu May 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Hot Pants Indeed: Rocks In Pocket Set Woman's Shorts On Fire

The look so harmless.
Win McNamee Getty Images

A 43-year-old woman in San Clemente, Calif., suffered second- and third-degree burns on her right leg and right arm Saturday after rocks in a pocket set her shorts on fire, The Orange County Register says.

Orange County Fire Authority officials tell the newspaper that the woman collected the rocks on a nearby beach, returned home and "was standing in her kitchen ... when the pocket of her cargo shorts caught fire."

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11:20am

Thu May 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Good News, Bad News: Japanese Economy Surges, But Likely Will Slow

In a classic example of "on the one hand, on the other hand" economic analysis, the word that Japan's economy grew at a strong 4.1 percent annual rate in the first quarter is being followed by cautionary talk of slower growth for the world's third-largest economy in coming quarters.

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9:56am

Thu May 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Romney's $40.1 Million Haul In April Nearly Matches Obama's

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 10:24 am

Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney at a campaign event on Wednesday in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Edward Linsmier Getty Images

The campaign for GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney and the Republican Party together raised $40.1 million in April, just shy of the $43.6 million that President Obama and the Democratic Party took in.

This is the first monthly report since Romney effectively wrapped up the Republican presidential nomination. And because money is one way to keep score during a presidential campaign, the news is getting a great deal of attention from the political media this morning.

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8:47am

Thu May 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Jobless Claims Held Steady Last Week; Back To 4-Year Low

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 10:25 am

There were 370,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance filed last week, the same number as during the week before, according to the Employment and Training Administration.

So, after a spike to a range around 390,000 per week in April, claims have slowed again to a pace that's roughly the lowest since the spring of 2008.

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8:36am

Thu May 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Activist Chen May Soon Have Passport, Be Able To Leave China

Chen Guangcheng just before he left the U.S. embassy in Beijing, on May 2.
U.S. Embassy Beijing Getty Images

Legal activist Chen Guangcheng has reportedly finished submitting applications to Chinese authorities and has been told that he and his immediate family could be issued passports within the next two weeks.

That would then allow him to come to the United States.

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7:56am

Thu May 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Minorities Are Now Majority Of U.S. Births, Census Says

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 9:12 am

"For the first time, racial and ethnic minorities make up more than half the children born in the U.S," The Associated Press writes.

As USA Today adds, that news from the Census Bureau is "a sign of how swiftly the USA is becoming a nation of younger minorities and older whites."

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7:03am

Thu May 17, 2012
The Two-Way

As Feared, JPMorgan's Losses Are Growing; Reportedly At $3 Billion

Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

The word on Monday that JPMorgan Chase's losses from risky trades that went wrong could climb from $2 billion to perhaps as high as $4 billion in coming quarters is being bolstered this morning.

There's this report from The New York Times' Deal Book blog:

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2:29pm

Wed May 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Chipping In To Your Office Lottery Pool? Read This First

Tim Boyle Getty Images

Here's yet another reminder about why it's important to have somebody write down the rules and keep accurate records if you're pooling money at the office to buy lottery tickets.

After all, for every heart-warming story about "three amigos" who seem to have gotten along swimmingly and deserved the money they won, there are tales such as this:

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