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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8:20am

Thu May 3, 2012
The Two-Way

No Note, No Firm Clues So Far In Junior Seau's Death

Junior Seau in 2002, when he was with the San Diego Chargers.
Stephen Dunn Getty Images

While the signs so far point to suicide, there aren't yet any really revealing clues to why former NFL star Junior Seau apparently killed himself Wednesday.

About all there is so far is a hint that, in retrospect, Seau may have said some goodbyes. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that:

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7:33am

Thu May 3, 2012
The Two-Way

Chinese Activist Wants To Leave With Clinton; U.S. Diplomats Back In Touch

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 8:07 pm

Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng (in wheelchair) held the hand of Gary Locke (at right) the U.S. ambassador to China in Beijing as he arrived at a hospital in Beijing on Wednesday.
AFP/Getty Images
  • Chen speaks with NPR
  • Michele Kelemen talks with Steve Inskeep

The fate of Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng remains uncertain one day after he left the U.S. embassy in Beijing.

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3:52pm

Wed May 2, 2012
The Two-Way

Former NFL Player Junior Seau Is Dead; Possible Suicide

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 4:36 pm

Junior Seau in 2009, when he played with the New England Patriots.
Elsa Getty Images

San Diego's Union Tribune reports that former NFL linebacker Junior Seau "has died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at his beachfront home."

It adds that:

"Chargers chaplain Shawn Mitchell said he was notified of the death and is on his way to be with family members."

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3:19pm

Wed May 2, 2012
The Two-Way

It's Official: Newt Gingrich Bows Out

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 4:31 pm

Saying "I never could have predicted either the low points or the high points," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich just officially suspended his bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

He's been leading up to this for more than a week. Tuesday, he posted a video to say goodbye to his supporters.

Update at 4:30 p.m. ET. Romney On Gingrich:

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2:44pm

Wed May 2, 2012
The Two-Way

Student Left And Forgotten In Holding Cell For Five Days Gets Apology

Daniel Chong, a California college senior who "was left alone in a federal holding cell for five days with no food or water," now at least has an apology from the Drug Enforcement Adminstration.

That likely won't make up for having to drink his urine to survive, as Chong spoke of to reporters on Tuesday.

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2:20pm

Wed May 2, 2012
The Two-Way

13 Face Criminal Charges In Florida A&M Hazing Death

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 4:28 pm

Criminal charges have been filed against 13 individuals in the November 2011 death of Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion, Florida State Attorney Lawson Lamor just announced.

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1:59pm

Wed May 2, 2012
The Two-Way

After Bar Brawl, British Parliament Moves To Limit Members' Drinks

When Parliament is in session, some may be overdoing it.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images
  • Larry Miller reporting from London

Getting into a fight at one of the four bars within the borders of the British Parliament's grounds not only brought House of Commons member Eric Joyce (a Labour MP) unwanted notoriety, it has also led to orders that bartenders and event staff start cutting off obviously intoxicated lawmakers.

Which, of course, would seem like something they already should have known they should do.

As the BBC says:

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12:26pm

Wed May 2, 2012
The Two-Way

NFL Suspends Four Players, One For Full Season, Over Saints' Bounties

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 12:37 pm

Oct. 31, 2010: Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (then of the New Orleans Saints) talks to linebacker Jonathan Vilma. Williams has been suspended from the league indefinitely. Vilma will miss the 2012 season.
Matthew Sharpe Getty Images

Four NFL players tied to the so-called bountygate have now been hit with suspensions by the league. They were part of a scheme in which a New Orleans Saints coach created a bounty system for hits that knocked opponents out of games.

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12:04pm

Wed May 2, 2012
The Two-Way

Stocks Give Back Some Gains After Weak Economic Data Are Released

After hitting its highest mark since December 2007 on Tuesday because of a bullish report about the health of the manufacturing sector in April, the Dow Jones industrial average is right now down about 45 points (less than 0.3 percent) because of negative news about hiring and manufacturing.

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9:42am

Wed May 2, 2012
The Two-Way

Hiring Slowed In April, Report Signals

Businesses added just 119,000 jobs to their payrolls in April, a sharp drop from an estimated 201,000-gain in March, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.

The private group's report is "a troubling sign" two days before the Bureau of Labor Statistics issues its figures on April employment growth and unemployment, The Associated Press says.

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8:57am

Wed May 2, 2012
The Two-Way

We Had Dinner With Bin Laden In 2010, Men Tell BBC

Following the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound, the image of the al-Qaida leader was one of a man in hiding, watching himself on videos and plotting.
AFP/Getty Images

The story that Osama bin Laden never left his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, during the last five years of his life takes a hit with word from the BBC about a dinner the al-Qaida leader reportedly attended in the summer of 2010.

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8:15am

Wed May 2, 2012
The Two-Way

'Afghan Good Enough' May Be Best U.S. And Allies Can Do

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 8:29 am

During his brief visit to Afghanistan, President Obama spoke to troops at Bagram Air Field north of Kabul.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Among the day-after analyses of President Obama's surprise trip to Afghanistan and the new pact about U.S.-Afghan relations is this from Anthony Cordesman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.:

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7:26am

Wed May 2, 2012
The Two-Way

Will China Follow Through On Assurances About Activist's Safety?

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 4:26 pm

Chinese activist activist Chen Guangcheng earlier today at the a hospital in Beijing. He reportedly injured himself during his escape from house arrest last month.
Jordan Pouille AFP/Getty Images
  • From 'Morning Edition'

Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng has said to The Associated Press that "he was told Chinese officials would have killed his wife had he not left [the U.S.] embassy," the wire service reports.

It also writes that "Guangcheng says a U.S. official told him that Chinese authorities threatened to beat his wife to death had be not left the American Embassy."

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3:10pm

Tue May 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Obama In Afghanistan On Surprise Visit

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 6:54 pm

President Barack Obama is greeted by Lt. Gen. Curtis "Mike" Scaparrotti, and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker as he steps off Air Force One at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan earlier today (Tuesday, May 1).
Charles Dharapak AP

One year to the day after announcing to the world the death of Osama bin Laden, President Obama is in Afghanistan, the nation from which the al-Qaida leader and his followers planned and organized the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The news of the president's unannounced trip was confirmed just before 3 p.m. ET. Obama is scheduled to deliver a televised address aimed at Americans this evening at 7:30 p.m. ET.

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1:20pm

Tue May 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Stocks Rallying After Bullish Manufacturing News

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 4:34 pm

Adding 87 points, the Dow closed at 13,339, its highest level since December of 2007.

CNN Money reports that the index rose in reaction to a rise in U.S. manufacturing activity.

The Wall Street Journal adds:

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